Ferrante I Gonzaga was an Italian condottiero, a member of the House of Gonzaga and the founder of the branch of the Gonzaga of Guastalla. He was born in Mantua, the son of Francesco II Gonzaga. At the age of sixteen he was sent to the court of Spain as a page to the future emperor Charles V and he became a Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece in 1531. He defended Naples from the assault of the French troops under Odet of Foix, Viscount of Lautrec, for this feat Pope Clement VII, a member of the Medici who had been ousted from that city, named him papal governor of Benevento. Again for Charles V, he fought against the Turks at Tunis in 1535 and he served Charles as Viceroy of Sicily, and Forte Gonzaga was named in his honour. He accompanied the Emperor to Germany in 1543 and fought the campaign that enforced the Treaty of Crépy. He served as Governor of the Duchy of Milan, in which role he fought in the War of Parma, in 1534 Ferrante married Isabella di Capua, who brought him the fiefdoms of Molfetta and Giovinazzo.
Ferrantes villa near Milan, La Gualtiera, is now known as La Simonetta, Ferrante rebuilt it in the 1550s, commissioning the services of the Tuscan architect Domenico Giuntallodi of Prato. His son Cesare commissioned from Leone a more public monument from Leone, a bronze Triumph of Ferrante Gonzaga over Envy, like all the Gonzaga, Ferrante was a patron of tapestry-makers, a series Fructus Belli was woven for him, and a lighter series of Putti. He died in Brussels from a fall from a horse and battle fatigue received at the Battle of St. Quentin and he was buried in the sacristy of the Milan Cathedral. Ferrante was succeeded in Guastalla by his son Cesare and he was the ambassador to Henry VIII of England in 1543. In conspiracy theories, Ferrante has been alleged to be the fourteenth Grand Master of the Priory of Sion, according to the Grand Masters version found in Dossiers Secrets dHenri Lobineau
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries, when it was ruled by kings from the House of Habsburg. The Habsburg rulers reached the zenith of their influence and power and this period of Spanish history has been referred to as the Age of Expansion. The Habsburg years were a Spanish Golden Age of cultural efflorescence, in some cases, these individual kingdoms themselves were confederations, most notably, the Crown of Aragon. Isabella and Ferdinand were bestowed the title of Most Catholic Monarchs by Pope Alexander VI in 1496, the Habsburg period is formative of the notion of Spain in the sense that was institutionalized in the 18th century. Her husband Philip I was the Habsburg son of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I, shortly thereafter Joanna began to lapse into insanity, though how mentally ill she actually was the topic of some debate. In 1506, Philip I was declared jure uxoris king, but he died that year under mysterious circumstances, possibly poisoned by his father-in-law, Ferdinand II.
Since their oldest son Charles was only six, the Cortes reluctantly allowed Joannas father Ferdinand II to rule the country as the regent of Joanna, Spain was now in personal union under Ferdinand II of Aragon. He attempted to enlarge Spains sphere of influence in Italy, as ruler of Aragon, Ferdinand had been involved in the struggle against France and the Republic of Venice for control of Italy, these conflicts became the center of Ferdinands foreign policy as king. The war was less of a success than that against Venice, Ferdinand would die that year. Ferdinands death led to the ascension of young Charles to the throne as Charles I of Castile and Aragon and his Spanish inheritance included all the Spanish possessions in the New World and around the Mediterranean. Upon the death of his Habsburg father in 1506, Charles had inherited the Netherlands and Franche-Comté, in 1519, with the death of his paternal grandfather Maximilian I, Charles inherited the Habsburg territories in Germany, and was duly elected as Holy Roman Emperor that year.
At that point and King Charles was the most powerful man in Christendom, the accumulation of so much power by one man and one dynasty greatly concerned Francis I of France, who found himself surrounded by Habsburg territories. In 1521 Francis invaded the Spanish possessions in Italy and Navarre, the war was a disaster for France, which suffered defeats at Biccoca and Landriano before Francis relented and abandoned Milan to Spain once more. Charless victory at the Battle of Pavia surprised many Italians and Germans, Pope Clement VII switched sides and now joined forces with France and prominent Italian states against the Habsburg Emperor, in the War of the League of Cognac. Henry VIII of England, who bore a grudge against France than he held against the Emperor for standing in the way of his divorce. Although the Spanish army was defeated at the Battle of Ceresole, in Savoy Henry fared better. The Austrians, led by Charless younger brother Ferdinand, continued to fight the Ottomans in the east, with France defeated, Charles went to take care of an older problem, the Schmalkaldic League.
The Protestant Reformation had begun in Germany in 1517, the German Peasants War broke out in Germany in 1524 and ravaged the country until it was brutally put down in 1526, even as far away from Germany as he was, was committed to keeping order
Battle of Landriano
The French army was destroyed and marked the end of the ambitions of Francis I of France to vie for control of northern Italy with Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. Shortly after the whole French army in the south of Italy capitulated, between August 1528 and June 1529, intense diplomatic activities between King Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V resulted in the Treaty of Barcelona. On 21 June 1529 King Francis I still had his troops stationed in Landriano, the Count of St. Pols reserve French troops were intercepted and neutralised by the Spanish troops commanded by Don Antonio de Leyva, Duke of Terranova. The French army was destroyed, which ended Franciss hopes of regaining his hold on Italy. The French commander, Francis de Bourbon, was captured, with Frances defeat in Landriano and the Treaty of Barcelona, Francis I of France felt obliged to begin negotiations with the Emperor. On 3 August, the King of Frances mother, Louise of Savoy, the Treaty made no reference to the Duchy of Burgundy, evening out with this silence the humiliating situation that was put to Francis in the Treaty of Madrid.
Siege of Florence List of governors of the Duchy of Milan Cadenas y Vicent, la Herencia Imperial de Carlos V en Italia, El Milanesado Madrid. France Mediaeval and Modern a History BiblioBazaar, Pavia 1525, The Climax of the Italian Wars. Oxford, Osprey Publishing ISBN 1-85532-504-7 Taylor, Frederick Lewis, greenwood Press ISBN 0-8371-5025-6 Guicciardini, Francesco. Princeton, Princeton University Press ISBN 0-691-00800-0 Blockmans, translated by Isola van den Hoven-Vardon. New York, Oxford University Press ISBN 0-340-73110-9
Duchy of Milan
The Duchy of Milan was a constituent state of the Holy Roman Empire in northern Italy. It was created in 1395, when it included twenty-six towns, during much of its existence, it was wedged between Savoy to the west, Venice to the east, the Swiss Confederacy to the north, and separated from the Mediterranean by Genoa to the south. The Duchy eventually fell to Habsburg Austria with the Treaty of Baden, after the defeat of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna of 1815 restored many other states which he had destroyed, but not the Duchy of Milan. Instead, its territory became part of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia. In 1859, Lombardy was ceded to the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia, the House of Visconti had ruled Milan since 1277, in which year Ottone Visconti defeated Napoleone della Torre. The Duchy of Milan as a state of the Holy Roman Empire was created on 1 May 1395 and it was this diploma that installed Visconti as Duke of Milan and Count of Pavia. At its foundation the duchy included 26 towns and spanned from the hills of Montferrat to the Lagoons of Venice, Milan thus became one of the five major states of the Italian peninsula in the 15th century.
When the last Visconti Duke, Filippo Maria, died in 1447 without a heir, the Milanese declared the so-called Ambrosian Republic. In 1498, the Duke of Orleans became King of France as Louis XII and he invaded in 1499 and soon ousted Lodovico Sforza. The French ruled the duchy until 1512, when they were ousted by the Swiss, Massimiliano reign did not last very long. The French, now under Francis I, invaded the area in 1515, the French took Massimiliano as their prisoner. The French were again out in 1521, this time by the Austrians. In 1535, Francesco died without heirs, the question of succession again arose, with both the emperor and the King of France claiming the duchy, leading to more wars. The Duchy of Parma was created in 1545 from a part of the Duchy of Milan south of the Po River, as a fief for Pope Paul IIIs illegitimate son, Pier Luigi Farnese, the emperor held the duchy throughout, eventually investing it on his son Philip. The possession of the duchy by Spain was finally recognized by the French in the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559, the Duchy of Milan remained in Spanish hands until the War of the Spanish Succession, when the Austrians invaded it.
The Treaty of Baden, which ended the war in 1714, the duchy remained in Austrian hands until it was overrun by the French army of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796. The duchy was ceded by Austria in the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797, after the defeat of Napoleon, based on the decisions of the Congress of Vienna on 9 June 1815, the Duchy of Milan was not restored. The Duchy instead became part of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia, a constituent of the Austrian Empire and this kingdom ceased to exist when the remaining portion of it was annexed to the Kingdom of Italy in 1866
Sack of Rome (1527)
The Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527 was a military event carried out by the mutinous troops of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, in Rome, part of the Papal States. It marked a crucial victory in the conflict between Charles and the League of Cognac —the alliance of France, Venice, Florence. The army of the Holy Roman Emperor defeated the French army in Italy, the 34,000 Imperial troops mutinied and forced their commander, Charles III, Duke of Bourbon and Constable of France, to lead them towards Rome. Numerous bandits, along with the Leagues deserters, joined the army during its march, the Duke left Arezzo on 20 April 1527, taking advantage of the chaos among the Venetians and their allies after a revolt which had broken out in Florence against the Medici. In this way, the undisciplined troops sacked Acquapendente and San Lorenzo alle Grotte. The troops defending Rome were not at all numerous, consisting of 5,000 militiamen led by Renzo da Ceri and 189 Papal Swiss Guard, the citys fortifications included the massive walls, and it possessed a good artillery force, which the Imperial army lacked.
Duke Charles needed to conquer the city swiftly, to avoid the risk of being trapped between the city and the Leagues army. On 6 May, the Imperial army attacked the walls at the Gianicolo, Duke Charles was fatally wounded in the assault, allegedly shot by Benvenuto Cellini. The Duke was wearing his famous white cloak to him out to his troops. The death of the last respected command authority among the Imperial army caused any restraint in the soldiers to disappear, Philibert of Châlon took command of the armies, but he was not as popular or feared, leaving him with little authority. One of the Swiss Guards most notable hours occurred at this time, almost the entire guard was massacred by Imperial troops on the steps of St Peters Basilica. After the brutal execution of some 1,000 defenders of the Papal capital and shrines and monasteries, as well as the palaces of prelates and cardinals, were looted and destroyed. Even pro-Imperial cardinals had to pay to save their properties from the rampaging soldiers, on 8 May, Cardinal Pompeo Colonna, a personal enemy of Clement VII, entered the city.
He was followed by peasants from his fiefs, who had come to avenge the sacks they had suffered by Papal armies, Colonna was touched by the pitiful conditions of the city and hosted in his palace a number of Roman citizens. The Vatican Library was saved because Philibert had set up his headquarters there, after three days of ravages, Philibert ordered the sack to cease, but few obeyed. In the meantime, Clement remained a prisoner in Castel SantAngelo, francesco Maria della Rovere and Michele Antonio of Saluzzo arrived with troops on 1 June in Monterosi, north of the city. Their cautious behaviour prevented them from obtaining a victory against the now totally undisciplined Imperial troops. At the same time Venice took advantage of this situation to capture Cervia and Ravenna, Emperor Charles V was greatly embarrassed by the fact that he had been powerless to stop his troops striking against Pope Clement VII and imprisoning him
The Papal States, officially the State of the Church, were territories in the Italian Peninsula under the sovereign direct rule of the pope, from the 8th century until 1870. They were among the states of Italy from roughly the 8th century until the Italian Peninsula was unified in 1861 by the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia. At their zenith, they covered most of the modern Italian regions of Lazio, Marche and Romagna and these holdings were considered to be a manifestation of the temporal power of the pope, as opposed to his ecclesiastical primacy. By 1861, much of the Papal States territory had been conquered by the Kingdom of Italy, only Lazio, including Rome, remained under the Popes temporal control. In 1870, the pope lost Lazio and Rome and had no physical territory at all, Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini ended the crisis between unified Italy and the Vatican by signing the Lateran Treaty, granting the Vatican City State sovereignty. The Papal States were known as the Papal State, the territories were referred to variously as the State of the Church, the Pontifical States, the Ecclesiastical States, or the Roman States.
For its first 300 years the Catholic Church was persecuted and unrecognized and this system began to change during the reign of the emperor Constantine I, who made Christianity legal within the Roman Empire, and restoring to it any properties that had been confiscated. The Lateran Palace was the first significant new donation to the Church, other donations followed, primarily in mainland Italy but in the provinces of the Roman Empire. But the Church held all of these lands as a private landowner, the seeds of the Papal States as a sovereign political entity were planted in the 6th century. Beginning In 535, the Byzantine Empire, under emperor Justinian I, launched a reconquest of Italy that took decades and devastated Italys political, just as these wars wound down, the Lombards entered the peninsula from the north and conquered much of the countryside. While the popes remained Byzantine subjects, in practice the Duchy of Rome, the pope and the exarch still worked together to control the rising power of the Lombards in Italy.
As Byzantine power weakened, the took a ever larger role in defending Rome from the Lombards. In practice, the papal efforts served to focus Lombard aggrandizement on the exarch, a climactic moment in the founding of the Papal States was the agreement over boundaries embodied in the Lombard king Liutprands Donation of Sutri to Pope Gregory II. When the Exarchate of Ravenna finally fell to the Lombards in 751, the popes renewed earlier attempts to secure the support of the Franks. In 751, Pope Zachary had Pepin the Younger crowned king in place of the powerless Merovingian figurehead king Childeric III, zacharys successor, Pope Stephen II, granted Pepin the title Patrician of the Romans. Pepin led a Frankish army into Italy in 754 and 756, Pepin defeated the Lombards – taking control of northern Italy – and made a gift of the properties formerly constituting the Exarchate of Ravenna to the pope. The cooperation between the papacy and the Carolingian dynasty climaxed in 800, when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor, the precise nature of the relationship between the popes and emperors – and between the Papal States and the Empire – is disputed.
Events in the 9th century postponed the conflict, the Holy Roman Empire in its Frankish form collapsed as it was subdivided among Charlemagnes grandchildren
Duchy of Mantua
The Duchy of Mantua was a duchy in Lombardy, Northern Italy, subject to the Holy Roman Empire. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Mantua was invaded by Byzantines, Lombards, in the 11th century it became a possession of Boniface of Canossa, marquis of Toscana. The last ruler of the family was the countess Matilde of Canossa, after the death of Matilde of Canossa, Mantua became a free commune and strenuously defended itself from the Holy Roman Empire in the 12th and 13th centuries. During the Investiture Controversy, Pinamonte Bonacolsi took advantage of the situation to seize power—as Captain General of the People—in 1273. His family ruled Mantua for the century, making it more prosperous. On 16 August 1328, the last Bonacolsi, was overthrown in a revolt backed by the House of Gonzaga, who had been podestà of the city in 1318, was elected capitano del popolo. Through a payment of 120,000 golden florins in 1433, Gianfrancesco was appointed marquis of Mantua by Emperor Sigismund, in 1459 Pope Pius II held a diet in Mantua to proclaim a crusade against the Turks.
The first duke of Mantua was Federico II, who acquired the title from Charles V, the following year, the family acquired the Marquisate of Montferrat through marriage. Federico commissioned Giulio Romano to build the famous Palazzo Te, in the periphery of the city, in 1624, Ferdinando Gonzaga moved the ducal seat to a new residence, the Villa della Favorita, designed by the architect Nicolò Sebregondi. The War of the Mantuan Succession broke out, and in 1630 an Imperial army of 36,000 Landsknecht mercenaries besieged Mantua, Mantua never recovered from this disaster. Duke Ferdinand Charles, a ruler whose only aim was to hold parties and theatrical representations. After the latters defeat, he was declared deposed by Emperor Joseph I and took refuge in Venice, at his death, in 1708 his family lost Mantua forever in favour of the Habsburgs of Austria. Mantua was briefly united with the Duchy of Milan by an edict of Emperor Joseph II on 26 September 1786, Mantua was besieged by Napoleons French army in 1796, before falling in 1797.
With the Treaty of Campo Formio, Mantua was annexed to the Cisalpine Republic becoming the Department of Mincio, duke of Mantua The House of Gonzaga, heirs to the sovereign marquessate of Mantua I Gonzaga di Mantova
Kingdom of England
In the early 11th century the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, united by Æthelstan, became part of the North Sea Empire of Cnut the Great, a personal union between England and Norway. The completion of the conquest of Wales by Edward I in 1284 put Wales under the control of the English crown, from the accession of James I in 1603, the Stuart dynasty ruled England in personal union with Scotland and Ireland. Under the Stuarts, the kingdom plunged into war, which culminated in the execution of Charles I in 1649. The monarchy returned in 1660, but the Civil War had established the precedent that an English monarch cannot govern without the consent of Parliament and this concept became legally established as part of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. From this time the kingdom of England, as well as its state the United Kingdom. On 1 May 1707, under the terms of the Acts of Union 1707, the Anglo-Saxons referred to themselves as the Engle or the Angelcynn, originally names of the Angles. They called their land Engla land, meaning land of the English, by Æthelweard Latinized Anglia, from an original Anglia vetus, the name Engla land became England by haplology during the Middle English period.
The Latin name was Anglia or Anglorum terra, the Old French, by the 14th century, England was used in reference to the entire island of Great Britain. The standard title for all monarchs from Æthelstan until the time of King John was Rex Anglorum, Canute the Great, a Dane, was the first king to call himself King of England. In the Norman period Rex Anglorum remained standard, with use of Rex Anglie. The Empress Matilda styled herself Domina Anglorum, from the time of King John onwards all other titles were eschewed in favour of Rex or Regina Anglie. In 1604 James VI and I, who had inherited the English throne the previous year, the English and Scottish parliaments, did not recognise this title until the Acts of Union of 1707. The kingdom of England emerged from the unification of the early medieval Anglo-Saxon kingdoms known as the Heptarchy, East Anglia, Northumbria, Essex, Sussex. The Viking invasions of the 9th century upset the balance of power between the English kingdoms, and native Anglo-Saxon life in general, the English lands were unified in the 10th century in a reconquest completed by King Æthelstan in 927 CE.
During the Heptarchy, the most powerful king among the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms might become acknowledged as Bretwalda, the decline of Mercia allowed Wessex to become more powerful. It absorbed the kingdoms of Kent and Sussex in 825, the kings of Wessex became increasingly dominant over the other kingdoms of England during the 9th century. In 827, Northumbria submitted to Egbert of Wessex at Dore, in 886, Alfred the Great retook London, which he apparently regarded as a turning point in his reign. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle says that all of the English people not subject to the Danes submitted themselves to King Alfred, asser added that Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, restored the city of London splendidly
Their service as mercenaries was at its peak during the Renaissance, when their proven battlefield capabilities made them sought-after mercenary troops. There followed a period of decline, as technological and organizational advances counteracted the Swiss advantages, switzerlands military isolationism largely put an end to organized mercenary activity, the principal remnant of the practice is the Swiss Guard at the Vatican. In William Shakespeares Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5, Swiss mercenaries are called Switzers, Swiss mercenaries were valued throughout Late Medieval Europe for the power of their determined mass attack in deep columns with the pike and halberd. Some Swiss hired themselves out individually or in small bands and this was furthered by successful campaigns of regional expansion. By the fifteenth century they were valued as mercenary soldiers. The standing mercenary army of king Matthias Corvinus of Hungary contained Swiss pikemen units, the native term Reisläufer literally means one who goes to war and is derived from Middle High German Reise, meaning military campaign.
The Valois Kings of France, in fact, considered it an impossibility to take the field of battle without Swiss pikemen as the infantry core of their armies. Until roughly 1490, the Swiss had a monopoly on pike-armed mercenary service. However, after that date, the Swiss mercenaries were increasingly supplemented by imitators, Landsknechts were Germans and became proficient at Swiss tactics, even surpassing them with their usage of the Zweihänder to crush opposing pike formations. This produced a force that filled the ranks of European armies with mercenary regiments for decades, after 1515 the Swiss pledged themselves to neutrality, other than regarding Swiss soldiers serving in the ranks of the Royal French army. The Landsknecht, would continue to serve any paymaster, the Landsknecht often assumed the bright soldiers outfits of the Swiss. Although the Swiss generally had a significant edge in a push of pike, the resulting combat was nonetheless quite savage. Period artists such as Hans Holbein attest to the fact that two such huge pike columns crashing into each other could result in a maelstrom of battle, with many dead.
Never before had the Swiss suffered such heavy losses while being unable to inflict damage upon their foe. The early contingents of Swiss mercenary pikemen organized themselves rather differently than the cantonal forces, in the cantonal forces, their armies were usually divided into the Vorhut and Nachhut, generally of different sizes. In mercenary service they became less likely to resort to outmaneuvering the enemy. Such deep pike columns could crush lesser infantry in combat and were invulnerable to the effects of a cavalry charge. The Swiss mercenaries did deploy crossbows and artillery of their own, however these always remained very subsidiary to the pike and halberd square
Ludovico Sforza of Milan, seeking an ally against the Republic of Venice, encouraged Charles VIII of France to invade Italy, using the Angevin claim to the throne of Naples as a pretext. For several months, French forces moved through Italy virtually unopposed, Charles VIII made triumphant entries into Pisa on November 8,1494, Florence on November 17,1494, and Rome on December 31,1494. Upon reaching the city of Monte San Giovanni in the Kingdom of Naples, Charles VIII sent envoys to the town, the garrison killed and mutilated the envoys and sent the bodies back to the French lines. This enraged the French army so that reduced the castle in the town with blistering artillery fire on February 9,1495 and stormed the fort. This was the sack of Naples. News of the French Armys sack of Naples provoked a reaction among the city-states of Northern Italy, the League was specifically formed to resist French aggression. The League was established on 31 March after negotiations by Venice, Milan and the Holy Roman Empire.
Later on the League consisted of the Holy Roman Empire, the Duchy of Milan, the Papal States, the Republic of Florence, the Duchy of Mantua and this coalition, cut Charles army off from returning to France. After establishing a government in Naples, Charles started to march north on his return to France. However, in the town of Fornovo he met the League army. In contemporary tradition, the battle counted as a Holy League victory, because the French forces had to leave, to the Italian coalition, however, it was at best a pyrrhic victory, in that its strategic outcome and long-term consequences were unfavorable. Although the League managed to force Charles VIII off the battlefield, it suffered much higher casualties and could not prevent the opposing army crossing the Italian lands as it returned to France. As a result of Charles VIIIs expedition, the states of Italy were shown once. In fact, the individual Italian states could not field armies comparable to those of the feudal monarchies of Europe in numbers.
Thus, Charles VIII lost all that he conquered in Italy, King Charles VIII died on April 7,1498 and was succeeded to the throne of France by his cousin, Louis II, Duke of Orléans, who became Louis XII of France. Ludovico Sforza retained his throne in Milan until 1499, when Charless successor, Louis XII of France, invaded Lombardy, Louis XII justified his claim to the Duchy of Milan by right of his paternal grandfather, Louis duc dOrléans having married Valentina Visconti in 1387. Valentina Visconti was the heir to the Duchy of Milan in the Visconti dynasty, the marriage contract between Valentina Visconti and Louis, duc dOrléans, guaranteed that in failure of male heirs, she would inherit the Visconti dominions. However, when the Visconti dynasty died out in 1447, the Milanese ignored the Orleans claim to the Duchy of Milan, bitter factionalism arose under the new republic which set the stage for Francisco Sforza to seize control of Milan in 1450
See Pontifical Swiss Guard for the Swiss Guard stationed at the Vatican. Swiss Guards are the Swiss soldiers who have served as guards at foreign European courts since the late 15th century, Foreign military service was outlawed by the revised Swiss Constitution of 1874, with the only exception being the Pontifical Swiss Guard stationed at the Vatican. The modern Papal Swiss Guard serves as both a unit and a bodyguard. Established in 1506, it is one of the oldest military units in the world, the earliest Swiss guard unit to be established on a permanent basis was the Hundred Swiss, which served at the French court from 1490 to 1817. This small force was complemented in 1567 by a Swiss Guards regiment, in the 18th and early 19th centuries several other Swiss Guard units existed for periods in various European courts. In addition to household and palace units, Swiss mercenary regiments have served as regular line troops in various armies, notably those of France, Spain. They were considered the most effective mercenaries of the 15th century, at the Battle of Marignano, the Landsknecht in French service defeated the Swiss pikemen.
In addition the Gardes Suisses served in the field as a regiment in times of war. King Francis I of France used some 120,000 Swiss mercenaries in the Italian Wars, the Hundred Swiss were created in 1480 when Louis XI retained a Swiss company for his personal guard. By 1496 they comprised one hundred guardsmen plus about twenty-seven officers and their main role was the protection of the King within the palace as the garde du dedans du Louvre, but in the earlier part of their history they accompanied the King to war. In the Battle of Pavia the Hundred Swiss of King Francis I were slain before Francis was captured by the Spanish, the Hundred Swiss shared the indoor guard with the Kings Bodyguards, who were Frenchmen. The Hundred Swiss were armed with halberds, the blade of which carried the Royal arms in gold and their ceremonial dress as worn until 1789 comprised an elaborate 16th century Swiss costume covered with braiding and livery lace. A less ornate dark blue and red uniform with bearskin headdress was worn for ordinary duties, the Cent Suisses company was disbanded after Louis XVI left Versailles in October 1789.
It was however refounded on 15 July 1814 with an establishment of 136 guardsmen, the Hundred Swiss accompanied Louis XVIII into exile in Belgium the following year and returned with him to Paris following the Battle of Waterloo. The unit resumed its role of palace guards at the Tuileries. In 1616, King Louis XIII gave a regiment of Swiss infantry the name of Gardes suisses, the new regiment had the primary role of protecting the doors and outer perimeters of the various royal palaces. In its early years this unit was officially a regiment of the line, during the 17th and 18th centuries the Swiss Guards maintained a reputation for discipline and steadiness in both peacetime service and foreign campaigning. Their officers were all Swiss and their rate of pay substantially higher than that of the regular French soldiers, internal discipline was maintained according to Swiss codes which were significantly harsher than those of the regular French Army
Francesco Ferruccio was an Italian captain from Florence who fought in the Italian Wars. Early in 1530 Volterra had thrown off Florentine allegiance and had been occupied by an Imperial garrison, during his absence, the Imperials captured Empoli by treachery, thus cutting off one of the chief avenues of approach to Florence. Ferruccio decided to attempt a diversion by attacking the Imperials in the rear, but at Pisa he was laid up for a month with a fever, which enabled the enemy to get wind of his plan and to prepare for his attack. At the end of July Ferruccio left Pisa at the head of about 4,000 men, left alone, Ferruccio encountered a much larger force of the enemy on August 3 at Gavinana. In the desperate battle ensued, the Imperials were at first driven back by Ferruccios onslaught. But when 2,000 Landsknecht reinforcements under Fabrizio Maramaldo arrived, the Florentines were almost annihilated, Maramaldo out of personal spite dispatched Ferruccio with his own hand, Vile, tu uccidi un uomo morto.
Were, according to accounts, Ferruccios last words uttered to his murderer. This defeat sealed the fate of the Republic, and nine days Florence surrendered, in an 1849 speech at Livorno, Garibaldi likened himself to him, I have touched with my sword the ashes of Ferruccio, and I will know how to die like Ferruccio. Under Fascism, the legend of his life and death was celebrated. That partially accounts for the popularity of naming male children in Tuscany born at that period Ferruccio, condottieri Italian Wars War of the League of Cognac