Villeroi, François de Neufville, duc de (fräNswäˈ də növēlˈ dük də vēlrwäˈ) [key], 1644–1730, marshal of France and favorite of King Louis XIV. In the War of the Grand Alliance, he succeeded (1695) Marshal Luxembourg as commander in Flanders, where he was unsuccessful against King William III of England. In the War of the Spanish Succession, he replaced Nicolas Catinat in Italy, was defeated by the Austrian commander Prince Eugene of Savoy at Chiari (1701), and was taken prisoner at Cremona (1702). In 1706 he was defeated by the duke of Marlborough at Ramillies. Villeroi held several high posts between 1717 and 1722, when he fell into disgrace for intriguing against the regent. He died, in virtual exile, as governor of Lyons.
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