Courtier and fencing afficionado
Etiquette – Master
Heraldry – Master
Horsemanship – Master
Italian Style – Expert
The family of Gilles de Cessey (b. 1584) was active in the Catholic League during the civil wars of the last century – Gilles’ father was seriously wounded at Ivry in 1590, fighting under the command of the duc de Mayenne, ending the vicomte’s service to the League, but the old vicomte never accepted as sincere the conversion of Henri of Navarre which enabled the former Huguenot to be crowned as King Henri IV.
Gilles grew up at the court of the Montmorency family. His father passed away in 1599, leaving the title and family’s Languedoc estate to Gilles. The following year Gilles served Henri IV as a gendarme during the brief war with Savoy and Henri’s widow and regent following his death, Marie de’ Medici, during the War of the Jülich Succession in 1610.
Gilles enjoyed the favor of the Queen-Regent and settled into the life of a courtier. Through the noble rebellions of the following decade, Gilles remained loyal to Marie, but he refused to rally to her camp during the War of the Mother and Son in 1620, retiring to his estate instead. Gilles returned to court the next year, where he was welcomed by the king and made a valet du chambre.
Gilles de Cessey is well-known as a lover of horses and horse-racing and a patron of fencing masters. A portly man all his life, the vicomte is surprisingly graceful and earned a reputation in his youth as a skilled swordsman; he continues to train regularly and enjoys staging competitions and demonstrations of martial skill.
As a courtier the vicomte’s reputation is that of one who carefully observes which way the wind is blowing before offering an opinion, often couched as a question or a jest. He is generally affiliated with the dévot faction at court, but he is rarely vocal on issues pertaining to religion.