In the early sixteenth century, the de Foix family were both kin and intimate councillors to the Valois kings, Louis XII and François I. With a powerbase in Guyenne, the de Foix tried to use their connections at court to profit from the French conquest of Milan, 1499-1522. This paper will explore the career of one prominent family member, Odet de Foix, vicomte de Lautrec (1483-1528). Lautrec was a Marshal of France, who served in Italy as a soldier and governor. He was key to the royal entourage, amongst François I’s intimates at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. His sister, Françoise, was also the king’s mistress.
The paper will examine Lautrec’s entourage from two aspects. Firstly, it asks how Lautrec established his entourage from his experience in Navarre and Italy and as a member of the royal retinue. It establishes the importance of familial and regional ties, but also demonstrates the important role played by men of talent.
Secondly, it explores Lautrec's relationship to his entourage once governor of Milan. Were ties of blood, career or positions of Italian prestige the most important for a governor when he chose his intimates? Were compromises made with Italian traditions and elites to sustain his rule? Did he learn from the experience and failures of previous governors?
The article contributes to a gap in scholarship for the later period of French Milan from 1515-1522. It also adds to our knowledge of the behaviour and ambitions of early modern governors.
How to Cite:
Woodcock, P., 2015. Living like a king? The entourage of Odet de Foix, vicomte de Lautrec, governor of Milan.. Royal Studies Journal, 2(2), pp.1–24. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21039/rsj.v2i2.30