HENRI IV FRANCE - MISTRESSES
As well as two wives Henri IV had a number of mistresses.
He also had many encounters where the relationship was not long enough for
the other party to be considered a mistress. The four listed in the table
below were mistresses, whose children he acknowledged as
his. As bastards the children were not eligible to become Monarchs. However
Henri did make sure they were cared for and gave them lands and titles.
Gabrielle d'Estrees - Duchess of Beaufort - Henri had lived
apart from Marguerite for several years when he first started
his relationship with Gabrielle in 1591. She bore him three
children, Cesar 1594 - 1665, Catherine-Henriette 1596 - 1663 and Alexandre 1598 - 1629.
Since Marguerite had not produced children, Henri wished to
divorce her and marry Gabrielle, thereby creating legitimate
heirs. However Marguerite would not agree to the divorce.
Gabrielle died on 10th April 1599, after falling ill, possibly
due to food poisoning or deliberate poisoning. She was pregnant
at the time which may also have contributed to her death. In
December 1599 Henri was divorced from Marguerite. It seems Henri
would have made Gabrielle his queen if she had survived.
Henriette de Balzac d'Entragues - Marquise de
Henri met Henriette approximately six months after the death of
Gabrielle d'Estrees. He promised to marry her, so she was
shocked when he then married Marie de Medici by proxy, in October 1600.
She was obviously consolable, because Henriette subsequently bore him two children,
Henri 1601-1682 and Gabrielle-Angelique 1603-1627. It is worth noting
that her son Henri was born, not long after Marie gave birth to the
future King, Louis XIII. Henriette and her family were discovered to
be plotting to have Spain recognise her son Henri, as rightful heir
to the throne on the death of Henri IV. Although she was eventually
reconciled with Henri IV, there are those who have accused her of being
implicated with Ravaillac in Henri IV's assassination in 1610.
Jacqueline de Bueil -
Comtesse de Moret -
This was a fairly short lived
romance, but produced one child Antoine 1607 - 1632. For the sake of
appearances, Jacqueline was married off to Césy
de Champvallon, although it was Henri who shared her bed.
Charlotte des Essarts -
Comtesse de Romorantin -
Charlotte had two children by Henri
- Jean-Baptiste 1608 - 1670 and Marie-Henriette
1609 - 1629. In 1611 after the assassination of
Henri, Charlotte married Louis of Lorraine, Cardinal de Guise
(1585-1621). They had one son, Achille of Lorraine, Count of
Henri was believed to have had well over 50 lovers during
his life. There were also a number of ladies who he tried to seduce, but who
turned him down.
In addition to the four in the table above, here is a partial list of those
he was apparently successful with:-
1. Madame de Sauve (one of the ladies used by Catherine de Medici, to keep
tabs on various people at court). Also known as Charlotte de Beaune, Baronne
de Sauve, and then later as Marquise de Noirmoutier. She was also the lady
that Henri Duke of Guise spent his last night with, before being murdered at
Blois on 23rd December 1588.
Madame de Sauve
2. Mlle. de Fosseuse (Henri made her pregnant, it was said she had a still
born daughter). Had she given birth to a living son, it would have caused a
lot of additional problems for Henri in his aspirations to become King of
France. Henri's wife at the time, Marguerite Valois was involved in
organising that the birth be conducted discreetly.
3. Mlle. Esther de Boyslambert (La Rochelle) - She had a
son by Henri in 1587, but the son died in infancy.
4. Suzanne de Moulins (La Rochelle).
5. Mlle. de Tignonville (Bearn).
6. Mlle. Dayelle (Cypriot).
7. Mlle. de Rebours (Maid of honour of Marguerite Valois).
9. Comtesse de Graumont, Diane d'Andouins, "La Belle Corisande" (reputedly had a son by
Henri, who died as a toddler in 1590). Corisande supported Henri during the
crucial period leading up to him becoming King of France. Her support
included helping to finance his army.
La Belle Corisande
10. Marie de la Bourdaisiere.
Towards the end of his life Henri was infatuated with a very young girl,
Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency, Princesse of Conde, though accounts
indicate that he probably didn't have his way with her.
Charlotte de Montmorency