M4 L1: Henry II and the Women in His Life

King Francis 1 was captured in the war against the Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V.

A King’s ransom usually was set at a price which would bankrupt the country of the King held in captivity.

Francis was released until he could raise the funds. In return, his sons suffered the privations of prison until he could raise the ransom.

This was an opportunity for the victor to compel marriages in the hope of consolidating their influence.

Henry was forced to marry Catherine de Medici but had as his ‘concubine’, Diane de Potiers (see Module 1 Lesson 2). This created much problems for Catherine until his death in 1559.

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