Richelieu, Alphonse-louis Du Plessis De
Richelieu, Alphonse-Louis du Plessis de, called the cardinal of Lyons, elder brother of the great French marshal, was born at Paris in 1582. At the age of twenty-two he became bishop of Lucon, but about 1605 he resigned the see in favor of his brother Armand. In 1606 he entered the convent of Grande-Chartreuse, and for twenty years led a life of great austerity. He was prior of Bonpas when his brother obliged him to leave the cloister to occupy the archbishopric of Aix. In 1628 he was transferred to Lyons, and was made cardinal by Urban VIII, Aug. 21, 1629. Honors were heaped upon him, and he became, successively, grand almoner of France in 1632; dean of St. Martin's of Tours in the same year; abbot of St. Victor's, at Marseilles, and of St. Stephen's, at Caen, in 1640; of the Chaise-Dieu in 1642; and, on the death of his brother, was elected master of the Sorbonne. Meanwhile he was engaged in the work of his diocese, and, during the ravages of an epidemic in Lyons, was untiring in his efforts to aid the suffering. Louis XIII had several times engaged him in ecclesiastical affairs, but after the death of this monarch Richelieu seldom left Lyons, and gave little attention to the court intrigues of the day. He died March 23, 1653. In the Imperial Library are to be found letters written by Richelieu to Louis XIII and the most illustrious persons of his court. See Abbé de Pure, Vie de Richelieu, Cardinal de Lyon; Du Tems, Le Clerge de France, t. 4; Aubery, Dict. des Cardinaux.