Gaspard II de Coligny

Gaspard de Coligny, Seigneur de Châtillon (French pronunciation: ​[ɡaspaʁ d(ə) kɔliɲi sɛɲœʁ d(ə) ʃɑtijɔ̃]; 16 February 1519[1] – 24 August 1572) was a French nobleman and admiral, best remembered as a disciplined Huguenot leader in the French Wars of Religion and a close friend and advisor to King Charles IX of France.

Gaspard II de Coligny
Gaspard de Coligny 1517 1572
Gaspard de Coligny, by Jan Antonisz van Ravesteyn
Titles and styles
Admiral of France, Marshal of France
Born16 February 1519
Châtillon-sur-Loing, Kingdom of France
Died24 August 1572 (aged 53)
Paris, Kingdom of France
Noble familyColigny
Spouse(s)Charlotte de Laval
Jacqueline de Montbel d'Entremont
FatherGaspard I de Coligny
MotherLouise de Montmorency
ReligionReformed (Huguenot)



Coligny came of a noble family of Burgundy. His family traced their descent from the 11th century, and in the reign of Louis XI, were in the service of the King of France. His father, Gaspard I de Coligny, known as the 'Marshal of Châtillon', served in the Italian Wars from 1494 to 1516, married in 1514, and was created Marshal of France in 1516. By his wife, Louise de Montmorency, sister of the future constable, he had three sons, all of whom played an important part in the first period of the Wars of Religion: Odet, Gaspard and François.

Early life

Born at Châtillon-sur-Loing in 1519, Gaspard came to court at the age of 22 and began a friendship with François of Guise. In the campaign of 1543 Coligny distinguished himself, and was wounded at the sieges of Montmédy and Bains. In 1544 he served in the Italian campaigns under the Count of Enghien, King Charles VIII, King Louis XII, King Francis I and was knighted on the Field of Ceresole. Returning to France, he took part in different military operations; and having been made colonel-general of the infantry (April 1547), exhibited great capacity and intelligence as a military reformer.

That year he married Charlotte de Laval (d. 1568). He was made admiral on the death of Claude d'Annebaut (1552). In 1557 he was entrusted with the defence of Saint-Quentin. In the siege he displayed great courage, resolution, and strength of character; but the place was taken, and he was imprisoned in the stronghold of L'Ecluse. On payment of a ransom of 50,000 crowns he recovered his liberty.

The Coligny brothers were the most zealous and consistent aristocratic supporters of Protestantism in sixteenth-century France.

Protestant leader

By this time he had become a Huguenot, through the influence of his brother, d'Andelot. The first known letter which John Calvin addressed to him is dated 4 September 1558.

Establishment of Huguenot colonies

Athore, son of the Timucuan king Saturiwa, showing Laudonnière the monument placed by Jean Ribault in 1562.

Gaspard de Coligny secretly focused on protecting his co-religionists, by attempting to establish colonies abroad in which Huguenots could find a refuge. He organized the expedition of a colony of Huguenots to Brazil, under the leadership of his friend and navy colleague, Vice-Admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon, who established the colony of France Antarctique in Rio de Janeiro, in 1555. They were afterwards expelled by the Portuguese, in 1567.

Coligny also was the leading patron for the failed French colony of Fort Caroline in Spanish Florida led by Jean Ribault in 1562.

In 1566 and 1570, Francisque and André d'Albaigne submitted to Coligny projects for establishing relations with the Austral lands. Although he gave favourable consideration to these initiatives, they came to naught when Coligny was killed in 1572 during the St. Bartholomew's Day massacres.[2]

National conflicts

Following the death of Henry II he placed himself with Louis, Prince of Condé, at the forefront of the Huguenot party, and demanded religious toleration and certain other reforms. In 1560, at the Assembly of Notables at Fontainebleau, the hostility between Coligny and François of Guise broke forth violently. When the civil wars began in 1562, Coligny decided to take arms only after long hesitation, and remained always ready to negotiate. In none of these wars did he show superior genius, but he acted throughout with great prudence and extraordinary tenacity; he was "le héros de la mauvaise fortune" ("hero of misfortune")

In the "first war" of 1562-63 he commanded the cavalry at the Battle of Dreux, the first major engagement and, unlike both commanders in chief, managed to avoid being captured, and withdrew in good order from the defeat. He was blamed by the Guise faction for the assassination of Francis, Duke of Guise at Orléans in 1563.

In the "third war" of 1569 the defeat and death of the Prince of Condé at the Battle of Jarnac left Coligny the sole leader of the Protestant armies. Victorious at the Battle of La Roche-l'Abeille, but defeated in the Battle of Moncontour on 3 October, he entered into the negotiations for what became the Peace of Saint-Germain (1570). Marrying Jacqueline de Montbel d'Entremont, and returning to court in 1571, he grew rapidly in favour with Charles IX, becoming a close mentor to the weak, easily manipulated King.

As a means of emancipating the king from the tutelage of his mother and the faction of the Guises, the admiral proposed to him a descent on Spanish Flanders, with an army drawn from both faiths and commanded by Charles in person. The king's regard for the admiral and the increasingly bold demands of the Huguenots alarmed Catherine de' Medici, the Queen Mother.

Joseph-Benoît Suvée - Admiral de Coligny impressing his murderers
Admiral de Coligny impressing his murderers, by Joseph-Benoît Suvée

Assassination and massacre

The wedding of the Protestant Henry, King of Navarre, and Marguerite de Valois, the King's sister brought a great number of Huguenot notables to Paris, and political and religious tensions were running extremely high. On 22 August 1572, the day after the end of the wedding festivities, Coligny was shot in the street by a man called Maurevert from a house belonging to de Guise. However, the bullets only tore a finger from his right hand and shattered his left elbow. The would-be assassin escaped.

It never became clear who, if anyone, had hired or encouraged Maurevert to carry out the attempt but historians generally centre on three possibilities: the Guise family, Catherine de Medici, or the duke of Alba on behalf of Philip II of Spain.[3] The King sent his own physician to treat Coligny and even visited him, but the queen mother prevented all private discourse between them.

The Catholics now feared Huguenot retaliation for the attempt on Coligny's life, and it was decided to pre-emptively assassinate their leadership, in what became known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. As one of the main targets, on the night of 24 August, Coligny was attacked in his lodgings by a group led by Guise. After several of his entourage had been killed, a servant of the new Duke of Guise, Charles Danowitz or Jean Charles D´Ianowitz (Karel z Janovic), who was generally known as Besme or Bême, plunged a sword through Coligny's breast and threw his body out of a window to his master's feet. Coligny finally died when another of Guise's associates chopped off his head.

Joseph Martin Kronheim - Foxe's Book of Martyrs Plate II - Death of Admiral de Coligny
"Death of Admiral de Coligny" from an 1887 edition of Foxe's Book of Martyrs illustrated by Kronheim

Historian Barbara B. Diefendorf, professor of history at Boston University, wrote that Simon Vigor had "said if the King ordered the Admiral (Coligny) killed, 'it would be wicked not to kill him'. With these words, the most popular preacher in Paris legitimised in advance the events of St. Bartholomew's Day".[4]

Giorgio Vasari San Bartolomeo
Coligny's murder (falling body, upper left), as depicted in a mural by Giorgio Vasari.

Coligny's papers were seized and burned by the queen mother; among them, according to Brantôme, was a history of the civil war, "very fair and well-written, and worthy of publication".

Marriages and issue

Gaspard de Coligny by Gustave Crauck
Monument to Gaspard de Coligny, by Gustave Crauck (1827-1905), at the Temple Protestant de l'Oratoire du Louvre, Paris.[5]

By his first wife, Charlotte de Laval (1530-1568), Gaspard had several children:

By his second wife, Jacqueline de Montbel d'Entremont (1541-1588), the Countess d'Entremont and Launay-Gelin, Gaspard had one daughter, Beatrice, who became Beatrice de Coligny (born 1572), Countess d'Entremont.


Several places are named after de Coligny:


  1. ^ This date from the Encyclopædia Britannica source. Note that it differs from the date behind the statue of him below.
  2. ^ E.T. Hamy, "Francisque et Andre d'Albaigne: cosmographes lucquois au service de la France"; "Nouveau documents sur les frères d'Albaigne et sur le projet de voyage et de découvertes présenté à la cour de France"; and "Documents relatifs à un projet d’expéditions lointaines présentés à la cour de France en 1570", in Bulletin de Géographie Historique et Descriptive, Paris, 1894, pp.405-433; 1899, pp.101-110; and 1903, pp.266-273.
  3. ^ Lord Acton, in "The Huguenots and the League", p. 159, blamed Catherine and the Guise family.
  4. ^ Diefendorf, B.B. (1991) Beneath The Cross: Catholics & Huguenots in Sixteenth Century Paris, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-506554-1. ISBN 978-0-19-507013-2 (paperback), p. 157
  5. ^ Note that the birth date here differs from the one provided by Encyclopædia Britannica in the lead paragraph


  • Jean du Bouchet, Preuves de l'histoire généalogique de l'illustre maison de Coligny (Paris, 1661)
  • François Hotman, Vita Colinii (1575), translated as La vie de messire Gaspar de Colligny Admiral de France, (1643; facsimile edition prepared by Émile-V. Telle (Geneva: Droz) 1987).
  • L. J. Delaborde, Gaspard de Coligny (1879–1882)
  • Erich Marcks, Gaspard von Coligny, sein Leben und das Frankreich seiner Zeit (Stuttgart, 1892)
  • H. Patry, "Coligny et la Papauté," in the Bulletin du protestantisme français (1902)
  • Arthur Whiston Whitehead, Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France (1904)
  • Charles Merki, L'Amiral de Coligny (1909).
  • J. Shimizu, Conflict of Loyalties: Politics and Religion in the Career of Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France, 1519-1572 (Geneva) 1970. Coligny's political motivations are stressed.
  • A Paris colloquy on Admiral de Coligny and his times in 1972 resulted in a volume of essays, Actes du colloque l'Amiral de Coligny et son temps (Paris) 1974.
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Coligny, Gaspard de" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 6 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 683.


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, and the Huguenots commanded by Gaspard de Coligny.

Charles de Coligny

Charles de Coligny (1564-1632) was a member of the House of Coligny. The youngest of the three children of Gaspard II de Coligny and Charlotte de Laval, he became marquis of Coligny-le-Vieux, Andelot and Saint-Bris, baron of Lanty and lord of Dinteville, Dannemarie, Auxon and Cusey. He was the only one of Gaspard and Charlotte's children to be baptized a Protestant and the only one to convert to Roman Catholicism.


Châtillon-Coligny is a commune in the Loiret department in north-central France.

The Loing and the Briare Canal run through the town.

François de Coligny

Not to be confused with his uncle François de Coligny d'Andelot.

François de Coligny (1557–1591) comte de Coligny and seigneur de Châtillon-sur-Loing was a French Protestant general of the Wars of Religion. He was the son of Gaspard II de Coligny (1519–1572), Admiral of France (Amiral de Coligny).

Gaspard de Coligny

Gaspard de Coligny may refer to:

Gaspard I de Coligny (c. 1465 - 1522)

Gaspard II de Coligny (1519 – 1572)

Gaspard III de Coligny (1584 – 1646)

Honorat II of Savoy

Honorat de Savoie, marquis of Villars (c. 1511 - 20 September 1580, Le Grand-Pressigny) was a marshal of France and admiral of France.

House of Coligny

The House of Coligny is an old French family, originating from the Bresse region of France. Their bloodline ended in 1694.

Jacqueline de Montbel d'Entremont

Jacqueline de Montbel d'Entremont (16 February 1541, in a house near the Louvre Palace, Paris - 17 December 1599, whilst imprisoned in the castle at Ivrea) was a French courtier, possible artistic muse and huguenot, known for her experiences during the French wars of religion. After her first husband's death, she converted to Protestantism and married Gaspard II de Coligny, who was later killed in the St Bartholomew's Day Massacre.

Jean de Coligny-Saligny

Jean de Coligny-Saligny, (Saligny, December 25, 1617 – April 16, 1686) was a French noble and army commander, best known for his part in the victory in the Battle of Saint Gotthard (1664).

He was the son of Gaspard II de Coligny-Saligny and Jacqueline de Montmorin Saint-Hérem,

and thus a member of the well-known House of Coligny.

He first followed Louis, Prince of Condé (1621–1686) in his revolt against the King, but they had a dispute so serious, that Coligny reconciled himself with the court and became Condé's greatest enemy.

As lieutenant-general, he was sent to Hungary at the head of a corps of 6000 men, to help the Emperor stop an invasion by the Turks. Coligny played a crucial role in the Battle of Saint Gotthard (1664), in which the Turks were decisively defeated.

This battle was exceptional for the fact that French and Austrians, for once, fought on the same side.

Coligny wrote his Mémoires, which were only published in 1844 by Louis Monmerqué, and which are very negative for the prince of Condé. These memoires are now being reedited by Axor-Danaé.

Coligny married Anne Nicole Cauchon de Maupas and had 3 children.

Louise de Coligny

Louise de Coligny (23 September 1555 – 9 November 1620) was a Princess consort of Orange as the fourth and last spouse of William the Silent. She was the daughter of Gaspard II de Coligny and Charlotte de Laval.

Magisterial Reformation

The Magisterial Reformation is a phrase that "draws attention to the manner in which the Lutheran and Calvinist reformers related to secular authorities, such as princes, magistrates, or city councils", i.e. "the magistracy". While the Radical Reformation rejected any secular authority over the Church, the Magisterial Reformation argued for the interdependence of the church and secular authorities, i.e. "The magistrate had a right to authority within the church, just as the church could rely on the authority of the magistrate to enforce discipline, suppress heresy, or maintain order."In addition, the term magister relates to the emphasis on authoritative teachers. Often this is seen in the names of theological schools descending from magisterial reformers (e.g. Lutheran, Calvinist, and Zwinglian).

Maréchal de Châtillon

Maréchal de Châtillon may refer to:

Gaspard I de Coligny (c. 1465 - 1522)

Gaspard II de Coligny (1519 – 1572)

Gaspard III de Coligny (1584 – 1646)

Princess Henriëtte Amalia of Anhalt-Dessau

Henriëtte Amalia Maria von Anhalt-Dessau (Kleve, 16 August 1666 – Dietz an der Lahn, 18 April 1726) was the daughter of John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, and Henriëtte Catharina of Nassau and the granddaughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange.

Princess Johanna Charlotte of Anhalt-Dessau

Johanna Charlotte of Anhalt-Dessau (6 April 1682 – 31 March 1750) was a princess of Anhalt-Dessau from the House of Ascania by birth and Margravine of Brandenburg-Schwedt by marriage. From 1729 until her death she was Abbess of Herford Abbey.

Protestant Reformers

Protestant Reformers were those theologians whose careers, works and actions brought about the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.

In the context of the Reformation, Martin Luther was the first reformer (sharing his views publicly in 1517), followed by people like Andreas Karlstadt and Philip Melanchthon at Wittenberg, who promptly joined the new movement. In 1519, Huldrych Zwingli became the first reformer to express a form of the Reformed tradition.

Listed are the most influential reformers only. They are listed by movement, although some reformers (e.g. Martin Bucer) influenced multiple movements.

For a full and detailed list of all known reformers, see List of Protestant Reformers.

Rue de Rivoli

Rue de Rivoli (French pronunciation: ​[ʁy də ʁivɔli]) is one of the most famous streets in Paris, a commercial street whose shops include the most fashionable names in the world. It bears the name of Napoleon's early victory against the Austrian army, at the battle of Rivoli, fought January 14 and 15, 1797. The rue de Rivoli marked a transitional compromise between an urbanism of prestige monuments and aristocratic squares, and the forms of modern town planning by official regulation.

The new street that Napoleon Bonaparte pierced through the heart of Paris took for one side the north wing of the Louvre Palace, which Napoleon extended, and the Tuileries Gardens. For the first time ever, a handsome, regular, wide street would face the north wing of the old palace. Napoleon's original section of the street opened up eastward from the Place de la Concorde. Builders on the north side of the Place Louis XV, as it then was named, between rue de Mondovi and rue Saint-Florentin, had been constrained by letters patent in 1757 and 1758 to follow a single façade plan. The result was a pleasing uniformity, and Napoleon's planners extended a similar program, which has resulted in the famous arcaded facades that extend for almost a mile.

The restored Bourbon King Charles X continued the rue de Rivoli eastwards from the Louvre, as did King Louis-Philippe. Finally, Emperor Napoleon III extended it into the 17th-century quarter of Le Marais (see: Right Bank). Beneath the rue de Rivoli runs one of the main brick-vaulted, oval-sectioned sewers of Paris' much-imitated system, with its sidewalks for the sewer workers.

In 1852, opposite the wing of the Louvre, Baron Haussmann enlarged the Place du Palais-Royal that is centered on the baroque Palais Royal, built for Cardinal Richelieu in 1624 and willed to the royal family, with its garden surrounded by chic commercial arcades. At the rear of the garden is the older branch of the Bibliothèque Nationale, in rue Richelieu.

North of the rue de Rivoli, at the point where the Grands Boulevards crossed an enormous new square, the new opera house was built. The Opera Garnier is a monument to the construction of the Second Empire. Just behind the opera house can be found the largest department stores, such as the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

East along the rue de Rivoli, at the Place des Pyramides, is the gilded statue of Joan of Arc, situated close to where she was wounded at the Saint-Honoré Gate in her unsuccessful attack on English-held Paris, on September 8, 1429. A little further along, towards the Place de la Concorde, the rue de Castiglione leads to the Place Vendôme, with its Vendôme Column surmounted by the effigy of Napoleon Bonaparte. He began the building of the street in 1802; it was completed in 1865. A plaque at no. 144 commemorates the assassination there of the Huguenot leader Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny, in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre of 1572.

Seigneur de Châtillon

Seigneur de Châtillon can refer to:

Gaspard I de Coligny (1465/1470 – 1522)

Gaspard II de Coligny (1519 – 1572)

Gaspard III de Coligny (1584 – 1646)

Coligny family tree
Guillaume de Montmorency
Anne Pot
Gaspard I
Louise de Montmorency
Anne de Montmorency
daughter of
René of Savoy
Gaspard II
François de
10 others
Gaspard III

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