He was born in the military Créquy family dating back to the 10th century.
He took part as a boy in the Thirty Years' War, distinguishing himself so greatly that at the age of twenty-six he was made a maréchal de camp, and a lieutenant-general before he was thirty.
In 1667 he served on the Rhine, and in 1668 he commanded the covering army during Louis XIV's Siege of Lille, after the surrender of which the king rewarded him with the marshalate. In 1670 he overran the Duchy of Lorraine.
Shortly after this Turenne, his old commander, was made marshal-general, and all the marshals were placed under his orders. Many resented this, and Créquy, in particular, whose career of uninterrupted success had made him over-confident, went into exile rather than serve under Turenne. After the death of Turenne and the retirement of Condé, he became the most important general officer in the army, but his overconfidence was punished by the severe defeat of Conzer Bruck (1675) and the surrender of Trier and his own captivity which followed.
But in the later campaigns of the Franco-Dutch war he showed himself again a cool, daring and successful commander, and, carrying on the tradition of Turenne and Condé, he was in his turn the pattern of the younger generals of the stamp of Luxembourg and Villars. He died in Paris on 3 February 1687.
Francois de Créquy had two sons, whose brilliant military abilities bade fair to rival his own. The elder, François Joseph, marquis de Créquy (1662-1702), already held the grade of lieutenant-general when he was killed at Luzzara on 13 August 1702; and Nicolas Charles, sire de Créquy, was killed before Tournai in 1696 at the age of twenty-seven.