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Duke Francis
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Biographical Information
Real Name: Prince Francis of Valois
Title: Francis III, Duke of Brittany

Prince Francis
Dauphin of France

Born: 28 February 1518
Age: 18
Religion: Roman Catholic
Gender: Male Male.png
Height: 5'8
Originally From: Amboise, France
Parents: Francis of Valois (Father)

Claude of France (Mother)

Family: King Henry (Brother)

Catherine (Sister-In-Law)
Queen Madeleine (Sister)
Charles of Valois (Brother)
Margaret of Valois (Sister)

Affiliations: House of Valois
TV Character Information
First appearance: Liege Lord
Portrays: Duke Francis
Portrayed by: Brendan Cox

Francis was the Duke of Brittany, and the next-in-line to be King. Until his death at 18 when he died a week after collapsing in the middle of a tennis match. He was succeeded by his younger brother Prince Henry.

Early Life

The king Francis I had been badly defeated and captured at the Battle of Pavia, and became a hostage of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. In order to ensure his release, the king signed the Treaty of Madrid.. However, in order to ensure that Francis I abided by the treaty, Charles demanded that the king's two older sons take his place as hostages. Francis I agreed.

On 15 March 1526, the exchange took place at the border between Spain and France. The eight-year-old Dauphin and his younger brother Henry spent the next three years as captives of Charles V, a period that scarred them for life. The Dauphin's "somber, solitary tastes" and his preference for dressing in black (like a Spaniard) were attributed to the time he spent in captivity. He also became bookish, preferring reading to soldiering.

Later in Life

As first son and heir to a king of France the Dauphin was a marriage pawn for his father. He could not be wasted in marriage, as many felt his brother Henry had been with his marriage to Catherine de' Medici, and there were several betrothals to eligible princesses throughout the Dauphin's life. The first, when he was an infant, to the four-year-old Mary, Queen of Scots the future Queen of England, and daughter of Henry VIII of England but this arrangement was abandoned around 1520.

In 1524, Prince Francis inherited the title of Duchy of Brittany upon his mother's death, becoming Duke Francis III..


Duke Francis died on 10 August 1536, at the age of eighteen. The circumstances of his death seemed suspicious, and it is believed by many that he was poisoned. However, there is ample evidence that he died of natural causes, possibly tuberculosis. The Dauphin had never fully recovered his health from the years spent in damp, dank cells in Spain.

After playing a round of tennis, Duke Francis asked for a cup of water, which was brought to him by his secretary. After drinking it, he collapsed and died several days later. Montecuccoli, who was brought to the court by Catherine de' Medici, was accused of being in the pay of Charles V, and when his rooms were searched a book on different types of poison was found.


  • Duke Francis was engaged to Princess Mary Tudor of England when he was a small child.
  • A young King Henry II and himself were traded by their own father, King Francis I in 1525 as replacement hostages and held in Spain by King Charles V for 3 years until Francis was about 10 years old.
  • His younger brother Henry was married to Catherine de' Medici before a wife was decided upon for him.
  • Was to be king of France but died after a tennis match at 18 years old. He was rumored to be poisoned.
  • Died on the 10th of August 1536 when he was 18.

Family Tree

King Francis I
Claude of France
Duke Francis
King Henry II
Catherine de' Medici
Madeleine of Valois
King Francis II
Queen Elisabeth
King Philip II
Princess Claude
King Charles IV
King Henry III
Queen Margaret
Catherine Michelle
Duke Henry II
Christina of Lorraine
Marie Elisabeth

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Pages: Historical Events | Historical References | Historical Timeline |
Kings: King Antoine of Navarre | King Edward of England | King Henry II of France | King Henry VIII of England |
King James V of Scotland | King Francis I of France | King Francis II of France | King Charles IX of France |
King Philip II of Spain |
Queens: Queen Catherine of France | Queen Mary of Scotland | Queen Anne of England | Queen Elizabeth of England | Queen Jane of England | Queen Mary of England | Queen Jeanne of Navarre | Queen Elisabeth of Spain |
Princes: Prince of the Blood, Louis Condé | Price Don Carlos of Spain | Price Henry of France | Prince Henry de Bourbon | Duke Francis of France |
Princesses: Princess Claude of France | Catherine of Aragon | Princess Catherine de Bourbon |
Lords: Robert Dudley | William Cecil | Henry Darnley | Matthew Lennox | Patrick Ruthven
Ladies: Amy Dudley | Mary Boleyn | Mary Fleming | Mary Livingston | Mary Beaton | Mary Seton | Margaret Lennox |
Nobles: Diane de Poitiers | James Stuart | Marie de Guise | Lucrezia de' Medici |
Others: Nostradamus | John Knox | Pope Clement VII |