Odet of Foix, Viscount of Lautrec

Odet de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec, sketched by Jean Clouet (early 16th century).

Odet de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec (1485 15 August 1528) was a French military leader. He gained the reputation of a gallant and able soldier, but this scarcely seems to be justified by the facts, although he was always badly used by fortune.

The branch of the Viscounts of Lautrec originated with Pierre, the son of John III of Foix; Pierre's elder brother was Gaston IV of Foix.

He married Charlotte d'Albret (1495–1527) in 1520 and had several children:

Odet de Foix and his two brothers, the seigneur de Lescun and the seigneur de l'Esparre or Asparros, served Francis I of France as captains; and the influence of their sister, Françoise de Châteaubriant, who became the king's mistress, gained them high office. In 1515 Lautrec took part in the campaign of Marignano.

In 1516 Lautrec received the government of the Milanese duchy, but by his severity made the French domination insupportable. In 1521 he succeeded in defending the duchy against the Spanish army, but in 1522 he was completely defeated at the Battle of Bicocca, and was forced to evacuate the Milanese. The mutiny of his Swiss troops had compelled him, against his wish, to engage in the battle.

He was created a marshal of France, and in 1527 he again received the command of the army of Italy. He occupied the Milanese, and was then sent to undertake the conquest of the kingdom of Naples. The defection of Andrea Doria and an outbreak of the plague in the French camp brought on a fresh disaster. Lautrec himself caught the infection, and died in the August 1528.


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