Historical Figures


Very close to Henri IV, Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully, was first the king's comrade in arms, before becoming his minister. He is one of those who, without ever denying his Calvinist faith, would have convinced Henry IV to convert to Catholicism to appease the country. Anxious to restore France, he certainly managed finances (he became its superintendent in 1598), foreign policy, armies (he was grand master of artillery and fortifications), administration, but also town planning. (he is a grand voyer of France) or agriculture of which he would have said "plowing and grazing are the two breasts of France" . Also, he encourages the advances of Olivier de Serres in agronomy (the latter is considered the father of French agronomy). In 1606, he was ennobled and became Duke of Sully. Five years after the assassination of Henri IV, he was driven from the mysteries of power by Marie de Médicis and fell into disgrace. But, while he was retired, Richelieu elevated him to the title of Marshal in 1634. A peer of France, he never ceased to watch over the stability of the country.

December 13, 1559 - December 22, 1641



Minister of Henry IV

Superintendent of Finance

Grand Master of Artillery and Fortifications

Grand voyer of France


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