Sunday, 25 March 2018

D is for... de Coligny

Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny was the most senior Protestant statesman in France. His prominence concerned the Catholic court - especially his close friendship with the young King Charles IX. He was a valued confidante of the king, and his rivals at court feared that he might unduly sway the monarch to adopt pro-Protestant policies. Of particular concern was his attempt to encourage the king to lend military support to the Dutch Republic, against the Spanish Hapsburg forces. During the festivities arranged for the wedding of the king's sister to the Protestant King Henry of Navarre, the Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, agreed to a plot to assassinate the Admiral. The attempt failed but he was seriously wounded. Fearing a backlash from the thousands of Protestants who had come to Paris for the wedding, it was decided that all the senior Protestants would be killed. The ensuing massacre spread, leading to many deaths. de Coligny was stabbed in his sickbed, and his body thrown from the window into the street. The Doctor and his companion Steven were in Paris at the time of the massacre - 24th August 1572.

Played by: Leonard Sachs. Appearances: The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve (1966).

  • Sachs returned to the series in 1983 to play the Time Lord President Borusa in Arc of Infinity.

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