Étienne Marcel

Marcel, Étienne (ātyĕnˈ märsĕlˈ) [key], d. 1358, French bourgeois leader, provost of the merchants of Paris. In the States-General of 1355 he and Robert Le Coq bargained for governmental reforms with the French king, John II, who needed funds for the English war. After John's capture (1356) by the English, Marcel dealt with the dauphin (later Charles V). In 1357, the dauphin was forced to agree to the Grande Ordonnance, which granted the States-General far-reaching powers. Shortly afterward, Charles managed to escape from Paris and raise an army. Marcel's popularity waned, partly because of his alliance with Charles II of Navarre, who coveted the throne, and partly because of his intrigues with the English. The dauphin's troops besieged Paris, and on July 31, 1358, a royalist faction assassinated Marcel as a traitor; the dauphin then entered Paris.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: French History: Biographies