The Huguenot rebellions, sometimes called the Rohan Wars after the Huguenot leader Henri de Rohan, were an event of the 1620s in which French Calvinist Protestants located in southwestern France, revolted against royal authority. The uprising occurred a decade following the death of Henry IV, himself a Huguenot before converting to Catholicism, had protected Protestants through the Edict of Nantes, his successor Louis XIII, under the regency of his Italian Catholic mother Marie de' Medici, became more intolerant of Protestantism. The Huguenots tried to respond by defending themselves, establishing independent political and military structures, establishing diplomatic contacts with foreign powers, revolting against central power; the Huguenot rebellions came after two decades of internal peace under Henry IV, following the intermittent French Wars of Religion of 1562–1598. The first Huguenot rebellion was triggered by the re-establishment of Catholic rights in Huguenot Béarn by Louis XIII in 1617, the military annexation of Béarn to France in 1620, with the occupation of Pau in October 1620.
The government was replaced by a French-style parliament. Feeling their survival was at stake, the Huguenots gathered in La Rochelle on 25 December 1620. At this Huguenot General Assembly in La Rochelle the decision was taken to forcefully resist the Royal threat, to establish a "state within the state", with an independent military commandment and independent taxes, under the direction of the Duc de Rohan, an ardent proponent of open conflict with the King. In that period, the Huguenots were defiant of the Crown, displaying intentions to become independent on the model of the Dutch Republic: "If the citizens, abandoned to their guidance, were threatened in their rights and creeds, they would imitate the Dutch in their resistance to Spain, defy all the power of the monarchy to reduce them." In 1621, Louis XIII moved to eradicate. He led an army to the south, first succeeding in capturing the Huguenot city of Saumur, succeeding in the Siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély against Rohan's brother Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise on 24 June 1621.
A small number of troops attempted to surround La Rochelle under the Count of Soissons in the Blockade of La Rochelle, but Louis XIII moved south to Montauban, where he exhausted his troops in the Siege of Montauban. After a lull, combat resumed with numerous atrocities in 1622, with the terrible Siege of Nègrepelisse in which all the population was massacred and the city was burnt to the ground. In La Rochelle, the fleet of the city under Jean Guiton started to harass royal bases; the Royal fleet met head-to-head with the fleet of La Rochelle in the Naval battle of Saint-Martin-de-Ré on 27 October 1622 in an inconclusive encounter. Meanwhile, the Treaty of Montpellier was negotiated; the Huguenot fortresses of Montauban and La Rochelle could be kept, but the fortress of Montpellier had to be dismantled. The year 1624 saw the arrival of Cardinal Richelieu to power as chief minister, which would mean much harder times ahead for the Protestants. Louis XIII did not, uphold the terms of the Treaty of Montpellier, sparking renewed Huguenot resentment.
Toiras reinforced the fortification of Fort Louis, instead of dismantling it, right under the walls of the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle, as a strong fleet was being prepared in Blavet for the eventuality of a siege of the city. The threat of a future siege on the city of La Rochelle was obvious, both to Soubise and the people of La Rochelle. In February 1625, Soubise led a second Huguenot revolt against Louis XIII, after publishing a manifesto and occupied the island of Ré, near La Rochelle. From there he sailed up to Brittany where he led a successful attack on the royal fleet in the Battle of Blavet, although he could not take the fort after a three weeks siege. Soubise returned to Ré with 15 ships and soon occupied the Ile d'Oléron as well, thus giving him command of the Atlantic coast from Nantes to Bordeaux. Through these deeds, he was recognized as the head of the Huguenots, named himself "Admiral of the Protestant Church"; the French Navy on the contrary was now depleted, leaving the central government vulnerable.
The Huguenot city of La Rochelle voted to join Soubise on 8 August 1625. These events would end with the defeat of the fleets of La Rochelle and Soubise, the full Capture of Ré island by September 1625. After long negotiations, a peace agreement, the Treaty of Paris, was signed between the city of La Rochelle and king Louis XIII on 5 February 1626, preserving religious freedom but imposing some guaranties against possible future upheavals: in particular, La Rochelle was prohibited from keeping a naval fleet; the third and last Huguenot rebellion started with an English military intervention aimed at encouraging an upheaval against the French king. The rebels had received the backing of the English king Charles I, who sent his favourite George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham with a fleet of 80 ships. In June 1627 Buckingham organised a landing on the nearby island of Île de Ré with 6,000 men in order to help the Huguenots, thus starting an Anglo-French War, with the objective of controlling the approaches to La Rochelle, of encouraging the rebellion in the city.
Buckingham ran out of money and support, his army was weakened by diseases. The English intervention ended with the unsuccessful Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré. After a last attack on Saint-Martin they were repulsed with heavy casualties, left in their ships; the English intervention was followed by the Siege of La R
Day of the Barricades
In the French Wars of Religion, the Day of the Barricades, 12 May 1588, was an outwardly spontaneous public uprising in staunchly Catholic Paris against the moderate, temporizing policies of Henry III. It was in fact called forth by the "Council of Sixteen", representing the sixteen quartiers of Paris, led by Henri, duc de Guise, head of the Catholic League, coordinated in detail by Philip II of Spain's ambassador, Bernardino de Mendoza. Despite a royal interdict, the duc de Guise had returned to Paris in the wake of a betrayed conspiracy, set for 24 April, for he could not afford to be seen to desert his followers. In response the king, housed in the Palais du Louvre, mustered in the capital several regiments of Swiss Guards and the Gardes Françaises, an act that violated a privilege of the city of Paris, not to have foreign troops quartered in the city. Rumors were spread; the king ordered a census to be taken of Paris, a move that would flush out any "strangers", or non-Parisians, in the city, including forces of the duc de Guise, for the census ordered for 12 May was to be a exact search of houses, with lists of people and horses.
The barricades of wagons and hogsheads blocked access at major points in the city, beginning early in the day in the university quarter, where a certain Crucé, leader of the Seize, coordinated efforts. The barricades so hastily erected in the streets from materials at hand were the first appearance of that staple of French revolutions; the militia formed the backbone of the revolt. The duc de Guise accepted an urgent message from the King to permit the orderly withdrawal of the foreign troops: "by consenting to rescue the royal forces, at the same time as claiming to save the city, he was able to project an image of his innocence and virtue, while delivering a fatal blow to the king's authority." The royal forces withdrew to the Louvre, as all the gates of Paris were closed save the Porte Saint-Honoré. The following day, 13 May 1588, the king was prevented from going to the Sainte-Chapelle, but the Porte Neuve, between the Louvre and the Tuileries, was left unguarded. An urgent message from the hôtel de Guise, whether betraying the unclear purposes of Guise or following his interest in not being seen to lay rough hands on the king, convinced Henri to flee to Chartres.
By day's end some sixty soldiers had been killed in sporadic violence, the Bastille had capitulated and the duc de Guise was in undisputed possession of Paris, where he was offered the crown but refused it. The timing of the tumult was not as well coordinated with the sailing of the Spanish Armada against England as the Spanish ambassador, had planned, but it still distracted any French Huguenot interference; the staunchly Catholic populace of Paris harbored genuine animosity towards king Henri III for several reasons. First, his unacceptable mignons and his fashionable court were perceived as disengaged. Second, they were seen as all too ready to come to terms with the Protestants and the heir presumptive to the French throne, Henri of Navarre, who had not yet been formally designated heir to the childless Henri III; the Parisians were alarmed due to the troops posted in the city. Thus, the emotions were easy to exploit. From his strong position, Guise forced the King to sign at Rouen the Édit d'union, registered at Paris 21 July.
By its terms the King promised never to conclude a truce or peace with the "hérétiques", to forbid public office to any who would not take a public oath of their Catholicité and never to leave the throne to a prince, not Catholic. Two weeks the duc de Guise was named lieutenant général of the kingdom. However, on 23 December of that year, the duc de Guise was assassinated in Blois and his brother Louis II de Lorraine the following day. Pierre Matthieu recalled the events of the Journée des barricades in his La Guisiade. Days of the Barricades in Riga 1968 days of the barricades in France Les Misérables – the barricade in the Hugo story is a symbol of the whole and the site of all the highs in Les Misérables. Carroll, Stuart. French Historical Studies; the Revolt of Paris, 1588: Aristocratic Insurgency and the Mobilization of Popular Support. 23:301–337. Mattingly, Garrett The Armada, includes an account of the Day of the Barricades
Siege of La Rochelle
The Siege of La Rochelle was a result of a war between the French royal forces of Louis XIII of France and the Huguenots of La Rochelle in 1627–28. The siege marked the height of the struggle between the Catholics and the Protestants in France, ended with a complete victory for King Louis XIII and the Catholics. In the Edict of Nantes, Henry IV of France had given the French Huguenots extensive rights. La Rochelle had become their stronghold, under its own governance, it was the main port for Huguenot seapower, the strongest centre of resistance against the Catholic royal government. The city was, with over 30,000 inhabitants; the assassination of Henry IV in 1610, the advent of Louis XIII under the regency of Marie de' Medici, marked a return to pro-Catholic politics and a weakening of the position of the Protestants. The Duke Henri de Rohan and his brother Soubise started to organize Protestant resistance from that time, which exploded into a Huguenot rebellion. In 1621, Louis XIII besieged and captured Saint-Jean d'Angély, a blockade of La Rochelle was attempted in 1621-1622, ending with a stalemate and the Treaty of Montpellier.
Again and Soubise would take arms in 1625, ending with the capture of the Île de Ré in 1625 by Louis XIII. After these events, Louis XIII resolved to subdue the Huguenots, Louis' Chief Minister Cardinal Richelieu declared this his first priority; the Anglo-French conflict followed the failure of the Anglo-French alliance of 1624, in which England had tried to find an ally in France against the power of the Habsburgs. In 1626, France under Richelieu concluded a secret peace with Spain, disputes arose around Henrietta Maria's household. Furthermore, France was building the power of its Navy, leading the English to be convinced that France must be opposed "for reasons of state". In June 1626, Walter Montagu was sent to France to contact dissident noblemen, from March 1627 attempted to organize a French rebellion; the plan was to send an English fleet to encourage rebellion, triggering a new Huguenot revolt by Duke Henri de Rohan and his brother Soubise. On the first expedition, the English king Charles I sent a fleet of 80 ships, under his favourite George Villiers, 1st Duke of Buckingham, to encourage a major rebellion in La Rochelle.
In June 1627 Buckingham organised a landing on the nearby island of Île de Ré with 6,000 men in order to help the Huguenots, thus starting the Anglo-French War of 1627, with the objective of controlling the approaches to La Rochelle, of encouraging the rebellion in the city. The city of La Rochelle refused to declare itself an ally of Buckingham against the crown of France, denied access to its harbour to Buckingham's fleet. An open alliance would only be declared in September at the time of the first fights between La Rochelle and royal troops. Although a Protestant stronghold, Île de Ré had not directly joined the rebellion against the king. On Île de Ré, the English under Buckingham tried to take the fortified city of Saint-Martin in the Siege of Saint-Martin-de-Ré, but were repulsed after three months. Small French royal boats managed to supply St Martin in spite of the English blockade. Buckingham ran out of money and support, his army was weakened by disease. After a last attack on Saint-Martin they were repulsed with heavy casualties, left with their ships.
Meanwhile, in August 1627 French royal forces started to surround La Rochelle, with an army of 7,000 soldiers, 600 horses and 24 cannons, led by Charles of Angoulême. They started to reinforce fortifications at Bongraine, at the Fort Louis. On September 10, the first cannon shots were fired by La Rochelle against royal troops at Fort Louis, starting the third Huguenot rebellion. La Rochelle was the greatest stronghold among the Huguenot cities of France, the centre of Huguenot resistance. Cardinal Richelieu acted as commander of the besiegers. Once hostilities started, French engineers isolated the city with entrenchments 12 kilometres long, fortified by 11 forts and 18 redoubts; the surrounding fortifications were completed in April 1628, manned with an army of 30,000. Four thousand workmen built a 1,400-metre-long seawall to block the seaward access between the city and harbor, stopping all supplies; the initial idea for blocking the channel came from the Italian engineer Pompeo Targone, but his structure was broken by winter weather, before the idea was taken up by the royal architect Clément Métezeau in November 1627.
The wall was built on a foundation of sunken hulks filled with rubble. French artillery battered English ships trying to supply the city. Meanwhile, in southern France, Henri de Rohan vainly attempted to raise a rebellion to relieve La Rochelle; until February, some ships were able to go through the seawall under construction, but after March this became impossible. The city was blockaded, with the only hope coming from possible intervention by an English fleet. Altogether, the Roman Catholic government of France rented ships from the Protestant city of Amsterdam to conquer the Protestant city of La Rochelle; this resulted in a debate in the city council of Amsterdam as to whether the French soldiers should be allowed to have a Roman Catholic sermon on board of the Protestant Dutch ships. The result of the debate was; the Dutch ships transported the French soldiers to La Rochelle. France was a Dutch ally in the war against the Habsburgs. In the occasion of the Siege of La Rochelle, Spain manoeuvered towards the formation of a Franco-Spanish alliance against the common enemies that were the English, the Huguenots
Battle of Moncontour
The Battle of Moncontour occurred on 3 October 1569 between the Catholic forces of King Charles IX of France, commanded by Henry, Duke of Anjou, the Huguenots commanded by Gaspard de Coligny. Weeks before, Coligny had lifted the siege of Poitou and positioned his army in hopes of gaining an advantage over the approaching Royalist forces. However, a flanking maneuver by Saulx-Tavannes forced him to reposition his forces; this coincided with Henry's objective to keep Coligny's army from joining Gabriel, comte de Montgomery's forces. The battle consisted of multiple charges by the royal forces, during which Coligny was wounded in the jaw, forcing Louis of Nassau to take command. Henry was saved by his bodyguards. Philibert, Margrave of Baden-Baden, who commanded the Royalist Germans, was killed during a cavalry charge. Nassau, in turn, made no headway. A final charge by Swiss pikemen shattered the Huguenot landsknechts line, in which over half were killed; as a result, three thousand Huguenots surrendered.
Nassau and the rest of the cavalry were able to withdraw in good order. Henry besieged Saint-Jean-d'Angély from 16 October to 2 December. Coligny regrouped, marched east into the Rhone and, months marched towards Paris. French Wars of Religion Butler, A. J.. "The Wars of Religion in France". In Ward, A. W.. W.. The Cambridge Modern History. III. Cambridge University Press. Knecht, R. J.. The French Wars of Religion 1559-1598. Longman. Knecht, R. J.. Catherine de'Medici. Pearson Education Limited. Tucker, Spencer C. ed.. A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient world to the Modern Middle East. Vol. Two. ABC-CLIO; the Battle of Moncontour Voyage of the Battle of Moncontour, 1569
Siege of Orleans (1563)
The siege of Orleans was part of the First French War of Religion, a conflict provoked by the Massacre of Vassy by Catholic troops of the Duke of Guise on 1 March 1562. As a result, the Prince of Conde, military leader of the Reformers, moved into Orleans to turn it into one of his strongholds; the city became Protestant. In 1563, Catholic troops led by the Duke of Guise set out to recapture Orleans, the defence of, entrusted to the brother of Admiral de Coligny, François de Coligny d'Andelot. On 18 February 1563, when the position of the besieged had become difficult, Poltrot de Mere, a convicted Protestant, assassinated François de Guise; this assassination precipitated a treaty between the two parties which led to the Edict of Amboise on 19 March 1563 and established peace between the two communities. Orleans continued to live under this treaty of conciliation until 1567. Wood, James B.. The King's Army Warfare and Society during the Wars of Religion in France, 1562-1576. Cambridge Studies in Early Modern History.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. XII-349. ISBN 0-521-55003-3.. Denis Crouzet, Les Guerriers de Dieu: la violence au temps des troubles de religion, Champ Vallon, 2005 ISBN 2-87673-430-3. Jouanna, Arlette. Histoire et dictionnaire des guerres de religion. Bouquins. Paris: Robert Laffont. P. 1526. ISBN 2-221-07425-4
Battle of Saint-Denis (1567)
The Battle of Saint-Denis was fought on 10 November 1567 between Catholics and Protestants during the French Wars of Religion in Saint-Denis near Paris, France. Anne de Montmorency with 16,000 Royalists fell on Condé's 3,500 Huguenots; the Huguenots held on for some hours before being driven off. The Protestants were defeated; the Protestants fell back to the east to link up with German mercenaries
Surrender of Montauban
The Redition of Montauban occurred on 21 August 1629, when the Huguenot city of Montauban surrendered to the Catholic troops of the French king Louis XIII under the direction of Richelieu. In 1622, Mautauban had resisted the assaults of Louis XIII, but the city lost its independence with its redition to royal forces in 1629. Montauban was considered to be the most powerful Huguenot fortress in France after La Rochelle; the redition was the final chapter of the Huguenot rebellions, as the remnants of Huguenot power in southern France surrendered to the king. After the sieges of Privas and Alès, the remaining Huguenot cities fell, Montauban surrendered without resistance; this was one of the last events in the repression of the Huguenot rebellions in France. The redition was followed by the Peace of Alès of 27 September 1629, which settled the revolt by guaranteeing the practice of the Huguenot religion and judicial protection, but requiring Huguenot strongholds as well as political assemblies to be dismantled.
Soon after the redition, the fortifications of Montauban were taken down by Richelieu. Catholicism was reinstated in Montauban, a governing body, formed of half Protestants and half Catholics, established, as well as a senior administrator representing the king in 1635. In the space of 30 years, numerous discriminatory rules were established against the Protestants of Montauban, from clothing to religious restrictions; the Huguenots of Montauban were broken by Catholic military repression, the Dragonnades, in 1683