Similar to England, the French nobility in the 16th and 17th centuries proved to be at times a difficult group to control for the monarch. During the reign of Louis XIV (1643-1715), spying (internally and externally), developed in France as the country became the main power on the European continent and was the leader of the Catholic states. Louis was well known to use a variety of spies, including Louise-Renée de Penacoët, who became mistress to Charles II, the English king. Using her liaison with the king, she passed on vital information to the French regarding English intentions and alliances .
==Before and After the French Revolution==