CHARLES DUKE OF BOURBON
FROM CONSTABLE OF FRANCE TO TRAITOR
Charles Duke of Bourbon and Constable of France
Charles Duke of Bourbon [1490-1527] was one of the most powerful noblemen in France. He was the king's cousin and he owned vast land's in the wealthy French heartlands. As a loyal subject of the king he served with distinction in the Italian Wars and was made Constable of France in 1515 but the two cousins fell out over an inheritance. When Francis seized lands Bourbon believed to be rightfully his, he swapped sides and entered imperial service. His namesake, Charles V Holy Roman Emperor, gave Bourbon an army of landsknecht mercenaries,who were paid in English as well as imperialgold, and gave him leave to launch an invasion of Provence from the imperial Duchy of Milan. Bourbon besieged Marseilles in the summer of 1524 but Francis soon mustered his own army and marched south to crush the treacherous rebellion.