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Françoise de Cezelly (22 May 1558 – 16 October 1615) was a French female war hero. She distinguished herself when the village of Leucate was besieged by Spanish forces allied with the Catholic League in 1590, after her husband, the governor, was captured and executed by the enemy. She was born in 1558 in Montpellier. On 6 April 1577 she married Jean de Boursiez, seigneur de Pantnaut de Barri, with whom she had five children: Hercule, Anne-Françoise, Antoine, Paul and Frances. After the battle of 1590, King Henry IV made Françoise the governor of Leucate until her son Hercule came of age. She died in Montpellier in 1614, aged 56, and was buried next to her husband in the chapel of St. Anne Church of St. Paul of Narbonne. In 1899 a bronze statue of her by the sculptor Paul Ducuing was erected in the Place de la République in Leucate, holding up the keys to the village. In May 1942 the Vichy government ordered the statue to be taken down, and the bronze sent to Germany. When the statue was lifted onto a truck, the hand holding the keys broke off. It is still kept in the Town Hall. A new statue was set up on 17 August 1975.[1]

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