François I [François de Valois; Francis I], King of France
- Frank Dobbins
(b Cognac, Sept 12, 1494; reigned 1515–47;d Rambouillet, March 31, 1547). French ruler, poet and patron. He was the son of Charles de Valois, Duke of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy, and succeeded his cousin Louis XII, whose daughter Claude de France he had married in 1514. Dubbed ‘père et restaurateur des lettres’, François encouraged Renaissance ideas, patronizing Italian and French artists, poets and musicians in his new châteaux (notably Chambord and Fontainebleau), protecting humanist scholars such as Erasmus, Budé and Dolet against the censure of the Paris Parlement and University, granting printing privileges (to Attaingnant, among others), establishing regius professorships in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and mathematics, and founding the Collège de France and the royal library (the nucleus of the Bibliothèque Nationale).
François recognized the political and diplomatic value of a large musical establishment; as well as employing instrumentalists in his domestic service he had a lavish chapel (...