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Marie Touchet (1549 – 28 March 1638), Dame de Belleville, was the only mistress of Charles IX of France.[1]

Marie Touchet
Marietouchetbyjeandecourt.jpg
Marie Touchet, mistress of Charles IX of France
Born 1549
Orléans, France
Died 28 March 1638 (aged 88 or 89)
Paris, France
Spouse(s) Charles Balzac d'Entragues
Children Charles de Valois
Catherine Henriette de Balzac
Marie-Charlotte de Balzac d’Entragues
Parent(s) Jean Touchet
Marie Mathy

LifeEdit

Although born to a bourgeois family at Orléans, the daughter of Marie Mathy and a Huguenot lieutenant Jean Touchet "held her row at court as well as any of the first class ladies" (Le Laboureur, historian). Her anagrammed name was even Je Charme Tout meaning "I charm all." Henry III, King of Navarre was responsible for this clever wordplay.

By her late teens, she was mistress to Charles IX. In 1573 she bore the king a son, Charles de Valois.[2] It would be his only son, for just one year later the king died, at which time his and Marie's son was entrusted to the care of his younger brother and successor, Henry III of France. The new king was faithful to his dead brother's wishes and raised little Charles dutifully. Marie Touchet received a pension for her services to Charles IX, and continued as a part of the royal circle.

Marie went on to marry the marquis d'Entragues, Charles Balzac d'Entragues, and in 1579 had two daughters, Catherine Henriette de Balzac d'Entragues and Marie-Charlotte de Balzac d’Entragues. Both daughter's would follow in their mother's footsteps, later becoming the mistresses of Henry IV of France. Marie died in Paris.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ de Balzac, Honoré, Catherine de ́Medici, (Robert Brothers, 1894), 310.
  2. ^ Pardoe, Julia, The Life of Marie de Medicis, Queen of France, (Cambridge University Press, 2010), 67.