Cardinal Jean Balue

French cardinal born in Poitou (1421) and died in Ancona (1491), aged 70


Cardinal della Rovere is sent as legate to the Netherlands and France to settle the quarrel concerning the Burgundian inheritance between Louis XI and Maximilian of Austria, to obtain the help of France against the Turks, and to effect the liberation of Cardinal Balue whom Louis had held in strict custody since 1469 on account of treasonable acts.

Giuliano della Rovere, as cardinal (left), with uncle and patron Francesco della Rovere, Pope Sixtus IV (right)
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1519)
"Louis XI visiting the Cardinal La Balue", by Jean-Leon Gerome

Astronomical Events


Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459-1519), aged 21: king
Pope Julius II (1443-1513), aged 37: pope; cardinal
Cardinal Jean Balue (1421-1491), aged 59: cardinal
King Louis XI (1423-1483), aged 57: king



2 years, 3 months, 1 day later

Cardinal della Rovere returns to Rome with Cardinal Balue, who he has liberated from the custody of Louis XI.

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Astronomical Events


Pope Julius II (1443-1513), aged 39: pope; cardinal
Cardinal Jean Balue (1421-1491), aged 61: cardinal
King Louis XI (1423-1483), aged 59: king


October 23

on Tuesday

1 year, 6 months, 25 days later

A cardinal-legate came to Florence, who was going to the King of France as ambassador, to confirm to him his father's crown. And this cardinal chanced to be the very man whom the last King of France(1) had kept for many years in prison, in a cage.

(1) Louis XI. The name of the cardinal was Jean Balue, whom Louis XI. had persuaded Pope Paul II. to make a cardinal; and later, for political reasons, he had imprisoned him in an iron cage, from which he was liberated in 1481 through the intercession of Pope Sixtus IV. (Trans.)

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Astronomical Events

The moon was in the last quarter that night.
Sunrise in Florence was at 5:41 AM and sunset was at 5:48 PM.


Pope Sixtus IV (1414-1484), aged 69: pope
Cardinal Jean Balue (1421-1491), aged 62: cardinal
King Louis XI (1423-1483), aged 60: king

Source: Primary

Luca Landucci; "A Florentine Diary"; p. 39





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