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12 September 1494
31 March 1547 (aged 52)
King (1515-1547), France
Francis of Orléans was born on 12 September 1494 at the Château de Cognac in the town of Cognac. Francis was the son of Charles de Valois-Orleáns, comte d’Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy. On 1 January 1515, at the age of 20, Francis became king of France.
In 1515, the Renaissance had arrived in France, and Francis became an enthusiastic patron of the arts. During Francis' reign, the magnificent art collection of the French kings was begun. Militarily and diplomatically, Francis' reign was a mixed bag of success and failure. Much of the military activity of Francis's reign was focused on the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. Francis' reign saw the beginning of French exploration of the New World.
Francis died at the Château de Rambouillet on 31 March 1547. He was succeeded by his son, Henry II.
Francis' reign saw important cultural changes with the spread of humanism and Protestantism and the increase of central power in France.
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