Siege of Doullens
The Siege of Doullens known as the Spanish capture of Doullens or the Storming of Doullens, took place between 14 and 31 July 1595, as part of the Franco-Spanish War, in the context of the French Wars of Religion. After of ten days of siege, on 24 July, the combined forces of Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillon, André de Brancas, Amiral de Villars, François d'Orléans-Longueville, tried to relieve the city, but were defeated by the Spanish forces led by Don Pedro Henríquez de Acevedo, Count of Fuentes, Don Carlos Coloma. Villars was taken prisoner and executed, the Duke of Bouillon fled to Amiens with the rest of the French army. Few days after, on 31 July, the Spanish troops stormed Doullens; the Spaniards killed everybody in the city and civilians alike, shouting "Remember Ham", in retaliation for the massacre against the Spanish garrison of Ham by the French and Protestant soldiers under Bouillon orders. During the French Wars of Religion the Spanish Monarchy, as defender of Catholicism, had intervened in favour of the Catholic League of France in the Siege of Paris of 1590, when Henry of Navarre, the future Henry IV of France, was decisively defeated by the combined forces of Spain and the Catholic France.
This Catholic success led the conversion of Henry to Catholicism declaring that "Paris is well worth a Mass", with the support of the majority of his Catholic subjects, he was crowned King of France at the Cathedral of Chartres on 27 February 1594. In 1595, Henry IV of France declared the war against Spain, attempting to reconquer large parts of northern France from the hostile Franco-Spanish Catholic forces. In the Low Countries, after the death of the Archduke Ernest of Austria at Brussels on February 20, 1595, Don Pedro Henríquez de Acevedo, Count of Fuentes, became Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands, until the arrival of Albert, sent by Philip II of Spain to Brussels to succeed his elder brother. In June 1595, the Franco-Protestant forces of Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillon and François d'Orléans-Longueville, Duke of Château-Thierry, taking Ham, massacring the small Spanish garrison. Meanwhile, the Count of Fuentes and his forces, 5,000 Spanish troops, advanced over France, capturing Le Catelet.
Reinforced by 3,000 more troops from Hainaut and Artois, Fuentes continued with his offensive, on July 14, arrived at Doullens and started the siege. With the news of Doullens and François d'Orléans, Governor of Picardy, joined with the ex-Leaguer André de Brancas, Amiral de Villars, with the new combined forces, marched towards to help the besieged city; the French garrison of Doullens, unlike Le Catelet, hoping that reinforcements would arrive soon, prepared a good defense. On July 16, Valentín Pardieu de la Motte, one of the Spanish commanders, while studying the defences of Doullens, was killed by a lucky shot. On July 24, the French forces arrived near Doullens. Villars, at the head of the French relief army, rushed to relieve the town instead of waiting for the reinforcements of Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers. Fuentes positioned part of his army, about 2,000 to 3,000 men, under Don Carlos Coloma, to intercept the French forces. Villars launched a reckless cavalry attack against the Spaniards, creating confusion among the Spanish troops, but was repelled without much trouble, causing heavy casualties to the French.
The French troops were surrounded by the Spaniards, Fuentes punished them massacring their infantry, capturing their munitions, equipment and supplies. Villars was taken prisoner, despite to offering to pay ransom for his life, was executed of a shot through the head. Charles Bonaventure de Longueval participated in the Siege of Doullens, France in 1595; the Siege of Doullens known as the Spanish capture of Doullens or the Storming of Doullens, took place between 14 and 31 July 1595, as part of the Franco-Spanish War, in the context of the French Wars of Religion. On 31 July, the Spanish troops stormed Doullens; the Spaniards killed everybody in the city and civilians alike, shouting "Remember Ham", in retaliation for the massacre against the Spanish garrison of Ham by the French and Protestant soldiers under Bouillon orders. With Doullens secured, reinforced with 1,500 men under Charles Bonaventure de Longueval, Count of Bucquoy, Fuentes advanced with the bulk of the army over the important fortress-city of Cambrai.
Doullens was under Spanish control until the Peace of Vervins in 1598. The military and civilian population, about 3-4,000, were killed and their bodies thrown over the walls into pits. Not all were killed, it is unknown how many nobles were released after paying a ransom. Charles de Longueval was wounded by a shot and died two weeks about August 15, 1595, his brother Jean-Antoine de Longueval was killed at the Siege of Amiens two years in 1597. This defeat reduced further the King's forces in Picardy, the Duke of Bouillon fled to Amiens with what was left of the French army. Fuentes now turned against Doullens again, after 2 failed attempts, took the city on July 31. Shouting "Remember Ham", the Spaniards killed everybody in the city and civilians alike, in revenge for the massacre against the Spanish-Catholic garrison of Ham by the French and Protestant soldiers under the Duke of Bouillon. Between 3,000 and 4,000 people died in a few hours. With Doullens secured, reinforced with 1,500 men under Charles Bonaventur
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 Craon
The Battle of Craon took place between 21–24 May 1592, between the French Royal army under the Duke of Montpensier and François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, reinforced by English contingents under Sir John Norreys, against the combined forces of Spain and the Catholic League of France during the War of the Three Henrys and the Anglo-Spanish War, in the context of the French Wars of Religion. Craon was besieged by the army of Henry of Navarre, but the defenders, supported by a Catholic relief force recruited by Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur, resisted. At the end, Craon was liberated by the Spaniards under Don Juan del Águila, who defeated the Anglo-French besiegers; the commander of the Catholic League of France in the region, the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, ordered his chief lieutenant, Urbain de Laval Boisdauphin, to strengthen Craon. In 1590, Mercœur rebelled against the accession to the throne of France of Henry of Navarre and becomes the head of the Catholic League of Brittany, aiming to return to restore the autonomy of the former Duchy, proclaimed protector of the Catholic Church in the region of Brittany.
The Duke of Mercœur had the support of the Catholic King, Philip II of Spain, who sent him 7,000 Spanish soldiers who landed at Blavet under the command of Don Juan del Águila. On 8 February 1592, Henry of Navarre decided to take the city of Craon, his cousins, the Duke of Montpensier and François de Bourbon, Prince de Conti, secretly gathered together in Laval to organise the attack. Montpensier laid siege to the town, he was aided by 1,200 English led by 800 German mercenaries. On 20 May 1592, Mercœur and Sablé arrived with their armies to defend Craon; the defense of the city of Craon by the Catholic troops against the French troops of Montpensier and Conti was heroic. On 22 May 1592 the Spanish-Catholic army reached Craon under Don Juan del Águila and the Duke of Mercœur; the Spanish-Catholic troops charged against the left flank, taking by surprise the Anglo-French besiegers. At the same time the besieged angrily attacked the right flank achieving a brilliant victory. Under cover of night, Montpensier retired to Rennes.
The Spaniards captured all the artillery, ammunition carts, flags and supplies from the enemy. The English soldiers captured, were not given quarter, were all executed, in part in retaliation for the cruelty received from the English in the wrecks of the Spanish Armada. Jérôme d'Arradon, a French commander, entrusted with the command of Hennebont and Blavet by Mercœur realized that the Spaniards behaved as their conquerors and did not recognize any authority other than their King, Philip of Spain. Just a few days Laval fell in the hands of the Catholic League. On 23 May 1592 the Prince of Conti retreated into the Chateau-Gontier; the Duke Mercœur and the Marquis of Sablé took the Chateau-Gontier. Boisdauphin took command of Laval, Louis Champagné became Governor of Chateau-Gontier. Catholic League Brittany Duchy of Brittany Edict of Nantes War of the Three Henrys French Wars of Religion Pierre Miquel. Les Guerres de Religion. Club France Loisirs ISBN 2-7242-0785-8 Abbé Angot. Un soldat catholique de la bataille de Craon.
1896.. Martínez Laínez, Fernando/Sánchez de Toca, José María. Tercios de España. La infantería legendaria. Editorial EDAF 2006. Holt, Mack P.. The French Wars of Religion. Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-83872-X. Thompson, J. W.. The Wars of Religion in France, 1559-1576. Chicago. Knecht, Robert J.. The French Wars of Religion. Seminar Studies in History. New York: Longman. ISBN 0-582-28533-X. MacCaffrey, Wallace T. Elizabeth I: War and Politics, 1588-1603. Princeton Paperbacks Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691036519. John S Nolan. Sir John Norreys and the Elizabethan Military World ISBN 0-85989-548-3 Chisholm, Hugh. Edition. Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Siege of Privas
The Siege of Privas was undertaken by Louis XIII of France from 14 May 1629, the city of Privas was captured on 28 May 1629. It was one of the last events of the Huguenot rebellions; the Siege of Privas followed the disastrous capitulation of the main Protestant stronghold of La Rochelle. Louis XIII moved to eliminate the remaining Huguenot resistance in the south of France. With Alès and Anduze, the city of Privas was at the center of a string of Protestant strongholds in the Languedoc, stretching from Nîmes and Uzes in the east, to Castres and Montauban in the west. Privas was selected by marquis des Portes, as a strategic target; the city was defended by Alexander du Puy, a leading Protestant from Montbrun-les-Bains in the Dauphiné active in Montauban. Privas was captured on 28 May 1629 after a siege of 15 days. 500 to 600 Huguenot men who had barricaded themselves in a fort surrendered, but some attempted to blow up themselves with Royal troops, leading to a massacre. The city was destroyed by burning.
In a letter to the Queen, Richelieu reported the destruction in wording that minimized active responsibility on the part of royal Catholic forces: There was no intention of giving up the place to pillage, but in the night it was abandoned, the gates thrown open for the soldiers to enter in crowds to plunder. Everything possible was done to prevent it being burned. Orders were given to prevent those in the fort from being molested by the troops, but they violently exposed themselves to destruction, leaping down from their fortifications, incensing the soldiers against them, by their desperate attempts to destroy themselves with the King's followers. One girl who escaped the massacre was adopted by Richelieu, was nicknamed "La Fortunée de Privas"; the Marquis des Portes was killed in the siege. After Privas, Alès soon fell in the Siege of Alès in June 1629; the remaining Huguenot cities fell too, Montauban surrendered after a short siege led by Bassompierre. These last sieges of the Huguenot rebellion were followed by the Peace of Alès, 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.
In 1640, Richelieu commissioned painter Nicolas Prévost to paint the siege, based on the engraving by Abraham Bosse. The painting is now located at the Château de Richelieu. French Wars of Religion Huguenot rebellions
Siege of Fort Crozon
The Siege of Fort Crozon or the Siege of El Leon was a land and sea engagement that took place late in the French wars of religion and the Anglo-Spanish War. The siege was fought between 1 October and 19 November 1594 and was conducted by English and French troops against a Spanish fort constructed on the Crozon Peninsula near Brest. After a number of assaults were repelled, a Spanish relief force under Juan del Águila attempted to relieve the garrison, but it was delayed by French cavalry and could not reach the garrison in time. An assault by the English using a deceitful ruse ended the siege when the defenders were all but put to the sword; the victory proved decisive in two ways. Second the Spanish had lost most of their support from the French Catholic League and as a result enabled the French king Henry IV to declare war on Spain. In the wake of reorganising his navy, King Philip II of Spain was intent on establishing advanced bases in western France from which his navy could threaten England and Ireland.
In 1593 Blavet had been established by the Spanish in Brittany and news of this caused concern in England. Reports of a Spanish expedition under Juan del Águila hoping to seize the major port of Brest caused greater concern and John Norreys in France, wrote a warning letter to the Queen. Elizabeth, seeing the danger, ordered Norreys to expel the Spanish; as part of Spanish preparations for an intended siege of Brest, a well-situated fort was to be built on the Peninsula commanding the Roadstead of Brest. Águila's chief engineer, Captain Cristóbal de Rojas, designed a modern fortification, christened El Leon - companies took turns in construction and defence. Spanish admiral Pedro de Zubiaur arrived with twelve ships landing equipment, which accelerated the construction of the fort, two shaped bastions with a glacis were formed in front of the drawbridge guarding where the peninsula joined the mainland; the fort had a significant number of guns, one bastion containing eighteen culverins and another smaller bastion had six.
Don Tomé de Paredes was appointed commander of the garrison of the fort, with his company, that of Diego de Aller and Pedro Ortiz Dogaleño totalling 401 men, with a mission to complete the construction of the fort. All this was created in a mere twenty six days of construction. In June 1,000 veteran English troops, fighting in the Netherlands led by Sir Thomas Baskerville were the first to arrive landing at Paimpol; this was joined in August by another force of 2,000 soldiers from Plymouth under the command of John Norreys and ten ships of war with 1,200 sailors and marines commanded by Martin Frobisher in his flagship Vanguard. Within Norreys force were fifty pioneers levied by Sir Walter Raleigh from the tin miners of Cornwall. With their successes in the Netherlands under Francis Vere during the sieges of Steenwijk and Groningen between 1592 and 1594 they were to construct mines under the fort; the French under the overall command of Jean VI d'Aumont consisted of 3,000 troops, under the command of Baron de Molac, 300 mounted arquebusiers and 400 knights.
In Brest itself an army of militia was hastily assembled and formed under the command of Lord of Sourdéac, however this was to take no part in the siege but was a stopgap if Brest itself became besieged. In the opening campaign the town of Morlaix was besieged and captured from the Spanish and Leaguer forces in September; the town of Quimper was taken next and in October the Anglo-French force headed towards Brest to lay siege to the Crozon peninsula. On 1 October the siege began when Frobisher's ships arrived and blockaded the fort and fired off a desultory bombardment before the land force arrived; the besieging army arrived soon after and began to open trenches on 11 October, supported by cannon fire from the sea by English ships. The besiegers however suffered from the Spanish artillery fire during the installation of wicker filled gabions and artillery emplacements, they had to cope with sorties from the Spanish bastions and night, so that the siege positions were not permanently positioned.
Once the heavy artillery were in place however continuous fire from these began to take their effect on the besieged. Soon after the French launched an assault on a bastion on the right side and the English on the left; the battle lasted three hours, but in the confusion a tremendous explosion appeared behind the attacking French causing the attackers to retreat in panic fearing a Spanish attack in the rear. It had turned out several huge barrels of gunpowder blew up in one of the main French siege batteries killing or wounding many. A lull in the siege took place as the English and French needed rearming with new powder which had to come from Brest and the English ships; the advantage of this time taken by the Spanish was to repair the bastions. At the same Cornish pioneers had been trying to mine the fort. On 1 November the Spanish launched a major sally against the siege batteries - they surprised the defenders, continued all the way until they reached a large French battery. Here they spiked three siege guns, returned to the fort before Baron de Molac's troops could react.
The Spanish had inflicted heavy losses having lost only eleven men in their attack. The besiegers' battery fire dwindled but the powder and ammunition began to run low in the fort. Paredes sent for reinforcements to Juan Aguila. Despite the protests of Mercœur, Águila decided to se
Capture of Saumur
The Capture of Saumur was the military investment of the Huguenot city of Saumur accomplished by the young French king Louis XIII in May 1621, following the outburst of the Huguenot rebellions. Although the Huguenot city was faithful to the king, Louis XIII wished to affirm control over it; the Governor of the city Duplessy-Mornay was tricked out of his command of Saumur and the city was invested. Louis XIII continued his campaign southward against the Huguenots, moved to the Protestant stronghold of Saint-Jean-d'Angély led by Rohan's brother Benjamin de Rohan, duc de Soubise; this led to the month-long Siege of Saint-Jean-d'Angély, to a succession of other sieges in the south of France. On 24 June 1621. Louis XIII's campaign ended in a stalemate, leading to the 1622 Peace of Montpellier, which temporarily confirmed the right of the Huguenots in France. Huguenot rebellions
Battle of Jarnac
The Battle of Jarnac on 13 March 1569 was an encounter during the French Wars of Religion between the Catholic forces of Marshal Gaspard de Saulx, sieur de Tavannes, the Huguenots, near the nadir of their fortunes, financed by Reinhold von Krockow and led by Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé, killed after his surrender and his body paraded on an ass in Jarnac, to Catholic jeers. The forces met outside Jarnac between the right bank of the Charente River and the high road between Angoulême and Cognac. Marshal Gaspard de Tavannes, superior in cavalry, crossed the Charente by the bridge at Châteauneuf and was successful in defeating the Huguenots due to his execution of surprise attacks, coming unexpectedly from the south; the Huguenots made a last stand at Triac and were defeated, with both their leaders captured in the fray and murdered in the aftermath. Under the leadership of Gaspard de Coligny, however, a significant portion of the Huguenot army managed to escape. Minor participants on the Huguenot side were the English volunteer Walter Raleigh and Louis of Nassau.
On 25 June, the two armies met again at the Battle of La Roche-l'Abeille, resulting in a Protestant victory. The Battle of Moncontour in October of the same year would provide the Catholics with a more definitive victory. A tapestry of the battle and the assassination of Louis I of Bourbon is in the collection of the Musée National de la Renaissance in Ecouen