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In the 12th and 13th centuries the Lordship of Nemours, in the Gatinais, France, was in possession of the house of Villebeon, a member of which, Gautier, was marshal of France in the middle of the 13th century. The lordship was sold to King Philip III of France in 1274 and 1276 by Jean and Philippe de Nemours, and was then made a county and given to Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch in 1364.
After being confiscated and restored several times, the duchy reverted to the French crown in 1504, after the extinction of the house of Armagnac-Pardiac. In 1507 it was given by Louis XII of France to his nephew, Gaston de Foix, who was killed at the Battle of Ravenna in 1512. The duchy then returned to the royal domain, and was detached from it successively for Giuliano de Medici and his wife Philiberta of Savoy in 1515, for Louise of Savoy in 1524, and for Philip of Savoy, Count of Genevois, in 1528.
The descendants of the last-mentioned duke possessed the duchy until its sale to Louis XIV of France. In 1672 Louis gave it to his brother Philippe de France, Duke of Orleans, whose descendants possessed it until the French Revolution. It was one of the many subsidiary titles held by the House of Orléans.
After the death of Charles III in 1425, the Duchy was claimed both by the descendants of his younger daughter, Beatrix d'Evreux, and his elder daughter and heiress, Blanche I of Navarre. Louis XI settled the claim on Jacques d'Armagnac, grandson of Beatrix, in 1462, though Blanche's descendants, the Kings of Navarre, claimed the title until 1571.
She received the duchy of Nemours in 1524 with the duchy of Anjou. It was later transferred to her half-brother in 1528 and she received the duchy of Touraine in exchange  . She also received later the Duchy of Auvergne.