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Le Clerc du Tremblay, Francois

Born: 1577 AD
Died: 1638 AD

1577 – François Leclerc du Tremblay, born this year in France. He was a French Capuchin friar, confidant and agent of Cardinal Richelieu.

1595 – As a boy he received a careful classical training, and made an extended journey through Italy, returning to take up the career of arms.

1597 – He served at the Siege of Amiens, and then accompanied a special embassy to London.

1599 – Baron de Mafflier (by which name he was known at court) renounced the world and entered the Capuchin priory of Orleans. He embraced the religious life with great ardour, and became a notable preacher and reformer.

1606 – He aided Antoinette d’Orleans, a nun of Fontevrault, to found the reformed order of the Filles du Calvaire, and wrote a manual of devotion for the nuns.

1612 – He began those personal relations with Richelieu which have indissolubly joined in history and legend the cardinal and the original éminence grise, relations which research has not altogether made clear.

1627 – The friar assisted at the siege of La Rochelle.

1630 – As Richelieu’s agent, therefore, this modern Peter the Hermit maneuvered at the Diet of Regensburg to thwart the aggression of the emperor, and then advised the intervention of Gustavus Adolphus, reconciling himself to the use of Protestant armies by the theory that one poison would counteract another.

1638 – He died just as the cardinalate was to be conferred upon him.