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A former county and duchy
Before being attached to the French royal domain in the 16th century, Alençon was a county under the Duchy of Normandy and then a duchy-peerage. Erected as a duchy in 1414, Alençon served as the residence of Marguerite d'Angoulême, the sister of François I and the maternal grandmother of the future King Henri IV. After her first widowhood, she established her court in Alençon and remained there after her remarriage to the King of Navarre. Marguerite d'Angoulême brought together a large number of men of letters and made Alençon an asylum for scholars persecuted at the time of the Protestant Reformation.
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