Gaspard de Coligny

Early life

  • 1519  |  He was born at Châtillon-sur-Loing.
  • 1543  |  In the campaign of 1543 Coligny established himself, and was wounded at the sieges of Montmédy and Bains.
  • 1544  |  He served in the Italian campaign under the Count of Enghien, and was knighted on the Field of Ceresole.
  • 1547  |  Returned to France, he took part in different military operations.
  • 1549  |  Received the office of Lieutenant-General of Montreuil, Selaque, Blacquay, and the whole country round Boulogne.

Protestant leader

  • 1552  |  Made Colonel and Captain-General of French Infantry. Then he was made Admiral on the death of Claude d'Annebaut.
  • 1555  |  He busied himself secretly with protecting his co-religionists, a colony of whom he sent to Brazil, under the leadership of his friend and navy colleague, Vice-Admiral Nicolas Durand de Villegaignon, who successfully established the France Antarctique colony in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1557  |  He was entrusted with the defence of Saint-Quentin.
  • 1558  |  Coligny became a Huguenot, through the influence of his brother, d'Andelot.
  • 1560  |  In 1560, at the Assembly of Notables at Fontainebleau, the hostility between Coligny and François of Guise broke forth violently.
  • 1562  |  Civil War breaks out. Coligny was the leading patron for the failed French colony of Fort Caroline in Spanish Florida lead by Jean Ribault.
  • 1564  |  Sent 2 more ships to America.
  • 1567  |  They were afterwards expelled by the Portuguese.
  • 1569  |  In 1569 the defeat and death of the Prince of Condé at Jarnac left him sole leader of the Protestant armies.
  • 1570  |  Victorious at Arnay-le-Duc, he obtained peace with the Peace of Saint-Germain.
  • 1571  |  Marrying Jacqueline de Montbel, Countess d'Entremont, and returning to the court in 1571, he grew rapidly in favour with Charles IX.
  • 1572  |  August 22, Coligny was shot in the street by Maurevel, an assassin in the pay of the queen-mother and Guise; the bullets, however, only tore a finger from his right hand and shattered his left elbow.
  • 1572  |  August 24, the Eve of St. Bartholomew Massacre. Also the wedding day of Margret's wedding to Henry IV.
  • 1572  |  December 15, Countess Beatrix d'Entremont/Coligny was born.

Assassination       

On August 22, 1572 Coligny was shot in the street by Maurevel, an assassin in the pay of the queen-mother and Guise; the bullets, however, only tore a finger from his right hand and shattered his left elbow. The king visited him, but the queen-mother prevented all private discourse between them. On the 24th of August, the night of the massacre, he was attacked in his house, and a servant of the Duke of Guise, generally known as Besme, slew him and cast him from a window into the courtyard at his master's feet. His papers were seized and burned by the queen-mother; among them, according to Brantôme, was a history of the civil war, "très beau et très bien fais, et digne d'estre imprimé."

 

Marriages

By his first wife, Charlotte de Laval (1530-1568), Gaspard had several children: Louise, who married first Charles de Téligny and afterwards William the Silent, Prince of Orange, Francois, Admiral of Guienne, who was one of the devoted servants of Henry IV (Gaspard de Coligny (15841646), son of this Francis, was Marshal of France during the reign of Louis XIII), and Charles (1564-1632), Marquis d'Andelot, a Lieutenant General in Champagne.

Gaspard had one daughter, Countess Jacqueline d'Entremont, also known as Beatrice.

 

Several places were named after him:

  Relatives

 References

Sources

 

(Portraits of Gaspard Coligny)

  

  


(Parris Island)

(Washington National Cathedral and Paris Island)

  

(Chateau Chatillion, residence of Gaspard de Coligny)

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