The Marshal of France (French: Maréchal de France, plural Maréchaux de France) is a military distinction, rather than a military rank, in contemporary France, 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) during its millennium of existence. It was one of the Great Officers of the Crown of France during the Ancien Régime and Bourbon Restoration and one of the Great Dignitaries of the Empire during the First French Empire (when the title was not "Marshal of France" but "Marshal of the Empire").

A Marshal of France displays seven stars. The marshal also receives a baton, a blue cylinder with stars, formerly fleurs-de-lis during the monarchy and Eagles during the First French Empire. It has the Latin inscription: 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.

History

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 during the First French Empire by Napoleon I as Marshal of the Empire, and then the title was given to Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte, sovereign Prince of Pontecorvo and later King of Sweden. 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.

Philippe Pétain, awarded the distinction of Marshal of France for his generalship in World War I, retained his title even after his trial and imprisonment and after he was stripped of other positions and titles.

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 (died 1191), Marshal of France in 1185
  • 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
  • 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

  • Jean de Varennes (died 1292), Marshal of France in 1288
  • Simon de Melun, Lord of La Loupe and of Marcheville (died 1302), Marshal of France in 1290
  • Guy Ier de Clermont de Nesle (died 1302), Marshal of France in 1292
  • Foulques du Merle (died 1314), Marshal of France in 1302
  • Miles VI de Noyers (died 1350), Marshal of France in 1302
  • Jean de Corbeil, Lord of Grez (died 1318), Marshal of France in 1308

Louis X, 1314–1316

  • Jean IV de Beaumont (died 1318), Marshal of France in 1315

Philip V, 1316–1322

  • Mathieu de Trie (died 1344), Marshal of France in 1318
  • Jean des Barres (dates unknown), Marshal of France in 1318
  • Bernard VI de Moreuil, Lord of Moreuil (died 1350), Marshal of France in 1322

Charles IV, 1322–1328

  • Robert-Jean Bertran de Briquebec, Baron of Briquebec, Viscount of Roncheville (1285–1348), Marshal of France in 1325

Valois

Philip VI, 1328–1350

  • Anseau de Joinville (1265–1343), Marshal of France in 1339
  • Charles 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 de Beaujeu, Lord of Châteauneuf (1316–1351), Marshal of France in 1347

John II 1350–1364

  • Arnoul d'Audrehem, Lord of Audrehem (died 1370), Marshal of France in 1351
  • Rogues de Hangest, Lord of Avesnecourt (died 1352), Marshal of France in 1352
  • Jean de Clermont, Lord of Chantilly and of Beaumont (died 1356), Marshal of France in 1352
  • Jean I Le Maingre (1310–1367), Marshal of France in 1356

Charles V, 1364–1380

  • Jean IV de Mauquenchy, Lord of Blainville (died 1391), Marshal of France in 1368
  • Louis de Sancerre, Count of Sancerre (1342–1402), Marshal of France in 1369

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

  • Amaury de Séverac, Lord of Beaucaire and of Chaude-Aigues (died 1427), Marshal of France in 1424
  • Jean de Brosse, Baron of Boussac and of Sainte-Sévère (1375–1433), Marshal of France in 1426
  • Gilles de Rais, Lord of Ingrande and of Champtocé (1404–1440), Marshal of France in 1429
  • André de Laval-Montmorency, Lord of Lohéac and of Retz (1408–1486), Marshal of France in 1439
  • Philippe de Culant, Lord of Jaloignes, of La Croisette, of Saint-Armand and of Chalais (died 1454), Marshal of France in 1441
  • Jean Poton de Xaintrailles, Seneschal de Limousin (1390–1461), Marshal of France in 1454

Louis XI, 1461–1483

Charles VIII, 1483–1498

  • Philippe de Crèvecœur d'Esquerdes (1418–1494), Marshal of France in 1486
  • Jean de Baudricourt, Lord of Choiseul and Bailiff of Chaumont (died 1499), Marshal of France in 1486

Valois-Orléans

Louis XII, 1498–1515

Valois-Angoulême

Francis I 1515–1547

  • Jacques II de Chabannes, Lord of La Palice (died 1525), Marshal of France in 1515
  • Gaspard I de Coligny, Lord of Châtillon-sur-Loing (died 1522), Marshal of France in 1516
  • Thomas de Foix-Lescun (died 1525), Marshal of France in 1518
  • Anne I de Montmorency, Duke of Montmorency and of Damville, Count of Beaumont-sur-Oise and of Dammartin, Viscount of Melun, first Baron of France and Grand Master, Constable of France etc. (1492–1567), Marshal of France in 1522
  • Théodor Trivulce (1458–1531), Marshal of France in 1526
  • Robert III de La Marck, Duke of Bouillon, Lord of Sedan (1491–1537), Marshal of France in 1526
  • Claude d'Annebaut (1500–1552), Marshal of France in 1538
  • René de Montjean (died 1538), Lord of Montjean, Marshal of France in 1538
  • Oudard du Biez, Seigneur of Le Biez (died 1553), Marshal of France in 1542
  • Antoine de Lettes-Desprez, Lord of Montpezat (1490–1544), Marshal of France in 1544
  • Jean Caraccioli, Prince of Melphes (1480–1550), Marshal of France in 1544

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 Plâtrière, 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, (1536-99) 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

  • Roger I de Saint Larry, Lord of Bellegarde (died 1579), Marshal of France in 1574
  • Blaise de Lasseran-Massencôme, Seigneur de Montluc (1500–1577), Marshal of France in 1574
  • Louis Prévost de Sansac, Baron de Sansac (1496–1576), Marshal of France
  • Armand de Gontaut, Baron de Biron (1524–1592), Marshal of France in 1577
  • Jacques de Goyon, Lord of Matignon and of Lesparre, Count of Thorigny, Prince of Mortagne sur Gironde (1525–1597), Marshal of France in 1579
  • Jean VI d'Aumont, Baron of Estrabonne, Count of Châteauroux (died 1580), Marshal of France in 1571
  • Guillaume de Joyeuse, Viscount of Joyeuse, Lord of Saint-Didier, of Laudun, of Puyvert and of Arques (1520–1592), Marshal of France in 1582
  • Charles II de Cossé, Duke of Brissac (1562–1621), Marshal of France

Bourbons

Henry IV 1589–1610

  • Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Vicomte de Turenne, Duc de Bouillon (1555–1623), Marshal of France in 1592.
  • Charles de Gontaut, Duc de Biron (1562–1602), Marshal of France in 1594.
  • Claude de La Chatre, Baron de la Maisonfort (1536–1614), Marshal of France in 1594.
  • Jean de Montluc de Balagny (1560–1603), Marshal of France in 1594.
  • Jean III de Baumanoir, Marquis of Lavardin and Count of Nègrepelisse (1551–1614), Marshal of France in 1595.
  • Henri, Duke of Joyeuse (1567–1608), Marshal of France in 1595.
  • Urbain de Montmorency-Laval, Marquis of Sablé (1557–1629), Marshal of France in 1595.
  • Alphonse d'Ornano (1548–1610), Marshal of France in 1597.
  • Guillaume de Hautemer, Count of Grancey (1537–1613), Marshal of France in 1597.
  • François de Bonne, Duke of Lesdiguières (1543–1626), Marshal of France in 1608.

Louis XIII, 1610–1643

Louis XIV, 1643–1715

Louis XV, 1715–1774

Louis XVI, 1774–1792

First Empire

Napoleon I, 1804–1814/1815

Napoleon created twenty-six Marshals of the Empire:

The names of many of these have been given to successive stretches of an avenue encircling Paris, which has thus been nicknamed the Boulevards des Maréchaux (Boulevards of the Marshals).

Restoration

Louis XVIII, 1815–1824

Charles X, 1824–1830

July Monarchy

Louis-Philippe 1830–1848

Second Republic

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, 1848–1852

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