- "Some people - even Kings - will do anything for publicity."
- ―Ezio Auditore da Firenze on Francis I, 1519.[src]
Francis I (12 September 1494 – 31 March 1547), born François de Valois et d' Angoulême and nicknamed Francis of the Large Nose, was the King of France from 1515 until his death.
In 1515, Francis succeeded his cousin Louis XII, who died without a male heir. That year, the young widow of Louis XII, Mary Tudor, resided at the Hôtel de Cluny. Fearing that she would give birth to a son who could take his place on the throne, Francis kept her under surveillance. He found her in a romantic relationship with the Duke of Suffolk, her military attaché. After being married, the two were sent to England. At the same time, he also constructed the Pont au Double in Paris that connects the Île de la Cité with the southern bank of the Seine.
The same year, Francis was also asked to build a bridge over the Seine to transport patients to the Hôtel-Dieu hospital on the Île de la Cité. In the course of following years, the Saint-Jacques Tower was also built.
In Leonardo da Vinci's later life, Francis offered da Vinci a mansion in Amboise to spend the rest of his years. After da Vinci passed away in 1519, Francis falsely claimed to have been on his deathbed when he drew his last breath, while truthfully da Vinci's friends Ezio Auditore da Firenze and Niccolò Machiavelli were there when he passed away. When Ezio heard of the rumor from Machiavelli, he stated that "Some people - even Kings - will do anything for publicity". Beginning in 1546, Francis had the Louvre expanded and improved.
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