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Henri II de La Ferté-Senneterre (1599 – 27 September 1681) was a marshal of France and governor of Lorraine.

Life


The son of Henri I de La Ferté-Senneterre, a minister from an old knightly family in the Auvergne, Henri II was destined for a military career and fought for the first time under Maurice of Nassau, leader of the Dutch Revolt against Spain. On returning to France, Henri II distinguished himself (as a captain in a regiment paid for by his father) in the siege of the Calvinist city of La Rochelle, begun in 1627-28 by Richelieu to put this rebel city back under the French king's control. In 1632 the French army invaded Lorraine and Henri II naturally found himself before Nancy in 1633. On 25 September Louis XIII of France and Richelieu broke into this town and its 16,000 inhabitants were evacuated by the marquis de Mouis and his Lorrainian garrison. Becoming mestre de camp (equivalent to the modern rank of colonel), Henri II gained glory fighting the Spaniards at Hesdin on 29 June 1639 and, as a reward, Louis XIII made him maréchal de camp.

On 19 May 1643, five days after Louis XIII's death, Henri II fought in the victory at Rocroi against the Spaniards, as second in command of the French left wing, being wounded four times. Henri II's father was a favourite of queen Anne of Austria (regent of the kingdom of France on Louis XIII's death) and so Henri II was made governor of the duchy of Lorraine in 1643 to replace Lenoncourt. In 1644, he led to Nancy 23 infantry companies, a Swiss old guard, seven new city infantry companies and cavalry. He became lieutenant general in 1648 and marshal on 5 January 1651, remaining faithful to Anne and Mazarin during the Fronde. Despite his brutal interventions to reestablish discipline among his troops (ever eager to plunder), he was not so disciplined with himself and lived off the country. Taken prisoner at Valenciennes in 1656, he was ransomed by Louis XIV of France. In reward for his good and loyal services, the marquisate of La Ferté-Senneterre was promoted to a duché-pairie by Louis XIV in November 1665.

Henri II de la Ferté-Senneterre died on 27 September 1681.

Sources


  • Manuel Bazaille : "1643 : Le retour d'Attila"; La Revue Lorraine Populaire; n°180; October 2004.
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