Claude, Duke of Guise

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Claude de Lorraine
Duke of Guise
Portrait by Jean Clouet
Count / Duke of Guise
Reign10 December 1508 – 12 April 1550
Born(1496-10-20)20 October 1496
Château de Custines
Died12 April 1550(1550-04-12) (aged 53)
Château de Joinville
Noble familyGuise
(m. 1513)
FatherRené II, Duke of Lorraine
MotherPhilippa of Guelders
Coat of arms of the Duke of Guise

Claude de Lorraine, Duke of Guise (20 October 1496 – 12 April 1550) was a French aristocrat and general. He became the first Duke of Guise in 1528.

He was a highly effective general for the French crown. His children and grandchildren were to lead the Catholic party in the French Wars of Religion.


Claude was born at the Château de Condé-sur-Moselle, the second son of René II, Duke of Lorraine, and Philippa of Guelders.[1] He was educated at the French court of Francis I. On 9 June 1513, at the age of sixteen, Claude married Antoinette de Bourbon (1493–1583),[1] daughter of François, Count of Vendôme.[2]

Military service[edit]

Claude distinguished himself at the Battle of Marignano (1515),[3] and was long in recovering from the twenty-two wounds he received in the battle. In 1521, he fought at Fuenterrabia, and Louise of Savoy ascribed the capture of the place to his efforts. In 1522, he forced the English to raise the siege of Hesdin. In 1523, he became governor of Champagne and Burgundy, after defeating at Neufchâteau the imperial troops who had invaded this province. In 1525, Claude defeated a peasant army near Saverne (Zabern).[4] Following Francis I's return from captivity, Claude was made Duke of Guise in 1527.[5] The Guises, as cadets of the sovereign House of Lorraine and descendants of the Capetian House of Anjou, claimed precedence over the Bourbon, princes of Condé, and Conti.[6]

Marriage and issue[edit]

Claude married Antoinette de Bourbon,[7] daughter of François, Count of Vendôme and Marie de Luxembourg, on 9 June 1513; they had:

By an unnamed mistress,[9] Claude had:


Claude fell ill in 1550, and despite being under the care of five doctors, died on 12 April.[9]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wellman 2013, p. 236.
  2. ^ Barbier 2002, p. 511.
  3. ^ Spangler 2009, p. 64.
  4. ^ Carroll 2009, p. 35.
  5. ^ Hillerbrand 1996, p. 452.
  6. ^ Asch 2016, p. 45.
  7. ^ Bell 2004, p. 127.
  8. ^ Carroll 2009, p. 57.
  9. ^ a b c d Carroll 2009, p. 46.


  • Asch, Ronald G. (2016). "The Newcomer's Dilemma: Henry IV of France and James I of England". In Geevers, Liesbeth; Marini, Mirella (eds.). Dynastic Identity in Early Modern Europe: Rulers, Aristocrats and the Formation of Identities. Routledge.45
  • Barbier, Jean Paul (2002). Ma bibliothèque Poétique (in French). Librairie Droz S.A.
  • Bell, Susan G. (2004). The Lost Tapestries of the City of Ladies. University of California Press.
  • Carroll, Stuart (2009). Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and the Making of Europe. Oxford University Press.
  • Hillerbrand, Hans Joachim, ed. (1996). "House of Lorraine-Guise". The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Reformation. Vol. 2. Oxford University Press.
  • Spangler, Jonathan (2009). The Society of Princes: The Lorraine-Guise and the Conservation of Power and Wealth in Seventeenth-Century France. Ashgate Publishing Limited.
  • Wellman, Kathleen (2013). Queens and Mistresses of Renaissance France. Yale University Press.
Claude, Duke of Guise
Born: 20 October 1496  Died: 12 April 1550
Preceded by Count of Guise
Lord of Elbeuf

Count of Aumale
Succeeded by
New title
Duke of Guise
Marquis of Elbeuf
Succeeded by