Jacques Coeur, a French merchant and royal treasurer, born at Bourges near the end of the 14th century, died in the island of Scio, Nov. 25, 1456. He was at first one of the masters of the mint at Bourges, and afterward engaged in commerce on a vast scale, visiting Egypt and Syria, establishing depots throughout the East, and covering the Mediterranean with his ships. Thus he acquired a great fortune and attracted the attention.of Charles VII., who in 1435 appointed him head of the French mint, and afterward treasurer. His excellent management of affairs caused the king to ennoble him, and to intrust him with high functions in the French provinces, and with diplomatic missions in Italy. Coeur contributed 200,000 crowns to help the king in rescuing Normandy from the English. After the successful end of the war, his influence became so great as to give offence to envious persons, who after the death of the king's mistress, Agnes Sorel, charged him with having poisoned her, and caused him to be arrested (1451), and his vast property to be confiscated. Although the charge was proved to be groundless, he was detained in prison till 1455, when he effected his escape. Repairing to Rome, he was kindly received by Pope Nicholas V., and was enabled to gather the broken remains of his fortune.
Pope Ca-lixtus III. selected him in 1456 as captain general of a fleet against the Turks. On this expedition Coeur was overtaken by illness, died, and was buried in the church of the Francis- * cans in Scio. He had vainly implored the clemency of Charles VII. in favor of his family. Under Louis XI. his memory was exculpated from all charges, and a part of his property was afterward restored to his descendants. - See Jacques Coeur et Charles VII., ou la France au XVe siecle (2 vols., Paris, 1853).