Ambrosio Paré (1510-1590) on a French semi-postal of 1943. He was a surgeon who made major advances in treating battlefield injuries. He reintroduced the practice of ligature instead of cauterisation to stem bleeding following amputations. He also revived successfully Roman methods for treating wounds. He did pioneering work in obstetrics, including for cases where the head of the baby was presented first: at the time, a common practice in such cases was to give up on the baby and cut it out from the womb piece by piece; Paré revived a practice used by Hippocrates in ancient Greece of trying to turn the baby in the womb. He devised artificial eyes and limb prosthetics. He served successive kings of France from 1552 until his death.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2016 12:11:32 GMT -5 by Deleted
Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard (1473-1524) on a French semi-postal of 1943. He is known as "le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche" - "the knight without fear and beyond reproach". He was one of the most famous soldiers of his time, serving three successive French kings, and had a reputation for ensuring discipline among his troops in an age when the French army was generally known for its disorderliness. In 1503 he single-handedly defended a bridge against some 200 Spanish soldiers. In another of the campaigns in which he fought, in 1511, he nearly captured the Pope who had formed a Holy League to oppose France. A year later, having rallied French troops several times, ensuring the capture of Brescia in Northern Italy, he was badly wounded in the thigh: he was carried to a nearby Italian nobleman's house, whose female residents he protected from the rampages of the victorious soldiers. The nobleman's daughters sang to him every evening. Before he was fully healed, he rushed off to take part in another battle, but not before giving the daughters 1000 ducats each - all the money he had been given by the girls' mother to ransom her family. One of the main examples of his chivalry occurred in the Battle of the Spurs of 1513, when Henry VIII of England defeated the army of Louis XII: Bayard's escape was cut off, so he rode up to an English officer who was resting and had temporarily laid aside his arms. He demanded the officer's surrender, and, having obtained this, he gave himself up to the officer. He was taken into the English camp where Henry VIII released him without ransom. In 1521, with 1000 soldiers, Bayard held a town thought indefensible against the 35,000-strong army of the Holy Roman Emperor, giving Francis I of France time to bring a full army to drive off the invaders: for this he was hailed as saviour of France. He was mortally wounded in a rearguard action in Italy in 1524.
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2016 12:10:38 GMT -5 by Deleted
Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully (1560-1641) on a French semi-postal of 1943. A successful soldier and military engineer, he became one of the chief ministers of Henry IV of France, and did much to improve government finances, encourage agriculture and centralise the French administrative system, though some of his reforms were later reversed. A Protestant, he was attacked by Protestants for serving a king who had converted to Catholicism to secure the throne (saying, it is said, "Paris is worth a mass"), and by Catholics for being a Protestant. After the assassination of Henry IV in 1610 he was given 300,000 livres for his services, and went into retirement. He was awarded the title of a Marshal of France in 1634. He wrote memoirs, which are a major source of information for the period, though they are far from being always accurate - for instance he claimed to have undertaken a diplomatic mission to Elizabeth I of England in 1601 but this is an invention. He suggested the Grand Design of a Europe of 15 more-or-less equal states overseen by a supranational Council - a concept often seen as anticipating the European Union. One of the pavilions of the Louvre in Paris is named after him.
Henry IV of France (1553-1610) on another French semi-postal of 1943. Although baptised into the Roman Catholic church he was raised as a Huguenot protestant and led protestant forces during the French wars of religion, narrowing escaping with his life during the massacre of Huguenots on St Bartholomew's Day, 1572. He inherited the throne on the death of his cousin Henry III in 1589, and found himself opposed by Catholic forces, with leading Catholics saying they would not accept him as king unless he converted. This he did in 1593, allegedly declaring rather cynically that Paris was worth a mass. In 1598 he ended the French wars of religion by issuing the Edict of Nantes which gave Huguenots religious freedom and civil liberties (rights which were eroded in the 17th and 18th centuries). As a ruler he was generally successful in military endeavours, established an alliance with the Ottoman Empire, promoted trade with SE Asia and the Far East, embellished Paris, and sent expeditions to Canada under Champlain and Pierre Dugua de Monts, leading to French claims over territories in North America. Following his accession, there was a series of assassination attempts by Catholics unhappy with his policy of religious tolerance, and he was finally assassinated by a Catholic extremist in 1610.
Georges Guynemer (1894-1917) on a 1940 stamp. He was from an aristocratic family, descended on his mother's side from the Bourbons, and, despite not brilliant health, served as a pilot during WW1. In 1917 he was the first allied pilot to shoot down a heavy German bomber. On 11 September that year he did not return from a mission, and is thought to have died when his plane crashed. His death made him a much publicised war hero.
In 1943 France issued a set of semi-postals showing women in 18th century regional costume. It is the headgear that is most distinctive on these stamps. Here is one of them showing a woman from Picardy in NE France.
In 1944 a set of three semi-postal stamps was issued to mark the 88th birthday of Marshal Pétain, nominal head of the Vichy regime (by then he was little more than a figurehead). This stamp commemorates his founding of the Peasant Corporation, an organisation set up to support local agricultural syndicates and encourage the meeting of food production quotas, albeit with little enthusiasm from small farmers, many of whom were sympathetic to the Resistance. It was viewed with suspicion by the German authorities. The Corporation did not really get going until 1943, and was dissolved after the liberation of France.
The second stamp in the 1944 Pétain birthday set commemorates the issue of a charter for French workers by the Vichy regime in 1941. Officially described as intended to end class warfare and disputes between workers and their employers, in fact it banned trade unions and strikes, as well as lock-outs by employers, and facilitated state control of industries and production. It included the intention to establish a minimum wage, but this never happened in wartime France: in 1950 a new law established minimum wage levels, which varied from region to region of the country.
The final stamp in the 1944 Pétain birthday set - and the largest - shows the Marshal himself. A few months later, as the allies liberated France, he was forced to go to Germany, though he refused to lead a government-in-exile, and returned in the spring of 1945 to France, where he was held before being put on trial.
Jules Hardouin-Mansart (1646-1708) on a 1944 semi-postal. a leading architect in the reign of Louis XIV. Among the edifices he designed for Paris are the Pont Royal (a bridge across the Seine), the domed chapel of Les Invalides, and he was also responsible for two of Paris's main squares.
Louis, Grand Condé (1621-1686) on a 1944 semi-postal, one of France's great military leaders. At the age of 21, in 1643, he won a decisive battle against the army of Flanders during the Thirty Years' War. Other victories followed, but he aroused the hostility of the French government during Louis XIV's minority, and this led to his for a period fighting against the French government during the civil wars of 1648-1653. It was some years before he was rehabilitated. He went on to play a leading role in the French acquisition of Franche-Comté and in fighting against the Dutch. When he was a young man, his father compelled him to marry a niece of Cardinal Richelieu: the marriage was not a happy one (Condé was in love with someone else at the time) and he accused his wife, probably unjustly, of serial adultery - she is said to have suffered his accusations with gentleness and piety.
Jean-Baptiste Colbert (1619-1683), Louis XIV's finance minister from 1665. He did much to improve the French economy, partly by steps to foster domestic industry and regulate the quality of goods and partly through public works and tariffs on foreign imports. Despite his best efforts, when he died French government finances had deteriorated - this was because of the cost of Louis XIV's wars.
Louis XIV (1638-1715), often called the Sun King, on a 1944 semi-postal. He succeeded to the throne when he was only 5 and assumed personal rule in 1661. He was a fervent believer in absolute monarchy and under him much power in France was centralised. The territory of France was expanded by his armies, but the cost of his wars led to a significant deterioration in government finances. He had a hunting lodge converted into the spectacular palace of Versailles, to which he moved the court in 1682, and he used the splendour and ritual of his court to bolster his image. He was also known for his skills at ballet, and he took about 80 roles (some of them lead ones) in 40 ballets at his court: this too was part of his reinforcement of his image. He sought to portray himself as strong, healthy and vigorous, but in fact was often sickly and may have been diabetic. He died of gangrene, possibly diabetes-related.
After viewing the last 4 stamps, which in my opinion are wonderful, I can see there were hippies way before the 1960's. Dont know how you would take care of that much hair, hope most of them are just wigs...
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