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List of Marshals of France

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Marshal of France
Maréchal de France
CountryFrance France
Service branchArmy
NATO rankOF-10
Next higher rankNone
Next lower rankArmy general[a]

Marshal of France (French: Maréchal de France, plural Maréchaux de France) is a French military distinction, rather than a military rank, that is awarded to generals for exceptional achievements. The title has been awarded since 1185, though briefly abolished (1793–1804) and briefly dormant (1870–1916). It was one of the Great Officers of the Crown of France during the Ancien Régime and Bourbon Restoration, and one of the Grand Dignitaries of the Empire during the First French Empire (when the title was Marshal of the Empire, not Marshal of France).

A Marshal of France displays seven stars on each shoulder strap. A marshal also receives a baton: a blue cylinder with stars, formerly fleurs-de-lis during the monarchy and eagles during the First French Empire. The baton bears the Latin inscription of Terror belli, decus pacis, which means "terror in war, ornament in peace".

Between the end of the 16th century and the middle of the 19th century, six Marshals of France were given the even more exalted rank of Marshal General of France: Biron, Lesdiguières, Turenne, Villars, Saxe, and Soult.

Terror belli...
Terror belli...
...decus pacis
...decus pacis
Modern-day baton, belonging to one of the four Marshals of France during World War II (Leclerc, de Lattre, Juin and Kœnig)
Modern-day baton, belonging to one of the four Marshals of France during World War II (Leclerc, de Lattre, Juin and Kœnig)


The title derived from the office of marescallus Franciae created by King Philip II Augustus of France for Albéric Clément (circa 1190).

The title was abolished by the National Convention in 1793. It was restored as Marshal of the Empire during the First French Empire by Napoleon I. Under the Bourbon Restoration, the title reverted to Marshal of France, and Napoléon III kept that designation.

After the fall of Napoleon III and the Second French Empire, the Third Republic did not use the title until the First World War, when it was recreated as a military distinction and not a rank.

Contrarily to ranks, which are awarded by the army, the distinction of Marshal of France is awarded by a special law voted by the French Parliament. For this reason, it is impossible to demote a Marshal. The most famous case is Philippe Pétain, who was awarded the distinction of Marshal of France for his generalship in World War I, and who was stripped of other positions and titles after his trial for high treason due to his involvement with collaborationist Vichy France: due to the principle of separation of powers, the court that judged him did not have the power to cancel the law that had made him a Marshal in the first place.

The last living Marshal of France was Alphonse Juin, promoted in 1952, who died in 1967. The latest Marshal of France was Marie Pierre Kœnig, who was made a Marshal posthumously in 1984. Today, the title of Marshal of France can only be granted to a general officer who fought victoriously in war-time.

Direct Capetians

Philip II, 1180–1223

  • Albéric Clément, Lord of Le Mez (died 1191), Marshal of France in 1185
  • Matthew II of Montmorency, Lord of Montmorency and Marly, Marshal of France in 1191
  • Guillaume de Bournel, (died 1195), Marshal of France in 1192
  • Nivelon d'Arras (died 1204), Marshal of France in 1202
  • Henry I Clément, called the "Little Marshal", Lord of Le Mez and of Argentan (1170–1214), Marshal of France in 1204
  • Jean III Clément, Lord of Le Mez and of Argentan (died 1262), Marshal of France in 1214
  • Guillaume de la Tournelle (dates unknown), Marshal of France in 1220

Louis IX, 1226–1270

  • Ferry Pasté, Lord of Challeranges (died 1247), Marshal of France in 1240
  • Jean Guillaume de Beaumont (died 1257), Marshal of France in 1250
  • Gauthier III, Lord of Nemours (died 1270), Marshal of France in 1257
  • Henri II Clément, Lord of Le Mez and Argentan (died 1265), Marshal of France in 1262
  • Héric de Beaujeu (died 1270), Marshal of France in 1265
  • Renaud de Précigny (died 1270), Marshal of France in 1265
  • Hugh of Mirepoix, Marshal of France in 1266[1]
  • Raoul II Sores (died 1282), Marshal of France in 1270
  • Lancelot de Saint-Maard (died 1278), Marshal of France in 1270

Philip III, 1270–1285

  • Ferry de Verneuil (died 1283), Marshal of France in 1272
  • Guillaume V du Bec Crespin (died 1283), Marshal of France in 1283
  • Jean II d'Harcourt, Viscount of Châtellerault, Lord of Harcourt (died 1302), Marshal of France in 1283
  • Raoul V Le Flamenc (died 1287), Marshal of France in 1285

Philip IV, 1285–1314

Louis X, 1314–1316

Philip V, 1316–1322

Charles IV, 1322–1328


Philip VI, 1328–1350

  • Anseau de Joinville (1265–1343), Marshal of France in 1339
  • Charles I de Montmorency, Lord of Montmorency (1325–1381), Marshal of France in 1344
  • Robert de Waurin, Lord of Saint-Venant (died 1360), Marshal of France in 1344
  • Guy II de Nesle, Lord of Offémont and of Mello (died 1352), Marshal of France in 1345
  • Édouard I de Beaujeu, Lord of Châteauneuf (1316–1351), Marshal of France in 1347

John II 1350–1364

Charles V, 1364–1380

Charles VI, 1380–1422

  • Jean II Le Meingre (1364–1421), Marshal of France in 1391
  • Jean II de Rieux, Lord of Rochefort and of Rieux (1342–1417), Marshal of France in 1397
  • Pierre de Rieux, Lord of Rochefort and of Rieux (1389–1439), Marshal of France in 1417
  • Claude de Beauvoir, Lord of Chastellux and Viscount of Avallon (1385–1453), Marshal of France in 1418
  • Jean de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam (1384–1437), Marshal of France in 1418
  • Jacques de Montberon, Lord of Engoumois (died 1422), Marshal of France in 1418
  • Gilbert Motier de La Fayette (1396–1464), Marshal of France in 1421
  • Antoine de Vergy (died 1439), Marshal of France in 1422
  • Jean de La Baume, Count of Montrevel-en-Bresse (died 1435), Marshal of France in 1422

Charles VII, 1422–1461

Louis XI, 1461–1483

Charles VIII, 1483–1498


Louis XII, 1498–1515


Francis I 1515–1547

Henry II 1547–1559

Francis II 1559–1560

Charles IX, 1560–1574

  • François de Scépeaux, Lord of Vieilleville (1509–1571), Marshal of France in 1562
  • Imbert de La Plâtière, Lord of Bourdillon (1524–1567), Marshal of France in 1564
  • Henri I de Montmorency, Lord of Damville, Duke of Montmorency, Count of Dammartin and Alais, Baron of Chateaubriant, Lord of Chantilly and Ecouen (1534–1614), Marshal of France in 1566
  • Artus de Cossé-Brissac, Lord of Gonnor and Count of Secondigny (died 1582), Marshal of France in 1567
  • Reinhold von Krockow, (1536–1599) commander of the German Huguenot contingent at Jarnac
  • Gaspard de Saulx, Lord of Tavannes (1509–1575), Marshal of France in 1570
  • Honorat II de Savoye, Marquis of Villars (died 1580), Marshal of France in 1571
  • Albert de Gondi, Duke of Retz (1522–1602), Marshal of France in 1573

Henry III 1574–1589


Marshal baton during the monarchy
Marshal baton during the monarchy

Henry IV 1589–1610

Louis XIII, 1610–1643

Louis XIV, 1643–1715

Louis XV, 1715–1774

Louis XVI, 1774–1792

First Empire

Graphic representation of a Marshal's baton during the First French Empire
Graphic representation of a Marshal's baton during the First French Empire

Napoleon I, 1804–1814/1815

Throughout his reign, Napoleon created a total of twenty-six Marshals of the Empire:[5]

The names of nineteen of these have been given to successive stretches of boulevards encircling Paris, which has thus been nicknamed the Boulevards des Maréchaux (Boulevards of the Marshals). Another three Marshals have been honored with a street elsewhere in the city. The four Marshals banned from memory are: Bernadotte and Marmont, considered as traitors; Pérignon, stricken off the list by Napoleon in 1815; and Grouchy, regarded as responsible for the defeat at Waterloo.


Louis XVIII, 1815–1824

Charles X, 1824–1830

July Monarchy

Louis-Philippe 1830–1848

Sylvain-Charles, comte Valée (1773-1846). Portrait by Joseph-Désiré Court
Sylvain-Charles, comte Valée (1773-1846). Portrait by Joseph-Désiré Court

Second Republic

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, 1848–1852

Rémi Joseph Isidore Exelmans by Charles-Philippe Larivière
Rémi Joseph Isidore Exelmans by Charles-Philippe Larivière

Second Empire

Napoleon III, 1852–1870

Third Republic

Raymond Poincaré, 1913–1920

Alexandre Millerand, 1920–1924

Fourth Republic

Vincent Auriol, 1947–1954

Fifth Republic

François Mitterrand, 1981–1995

See also


  1. ^ Not a rank, but a position and style


  1. ^ Steven Runciman, The Sicilian Vespers: A History of the Mediterranean World in the Later Thirteenth Century, (Cambridge University Press, 2000), 93.
  2. ^ Frederic J. Baumgartner, Henry II: King of France 1547–1559, (Duke University Press, 1988), 56.
  3. ^ Marek, Miroslav. "italy/cybo2.html".[self-published source][better source needed]
  4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, Vol 23, Ed. Hugh Chisholm, (1911), 719.
  5. ^ R.P. Dunn-Pattison Napoleon's Marshals Methuen 1909 - Reprinted Empiricus Books 2001
This page was last edited on 5 May 2020, at 15:13
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