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Jean Le Fevre ( 1395 - 1468 )  Category ( Writers ) [suggest a correction]

Jean Le FevreA good deal of what is known about the reign of fifteenth-century French and English political and military history is thanks to the chronicler and seigneur of Saint Remy, Jean Le Fevre. He, along with a number of his fellow Burgundians, fought on the English side at Agincourt.

Born in 1395 to a noble family, he was raised to be a professional soldier, and fought at Agincourt with Henry V. When Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, founded the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1430, Le Febre was appointed the organization's king of arms. This position gave him a lot of power at court, and he was a frequent advisor to the King as he negotiated with foreign courts. Le Fevre also headed up tournaments and was regarded as the ultimate expert in matters of chivalry and heraldry. His lasting contribution to history was his Cronique, or Histoire de Charles VI, roy de France.

Much of his work was copied from Enguerrand de Monstrelet, but the years between 1428 and 1436 are regarded as the original work of Le Fevre. His contributions are highly detailed and ring with the authenticity of one who not only was present at the time but had a full understanding of the political and military, and even social machinations of the period. He was also apparently involved in deciding the French succession, as he delivered speeches before papal mediators. His journals also serve as valuable views into the economic situation of fifteenth-century France. He writes often of the difficulties of receiving pay for services received. Indeed, many knights of the period served monarchs and nobles dripping with gold, while they wore rags under their armour and were often malnourished.

Le Fevre's journal reports that, of the one hundred golden francs a year promised him by the Duke of Anjou as the reward for his chancellorship, he received in two-and-a-half years only 120 francs. Once the Duke left for Italy, he received not even one sou. LeFavre frequently had to appeal to his mother-in-law for funds from his wife's dowry, and even had to mortgage his possessions. Despite such continued difficulties, LeFevre remained dedicated to the crown, perhaps because he had known no other life, and the prestige that came with his positions served as compensation nearly as valuable – though not nearly as practical – as cash. Besides, even the king himself was often short of cash. Once, while traveling, the king’s cloth of gold cloak had to be sold, and he had to replace it with a woolen one covered in yellow flowers. Indeed, he even had to eventually sell his very crown, and had only one silver cup to his name. Seeing his sovereign in such dire straits likely only encouraged LeFevre’s patriotism. Le Fevre died at Bruges, in 1468, of natural causes.

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Description : Jean Le Fèvre (1652-1706)
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