Ambassador Marillac

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Ambassador Charles de Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau
Lawyer, Prelate and Diplomat
French ambassador to England from 1538 - 1542

born c. 1510 - died 1560
Character's backstory

An able diplomat whose official correspondence of this period of history is quoted as much as Ambassador Chapuys. He was the son of Guillaume de Marillac who had been controller (controleur general des Finances) to the duke of Bourbon (Charles). At the age of twenty-two he was already a barrister (avocat) at the Parliament of Paris, where it is said his eloquence and learning attracted the notice of king Francis I, though, being suspected of adhering to the Reformation, he was obliged to quit Paris suddenly and accompany to the Levant his cousin, Jean de Laforest, knight of Malta, whom Francis I. was sending to Constantinople, in 1533, as ambassador to the Grand Turk, Solyman "the Magnificent." On the death of Laforest, whom he succeeded, Marillac remained for some time in Constantinople, carrying on his master's rather suspicious negotiations in that capital till the summer of 1538, when he was recalled, and went back to France with the fleet of galleys commanded by St. Brancard. His services in the Levant must have been considered very acceptable, for shortly after his return he was appointed conseiller au Parlement and ambassador to England, in the place of Ambassador Castillon. Marillac remained in England till September or October 1542, when he was virtually exchanged for Sir William Paget, Henry's ambassador in France. [source: British History Online]

Gentility: Born of a good family from Auvergne

Position: Diplomat

Personality type: ambitious and cunning. Suspected of being a reformist sympathizer.

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s):

Annoying trait(s):

Marillac's letters :

About Anne of Cleves
London, 5 Jan. 1540.—"The queen of England has arrived. In the opinion of those who have seen her close she is not so young as was at first thought, nor so handsome as people affirmed that she was. She is tall; her face and countenance reveal a certain steadiness of purpose and strong determination, which indicate a turn of mind and vivacity of wit more than sufficient to counterbalance her want of beauty. She brings in her suite from her brother's country from 12 to 15 damsels, not only inferior to her in beauty, but dressed in such coarse and unsightly garb that they would be considered ugly through it even had they any personal attractions.

About King Henry VIII
Summing up Henry's character in middle life:

"This Prince seems tainted with three vices; the first is that he is so covetous that all the riches of the world would not satisfy him. Thence proceeds the second, distrust and fear. This King, knowing how many changes he has made, and what tragedies and scandals he has created, would fain keep in favour with everybody, but does not trust a single man, expecting to see them all offended, and he will not cease to dip his hand in blood as long as he doubts his people. The third vice lightness and inconstancy".

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Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau

About Henry's court, Marillac wrote:
" The subjects take example from the Prince, and the ministers seek only to undo each
other to gain credit; and under colour
of their master's good, each attends his
own. For all the fine words of which
they are full, they will act only as
necessity and interest compel them".

About Henry himself, he wrote he had become:
" not only a King to be obeyed on Earth,
but a veritable idol to be worshipped."

" ...abstracts from Marillac's official correspondence will sufficiently show that his relations with Chapuys, if polite and courteous at first, were never cordial....his correspondence with king Francis' ministers is full of sarcastic and invidious remarks concerning his person and acts. He greatly rejoices at the discovery in a closet of the house once inhabited by Chapuys of a bundle of papers and drafts of this ambassador's official correspondence in Cromwell's time, and does not know that his own secretary is selling for money copies of his own ciphered dispatches!

However this may be, Marillac's correspondence with Francis' ministers will always prove to be a valuable addition to English history during three years and a half of Henry's long reign, from the marriage of Anne of Cleves, her subsequent repudiation by the King, and the fall of Cromwell—both of which events he graphically describes—down to his own arrest in London, when Henry's ambassador, Paget, was detained at Rouen. As during part of this time Chapuys was out of England, and as on certain important events which he must have witnessed, such as Katherine Howard's condemnation and execution, he is by no means so explicit and gossiping as his French colleague was...
[source: <a class="external" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="British History Online">British History Online</a>]


Family members:
Father: Guillaume de Marillac, contrôleur general des Finances
Mother: Lady Sophia von Bresgau
Elder sister: Louisa de Longueville
Younger sister: Iseult de Rohan
Younger brother: Jean de Marillac





  • You lost the argument for the war my lord but you can win it for peace." To Edward Seymour Earl of Hertford season 4 episode 9



Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire BluteauAmbassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau

Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau
Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau
Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire BluteauAmbassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau

JRM as King Henry VIII with the ambassadors
Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau
Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau
Ambassador Marillac as played by Lothaire Bluteau

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