Jean de La Balue

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Jean (de La) Balue (* around 1421 in Basse d'Angles-sur-l'Anglin , Poitou ; † October 5, 1491 in Ripatransone , buried in Rome ) was cardinal of the Roman Church and minister under Louis XI. and was imprisoned by him for eleven years.


Portrait of Cardinal Jean Balue
Coat of arms of Jean Balue

Jean de La Balue was born as Jean Balue , son of Thomassin Balue, the bailiff of Angles-sur-l'Anglin. He entered the clergy at an early age and studied at the University of Angers, where he obtained a licentiate in law around 1457 . He soon gained the favor of King Charles VII. Despite an unworthy way of life, he made him bishop of Évreux and Angers and almsman . Charles's successor, Louis XI, also transferred the business of finance minister to La Balue.

Jean Balue made sure that the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges was suspended in 1451, for which Pope Nicholas V appointed him cardinal. But because he was in secret correspondence with the enemies of Louis XI, the dukes of Berry and Burgundy , and betrayed the king's plans to them, the king had him arrested in 1469 and imprisoned in Onzain Castle near Blois for eleven years, but not as before claims in an iron cage.

Through the intercession of Pope Sixtus IV , Ludwig XI. Balue finally released on December 20, 1480 and even asked the Pope for a bull of forgiveness of sins for his long vengeance, which he had inflicted on his former minister. This papal bull also annulled all proceedings that could have been brought against the cardinal. With another bull, the Pope threatened all officers of the king with excommunication if they did not return the cardinal's movable property within six days. After his release, Balue immediately went to Rome to see Pope Sixtus IV . The Pope showered him with honors and appointed him Bishop of Albano . In 1484 he was even sent to France as Legatus a latere , a papal commissioner with far-reaching powers, where the king in Angers gave him a lavish reception.

After Balue's death on October 5, 1491, his goods, valued at an estimated one hundred thousand ducats, passed into the hands of the Pope, as he had left no will.


Jean Balue later gained a certain fame through the novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame , in which Victor Hugo mentions him several times.

Different spellings

Jean Balue is known under different name variants: Ioannes de la Balva , Ioannes de la Balve , Jehan Balüe , Jean Balüe , Jean de la Ballue

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Jean Balue Encyclopédie Larousse, accessed August 16, 2017.
  2. Catholic encyclopedia: Jean Balue New Advent, accessed August 16, 2017.
  3. Henri Forgeot: Jean Balue, Cardinal d'Angers. 1895, Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  4. Walther Kabel : A minister who signed his own death sentence , 1910, published in "Bibliothek der Entertainment und des Wissens", year 1910, ninth volume, pp. 223–224.
  5. ^ Emmanuel Breguet: La carrière angevine du Cardinal Balue (1457-1491). P. 161, accessed on August 16, 2017.
  6. Emmanuel Breguet: La carrière angevine du Cardinal Balue (1457–1491) p. 163, accessed on August 16, 2017.
  7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Book 10, accessed August 16, 2017.
predecessor Office successor
Marco Barbo Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina
Giovanni Michiel
Oliviero Carafa Cardinal Bishop of Albano
Giovanni Michiel

Jean de Beauveau
Auger de Brie
Bishop of Angers

Auger de Brie
Jean de Rély