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View Tree for Gaspard De ColignyGaspard De Coligny (b. February 16, 1518/19, d. August 25, 1572)

Gaspard De Coligny (son of Gaspard De Coligny and Louise de Montmorency) was born February 16, 1518/19 in Châtillon-sur-Loing (Châtillon-Coligny, and died August 25, 1572 in Paris. He married Countess Jacqueline d'Entremont De Coligny on April 25, 1571 in St Porchaire, Saintes, Saintonge, France, daughter of Sebastian de Montbel and Beatrix Escalona.

 Includes NotesNotes for Gaspard De Coligny:
Coligny came of a noble family of Burgundy. His family traced their descent from the 11th century, and in the reign of Louis XI, were in the service of the King of France. His father, Gaspard I de Coligny, known as the Marshal of Châtillon, served in the Italian Wars from 1495 to 1515, and was created Marshal of France in 1516. By his wife, Louise de Montmorency, sister of the future constable, he had three sons, all of whom played an important part in the first period of the Wars of Religion: Odet, Cardinal de Châtillon; Gaspard, the Admiral; and François, Seigneur d'Andelot.

[edit] Early life
Born at Châtillon-sur-Loing, at twenty-two young Gaspard de Coligny came to court. There began a friendship with François of Guise.

In the campaign of 1543 Coligny distinguished himself, and was wounded at the sieges of Montmédy and Bains. In 1544 he served in the Italian campaign under the Count of Enghien, and was knighted on the Field of Ceresole. Returning to France, he took part in different military operations; and having been made colonel-general of the infantry (April 1547), exhibited great capacity and intelligence as a military reformer. That year he married Charlotte de Laval (d. 1568). He was made admiral on the death of Claude d'Annebaut (1552). In 1557 he was entrusted with the defence of Saint-Quentin. In the siege he displayed great courage, resolution, and strength of character; but the place was taken, and he was imprisoned in the stronghold of L'Ecluse. On payment of a ransom of 50,000 crowns he recovered his liberty.

[edit] Protestant leader
By this time he had become a Huguenot, through the influence of his brother, d'Andelot. The first letter which John Calvin addressed to him is dated September 4, 1558. 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, in 1555. They were afterwards expelled by the Portuguese, in 1567. Coligny also was the leading patron for the failed French colony of Fort Caroline in Spanish Florida lead by Jean Ribault in 1562

On the death of Henry II he placed himself, with Louis, Prince of Condé, in the front of his sect, and demanded religious toleration and certain other reforms. In 1560, at the Assembly of Notables at Fontainebleau, the hostility between Coligny and François of Guise broke forth violently. When the civil wars began in 1562, Coligny decided to take arms only after long hesitation, and he was always ready to negotiate. In none of these wars did he show superior genius, but he acted throughout with great prudence and extraordinary tenacity; he was "le héros de la mauvaise fortune."

In 1569 the defeat and death of the Prince of Condé at Jarnac left him sole leader of the Protestant armies. Victorious at Arnay-le-Duc, he obtained peace with the Peace of Saint-Germain (1570). Marrying Jacqueline de Montbel, Countess d'Entremont, and returning to the court in 1571, he grew rapidly in favour with Charles IX. As a means of emancipating the king from the tutelage of his mother and the faction of the Guises, the admiral proposed to him a descent on Spanish Flanders, with an army drawn from both sects and commanded by Charles in person. The king's regard for the admiral, and the bold front of the Huguenots, alarmed Catherine, Queen Mother; and the massacre of St Bartholomew was the consequence.

[edit] 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."

[edit] Marriages and issue
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 (1584–1646), 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.

By his second wife, Jacqueline de Montbel (d.1588), the Countess d'Entremont and Launay-Gelin, Gaspard had one daughter, Beatrice, who became Countess d'Entremont.

More About Gaspard De Coligny and Countess Jacqueline d'Entremont De Coligny:
Marriage: April 25, 1571, St Porchaire, Saintes, Saintonge, France.

Children of Gaspard De Coligny and Countess Jacqueline d'Entremont De Coligny are:
  1. +Beatrice D'Entremont De Coligny, b. December 21, 1572, Saint-Andre-de-Briord, d. date unknown.
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