Pierre de Marca

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Pierre de Marca (January 24, 1594 – June 29, 1662) was a French bishop and historian, born at Gan in Béarn of a family distinguished in the magistracy.

His family was known among judicial circles in the 16th century, and maintained the Roman Catholic faith after the official introduction of the Reformed religion into Navarre. After having studied law at the University of Toulouse he practised successfully at Pau. But he was ambitious, and turned to a larger sphere.

He ardently called for the armed intervention of King Louis XIII in Béarn, and on this occasion published his first writing, Discours d'un Béarnais, très fidèle sujet du roi, sur l'Édit du retablissement de la religion catholique dans tout le Béarn (1618). After an easy military campaign of 1620, the possessions which had been taken by the Protestants were given back to the Roman Catholic church; this task was performed, under his supervision, with judgment and moderation.

During the siege of La Rochelle he performed a mission which brought him in touch with Richelieu, who shortly afterwards nominated him intendant de justice in Béarn (1631), and in 1639 summoned him to Paris with the title of counsellor of state. The following year, the question of the intervention of kings in the election of bishops having been raised in a pamphlet by Charles Hersent (Optatus Gallus de cavendo schismate, 1640), Marca defended what were then called the liberties of the Gallican Church, in his...
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