Guy Coquille’s career as a lawyer

His career began as a lawyer in the Parliament of Paris. His first feats of arms took place at the Grands Jours de Moulins. Then he remained in Paris until 1553. He then retired to Decize, where he had married on January 16, 1553 Anne Le Lièvre, niece of his stepmother. Its installation was however only to be temporary. The 16th century was the century of all perils for Decize. The city experienced, after the looting of 1525 by the men of Bellejoyeuse, after the plague epidemic of 1529 and before the great flood of September 27, 1585, a devastating fire on September 1, 1559. Guy Coquille’s house was miraculously spared . Nevertheless, most of the inhabitants were now ruined.

Many lost documents

This tragic event decided Coquille to move to Nevers. Until then, in fact, he had resisted the advice of his friends who urged him to come and practice his profession there. In this city, as he himself admitted, he was well received and built up a large clientele which enabled him to get rich quickly.
Despite the few documents unearthed relating to his activity as a practitioner, we cannot exhaustively summarize the career of the lawyer Coquille. Unfortunately, most of his memoirs and consultations have either been lost or have not reached us.

Coquille also exercised her talents for powerful characters. His art was practiced for the benefit of the Dukes of Nevers.

Reading the few consultations that have come down to us, it would seem that most of his interventions revolved around problems related to questions of property or succession. Its action consisted in reconciling the parties, and, to a large extent, in avoiding lengthy legal proceedings.
Alongside causes which concern private individuals, Coquille has exercised her talents for powerful personages in delicate affairs. Very quickly, his science and his art went to practice for the benefit of the Dukes of Nevers.

A compromise between the Duke of Nevers and his cousin

In 1562, he traveled to Cleves to settle a dispute between the Duke of Nevers, Francis II of Cleves, and his cousin the Duke William of Cleves. There is a strong probability that this mysterious trip was motivated by the concern to find a compromise to one of these problems of succession so frequent in the 16th century among the great, and especially among the members of the Nevers family. In July 1562, the brother of the Duke of Nevers, Jacques de Clèves, instructed Coquille to take possession on his behalf of the lands in Berry and Bourbonnais, which he had just inherited from his father, François I of Clèves, Duke of Nevers. , who died in 1561.
But the most remarkable testimony of his activity as a lawyer is a consultation that Coquille gave concerning the thorny succession of Claude de Foix, daughter of Charlotte d’Albret, by which he established that the Duc de Nevers had indeed the quality of heir to Claude de Foix, and that he was, moreover, the legitimate possessor of certain lands collected by his grandmother.

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