About this Famous People
Michel de MONTAIGNE
One of the most influential writers of the French Renaissance
Source : Jacques CHANIS
Montaigne was born in the Aquitaine region of France, on the family estate Château de Montaigne, in a town now called Saint-Michel-de-Montaigne, not far from Bordeaux. The family was very rich; his great-grandfather, Ramon Felipe Eyquem, had made a fortune as a herring merchant and had bought the estate in 1477, thus becoming the Lord of Montaigne. His father, Pierre Eyquem, Seigneur of Montaigne, was a French Roman Catholic soldier in Italy for a time and had also been the mayor of Bordeaux. Although there were several families bearing the patronym 'Eyquem' in Guyenne, his family is suspected to have had some degree of Marrano (Portuguese-Jewish) origins. His mother, Antoinette López de Villanueva, was a convert to Protestantism. His maternal grandfather, Pedro Lopez, from Zaragoza, was from a wealthy Marrano (Sephardic Jewish) family who had converted to Catholicism. His maternal grandmother, Honorette Dupuy, was from a Catholic family in Gascony, France.
His mother lived a great part of Montaigne's life near him, and even survived him, but is only mentioned twice in his essays. Montaigne's relationship with his father, however, is frequently reflected upon and discussed in his essays.
Source : http://www.wikipedia.org/