Saint Bartholomew's Day, Massacre of
- As part of the ongoing Wars of Religion, Catherine de Médicis agreed to a plot by the Guise family (see house of Guise) to assassinate the Huguenot Gaspard II de Coligny. When he was only wounded, Catherine feared discovery of her complicity and secretly urged faithful nobles to murder all the Huguenot leaders, who were in Paris for the wedding of the future Henry IV. The massacre began on August 24 and spread rapidly; after the leaders had been murdered, Huguenot homes and shops were pillaged and their occupants murdered and thrown into the Seine. Even after the royal order on August 25 to stop the killing, it continued and spread to Rouen, Lyon, Bourges, Orléans, and Bordeaux. By October, about 3,000 Huguenots had been murdered in Paris and probably tens of thousands more in the provinces.
* * *▪ French history(August 24/25, 1572), massacre of French Huguenots (Huguenot) (Protestants) in Paris plotted by Catherine de Médicis and carried out by Roman Catholic nobles and other citizens. It was one event in the series of civil wars between Roman Catholics and Huguenots that beset France in the late 16th century.The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day had for its background the political and religious rivalries of the court of France. Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny (Coligny, Gaspard II de, Seigneur De Châtillon), a Huguenot leader, supported a war in the Low Countries against Spain as a means to prevent a resumption of civil war, a plan that the French king, Charles IX, was coming to approve in the summer of 1572. Catherine de Médicis, the mother of Charles, feared Admiral Coligny's growing influence over her son. She accordingly gave her approval to a plot that the Roman Catholic house of Guise had been hatching to assassinate Coligny, whom it held responsible for the murder of François de Guise in 1563.On Aug. 18, 1572, Catherine's daughter, Margaret of France (Marguerite de Valois), was married to the Huguenot Henry of Navarre (the future Henry IV of France), and a large part of the Huguenot nobility came to Paris for the wedding. The attempt on Admiral Coligny's life four days later failed; he was only wounded. To placate the angry Huguenots, the government agreed to investigate the assassination attempt. Fearing discovery of her complicity, Catherine met secretly with a group of nobles at the Tuileries Palace to plot the complete extermination of the Huguenot leaders, who were still in Paris for the wedding festivities. Charles was persuaded to approve of the scheme, and, on the night of August 23, members of the Paris municipality were called to the Louvre and given their orders. Shortly before dawn on August 24 the bell of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois began to toll and the massacre began. One of the first victims was Coligny, who was killed under the supervision of Henry de Guise himself. Even within the Louvre, Navarre's attendants were slaughtered, though Navarre and Henry I de Bourbon, 2nd Prince de Conde, were spared. The homes and shops of Huguenots were pillaged, and their occupants brutally murdered; many bodies were thrown into the Seine. Bloodshed continued in Paris even after a royal order of August 25 to stop the killing, and it spread to the provinces. Huguenots in Rouen, Lyon, Bourges, Orléans, and Bordeaux were among the victims. Estimates of the number that perished in the disturbances, which lasted to the beginning of October, have varied from 2,000 by a Roman Catholic apologist to 70,000 by the contemporary Huguenot Duke de Sully, who himself barely escaped death. Modern writers put the number at 3,000 in Paris alone.The news of the massacre was welcomed by Philip II of Spain, and Pope Gregory XIII had a medal struck to celebrate the event. Protestant nations were horrified. To explain the massacre, Charles, assuming responsibility for it, claimed that there had been a Huguenot plot against the crown.Instead of crippling the Huguenot party as Catherine had hoped it would do, the massacre revived hatred between Roman Catholics and Huguenots and helped provoke a renewal of hostilities. Thenceforth the Huguenots abandoned John Calvin's principle of obedience to the civil magistrate, that is, to the royal authority, and adopted the view that rebellion and tyrannicide were justifiable under certain circumstances.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre — • This massacre of which Protestants were the victims occurred in Paris on 24 August, 1572 (the feast of St. Bartholomew), and in the provinces of France during the ensuing weeks, and it has been the subject of knotty historical disputes Catholic … Catholic encyclopedia
Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre — The Saint Bartholomew s Day Massacre was a massacre of the Huguenot leaders in paris on August 23 24, 1572. To increase her power, Queen Catherine de medici intrigued with the Catholic faction, led by the House of guise, against the… … France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present
Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre — Fr. Hist. a massacre of over 3000 Huguenots, instigated by Catherine de Médicis and begun in Paris on St. Bartholomew s Day, August 24, 1572. * * * … Universalium
Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre — Fr. Hist. a massacre of over 3000 Huguenots, instigated by Catherine de Médicis and begun in Paris on St. Bartholomew s Day, August 24, 1572 … Useful english dictionary
Bartholomew's Day Massacre, Saint — • This massacre of which Protestants were the victims occurred in Paris on 24 August, 1572 (the feast of St. Bartholomew), and in the provinces of France during the ensuing weeks, and it has been the subject of knotty historical disputes Catholic … Catholic encyclopedia
Massacre, Saint Bartholomew's Day — • This massacre of which Protestants were the victims occurred in Paris on 24 August, 1572 (the feast of St. Bartholomew), and in the provinces of France during the ensuing weeks, and it has been the subject of knotty historical disputes Catholic … Catholic encyclopedia
St. Bartholomew's Day massacre — Painting by François Dubois, a Huguenot painter born circa 1529 in Amiens, who settled in Switzerland. Although Dubois did not witness the massacre, he depicts Admiral Coligny s body hanging out of a window at the rear to the right. To the left… … Wikipedia
day — /day/, n. 1. the interval of light between two successive nights; the time between sunrise and sunset: Since there was no artificial illumination, all activities had to be carried on during the day. 2. the light of day; daylight: The owl sleeps… … Universalium
Day — /day/, n. 1. Clarence (Shepard) /shep euhrd/, 1874 1935, U.S. author. 2. Dorothy, 1897 1980, U.S. Roman Catholic social activist, journalist, and publisher. * * * I Time required for a celestial body to turn once on its axis; especially, the… … Universalium
Saint — 1347 80, Italian ascetic and mystic. died A.D. 731, pope 715 731. died A.D. 741, pope 731 741. died A.D. 352, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 337 352. died A.D. 683, Sicilian ecclesiastic: pope 682 683. died A.D. 855, Italian ecclesiastic: pope 847… … Universalium