Jules Mazarin

[Jules Mazarin] Cardinal, and prime minister of France after Richelieu's death; born 14 July 1602 in Piscina, Italy; died 9 May 1661 in Vincennes, France. After being in turn a captain in the pontifical troops, and a diplomat, he was recommended to Louis XIII by Richelieu for having ably seconded the cardinal's policy against Spain. He was then naturalized, and although he was only in minor orders Louis obtained for him the cardinal's hat. His real power began after the death of Louis XIII, and during the minority of his son. Anne of Austria, who favored him greatly, appointed him prime minister, and in spite of fierce opposition he remained in power until death. He continued Richelieu's policy toward the House of Austria, and brought the Thirty Years' War to a conclusion by the famous treaty of Westphalia, which was far from favorable to the Church. He continued to curb the princes, and they organized against him the civil war known as the "Fronde." Although he was obliged to go into temporary exile, he came back stronger than ever and it was he who laid the foundation of the power of Louis XIV. He was a decided enemy of Jansenism. He amassed an enormous fortune by questionable means, but he bequeathed considerable sums to the "Bibliotheque Mazarine" in Paris.

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