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Gilles de RaisGilles de Rais

Life: 1404-1440
Birth Place: Machecoul, France
Historical Role: General, Noble
Titles: Baron of Rais, Count of Brienne, Marshal of France
Primary countries affected: France Secondary countries affected: United Kingdom
Events: Hundred Years War (1337-1453), Siege of Orleans (1429), Battle of Jargeau (1429), Battle of Patay (1429)


Gilles de Rais was born in a region in France bordering Britanny, during his early career he became involved in the Breton War of succession. He also became involved in the court of King Charles VII.

In 1427 Gilles de Rais served in the royal army, and in 1429 began fighting alongside Joan of Arc. He fought in most of her major battles. He continued fighting after her death and eventually retired in 1435.

When he retired, he returned to his estates and began wasting his fortune. Eventually, he became desperate to regain his fortune and participated in some occult practices, in which he would sacrifice children. By 1440 an investigation was launched and Gilles de Rais was accused of murder, sodomy, and heresy. He eventually confessed to the crimes and the number of his victims lies around 80 to 200. Gilles de Rais was hanged in 1440.


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