In 1190, Philip II of France gave the abbaye de Saint-Victor de Paris lands at Grosbois in exchange for lands in the bois de Vincennes. The abbey ceded these lands in 1563 to Raoul Moreau, treasurer of Spain, whose relation Nicolas Harlay de Sancy, surintendant des Finances et des Bâtiments du roi, built a château there at the start of the 17th century. This was still incomplete in 1616, when it was sold to Charles de Valois (1573–1650), count of Auvergne then duke of Angoulême (1619), illegitimate son of Charles IX of France by Marie Touchet. de Valois completed the château around 1640, notably building the enclosing wall (1623) and the two wings. On his death in 1650 the estate passed to his granddaughter, wife of Louis, Duke of Joyeuse.
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