Saturday, January 15, 2011

Henri de Schomberg

Schomberg [Schonberg], Henri de, comte de Nanteuil-le-Haudouin (1575-1632). French grandmaster of the artillery; mdF; superintendent of finances.

Known in his youth as the Count of Nanteuil, he was the son of Gaspard de Schomberg, a distinguished German officer who had served King Henry III as a captain of reiters and had risen to the grade of colonel general of the German cavalry in the king’s service. (These were the bandes noires or “black bands,” so called from their practice of painting their armor black and, some say, blackening their faces in a diabolical manner.) His first military service was under King Henry IV at the Siege of Amiens (1597). In 1599, he was appointed governor of La Marche, and in 1601, he performed distinguished service against the Turks while serving as a volunteer with the Duke of Mercoeur in Hungary.

He subsequently held a number of important civil and military positions. These included: councilor of State (1607); lieutenant-general of Limousin (1608); mestre de camp of IR Piedmont and captain of 100 gendarmes (1614); special ambassador to England (1615); maréchal de camp and maréchal de camp général of German troops (1616); special ambassador to Germany (1617); superintendent of finances and chevalier des ordres du Roi (1619). In 1625, he was created a marshal of France. To be continued ...

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