Jacques de Castelnau-Bochetel

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Jacques de Castelnau-Bochetel (engraving by Robert Nanteuil )
coat of arms

Jacques de Castelnau-Bochetel (also: Jacques de Castelnau-Mauvissière; * 1620 ; † July 15, 1658 in Dunkirk ), marquis de Castelnau , was a French nobleman and Maréchal de France of the 17th century. He distinguished himself in the Thirty Years War . Here he was first appointed Lieutenant général des armées du roi in Flanders and shortly before his death in 1658 Maréchal de France.


Jacques de Castelnau-Bochetel was the third son of Jacques de Castelnau de La Mauvissière and Charlotte Rouxel de Médavy. After the death of his two older brothers - Henri, the eldest, died in the siege of La Rochelle in 1627 at the age of 17 , François was killed in a duel in Paris - Jacques de Castelnau was heir to the Seigneurie de Breuilhamenon .

His father, Jacques de Castelnau de La Mauvissière, inherited the Seigneurie Breuilhamenon in Plou from his maternal grandfather, Jacques Bochetel . The condition was that the names Castelnau and Bochetel were merged.

Military career

Jacques de Castelnau-Bochetel joined the army at the age of 14 and took part in the campaign in Holland as a volunteer. As early as 1636, at the age of only 16, he was given the position of owner of a newly established infantry regiment, which was therefore called the "Régiment de Castelnau". With this regiment he was able to distinguish himself in the same year at the siege of Corbie and the siege of La Capelle . During this siege , he was ambushed and captured. He was taken to the citadel of Cambrai , from which he was able to escape.

In 1636 he was wounded by two musket balls during the siege of Le Catelet in Picardy . More than a year later he was at the siege of Hesdin when he was hit by a Spanish musket ball that broke his leg. He distinguished himself in 1640 at the Siege of Arras and the Siege of Aire . At the side of Maréchal Charles de La Porte, duc de La Meilleraye , he earned the reputation of a brave and meritorious soldier. Shortly after the establishment of the Régiment de Mazarin-Français by Cardinal Mazarin , the latter handed it over to Castelnau, which from then on also bore his name. Under the command of Louis II. De Bourbon, prince de Condé , he served in the campaign in Germany. Appointed "Maréchal de bataille" by the King in 1644, he was able to distinguish himself through two remarkable actions during the Battle of Freiburg . In one he was able to take away a strategically important redoubt with his men , in the other he held his attacked position, although he had been hit by five musket balls. The following year he was after the Battle of Nördlingen for the capture of the village Alerheim by Brevet for Maréchal de camp promoted.

In 1646 he led the assault on the besieged Fort Mardyck and then on the also besieged Dunkirk .

The king made him governor of Brest in 1648 and lieutenant-général des armées du Roi in 1651 . On February 9 of the same year he was awarded the Chevalier des Ordre du Saint-Esprit and the Chevalier de Saint-Michel by Louis XIV . In the following year Jacques de Castelnau-Bochetel received the elevation of the Seigneurie de Breuilhamenon to marquisate. However, the names Breuilhamenon and Bochetel now disappeared - there was only the Marquisat de Castelnau in the future.

In 1656 Jacques de Castelnau was appointed Capitaine général by Cardinal Mazarin .

In 1658, at the Battle of the Dunes , he commanded the left wing of the French army, which was supported by an English contingent. On the march back to Dunkirk, he drove the Spaniards from Fort Léon and immediately started work on restoring the ramparts. While inspecting the progress of the work, he was hit on June 16, 1658 by a musket ball that got stuck in his body. On June 20, 1658, the king appointed him Marshal of France for his services.

Jacques de Castelnau did not enjoy this high honor very much; he died on July 15, 1658 as a result of his wounding.

His body was transferred to Bourges and buried there in the Jacobin Church.

Marriage and offspring

In March 1642 he married Marie Girard de l'Espinay and they had three children:

  1. Marie-Madeleine, died at the age of 12
  2. Michel, Marquis de Castelnau
  3. Marie-Charlotte, she married Antoine-Charles de Gramont



Band des Ordre du Saint-Esprit Band des Ordre de Saint-Michel
Band des Chevalier du Saint-Esprit , Band of the Chevalier de Saint-Michel


  1. This regiment could not have existed for long because it does not appear in the French military files.