Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, Marquis de Cinq-Mars

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Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, Marquis de Cinq-Mars

Henri Coiffier Ruzé d'Effiat, marquis de Cinq-Mars (* 1620 ; † September 12, 1642 in Lyon ) was a French courtier.

Cinq-Mars was the second son of Antoine Coëffier de Ruzé , marquis d'Effiat, Marshal of France (1581-1632). Of Cardinal Richelieu , who had been a friend of his father, he was at court as a counterweight to Madame Hautefort introduced, a favorite of the Queen. Thanks to his good looks and his pleasant demeanor, he soon became a favorite of the king and successively Grand Maître de la Garde-robe and Grand Ecuyer ( Grand Equestrian of France ). After excelling at the siege of Arras in 1640 , he sought high military command, but Richelieu refused his claim, whereupon he spoke boldly of overthrowing the minister.

Cinq-Mars was probably involved in the unsuccessful survey of Louis' de Bourbon-Condé in 1641 . In any case - probably in the following year - he conspired with the Duke of Bouillon to overthrow Richelieu. The plot was nominally under the leadership of Gaston of Orléans , the king's brother. When Richelieu learned that Cinq-Mars had tried to get support from Spain, he presented the evidence of the treason to the king. Cinq-Mars was tried. He admitted his guilt, was sentenced to death and beheaded in Lyon .

Cinq-Mars possibly became through his affection for Luisa Maria Gonzaga (1611–1667), later Queen of Poland, who a prominent figure at the court of Louis XIII. was driven to this conspiracy. This lore is part of the plot of Alfred de Vigny's novel Cinq-Mars . and Charles Gounod's opera Cinq Mars (1877).


  1. Cinq-Mars; ou, Une conjuration sous Louis XIII; précédée de réflexions sur la vérité dans l'art, accompagnée de documents historiques ( online at Archive.org )