Armand Jean du Plessis de Richelieu (1585-1642) aimed to make the monarchy absolute; he ruthlessly crushed opposition by the nobility, and destroyed the political power of the Huguenots, while leaving them religious freedom.
Abroad he sought to establish French supremacy by breaking the power of the Habsburgs; he therefore supported the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus and the German Protestant princes against Austria, and in 1635 brought France into the Thirty Years' War.
Born in Paris of a noble family, he entered the church, and was created bishop of Lucon in 1606 and a cardinal in 1622. Through the influence of Marie de' Medici he became Louis XIII's chief minister in 1624, a position he retained until his death. His secretary Pere Joseph was the original Grey Eminence.
Why is Cardinal Richelieu famous?
Cardinal Richelieu was a French cardinal and politician, chief minister from 1624.