Gaspard de Saulx

Gaspard de Saulx

Gaspard de Saulx, sieur de Tavannes (1509–1575) was a French Roman Catholic military leader during the Italian Wars and the French Wars of Religion.


He was born in Dijon.

As a page of King Francis I, he was made prisoner by the Imperials in the Battle of Pavia (1525). Later he distinguished himself in the War of Provence and in Battle of Ceresole of 1544.

In 1552 he conquered Metz and had an important role in the French victory at the Battle of Renty (1554). After the conquest of Calais in 1558, he was appointed as Governor General of Burgundy. In this role, he was accused of excessive persecutions against the Protestants, a trait he also displayed in the Huguenot Wars. In the course of the latter he was victorious at the battles of Jarnac and Moncontour. As a reward for his deeds, he was made Marshal of France on November 28, 1570.

Saulx had also a role in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre on August 24, 1572. In the October of the same year he was appointed as governor of Provence and Admiral of the Levant.

He died in his castle at Sully, and was buried in the Sainte Chapelle of Dijon. His memoirs are an important primary source for the period.

Saulx is featured as a supporting character and the main antagonist in the 1966 Doctor Who serial The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, in which he is played by André Morell.


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