French Religious Wars

1562 to 1587
Wars of the Protestant Reformation in France

Noteable Battles

Battle of Dreux (Huguenot Rebellion ) catholics victory
Fought 1562, between the Huguenots under the Prince de Condé, and the Catholics under the Constable, Montmorency. The Constable, heading a charge of the Catholic cavalry, was overthrown and captured by Coligny. The Catholics then fled, but the Huguenots, carrying the pursuit too far, were charged and routed by Francois de Guise, and Condé made prisoner. The victory thus rested with the Catholics.
Battle of St. Denis (Third ) catholics victory
Fought November 10, 1567, between the Catholics, under the Constable Montmorenci, and the Huguenots, under the Prince de Condé. Victory rested with the Catholics, but at the cost of the Constable, who was killed, and the battle had no decisive effect upon the course of the war.
Battle of Jarnac (Third ) catholics victory
Fought March 13, 1569, between the Catholics, under the Marshal de Tavannes, and the Huguenots, under the Prince de Conde. The brunt of the action was borne by the Huguenot cavalry, who were overpowered by the Catholics, and Condé slain.
Battle of Montcontour (Belgium ) catholics victory
Fought October 3, 1569, between the Huguenots, under Henri le Bearnais, and the Catholics, under the Duc d'Anjou and Marshal de Tavannes. The Huguenots occupied an untenable position, and at the end of half an hour were utterly routed, and almost exterminated, some 700 only remaining with the colors after the battle.
Battle of Coutras (Eighth ) huguenots victory
Fought 1587 between the Huguenots under Henry of Navarre (Henri IV) and the Catholics under the Duc de Joyeuse. The Catholic army was annihilated, Joyeuse being amongst the slain.
Battle of Arques (Eighth ) huguenots victory
Fought September 23, 1589, between 5,000 Huguenots under Henri IV, and 30,000 Leaguers under the Duc de Mayenne. Henri had taken up a strong position, defended by marshy ground, and of such a nature that Mayenne could only bring against the king 5,000 troops at a time, thus neutralizing the disparity of numbers. He repulsed attack after attack, with heavy loss to the assailants, and eventually Mayenne was forced to withdraw, with the loss of about half his army.
Battle of Ivry (First ) huguenots victory
Fought March 14, 1590, between the Huguenots, under Henri IV, and the Catholics, under the Duc de Mayenne. Henri gained a complete victory, and marched forward to invest Paris.
Siege of La Rochelle (Second ) catholics victory
This fortress, the principal Huguenot stronghold in France, was besieged by the Royal troops, under Richelieu, in 1627. The garrison, under the mayor, Guiton, made a gallant defense, but the assassination of Buckingham prevented the arrival of the promised English succours, and the town surrendered, after holding out for fourteen months.
Battle of Rhé (Huguenot Rebellion ) catholics victory
St. Martin, the capital of this island, was besieged by the English, under the Duke of Buckingham, from July 17 to October 29, 1627. An assault on October 27 was repulsed, and the landing of the Duke of Schomberg, with 6,000 French, on the island, made the English lines untenable, whereupon Buckingham raised the siege. While returning to his ships Buckingham was attacked by the French, and suffered considerably. The English losses during the operations amounted to about 4,000 men.

Story Links
Book Links
Huguenots  in  Stories from French History  by  Lena Dalkeith
House of Valois (cont 4)  in  France: Peeps at History  by  John Finnemore
House of Bourbon  in  France: Peeps at History  by  John Finnemore
Massacre of the Huguenots  in  The Story of Old France  by  H. A. Guerber
The Battle of Courtras  in  The Story of Old France  by  H. A. Guerber
Winning a Crown  in  The Story of Old France  by  H. A. Guerber
Prince of Conde Taken Prisoner  in  The Story of France  by  Mary Macgregor
Siege of La Rochelle  in  The Story of France  by  Mary Macgregor
Coming of the French  in  Our Empire Story  by  H. E. Marshall
Richelieu and the Conspirators  in  Historical Tales: French  by  Charles Morris
Massacre of Bartholomew  in  The Awakening of Europe  by  M. B. Synge

Image Links

A few minutes afterwards my landlord entered, pale and in much distress.
 in Stories from French History

The English embassy in Paris on the day of the Massacre
 in France: Peeps at History

Henry IV at the Battle of Ivry
 in The Story of Old France

Henry VI at Ivry
 in Famous Men of Modern Times

Richelieu on the dike at la Rochelle
 in Famous Men of Modern Times
Gaspard De Coligni
Gaspard De Coligni
 in Back Matter