The Bloody Baron of Brittany

Bonjour From Brittany

Born into an illustrious and wealthy family, accomplished knight and brother-in-arms to Joan of Arc, Gilles de Rais, was appointed Marshall of France at the age of just 25 but his meteoric rise was mirrored by a ghastly fall. He is best remembered today as probably one of the most depraved and prolific serial killers in history.

Gilles de Montmorency-Laval was born into a powerful aristocratic family at the Château de Machecoul in eastern Brittany towards the end of 1404, although his place and date of birth cannot be confirmed. He could claim kinship with two of Brittany’s most renowned medieval knights, Bertrand du Guesclin and Olivier de Clisson. His father, Guy II de Laval, Baron of Rais, was doyen of the barons of Brittany and owned extensive lands in Brittany, the Breton Marches and in France. Orphaned at ten years of age, de Rais and his younger brother René…

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