Although historians have been aware that foreigners were appointed to the French episcopacy, there are no studies of the evolution of this practice as a longterm trend. Indeed, there are no studies for any particular reign. The only information on this subject is provided indirectly by articles on Italians in France. One such study asserts that the appointment of foreigners to the French episcopacy began in the thirteenth century and ended in the sixteenth century, but this is erroneous since this author has discovered that foreign appointments continued until the last quarter of the seventeenth century. This study focuses in depth on the reign of Francis I because it was during this period that the appointment of foreigners to the French episcopacy reached its apogee. We will investigate the reasons for this and will show that Francis I used ecclesiastical patronage to further the goals of an ambitious foreign policy. The characteristics of his foreign episcopal appointments will be examined along with their effects on the French church. An attempt also will be made to place this reign within the larger context of the evolution of this practice from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries.