Louis VII (21st September 1531 - 4th July 1593), known as Louis le Dévot, was Emperor of Grandelumiere from 1562 until 1593. He was also a Cardinal of the Catholic church. He took the throne from his cousin once removed, Marie V. He himself had been a grandson of Emperor Henri.
His rule was mostly focused on strengthening the church as he was known to be highly devoted to the church and God. Relations with the papacy vastly improved during his reign. The politics of the Empire remained conservative under his watch and after the death of Cesare Joseph, his Chancellor, he ruled alone.
He would die in 1593 after a staged coup d'etat. He would be succeeded by his nephew, Louis VIII.
Reign of Louis VI
Born in 1531, he was a Petit-Fil de Grandelumiere, as his father was the son of Henri, and brother to Louis VI of Grandelumiere. He would be born in the Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne to his mother, Jeanne Isabelle, wife of Henri Dieudonne, Duke of Brittany. He was the 3rd child, and was not originally expected to carry on the family. Due to this, he was planned almost from birth to go to the church. He was baptised and named Louis Raphael.
He was educated in theology from a young age and upon his fourteenth birthday, he was sent to study at the Royal Monastery of Saint Denis. He would study until he was given the position of Cardinal-Deacon by the Pope at the age of 19.
Reign of Marie IV
Upon his return from the Royal Monastery, he was informed his father had died shortly prior. He was thus, Duke of Brittany. His elder cousin, Marie Blanche, was now Empress with her husband, Philippe II. He would remain at court while being Cardinal. He acted as his cousins Imperial Chancellor when her previous chancellor, Francois de Foix, died.
He assisted in her move to persecute non-Catholics, and witches. He overseen the execution of thousands of Protestants and other non-Christians. Mary was extremely zealous, and this may be partially due to Louis Raphael's influence, which led to the persecution and revolts across Grandelumiere. However, under Louis's advice, Mary had the armed forces suppress all revolts, and carry out executions in large numbers before mass audiences.
Philippe II supported his wife through her zealous behaviour, but, as co-monarch, he also spent most of his time dealing with his own issues. Louis did not overlook this. He secured the Emperor's favour by assisting in Philippe's build up of the navy and military. In return, Louis was made Grand Inquisitor of Grandelumiere.
With the Inquisition under his control, he used it more effectively to exact the suppression of the non-Catholics under Marie's name. Rebellions in the south of Grandelumiere became increasingly common, and in response, Louis secured the Inquisitions supremacy over the Imperial forces, allowing the Inquisition to give orders to the imperial force in times of emergency.
Marie and Philippe would both die in an assassination by the Protestant Jean Rou. Their young daughter, Marie Louise, would take the throne as Marie V.
Reign of Marie V
Due to his service as Imperial Chancellor, and closeness to Marie and Philippe, Louis was appointed Regent on behalf of the 9-year-old Marie V. During his regency, the suppression of Protestants increased, and the rebellions in the south were dealt with in violent and quick moves by the Inquisition.
Marie V, however, would die 4 years later, under suspicion of poisoning. She had no living immediate relatives, and Louis was the last of his siblings, making him the immediate Emperor.
Personal ReignIn 1562, Louis would be officially Emperor, and his coronation would be early the next year. In his reign, the number of non-Catholic citizens vastly dropped, and all non-Catholic places of worship were seized by the state. Though he did not submit fully to the Pope's will, and remained relatively independent of him, he did respect his authority and implemented his Papal Bulls as often as he could.
It is known he had an affair with the Duchesse d'Orleans, and had 5 illegitimate children, and stayed at court, and treated as if they were Fils de Grandelumiere, though they were never officially recognised as such.
Militarily speaking, Louis VII fought only small wars against the Holy Roman Empire, gaining few territories. The strength of the Crown was increased as the military was reformed and built up. His position was contested by his 2nd Cousin, the Cardinal Henri de Berry and his younger brother, Francois de Berry. To combat this, he invited the pair to a meeting. There, the Imperial Guard murdered the pair, and imprisoned their immediate family in le Bastion.
In 1593, his nephew, Louis Michael, staged a coup d'etat. Louis was sitting in his personal study, unaware of the situation when his guards were murdered outside his study. Then the nobles supporting Louis Michael entered, where Louis VII was captured and dragged out from the Palais-des-Ducs-de-Bourgogne. He was beheaded by his nephew in the Place de Bastion.
Styles and Titles
-21st September 1531 - 14th March 1550 His Highness, Duke of Rennes
-14th March 1531 - 27th October 1562 His Eminent Highness, Cardinal Bretagne
-27th October 1562 - 4th July 1593 His Eminent and Catholic Majesty, the Emperor
Louis's official style was 'Louis VII, par la grâce de Dieu, Empereur de Grandelumière, Roi de Belgique, Bourgogne, France et le Palatin, archiduc des Pays-Bas', or 'Louis, by the grace of God, Emperor of Grandelumiere, King of Belgium, Burgundy, France, and the Palatine, archduke of the Low-Countries'.