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Armories of Charles de Marillac.

Charles de Marillac (c. 1510-1560) was a French prelate and diplomatist, born to a good family of Auvergne.

He was, by the age of twenty-two, an advocate in parliament in Paris. Suspected, however, of sympathizing with the reformers, he deemed it prudent to leave Paris, and in 1535 went to the East with his cousin Jean de La Forest, the first French ambassador at Constantinople. Cunning and ambitious, he soon made his mark, and his cousin having died during his embassy, Marillac was appointed his successor. He did not return from the East until 1538, when he was sent almost immediately to England, where he remained ambassador until 1543. He retained his influence during the reign of Henry II, fulfilling important missions in Switzerland and later at the imperial court (1547-1551), and at the courts of the German princes (1553-1554).

In 1555 he was one of the French deputies at the conferences held at Mark near Ardres to discuss peace with England. His two last missions were at Rome (1557) and at the Diet of Augsburg (1559). In 1550 he was given the bishopric of Vannes, and in 1557 the archbishopric of Vienne; he also became a member of the privy council. He distinguished himself as a statesman at the Assembly of Notables at Fontainebleau in 1560, when he delivered an exceedingly brilliant discourse, in which he opposed the policy of violence and demanded a national council and the assembly of the states general. Irritated by his opposition, the Guises compelled him to leave the court, and he died on the 2nd of December of the same year.

His works include: Discours sur la rupture de la Trève en l'an 1556 (Paris, 1556), and Sommaire de l'ambassade en Allemagne de feu Mr. l'archevesque de Vienne en l'an 1550, published in Ranke's Deutsche Geschichte im Zeitalter der Reformation, vol. vi. (Leipzig, 1882). See J. Kaulek, Correspondance politique de Castillon et Marillac (1537-1542) (Paris, 1885); P. de Vassiere, Charles de Marillac (Paris, 1896).

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