|Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition||Public Domain via Project Gutenberg|
The fief of Brissac in Anjou was acquired at the end of the 15th century by a noble French family named Cossé belonging to the same province. René de Cossé married into the Gouffier family, just then very powerful at court, and became premier panelier (chief pantler) to Louis XII. Two of his sons were marshals of France. Brissac was made a countship in 1560 for Charles, the eldest, who was grandmaster of artillery, and governor of Piedmont and of Picardy. The second, Artus, who held the offices of grand panetier of France and superintendent of finance, distinguished himself in the religious wars. Charles II. de Cossé fought for the League, and as governor of Paris opened the gates of that town to Henry IV., who created him marshal of France in 1594. Brissac was raised to a duchy in the peerage of France in 1611. Louis Hercule Timoléon de Cossé, due de Brissac, and commandant of the constitutional guard of Louis XVI., was killed at Versailles on the 9th of September 1792 for his devotion to the king.