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Robert IV de La Marck by an unknown artist around 1570

Robert IV de La Marck (1491, Sedan, Ardennes, 15 January 1512 – Guise, 1556), was Duke of Bouillon, Seigneur of Sedan and a Marshal of France.

Biography[edit | edit source]

He was the only son of Robert III de La Marck and Guillemette de Sarrebruck.

Aged 17, he became captain of the Swiss Guards. In 1547 King Henry II made him a Marshal of France, and sent him to Rome as French Ambassador. In 1552, he participated in the Siege of Metz and took back possession of his Duchy of Bouillon, which had been occupied by the troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, for 30 years.

As Lieutenant General in Normandy, he is made prisoner in Hesdin in July 1553. He is kept in prison and badly treated in Flanders until the Treaty of Vaucelles of February 1556. Released for a very high ransom, he died soon after, presumably poisoned before his release, on the orders of Charles V.
He is buried at the Eglise Saint-Laurent in Sedan.

Marriage and children[edit | edit source]

He married in 1538 with Françoise de Brézé, daughter of Louis de Brézé and Diane de Poitiers and had 9 children :

  • Henri Robert (1539–1574), Duke of Bouillon and Prince of Sedan, married Françoise de Bourbon, daughter of Louis, Duke of Montpensier.
  • Charles Robert (1541–1622), Count of Maulévrier.
  • Christian, died young.
  • Antoinette (1542–1591), married Henri I de Montmorency.
  • Guillemette (1543–1544)
  • Diane (born 1544), married 1) Jacques de Clèves, duc de Nevers, 2) Henri de Clermont, 3) Jean Babou, Count of Sagonne.
  • Guillemette (1545–1592), married John III, Count of Ligny
  • Françoise (born 1547), abbesss
  • Catherine (born 1548), married Jacques de Harlay, seigneur de Champvallon

Sources[edit | edit source]

  • Pierre Congar, Jean Lecaillon et Jacques Rousseau, Sedan et le pays sedanais, vingt siècles d’histoire, Paris, Guénégaud, 1969 ; Marseille, Laffitte Reprints, 1978

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