Duke of Brissac

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thumb|Coat of arms of the Cossé-Brissac family.Duke of Brissac is the title of a distinguished noble family of France. The fief of Brissac in Anjou was acquired at the end of the 15th century by a noble French family named Cossé belonging to the same province. René de Cossé married into the Gouffier family, who were at that time very powerful at court. He was awarded the title of premier panetier (baker extraordinaire) to Louis XII. Two of his sons were marshals of France.

Brissac was assigned the status of county in 1560 and allotted to Charles, the elder, who was grandmaster of artillery, and governor of Piedmont and of Picardy. It was he who introduced the Italian violin to the French court. The second, Artus, who held the offices of grand panetier of France and superintendent of finance, distinguished himself in the religious wars. Charles II de Cossé, Duke of Brissac fought for the League, and as governor of Paris opened the gates of that town to Henry IV, who created him marshal of France in 1594. Brissac was raised in status to a duchy in the peerage of France in 1611. Louis Hercule Timolon de Cossé, duc de Brissac, and commandant of the constitutional guard of Louis XVI, was killed during the September Massacres at Versailles on September 9, 1792 for his devotion to the king, at which his body was butchered and his head severed. The head was wrapped in a cloth and transported by a drunken peasant mob to the château of Louvecienne, and thrown into an open...
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