Admiral de Coligny of Paris!

Many folks passed by the monument and try to figure who it is in Paris! There were even guessing post in a popular travel forum as to who it was! Well I happened to passed by there quite often while working in Paris, and have a picture. Enough to write this post and tell you a bit more on who was Admiral de Coligny of Paris! Oh this is in rue de Rivoli corner with rue de l’Oratoire ,1ér arrondissement, across the street from the Louvre.

And of course, as I am an amateur of history and we have plenty in our belle France; let me tell briefly on the Admiral. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Gaspard de Coligny was born in Châtillon-sur-Loing (today Châtillon-Coligny) and died in Paris, assassinated during the Saint-Barthélemy massacre. Count of Coligny, baron of Beaupont and Beauvoir, Montjuif, Roissiat, Chevignat and other places, lord of Châtillon, admiral of France, he is one of the best known members of the house of Coligny, which extincts in 1694. He is the son of Gaspard Ier de Coligny, Marshal of France under François Ier, and his wife Louise de Montmorency. He is the brother of Odet, Cardinal de Châtillon and François d’Andelot.

In 1533, the year of the schism between Rome and England, Francis I married his son Henry, the Dauphin, to Pope Clement VII’s niece, Catherine de Medici. Grateful, the Pope offered France seven cardinal positions, of which Odet de Coligny, who was barely 16, was one of the beneficiaries. During this time, Coligny continued his studies in the company of the king’s children. In 1542, the Colignys were going to make their debut. The war declared against Charles Quint, Gaspard campaigned in Luxembourg, in the County of Flanders, and in Italy where he participated in the victory without a day after Cerisoles. Peace signed with the emperor in 1544, he took part in the naval offensive commanded by Claude d’Annebault against the English. Several times wounded in these combats, he distinguished himself by his daring. Peace was signed with Henry VIII of England in 1546 leaving Coligny discharge of duties,

King Henri II had as one of his first acts to recall the uncle of Gaspard, the constable of Montmorency. Gaspard, for his part, was appointed ordinary gentleman of the king’s chamber and decorated with the Order of Saint-Michel. England was then eyeing the throne of Scotland, which Mary Stuart had inherited on the death of King James V of Scotland in 1542. A marriage with Edward VI of England, who had just succeeded Henry VIII who died in 1547, would have united the crowns of England and Scotland, which the Guises, in particular François, uncle of Marie Stuart by his sister Marie, wanted at no cost. Coligny was part of the delegation that went to London to negotiate peace. On returning to Paris, judging himself poorly rewarded for the efforts he had made in the service of the king, Coligny retired to his land and took advantage of his free time to write a very rigorous military code which aimed to moralize the behavior of the troops.  The king soon recalled him and Coligny set out again on the campaign. Removed from the siege of Metz by François de Guise, he contributed to Renty’s victory, notably seizing the Spanish artillery. He was appointed admiral of France in 1552 and governor of Picardy.  In 1557, after the breaking of the truce of Vaucelles passed with Charles Quint, the imperial army, led by the duke Emmanuel-Philibert of Savoy, besieged the city of Saint-Quentin, defended by Coligny. After long resistance, he had to surrender on September 27. The battle of Saint-Quentin was a very heavy defeat for France: it led to the Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559.

At court, he urged Catherine de Medici to adopt a policy of conciliation with regard to the Reformation. Originally, very moderate in his adherence to the Protestant Reformation, he refused, out of loyalty to the king, the path of violence and condemned the conspiracy of Amboise. But, weary of court intrigues and removed from power by the Guises, he retired regularly to his home in Châtillon-sur-Loing; in this retreat, reading the books of the innovators changed his religious opinions, and at the instigation of his wife and his brother Andelot, he converted to Protestantism.

In 1562, when war broke out between the Protestant party and the Catholic party, Coligny joined forces with the Prince de Condé. Having difficulty maintaining an army, he negotiated financial aid with Queen Elizabeth I of England and was led to cede the port of Le Havre to her in the Treaty of Hampton Court. He took part in the Battle of Dreux which marked the defeat of the Protestant army against the royal army. With the authorization of King Charles IX, he chose the Huguenot captain Jean Ribault in 1562 to establish a colony in Fort Caroline, Florida (today Jacksonville) with 150 of his co-religionists. French Florida, after two unsuccessful attempts, only lived from 1562 to 1565.

And with Louis I of Condé, François de Coligny and Guyonne de Rieux, he was considered one of the instigators of the surprise of Meaux in 1567, an attempt by the Protestants to seize King Charles IX of France and the queen’s mother Catherine de Medici. The third religious war saw the defeats accumulate: first Jarnac (March 13, 1569), where Condé was assassinated. Then, despite the victory of La Roche-l’Abeille, he wasted time at the siege of Poitiers because his unpaid mercenaries wanted booty, and he had to lift the siege before being beaten and wounded at Moncontour (October 3 1569), where he was defeated by the Duke of Anjou, the future Henri III.  Coligny then fled south with his troops, escaped Monluc and Montmorency-Damville, and joined the army of viscounts in Languedoc. He was then able to regain the initiative, raised troops, plundered the Catholic villages, took Saint-Étienne, won the victory of Arnay-le-Duc and went back in 1570 to La Charité-sur-Loire, thus threatening Paris. The king yielded, and it was then the peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye (August 8, 1570).

On August 22, 1572, shortly after the marriage of Henri de Navarre (future Henri IV), Charles de Louviers, Lord of Maurevert, who had killed the Calvinist leader Vaudrez de Mouy in 1569, shot and wounded Coligny from a house belonging to a faithful des Guise, the canon of Villemur, former tutor to the Duke of Guise (an assassination attempt). Having previously sent his surgeon Ambroise Paré, Charles IX, accompanied by his mother and his brother, went to the bedside of the injured, promising him justice. But the assassination of all the Protestant leaders was then decided and, on the night of August 23-24, 1572, the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre took place. Three lords ,the Duke of Guise, the Duke of Aumale and the half-brother of King Henri, Grand Prior of France were responsible for organizing the assassination of the admiral at his home, at 144 rue de Béthisy. Coligny was finished off in his bed, with a dagger, by Charles Danowitz dit Besme, a captain from Bohemia; his body was thrown out the window, gutted, emasculated and beheaded in the courtyard, again by Besme. The body was then carried to the Seine river, before being dragged through the streets by children and then hanged from the gallows of Montfaucon, place of ordinary executions, where it was exhibited, hanged by the feet.

The axis of the Louvre Oratory passes through the center of the square courtyard. At the beginning of the 17C, Louis XIII realized that the Louvre, under construction, did not have a chapel. He then came up with the idea of ​​having this role play in the church that Jacques Lemercier was building for the Order of the Oratory. The church and the palace were ultimately never reunited. Under Napoleon I, the chapel will become a Protestant temple, but its name, Temple of the Oratory and its orientation recalls its historical link with the Louvre. One of the best known members of the illustrious house of Coligny. Gaspard Ier de Coligny, Marshal of France under François Ier, and his wife Louise de Montmorency. He is the brother of Odet, Cardinal de Châtillon and François d’Andelot. In his honor was inaugurated, on July 24, 1889, the statue of the Admiral, erected, rue de Rivoli, at the bedside of the Oratory of the Louvre, a former Roman Catholic church made available to the Reformation cult. by Napoleon I on February 23, 1811.

paris gaston d orleans rue de rivoli c2009

Gaspard first married, in 1547, Charlotte de Laval, daughter of Count Guy XVI of Laval, in the chapel of the castle of Montmuran in Ille-et-Vilaine (dept35). Charlotte de Laval died in 1568. They had eight children including: Louise de Coligny, wife of Charles de Téligny, then William I of Orange-Nassau, stadtholder of Holland, mother of Frédéric-Henri of Orange-Nassau; François de Coligny, Charles de Coligny, who became Catholic and joined the League camp. In his second marriage, on March 25, 1571 in La Rochelle, he married Jacqueline de Montbel, Countess of Entremont and of Nottage. He died assassinated in 1572, while Jacqueline was pregnant with Béatrice, who was born 4 months after the death of her father.

The Oratory of the Louvre on monument to Coligny :

The Musée d’Orsay to our great men, on Coligny

The Paris tourist office on the oratory of the Louvre

There you go folks, a dandy in my Paris,and now you know the story. I love these spots all over Paris; they are just so many will need time and space! Hope you enjoy the post on the monument to Coligny, and do stop by it while in Paris; its a great area!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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