Siege of Orléans (1563)

Siege of Orleans
Part of Wars of Religion

The siege of Orleans, 1570 engraving by Tortorel and Perrissin.
Result Precipitated the end of the conflict
Huguenots Catholic
Commanders and leaders
François de Coligny d'Andelot Francis of Guise

The siege of Orleans was part of the First French War of Religion, a conflict provoked by the Massacre of Vassy by Catholic troops of the Duke of Guise on 1 March 1562. As a result, the Prince of Conde, military leader of the Reformers, moved into Orleans to turn it into one of his strongholds. The city became Protestant; only reformed worship was tolerated, its institutions (the governor, the city aldermen, etc.) became dominated by Protestants, the bishop was removed in April 1562 and churches were desecrated and relics destroyed.

In 1563, Catholic troops led by the Duke of Guise set out to recapture Orleans, the defence of which was entrusted to the brother of Admiral de Coligny, François de Coligny d'Andelot. On 18 February 1563, when the position of the besieged had become difficult, Poltrot de Mere, a convicted Protestant, assassinated François de Guise. This assassination precipitated a treaty between the two parties which led to the Edict of Amboise on 19 March 1563 and established peace between the two communities. Orleans continued to live under this treaty of conciliation until 1567.



    Assassination of the Duke of Guise, 18 Feb 1563. Engraving by Tortorel and Perrissin.

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