560000BC In 2015 French students found a human
tooth from about this time in a cave at Tautavel in southwestern
France, the oldest human body part ever discovered in the country.
176500BC In France Neanderthals created two stone
rings in a cave in Bruniquel. The oval structures, measuring 172 and
25 square feet, and were discovered in 1990 and dated to about this
time in 2016.
(SFC, 5/26/16, p.A4)
40000BC The bones of a Neanderthal baby from this
time were found in southwestern France in 1914. The "Le Moustier 2"
bones were put away and re-discovered in 1996.
(SFC, 9/5/02, p.A16)
34000BC A Neanderthal skeleton from this time was
found near the village of St. Cesaire in 1979. It indicated survival
following a fractured skull.
(WSJ, 4/23/02, p.B1)
28000BC Homo sapiens (modern). Skull of adult male
found by French workmen (L. Lartet) at Cro-Magnon, France in 1868.
(NG, Nov. 1985, p. 573)
28,000BC The Cussac cave in France was found in
2000 to contain drawings from this time. Bones of 5 people from the
Neolithic era were also found.
(SFC, 7/5/01, p.A8)
26000BC-20000 BC This marks approximately the
Gravettian (see 30-22k) cultural period. It was named after the
southern French site of La Gravette.
(AM, 9/01, p.12)
25000BC In 2006 France took over ownership of a
cave in the Vilhonneur forest where a human skeleton that dated to
this time was found in a decorated room.
(SFC, 6/3/06, p.A2)
25000BC The earliest known atlatl dated to this
time. This example from France of the device, use to throw a spear,
was made of reindeer antler.
(Econ, 4/12/08, p.90)
15000BC The cave art of Paleolithic man of
Lascaux, France dates to this time. It was discovered in 1940 and
contains some 600 paintings, 1,500 engravings, and innumerable
mysterious dots and geometric figures. The dots were named
"claviforms" and their age was estimated at 12,000
(NG, Oct. 1988, p.434,485)(SFEC, 5/30/99, p.T4)
15000BC-12000BC Solutrean phase of the Upper
Paleolithic is named after the Roche de Solutre near Macon.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
12000BC The Niaux cave in Tarascon dated back to
the Ice Age.
(SFEC, 5/30/99, p.T1)
4500BC Neolithic burial mounds dating to this time
were later discovered at Carnac, northwest France.
(Arch, 5/05, p.32)
800-700BCE The Languedoc region of France has
produced wine since this time. Langue d’oc refers to the language of
Occitan spoken in the region. Greeks began planting vineyards in
Languedoc around 600BCE.
(WSJ, 2/09/99, p.A20)(SSFC, 6/17/01, p.T10)(WSJ,
123BCE The Romans won a victory over the Gauls
near a 3,000 foot peak that was named Mt. Sainte-Victoire in
commemoration. It established a marker between civilization and
(WSJ, 2/13/04, p.A12)
c100BCE The community situated on an island in the
Seine River was known by the Romans in the first century BCE as
Lutetia. At the time, it was occupied by the Gallic tribe called
Parisii. As the city grew into a Roman trading center, it came to be
known as Paris.
59-52BCE Caesar’s legions battled the Gallo-Celtic
tribesmen of King Vercingetorix in northern Burgundy.
(SSFC, 12/5/04, p.F4)
52BCE Caesar climaxed his
conquest of Gaul at Alesia in northern Burgundy where he vanquished
Celtic forces under Vercingetorix.
(NGM, 5/77)(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
40-60CE The Pont du Gard was built to carry an
aqueduct serving Nimes, France. The 160-foot high structure is 900
feet long with 3 tiers of stone arches.
197 Feb 19, Lucius Septimius
Severus' army beat Clodius Albinus at Lyon. D Clodius Septimus
Albinus, Roman dignitary in England, died in the battle.
202 St. Iranaeus around this
time was Bishop of Lugdunum, Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire
(later Lyons, France). He was an early church father and apologist,
and his writings were formative in the early development of
236-250 In the third century Denis was sent from
Italy to convert Gaul, forging a link with the "apostles to the
Gauls" reputed to have been sent out with six other missionary
bishops under the direction of Pope Fabian (236-250). He was Bishop
of Paris. He was martyred, with his companions Rusticus and
Eleutherius, in connection with the Decian persecution of
Christians, shortly after 250 AD.
268 Marcus Cassianius Latinius
Postumus, a Roman emperor of Batavian origin, died about this time.
He usurped power from Gallienus in 260 and formed the so called
Gallic Empire. He was recognized in Gaul, Germania, Britannia and
Iberia until his murder in 268.
273 The Gallic Empire of the
Batavian Postumus ended.
286 Carausius, a Roman naval
officer, seized power in Britain and northern Gaul ruled until he
was assassinated in 293.
300-400 The 1st French church dedicated to the
Virgin Mary was built in the 4th century on the hill site of the
later Chartres cathedral.
(Hem., 10/97, p.83)
300-400 Saint Nectarius of Auvergne (also known as
Nectarius of St-Nectaire, Nectarius of Limagne, Necterius of
Senneterre), venerated as a 4th century martyr and Christian
missionary, was one of the seven missionaries sent by Pope Fabian
from Rome to Gaul to spread Christianity there. Nectarius was
accompanied by the priests Baudimius (Baudenius, Baudime) and
Auditor (Auditeur); tradition states that they were all brothers.
390 Jul 16, Brennus and Gauls
defeated the Romans at Allia.
394 Sep 8, Arbogast, French
general, committed suicide.
397 Nov 8, Martin of Tours, [St
Martin], bishop of Tours, died. [see Nov 11]
397 Nov 11, Martinus (81), (St
Martin), Roman bishop of Tours, died. [see Nov 8]
451 Apr 8, Attila's Huns
plundered Metz and continued moving south along the Moselle River.
(ON, 4/12, p.2)
451 Jun 20, Roman and Barbarian
warriors halted Attila’s army at the Catalaunian Plains
(Catalarinische Fields) in eastern France. Attila the Hun was
defeated by a combined Roman and Visigoth army. Theodoric I, the
Visigothic king, was killed. The Huns moved south into Italy but
were defeated again. Some sources date this on Sep 20. Attila and
his brother Bleda jointly inherited the Hunnish Kingdom,
headquartered in what later became Hungary. Attila later murdered
Bleda to gain full control.
451 Sep 20, Roman General
Aetius defeated Attila the Hun at Chalons-sur-Marne (Battle of the
Catalaunian Plains). Many sources date this on Jun 20.
455AD Jul 9, Avitus, the Roman
military commander in Gaul, became Emperor of the West.
496 Clovis, king of the Salian
or Merovingian Franks, became the first of the pagan barbarians to
508 The Franks, led by Clovis,
took Paris and made it their capital. Under Charlemagne, the capital
was moved to Aachen and Paris waned, raided repeatedly by Norsemen
during the 9th and 10th centuries.
508 Clovis, king of the Franks
(later France), defeated the Visigoths and pushed into Spain.
511 Nov 11, Clovis (45), king
of Salische France and founder of Merovingians, died. [see Nov 27]
511 Nov 27, Clovis, king of the
Franks, died and his kingdom was divided between his four sons. [see
524 Jun 21, Battle at Vezerone:
Burgundy beat France.
538 Nov 30, St. Gregory of
Tours, chronicler and bishop, was born.
573 Aug 20, Gregory of Tours
was selected as the bishop of Tours.
636 Nov 1, Nicholas
Boileau-Despreaux, French poet, was born. He was also a critic and
official royal historian and wrote "Lutrin. "
708 In France Bishop Aubert of
Avranches had a dream in which Archangel Michael persuaded him to
build an oratory dedicated to the saint on the rock off the Normandy
coast known as Mont Tombe. Over the years it grew and became known
as Mont St. Michel.
(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.P18)
711 Apr 14, Childebert III
(~27), king of the French, died.
732 Oct 10, At Tours, France,
Charles Martel killed Yemenite general Abd el-Rahman and halted the
Muslim invasion of Europe. Islam's westward spread was stopped by
the Franks at the Battle of Tours (also known as the Battle of
741 Oct 22, Charles Martel of
Gaul died at Quiezy. His mayoral power was divided between his two
sons, Pepin III and Carloman.
742 Apr 2, Charlemagne (d.814),
Charles I the Great, King of the Franks and first Holy Roman emperor
(800-14), was born. His capital was at Aachen (Acquisgrana in
(V.D.-H.K.p.105)(SFEM, 10/12/97, p.46)(HN,
743-1194 Five cathedrals were built on the site of
Chartres cathedral over this period.
(Hem., 10/97, p.83)
768 Sep 24, Pepin the Short
(54) of Gaul died. His dominions were divided between his sons
Charles (Charlemagne) and Carloman.
(PC, 1992, p.67)
768-814AD Charlemagne becomes king of the Franks
and emperor of the former Western Roman Empire.
771 Dec 4, With the death of
his brother Carloman, Charlemagne became sole ruler of the Frankish
771-814 Reign of Charlemagne.
(Jap. Enc., BLDM, p. 214)
774-814AD Charlemagne became king of the Lombards.
778 Aug 15, At the Battle at
Roncesvalles the Basques beat Charlemagne.
(PC, 1992, p.67)
783 Jul 12, Bertha "with the
great feet", wife of French king Pippin III, died.
794 Aug 10, Fastrada (30), 3rd
wife of French king Charlemagne, died.
794 Charlemagne created a
single currency for his empire.
(Econ, 6/18/11, p.30)
800 Dec 25, Pope Leo III
crowned Frankish warrior-king Charlemagne as heir of the Roman
emperors at the basilica of St. Peter's at Rome.
(V.D.-H.K.p.105)(Econ, 9/4/10, p.56)
800-900 In France monks moved inland from the
Loire valley to escape the depredations of the Vikings and revived
the making of Chablis wine with Chardonnay grapes.
(SFC, 7/16/97, Z1 p.4)
814 Jan 28, Charlemagne (71),
German emperor, Holy Roman Emperor (800-814), died. In 1968 Jacques
Boussard authored “The Civilisation of Charlemagne." In 2004
Alessandro Barbero authored “Charlemagne: Father of a Continent."
(www.tiscali.co.uk)(Econ, 1/3/04, p.39)(Econ,
833 Jul 20, Ansegis (Ansegius,
63), French abbot of Fontenelle, author, died.
839 Charles III the Fat,
sometimes called Charles II of France, was born. He was the son of
Louis the German and grandson of Charlemagne. Charles III the Fat
was a Frankish king and emperor. His fall in 887 marked the
final disintegration of the empire of Charlemagne. He was the
youngest son of Louis the German and was crowned emperor by Pope
John VIII in 881 and became king of all the East Franks in 882,
succeeding his brother Louis the Younger. Charles III the Fat died
on January 13, 888.
840 Mar 14, Eginhard (69),
French nobleman, biographer (Vita Karoli Magni), died.
840 Jun 6, Agobard, archbishop
of Lyon (anti-Semite), died.
841 Jun 25, Charles the Bald
and Louis the German defeated Lothar at Fontenay.
843 Apr 19, Judith, French
empress, 2nd wife of Louis de Vrome, died.
843 Jun 24, Vikings destroyed
843 Aug 10, Treaty of Verdun:
Brothers Lotharius I, Louis the German and Charles the Bare divided
846 Nov 1, Louis II, the
Stutterer, King of France (877-79), was born.
850-930 Hucbaldus Elnonensis, was a French monk
and composer, who became known for writing poetry about the
hairless. He wrote "Ecloga de Calvis," (In Praise of Bald Men) for
Hatto, a bald archbishop. All 150 lines of the Latin verse begin
with the letter c (calvus means bald in Latin).
(WSJ, 11/23/98, p.B1)
855 Sep 28, The Emperor Lothar
died in Gaul, and his kingdom was divided between his three sons.
869 Aug 8, Lotharius II, King
of Middle-France (Lotharingen) (855-869), died.
870 Aug 8, The Treaty of Mersen
(Meerssen) partitioned the realm of Lothair II by his uncles Louis
the German of East Francia and Charles the Bald of West Francia, the
two surviving sons of Emperor Louis I the Pious.
875 Aug 12, Louis II (~50),
king of Italy, emperor of France, died.
876 Oct 8, Charles the Bald was
defeated at the Battle of Andernach. Louis the Young beat Charles
(HN, 10/8/98)(MC, 10/8/01)
876 Charles the Bald donated a
relic, the Sancta Camisia, to the city of Chartres. The relic was
believed to the childbirth tunic of the Virgin Mary.
(Hem., 10/97, p.86)
877 Oct 6, Charles II the Kale,
King of France and Roman emperor (875-77), died at 54.
879 Apr 10, Louis II, the
Stutterer, King of France (877-79), died and Louis III was crowned
King of France.
879 Sep 17, Charles III, [The
Simple], king of France (893-923), was born.
882 Aug 25, Louis III (19),
King of France (879-82), died.
891 Sep 1, Norse defeated near
896 Feb 22, Pope Formosa was
crowned king Arnulf of Carinthia, French emperor.
899 Dec 8, Arnulf of Carinthia,
last emperor of Austria-France, died.
900-1000 Alsace became part of Germany in the 10th
(SFEC, 1/31/99, p.T4)
900-1000AD The French village of Prelenfrey dates
back to the 10th Century.
(SFC, 6/23/96, p.T8)
910 The abbey at Cluny was
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
911 A relic donated by Charles
the Bald, the Sancta Camisia, was displayed above the city walls of
Chartres and seemed to repel a Viking attack. The relic was believed
to be the Virgin Mary’s childbirth tunic.
(Hem., 10/97, p.86)
921 Nov 7, Treaty of Bonn: East
France and West France recognized each other.
922 Jun 9, French republic
chose Robert I as King of France.
948-994 St. Mayeul managed the abbey at Cluny.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
954 Nov 12, Lotharius became
king of France.
956 Jun 16, Hugo the Great,
duke of France, died.
962 Feb 2, Otto I (912-973),
founder of the Holy Roman Empire, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by
Pope John XII.
985 Montpellier, France, was
founded at the intersection of 3 trade and pilgrimage routes.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R22)
986 Mar 2, Lotharius (44), King
of France (954-86), died.
987 May 21, Louis V, last
Carolingian King of France (966-987), died. The Carolingian period
of Frankish rule from the dynasty of Pepin the Short ended in France
with the death of Louis V (20). [see May 22]
(PCh, 1992, p.78)(AHD, 1971, p.205)(MC, 5/21/02)
987 May 22, Louis V le Faineant
(20), the Lazy, king of France (986-87), was allegedly poisoned by
his mother. [see May 21]
987 Jul 3, The count of Paris,
Hugh Capet (49), became king of France. Paris soon emerged as the
center of French political, cultural and religious life, once again
becoming the capital.
(PCh, 1992, p.78)(HNQ, 4/18/02)(MC, 7/3/02)
987 Dec 30, French King Hugh
Capet crowned his son Robert the Compassionate.
994-1049 St. Odilon managed the abbey at Cluny.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
996 Oct 24, Hugh Capet, king of
France (987-96), died at 58.
1000 The Loire Valley vineyard
Chateau de Goulaine was founded. In 2004 it was considered to be
Europe’s oldest and continuous family business
(Econ, 12/18/04, p.104)
1003 May 12, Gerbert, French
scholar, died in Rome.
(SC, internet, 5/12/97)
1017-1144 A Romanesque nave was added to the abbey
Mont St. Michel off the coast of Normandy, France.
(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.P18)
1032 Feb 2, Conrad II claimed
the thrown of France.
1047 Construction began on the
Abbaye-aux-Dames near the town of Saintes.
(SFEC, 6/15/97, p.T8)
1049-1109 St. Hughes managed the abbey at Cluny.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
1059 May 23, Henri I crowned
his son King Philip I of France.
1060 Aug 4, Henry I (52), King
of France (1027-60), died.
1065 Apr 16, The Norman Robert
Guiscard took Bari, ending five centuries of Byzantine rule in
1070 Jun 4, Roquefort cheese
was accidentally discovered in a cave near Roquefort, France, when a
shepherd found a lunch he had forgotten several days before.
1072 Jan 10, Robert Guiscard
and his brother Roger took Palermo in Sicily.
1075 Feb 16, Ordericus Vitalis,
French monk, historian, poet, was born.
1076 Feb 22, Godfried III, with
the Hump, duke of Lower Lorraine, was murdered. [see Feb 26]
1076 Feb 26, Godfried III with
the Hump, duke of Netherlands-Lutheran, was murdered. [see Feb 24]
1079 Peter Abelard (d.1142)
was born in Brittany. He later became a great medieval scholar in
Paris. Around 1117 he secretly married Heloise, niece of the Canon
Fulbert of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. The Canon Fulbert hired
gangsters who waylaid and castrated Abelard. His most famous
theological work, "Sic et Non" (Yes and No), consisted of a
collection of apparent contradictions drawn from various sources,
together with commentaries showing how to resolve the contradictions
and providing rules for resolving others. He also wrote "Scito te
Ipsum" (Know Thyself), which advanced the notion that sin consists
not in deeds, which in themselves are neither good nor bad, but only
in intentions. In 2005 James Barge authored “Heloise and Abelard: A
(V.D.-H.K.p.116)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R22)(WSJ,
1081-1151 Abbot Suger of St. Denis, France. He was
the 1st great patron of the arts in the current millennium.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R53)
1086 St. Bruno founded the
austere Carthusian order of monks in Grenoble. The silent order’s
mother house in La Grand Chartreuse, France, later maintained
support by the sale of its Chartreuse liqueur. Denys Rackley (d.1998
at 76), Carthusian monk, helped build the only American monastery of
the Carthusian order, the Charterhouse of the Transfiguration in
(WUD, 1994, p.227)(SFC, 2/24/98, p.A22)(SFC,
1087 Sep 9, William the
Conqueror, Duke of Normandy and King of England, died in Rouen while
conducting a war which began when the French king made fun of him
for being fat.
1095 Nov 27, In Clermont,
France, Pope Urbana II made an appeal for warriors to relieve
Jerusalem, defeat the Turks and recapture the Holy Sepulchre from
the Muslims. He was responding to false rumors of atrocities in the
Holy Land. The first Crusade sparked a renewal of trade between
Europe and Asia. Urban declared to the assembled that Europe was
"too narrow for your large population" and urged them to take up
swords against the Saracens who defiled "that land that floweth with
milk and honey," thus inspiring the Crusaders. Peter, a disheveled
former soldier, seized the moment, preaching the "People’s Crusade"
and quickly gathering a following of more than 20,000 Crusaders,
including Walter, a French Knight.
(V.D.-H.K.p.109)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)(HN,
1096 Saint-Eutrope’s church was
consecrated in the town of Saintes, the ancient capital of the
(SFEC, 6/15/97, p.T8)
c1097 The pilgrimage routes of
France (chemins de pelerinage) were begun. Their 900th anniversary
was celebrated in 1997.
(SFEC, 6/15/97, p.T8)
1100s Troubadour musicians
organized in southern France.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1100-1200 Chretien de Troyes in the 12th century
introduced Camelot into the Arthurian legend and placed Lancelot in
the saga along with the quest for the Holy Grail.
(WSJ, 3/27/98, p.W10)
1100-1200 In France the Abbot Suger was busy
embellishing the abbey of St. Denis.
(WSJ, 3/28/97, p.A16)
1100-1200 St. Martin Romanesque church was built
in Chapaize in southern Burgundy.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T5)
c1100-1200 Albigenses were members of the
Catharistic sect that arose in southern France in the 11th century.
(WUD, 1994 p.34)
1101 William IX, the Duke of
Aquitaine, returned from the Crusades and composed songs about his
adventures, thus becoming the first troubadour. He was
excommunicated for licentious acts, but his lyrics led to the
"courtly love" genre.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1109 Apr 28, Hugo van Cluny,
6th abbot of Cluny, saint, died.
1113 Aug 24, Geoffrey
Plantagenet, conquered Normandy, was born in France.
1114 Trade fairs were held at
Champagne, France, at the crossing of roads from Flanders, Germany,
Italy and Provence.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
c1117 Abelard (1079-1142),
master of a school in Paris, impregnated Heloise, his single female
student. [See 1079]
(WSJ, 2/11/05, p.W6)
1118 Apr 2, Boudouin I of
Bologne and Edessa, 1st crusader, king of Jerusalem, died.
1118 Dec 18, Afonso the
Battler, the Christian King of Aragon captured Saragossa, Spain, a
major blow to Muslim Spain.
1119 The French knight Hugues
de Payens approached King Baldwin II of Jerusalem and Warmund,
Patriarch of Jerusalem, and proposed creating a monastic order for
the protection of the pilgrims.
1127 Mar 2, Charles the Good,
Count of Flanders, was murdered. Flemish towns (Ghent, Bruges and
Ypres) forced the selection of Thierry of Alsace as the new count
despite Louis VI’s choice of the son of Normandy’s Robert Curthose.
(PCh, 1992, p.92)(SC, 3/2/02)
1130 The church at the abbey at
Cluny was completed and measured over 400 feet long.
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
1131 Oct 25, Louis VII the
Young, King of France, was crowned.
1135 The date of the Last
Judgement carved into the tympanum of the Romanesque basilica in
(SFEC, 6/15/97, p.T8)
1137 Aug 1, Louis the Younger
(1120-1180) of France was crowned King Louis VII. He had married
Eleanor, the Duchess of Aquitaine, just a few months earlier.
1142 Apr 21, Pierre Abelard
(62), French philosopher (priestly lover of Heloise), died.
1146 France’s warrior-abbot
Bernard of Clairvaux built the La Cordelle chapel in northern
(SFCM, 10/7/07, p.18)
1147 Oct 25, At the Battle at
Dorylaeum (Turkey) Arabs beat Konrad III's crusaders. Conrad III of
Germany and Louis VII of France had assembled 500,000 men for the
2nd Crusade. Most of the men were lost to starvation, disease and
1148 Jul 24, Crusaders, led by
Louis VII of France and Conrad III of Germany, attacked Damascus. It
was a dismal failure and effectively ended the 2nd Crusade.
1152 Mar, The marriage between
King Louis VII of France and Eleanor of Aquitaine was annulled at a
royal council in Beaugency.
(ON, 6/12, p.5)
1152 May 18, Eleanor of
Aquitaine married Henry Plantagenet, a rebellious vassal of King
(ON, 6/12, p.5)
1153 Aug 20, Bernard de
Clairvaux, French saint, died.
1154 Dec 19, Henry Plantagenet
of the Angevin dynasty was crowned Henry II, King of England with
Eleanor of Aquitaine as queen.
1160 Jul 21, Peterus Lombardus,
Italian theologian, bishop of Paris, died.
1160 Dec 6, Jean Bodel's "Jeu
de St Nicholas," premiered in Arras.
1165 Aug 21, Philip II
Augustus, 1st great Capetian king of France (1179-1223), was born.
1166 Diarmaid Mac Murchada,
King of Leinster, met with Henry II in Aquitaine after he was
dispossessed of land by Ruaidhri O Conchobair, the High King of
Ireland. This meeting instigated the Norman invasion of 1169.
(Econ, 5/28/11, p.18)
1171 Oct 18, Henry II
(1133-1189) arrived in Ireland from France with an army and declared
himself "Lord of Ireland". All of the Normans, along with many Irish
princes, took oaths of homage to Henry by November, and he left
after six months. He never returned, but in 1177 he named his
youngest son, Prince John, as Lord of Ireland.
1173 The Waldensian church was
founded about this time by a wealthy merchant from Lyon, France,
Pierre Valdo (c1140-c1205), who gave up his belongings to preach a
Gospel of simplicity and poverty that condemned papal excesses. He
was excommunicated in the early 1180s and his followers persecuted
as heretics by Rome. By 1215, the Waldensians were declared
heretical and subject to intense persecution; the group endured near
annihilation in the seventeenth century, and were then confronted
with organized and generalized discrimination in the centuries that
followed. In 2015 Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the Catholic
Church's persecution of members the Waldensian church.
1180 Aug 11, Guillaume de Sens,
French master builder (Canterbury), died.
1180 Nov 14, Laurcan O'Toole
(b.1128), Archbishop of Dublin (1161-1180), died in France. His name
was later anglicized to Laurence O'Toole. He was canonized only
forty-five years after his death.
1180 In Montpellier a medical
school was founded.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R22)
1184 The first medieval
inquisition, the episcopal inquisition, was established by a papal
bull entitled Ad abolendam, "For the purpose of doing away with."
The inquisition was in response to the growing Catharist heresy in
southern France. It is called "episcopal" because it was
administered by local bishops, which in Latin is episcopus. In 2012
Cullen Murphy authored “God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the making
of the Modern World."
1187 Sep 5, Louis VIII,
[Coeur-de-Lion] king of France (1223-26), was born.
1189 Jan 21, Philip Augustus,
Henry II of England and Frederick Barbarossa assembled the troops
for the Third Crusade.
1190 The Louvre Museum in Paris
was built as a fortress.
(SFC, 6/16/96, T-5)
1194 The French cathedral at
Chartres was mostly destroyed by fire. The Sancta Camisia relic
survived intact and the cathedral was rebuilt in 29 years. In 2008
Leo Hollis authored “Universe of Stone: Chartres Cathedral and the
Triumph of the Modern Mind."
(Hem., 10/97, p.86)(Econ, 6/7/08, p.97)
1196 The Chateau Gaillard in
Normandy was built by Richard the Lionhearted, Duke of Normandy, to
protect his domain from Philip Augustus, King of France.
(AMNH, DT, 1998)
c1197 A stone labyrinth was
laid in the floor of the Chartres Cathedral by Benedictine monks.
The pattern of "sacred" geometry was copied and used for floor
patterns in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral (1995) and California
Pacific Medical Center.
(SFC, 6/6/97, p.A19)
1199 Apr 6, Richard I "the
Lion-hearted" (41), King of England (1189-99), died. Richard was
killed by an arrow at the siege of the castle of Chaluz in France.
(HN, 4/6/99)(MC, 4/6/02)
c1200-1300 The Abbey of Royaumont was established.
(SFC, 9/8/97, p.D5)
1200-1300 The abbey on Mont St. Michel was
established. In 1998 it was planned to remove the sand around the
rocky island off the Normandy coast and re-establish its maritime
(SFEC, 5/10/98, p.T3)
1201 Oct 9, Robert de Sorbon,
founder of Sorbonne University, Paris, was born.
1202 Apr 28, King Philip II
threw out John-without-Country, from France.
1204 Apr 1, Eleanor of
Aquitaine (81), wife of Louis VII and Henry II, died in Poitiers. In
1950 Amy Kelly authored “Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings."
1204 Apr 12, The Fourth Crusade
sacked Constantinople. Constantinople fell to a combined force of
Franks and Venetians. The 4th Crusade failed to reach Palestine but
sacked the Byzantine Christian capital of Constantinople.
(AM, May/Jun 97 p.)(NH, 9/96, p.22)(HN, 4/12/98)
1204 France won back Normandy
but the people of the isle of Jersey chose to remain loyal to
England. The Chateau Gaillard of Richard the Lionhearted was
defeated and partly dismantled as punishment.
(Sky, 4/97, p.28)(AMNH, DT, 1998)
1204 Apr 1, Eleanor of
Aquitaine (81), wife of Louis VII and Henry II, died. In 1950 Amy
Kelly authored “Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Four Kings."
1211 In France construction
began on the Reims Cathedral about this time and continued for 60
(SSFC, 4/27/14, p.Q6)
1211-1228 Vaulted halls called “La Marveille" were
added to the abbey of Mont St. Michel off the coast of Normandy,
(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.P18)
1212 Stephen, a shepherd boy
from Cloyes-sur-le-Loir, France, had a vision of Jesus and set out
to deliver a letter to the King of France. He gathered 30,000
children who went to Marseilles with plans to ship to the Holy Land
and conquer the Muslims with love instead of arms. They got shipped
to North Africa and were sold in the Muslim slave markets.
1213 Sep 12, Simon de Montfort
defeated Raymond of Toulouse and Peter II of Aragon at Muret,
1214 Apr 25, Louis IX, king of
France (1226-1270), was born.
1214 Jul 27, At the Battle of
Bouvines in France, Philip Augustus of France defeated John of
1215 Aug 24, Pope Innocent III,
following a request from King John, declared the Magna Carta
invalid. The barons of England soon retaliated by inviting King
Philip of France to come to England. Philip accepted the offer.
(MC, 8/24/02)(ON, 7/04, p.2)
1216 Oct 28, Henry III of
England (9) was crowned. Regents led him to agree to the demands
made by the barons at Runnymede. Prince Louis, repudiated by the
barons, returned to France.
(HN, 10/28/98)(ON, 7/04, p.2)
1217 Aug 24, Eustace "the
Monk", French buccaneer, was killed in battle.
1218 Simon IV de Montfort
(b.1160), Norman knight and leader of the crusade against the
Albigenses (1202-1204), died at the siege of Toulouse.
1220 In France the main
structure of Chartres cathedral was completed. In 2008 Philip Ball
authored “Universe of Stone: A Biography of Chartres Cathedral."
1221 In France the Chateau de
Bagnols castle was built. Guichard, Lord of Oingt, built the first
three of its 5 round towers. It was restored in the 1990s by English
publishing mogul Paul Hamlyn and his wife Helen.
(SFEM, 10/4/98, p.6)
1223 Jul 14, Philip II Augustus
(57), King of France (1180-1223), died. Louis VIII succeeded his
(HN, 7/14/98)(MC, 7/14/02)
1225-1274 Thomas Aquinas, Italian scholastic
philosopher and major theologian of the Roman Catholic Church. He
maintained that the question of the beginning of time could never be
(WUD, 1994, p.75)(WSJ, 8/21/98, p.W13)
1226 Nov 8, Louis VIII (39),
the Lion, King of France (1223-26), died. He was succeeded by Louis
(HN, 11/6/98)(MC, 11/8/01)
1236 Dec 23, Philippus
Cancellarius, French theologian and poet (Summa Cum Laude), died.
1238 Sep 28, James of Aragon
retook Valencia, Spain, from the Arabs.
1242 Jun 6, 24 wagonloads of
Talmudic books were burned in Paris.
1244 Aug 23, Turks expelled the
crusaders under Frederick II from Jerusalem.
1244 Oct 17, The Sixth Crusade
ended when an Egyptian-Khwarismian force almost annihilated the
Frankish army at Gaza.
c1244 Pope Innocent III
launched the Albigensian Crusade, a forerunner of the Inquisition,
that systematically besieged and exterminated the Cathars.
(SSFC, 6/17/01, p.T10)
1244 The Cathars, a group of
Catholic heretics, settled at Montsegur, France, in the Ariege
region. They were besieged for more than a year and chose to burn at
the stake rather than submit. Occitania was the ancient name for
this region of Languedoc, where the language of Occitan is spoken.
(SFEC, 12/8/96, p.T1)(SSFC, 6/17/01, p.T10)
1245 Jul 27, Frederick II of
France was deposed by a council at Lyons, which found him guilty of
1246 May 22, Henry Raspe was
elected anti-king by the Rhenish prelates in France.
1248 Nov 23, Seville, France
surrendered to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege.
1250 Apr 6, Louis IX
(1214-1270), King of France, lost the Battle of Fariskur, Egypt, and
was captured by Muslim forces.
1250 Apr 30, King Louis IX of
France was ransomed for one million dollars. The Mamluk dynasty
exacted 240 tons of silver for his release.
(HN, 4/30/98)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R4)
1256 France banned gambling
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R34)
1269 Jun 19, King Louis IX of
France decreed all Jews must wear a badge of shame.
1270 Aug 25, King Louis IX
(56), King of France (1226-70), died on The Eighth Crusade, which
was decimated by the Plague.
(PCh, 1992, p.114)(V.D.-H.K.p.110)(MC, 8/25/02)
1274 May 7, Second Council of
1274 Thomas Aquinas was
summoned before a council at Lyons to answer for his opinions. He
was publicly chastised but not condemned. He died in this year.
(V.D.-H.K.p.122)(WUD, 1994, p.75)
1275 May 23, King Edward I of
England ordered a cessation to the persecution of French Jews.
1280 St. Julien-le-Pauvre was
built in Paris. It became a barn during the French revolution and is
now a Greek Orthodox church.
(SFC, 9/1/96, T8)
1282 Mar 30, Furious
inhabitants of Palermo attacked French occupation force in the
"Sicilian Vespers." The Mafia appeared in Sicily to revolt against
French rule after a drunken soldier attacked a young woman on her
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)(MC, 3/30/02)
1282 Mar 31, The great massacre
of the French in Sicily, "The Sicilian Vespers," came to an end.
1282 Apr 28, Villagers in
Palermo led a revolt against French rule in Sicily.
1285 Oct 5, Philippe III, the
Stout, King of France (1270-85), died.
1288 Apr 24, Jews of Yroyes
France were accused of ritual murder.
1289 Oct 4, Louis X, the
Stubborn, king of France (1314-16), was born.
1290 Aug 16, Charles of Valois
married Margaret of Anjou.
c1290-1361 Philippe de Vitry, French music
theorist, composer and poet.
(WUD, 1994, p.1598)(SFC, 2/15/99, p.E7)
1300 Paris, with its population
between 200,000 and 300,000, was at this time the largest city in
1300-1377 Guillaume de Machaut, French poet and
(WUD, 1994, p.629)(SFC, 2/15/99, p.E7)
1302 Jul 11, An army of French
knights, led by the Count of Artois, was routed by Flemish pikemen.
1303 May 20, France returned
Gascony to England’s Edward I.
(HN, 5/20/98)(PC, 1992 ed, p121)
1303 Sep 8, Anagni: French king
Philip IV captured Pope Boniface VIII.
1305 Apr 2, French Queen Jeanne
de Navarre (b.1273) died. In 1919 a “Book of Hours" prayer book,
that was made for her, sold for a record price at Sotheby’s.
(http://tinyurl.com/zw23x5r)(Econ, 9/17/16, p.78)
1306 Jul 22, King Phillip the
Fair ordered the expulsion of Jews from France. They returned to
Montpellier in 1319, having been recalled by King Sancho, who
protected them in 1320 against the fury of the Pastoureaux.
1307 Oct 13, French king Philip
IV convicted the Knights Templar of heresy. Members of the Knights
of Templar were arrested throughout France, imprisoned and tortured
by the order of the King Philip the Fair. Papal hearings convened
after King Philip IV of France arrested and tortured Templar leaders
under charges of heresy and immorality.
(HN, 10/13/98)(AP, 10/12/07)
1308 The "Parchment of Chinon"
contained the decision by Pope Clement V to save the Templars and
their order. The document was misplaced for centuries in the
archives and found again by researchers in 2001. In 2007 it was
published as part of the Vatican’s secret archive documents about
the trial of the Knights Templar.
1310 May 12, Fifty-four Knights
Templar were burned at the stake as heretics in France. They had
been established during the Crusades to protect pilgrims traveling
to the Holy Land, but came into increasing conflict with Rome until
Pope Clement V officially dissolved them in 1312 at the Council of
(SC, internet, 5/12/97)
1314 Mar 18, In France Jacques
de Molay (b.1244), Grand Master of the Templars, was burned at the
stake along with his aides. Surviving monks fled, with some absorbed
by other orders.
1314 Apr 20, Clement V,
[Bertrand Got], pope (1305-14) who moved papacy to Avignon, died.
1314 Nov 29, Philippe IV, the
Handsome, King of France (1285-1314), died.
1315 In France Parisian bakers
were found guilty of mixing flour with animal droppings during the
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1315 Louis X, Philip's brother
and successor, allowed Jews back into France for financial
considerations. Jews were often expelled because of pressure from
the Church, economic or political considerations, only to be
readmitted at a later date.
1315 Italian immigrants in
France began the Western silk industry.
(SFC, 3/11/00, p.B4)
1316 Jun 4, Louis X (26), King
of France (1314-16), died.
1316 Nov 15, Jean I became king
of France, and died 4 days later.
1319 Apr 26, Jean II, the Good,
king of France (1350-64), was born.
1322 Jun 24, Jews were expelled
from France for a 3rd time.
1326 Richard de Bas, a paper
manufacturer, was founded in Ambert d’Auvergne, France.
(SFC, 4/14/06, p.D1)
1327 Apr 6, Petrarch met Laura
de Sade in a church at Avignon, and was inspired for the rest of his
life. He wrote his finest poems about her beauty and loveliness...
and about his later recognition that he had loved her wrongly,
placing her person ahead of her spirit. This event has been taken to
mark the beginning of the Renaissance
1328 Feb 1, Charles IV, the
Handsome, King of France (1322-28), died.
1328 May 27, French king Philip
VI Valois was crowned.
1331 Bernard Gui, Inquisitor in
Toulouse, died. He authored “Practica Inquisitionis Heretice
Pravitatis" (Conduct of the Inquisition into Heretical Wickedness),
a manual for Inquisitors in which he listed heretics including
Cathars, Waldensians, Beghards, Jews and witches.
1337 Jan 21, Charles V, the
Wise, king of France (1364-80), was born.
1337 Edward III’s claim to the
French throne sparked the Hundred year’s War between England and
(Econ, 8/24/13, p.75)
1340 Jun 24, The English fleet
defeated the French fleet at Sluys, off the Flemish coast.
1340 Nov 30, John, Duke de
Berry, captain of Paris and art collector, was born.
1346 Jul 12, Edward III of
England landed his army on the Normandy beaches unopposed.
(ON, 9/00, p.1)
1346 Jul 18, Edward III divided
his army into 3 groups and began a march on Paris.
(ON, 9/00, p.2)
1346 Aug 16, Philip VI offered
Edward III sovereignty over Aquitaine in return for peace. Edward
rejected the offer and learned that Philip had raised an army of
36,000 that included 15,000 Genoese crossbowmen. Edward marched
toward Flanders in order to meet with allies.
(ON, 9/00, p.2)
1346 Aug 25, Edward III of
England defeated Philip VI's army at the Battle of Crecy in France.
The English overcame the French at the Battle of Crecy. The longbow
proved instrumental in the victory as French knights on horseback
outnumbered the British 3 to 1. At the end of the battle 1,542
French lords and knights were killed along with 20,000 soldiers. The
English lost 2 knights and 80 men. [see Aug 26]
(WSJ, 8/3/98, p.A12)(HN, 8/25/98)
1346 Aug 26, During the Hundred
Years War, King Edward III's 9,000-man English army annihilated a
French force of 27,000 under King Philip VI at the Battle of Crecy
in Normandy. The battle is regarded as one of the most decisive in
history. [see Aug 25]
(PC, 1992, p.128)(WSJ, 11/4/04, p.D10)
1346 Sep 3, Edward III of
England began the siege of Calais, along the coast of France.
1346 Sep 28, Edward III and
Philip VI signed a temporary truce. Their hostilities marked the
beginning of the Hundred Years War, which only ended in 1453.
(ON, 9/00, p.2)
1347 Aug 3, Six burghers of the
surrounded French city of Calais surrendered to Edward III of
England in hopes of relieving the siege.
1347 Aug 4, English troops
conquered Ft. Calais. After an 11 month siege, French Calais fell to
England's King Edward III. English rule lasted for more than two
(WSJ, 11/6/95, p. A-1)(MC, 8/4/02)
1347-1350 The Black Death: A Genoese trading post
in the Crimea was besieged by an army of Kipchaks from Hungary and
Mongols from the East. The latter brought with them a new form of
plague, Yersinia pestis. Infected dead bodies were catapulted into
the Genoese town. One Genoese ship managed to escape and brought the
disease to Messina, Sicily. The disease quickly became an epidemic.
It moved over the next few years to northern Italy, North Africa,
France, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, the Low
countries, England, Scandinavia and the Baltic. There were lesser
outbreaks in many cities for the next twenty years. An estimated 25
million died in Europe and economic depression followed. In 2005
John Kelly authored “The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the
Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time."
(NG, 5/88, p.678)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R42)(SSFC,
3/6/05, p.B1)(SFC, 10/13/11, p.A6)
1348 Plague arrived at
Montpellier in the spring and killed an estimated two-thirds of the
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R22)
1349-1830 The eldest son of the king of France was
referred to as the dauphine, as an honor to the Dauphine province
after its cession to France.
(WUD, 1994, p.369)
1350 Aug 22, Philips VI, of
Valois, King of France (1328-50), died.
1350 Aug 22, John II, also
known as John the Good, succeeded Philip VI as king of France.
1355 Nov 1, During the
Hundred Years’ War (1337-1457) an English invasion army under Black
Prince Edward (25) landed at Calais.
(DoW, 1999, p.213)(PC, 1992 ed, p.131)
1356 Sep 19, In a landmark
battle of the Hundred Years' War, English Prince Edward, the Black
Prince, defeated the French at Poitiers. Jean de Clermont, French
marshal, died in battle.
(HN, 9/19/98)(Econ, 8/24/13, p.76)
1357 Nov 25, Charles IV issued
a letter of protection of Jews of Strasbourg and Alsace.
1358 Jun 10, French Boer leader
Guillaume Cale was captured.
1358 The French peasantry
staged an uprising that came to be called the Jacquerie revolt. It
was in part a reaction to widespread poverty during the Hundred
Years War. Peasants revolted against the écorcheurs (mercenaries who
fought in the war), who pillaged their land, and the nobles, who
made extortionate demands but did not protect them.
1360 Mar 15, French invasion
army landed on English south coast and conquered Winchel.
1360 Oct 25, Louis, founder of
house of Anjou, was born.
1364 King Charles V (1337-1381)
began his rule of France.
(HNQ, 7/14/01)(WUD, 1994 p.249)
1368 Feb 3, Charles VI, King of
France (1380-1422), was born.
1370 Apr 22, The first stone of
the Bastille was laid by order of King Charles V (1364-1380). The
original design of the Bastille was merely a fortified gate, but it
was later turned into a fortress by Charles VI. It began to be used
as a prison in the 17th century. Following the storming of the
Bastille on July 14, 1789, it was demolished.
1371 May 28, John, the
Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, warrior, was born in Burgundy, France.
1371 The queen of France sent
the Queen of England several dolls dressed in the latest French
fashion. The outfits were copied by English dressmakers and costumed
dolls from France went wherever French ships sailed. They were
(SFC, 6/28/97, p.E3)
1378 Mar 27, Gregory XI,
[Pierre R the Beaufort], last French Pope (1370-78), died.
1378 Dec 18, Charles V
denounced the treachery of John IV of Brittany and confiscated his
1380 Nov 14, King Charles VI of
France was crowned at age 12.
1380 Nov 16, French King
Charles VI declared no taxes forever.
1380 King Charles V (1337-1381)
ended his rule of France.
(HNQ, 7/14/01)(WUD, 1994 p.249)
1382 Mar 1, French Maillotin
rose up against taxes.
1382 Nov 27, The French
nobility, led by Olivier de Clisson, crushed the Flemish rebels at
1383 Sep 4, Amadeus VIII, duke
of Savoye, and the last antipope (Felix V (1439-48), was born.
1384 Sep 2, Louis I, duke of
Anjou and king of Naples (Battle of Poitiers), died.
1387 Aug 9, Henry V, British
king famous for his victory at Agincourt, France, was born. [see Aug
1387 Aug 29, Henry V, king of
England (1413-22) / France (1416-19), was born. [see Aug 9]
1390 Jul 1, A French and
Genovese armada sailed out against Barbary pirates.
c1392 Sir Jean Froissart
authored "The Chronicles of England, France and Scotland."
(ON, 4/00, p.6)
1394 Sep 17, In France King
Charles VI decreed as an irrevocable law and statute that
thenceforth no Jew should dwell in his domains. The decree was not
immediately enforced, a respite being granted to the Jews in order
that they might sell their property and pay their debts.
1394 Nov 3, Jews were expelled
from France by Charles VI. The order, signed on Yom Kippur, was
enforced on November 3. Jews continued to live in Lyons and papal
possessions such as Pugnon. [see Sep 17, 1394]
1395-1456 Jacques Coeur, financial adviser to
Charles VII of France. He ran a variety of businesses and sold
luxury goods. He bankrolled Charles' war in 1449 with nearly a ton
of gold. His gothic mansion at Bourges had the family motto etched
in stone: "To valiant hearts nothing is impossible."
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R6)
1396 Apr 30, Crusaders and the
Earl of Nevers departed from Dijon.
1400-1500 A 15th century songwriter named Oliver
Bassel lived in the Vau de Vire, Valley of the Vire. His popular
tunes were identified with his home and gave us the word
(SFEC, 1/10/99, Z1 p.8)
1400-1600 Researchers in 1997 announced that
sometime in this period the Sauvignon Franc grape crossed with
Sauvignon Blanc grape to produce the Cabernet Sauvignon grape.
(SFC, 6/4/97, Z1 p.4)
1403 Feb 22, Charles VII, King
of France (1422-1461), was born.
(HN, 2/22/98)(MC, 2/22/02)
1409 Jan 9, Rene' d'Anjou
(d.1480) was born the son and 3rd child of Duke Louis II of Anjou
and Yolande of Aragon at Angers in the Maine-and-Loire region of
western France. King René, poet and wine lover, demonstrated how all
our leaders ought to be.
c1410 The Book of the Chase
depicted hunting dogs and snares.
(SFEM, 4/6/97, p.16)
1412 Jan 6, According to
tradition, French heroine Joan of Arc was born Jeanette d'Arc, in
the French village of Domrémy. When she was 12 years old, she began
hearing what she believed were voices of saints, sending her
messages from God. When she was 17, the voices--which she believed
to be of Saints Margaret and Catherine (queens of France) and the
Archangel Michael-- told her to leave her village and save Orléans.
Joan convinced the dauphin that she could lead French troops in
resistance against their English invaders, and she was given a force
of several hundred men to command, whom she led to victory at
Orléans in 1429. Wearing her white enameled armor suit, she
continued to fight against the English. Joan was captured by
Burgundians and then burned at the stake by the English on May 30,
1431, for the offenses of witchcraft, heresy and wearing male
clothing. The Roman Catholic Church recognized Joan of Arc as a
saint in 1920.
(CFA, '96, Vol 179, p.38)(AP, 1/6/98)(HNPD,
1415 Aug 13, King Henry V of
England took his army across the English Channel and laid siege on
the French port of Harfleur.
(ON, 6/08, p.9)
1415 Oct 25, An English army
under Henry V defeated the French at Agincourt, France. The French
had out numbered Henry’s troops, but Welsh longbows turned the tide
of the battle. The French force was under the command of the
constable Charles I d’Albret. Charles I d’Albret, son of
Arnaud-Amanieu d’Albret, came from a line of nobles who were often
celebrated warriors. His ancestors had fought in the First Crusade
(1096-99) and his father had fought in the Hundred Years War
himself--first for the English before joining the side of France.
Charles’ own exploits in the ongoing conflict came to an end at the
Battle of Agincourt. The decisive victory for the outnumbered
English saw the death of not only Charles, but a dozen other
high-ranking nobles as well. But Charles’ fate did not end the
Albrets as his descendants went on to become kings of Navarre, and
later, France. In 2005 Juliet Barker authored “Agincourt: The King,
the Campaign, and the Battle."
(MH, 12/96)(HN, 10/25/98)(Econ, 10/22/05,
p.88)(ON, 6/08, p.10)
1415 Oct 25, Edward (b.1373),
duke of York, died at the Battle of Agincourt.
1416 Apr 2, Ferdinand I (52)
the Justified, king of Aragon and Sicily, died.
1417-145 This period was covered by Juliet Barker
in her 2009 book: “Conquest: The English Kingdom of France
(Econ, 11/28/09, p.100)
1419 Sep 10, John the Fearless
(48), Burgundy and French warrior, was murdered at Montereau,
France, by supporters of the dauphine.
(HN, 9/10/98)(MC, 9/10/01)
1419 An English army under
Henry V captured the duchy of Normandy.
(ON, 6/08, p.11)
1420 May 21, King Charles VI of
France signed the Treaty of Troyes. It recognized all the
territorial gains of King Henry V, gave Henry the daughter of
Charles, Catherine of Valois, in marriage, and acknowledged Henry as
the legitimate heir to the French throne.
(ON, 6/08, p.11)
1420 Dec 1, Henry V, King of
England and de facto ruler of France, entered Paris.
1422 Aug 31, Henry V (b.1387),
King of England (1413-22) and France (1416-19), died.
1422 Oct 21, Charles VI, King
of France (1380-1422), died at 54.
1429 Apr 29, Joan of Arc led
French troops to victory over the English at Orleans during the
Hundred Years’ War. Legend has it that King Charles VII of France
had a suit of armor made for Joan at a cost of 100 war horses. In
1996 a suit of armor was found and proposed to be Joan’s armor.
(ATC, p.107)(SFC, 6/19/96, p.A10)(AP,
1429 May 7, English siege of
Orleans was broken by Joan of Arc.
1429 May 8, French troops under
Joan of Arc rescued Orleans.
1429 May 9, Joan of Arc
defeated the besieging English at Orleans.
1429 Jul 16, Joan of Arc led
French army in the Battle of Orleans. [see May 9]
1429 Jul 17, The dauphin, son
of Charles VI, was crowned as king of France.
(PCh, 1992, p.144)(MC, 7/17/02)
1429 Aug 26, Joan of Arc makes
a triumphant entry into Paris.
1430 May 23, Joan of Arc was
captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/98)
1430 Jul 14, Joan of Arc, taken
prisoner by the Burgundians in May, was handed over to Pierre
Cauchon, the bishop of Beauvais.
1431 Feb 21, The interrogation
of Joan of Arc (1412-1431) began France.
(Sm, 2/06, p.38)
1431 May 30, Joan of Arc
(19), condemned as a heretic [as a witch], was burned at the stake
in Rouen, France. A silent movie of her life was made in 1927 by
Carl Theodor Dreyer.
(CFA, '96, p.46)(WSJ, 1/23/96, p.A-12)(AP,
1431 Dec 16, Henry VI of
England (10) was crowned King of France.
(HN, 12/16/98)(Econ, 11/28/09, p.100)
1431-1463? Francois Villon, French
poet. The 1938 film "If I Were King" starred
Ronald Colman and Basil Rathbone and was directed by Preston
Sturges. It was about the French poet and revolutionary Francois
(WUD, 1994, p.1593)(SFEC, 8/2/98, DB p.49)
1432 Zeeland became part of the
Low Countries possession of Phillip the Good (1396-1467) of
1435 Sep 21, Treaty of Atrecht.
Philippe le Bon of Burgundy and French king Charles VII signed a
treaty at Arras. Philippe broke with the English and recognized
Charles as France’s only king.
(PCh, 1992, p.145)
1440 Oct 26, Gilles de Rais,
French marshal, depraved killer of 140 children, was hanged over
slow fire. A brilliant young French knight, he was believed to have
cracked over the torture and death of his true love, Jeanne d'Arc,
the Maid of Orleans (d.1431).
1443 Cardinal Beaufort
(1375-1447) lent the English monarchy funds to finance 300 ships to
carry 6 knights, 592 men-at-arms, and 3,949 archers to keep the
French at bay.
1444 Aug 26, In the Battle of
St. Jakob an der Birs, fought near Basel in Switzerland, a Swiss
force of some 1,600 soldiers stopped some 30,000 French mercenaries
on their way to relieve a siege of Zurich.
1446-1521 A Gothic choir with buttresses and
pinnacles was added to the abbey Mont St. Michel off the coast of
Normandy, France. It replaced one that had collapsed.
(WSJ, 10/7/06, p.P18)
1451 Jacques Coeur was charged
with poisoning Agnes Sorel, mistress to King Charles VII. Sorel had
died in childbirth. Charles confiscated Coeur's property and put him
in jail. Coeur escaped and fled to Rome. He died several years later
fighting the Turks.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R6)
1453 May 29, French banker
Jacques Coeurs had his possessions confiscated.
1453 Jul 17, France defeated
England at the 1st Battle at Castillon, France, ending the 100
Years' War. [see Oct 19]
1453 Oct 19, In the 2nd Battle
at Castillon: France beat England, ending the hundred year war. [see
1454 Feb 17, At a grand feast,
Philip the Good of Burgundy took the "vow of the pheasant," by which
he swore to fight the Turks.
1456 Jul 7, Joan of Arc was
acquitted, even though she had already been burnt at the stake on
May 30, 1431.
1456 Nov 25, Jacques Coeur,
French merchant and banker, died in battle.
1462 Jun 27, Louis XII, King of
France (1498-1515), was born.
1463 Jan 5, French poet
Francois Villon was banished from Paris.
1464 Jun 19, French King Louis
XI formed a postal service.
1470 Jun 30, Charles VIII, King
of France (1483-98), invaded Italy, was born. One of his feet had 6
toes which prompted his wearing broad, square tip shoes.
(HN, 6/30/98)(SFC, 3/13/99, p.E6)
1470 The first book printed in
France was an ornate ninth-century transcript produced for the
grandson of Charlemagne. It is held by the Bibliotheque Nationale de
(WSJ, 9/26/95, p.A-20)
1474 May 9, Peter van
Hagenbach, Elzasser (Alsatian) knight, land guardian, was beheaded.
1476 Aug 4, Jacob van
Armagnac-Pardiac, French duke of Nemours, was beheaded.
1476 Dec 24, Some 400 Burgundy
soldiers froze to death during the siege of Nancy.
1476 The Swiss overcame
Burgundy’s Charles the Bold at the Battle of Murten.
(SSFC, 5/26/02, p.C5)
1477 Jan 5, Swiss troops
defeated the forces under Charles the Bold of Burgundy at the Battle
1477 The Seventeen Provinces, a
personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 16th century,
became the property of the Habsburgs. They roughly covered the
current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North
of France (Artois, Nord) and a small part of Germany.
1480-1520 The fortress at Bonaguil in the Quercy
province was built by a baron as a bulwark against his vassals.
(SFEC, 7/11/99, p.T4)
1487 Lorenzo the Magnificent
ordered a giraffe from Africa and a cardinal’s hat for his
13-year-old son from Pope Innocent VIII. In return for the hat
Lorenzo promised the hand of his eldest daughter for the Pope’s
illegitimate son along with a nice loan. The giraffe was procured
from Sultan Qaitbay, the Ottoman ruler of Egypt. Pope Innocent
promised to get Queen Anne of France to hand over Djem, the exiled
brother of Qaitbay, for use as a pawn. Lorenzo promised to give the
giraffe to Anne. In 2006 the story was covered by Marina
Belozerskaya in her book “The Medici Giraffe."
(WSJ, 8/19/06, p.P9)
1488 Jul 28, Some 440 men from
the Isle of Wight declared war on France. They were crushed in the
Battle of St Aubin near Rennes. Over four hours some 5,000 Breton
soldiers were beaten and stabbed to death. According to legend, just
one lad made it back to the Island to pass on the appalling news.
1490 Anne of Brittany married
by proxy the recently widowed Maximilian of Hapsburg who had
inherited Burgundy and Flanders from his first wife. Brittany was
under siege by France and Maximilian failed to send troops in its
defense. Anne had her marriage annulled and married the French
Dauphin who had been engaged to marry Margaret of Austria, the
daughter of Maximilian and Mary of Burgundy. Anne’s portrait was
later painted by Jan Mostaert
(WSJ, 7/30/97, p.A13)
1490 Francois Rabelais
(d.1553), French physician, satirist and humorist, was born. [see
(WUD, 1994, p.1183)(V.D.-H.K.p.143)(SSFC,
1494 Sep 12, Francois I of
Valois-Angoulome, king of France (1515-47), was born.
1494 Nov 17, Charles VIII
(1470-1498) of France entered Florence, Italy. The First Italian War
pitted Charles VIII of France, who had initial Milanese aid, against
the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, and an alliance of Italian powers led
by Pope Alexander VI.
1494-1547 In France the time of King Francois I.
The stench along the Seine drove him from the Hotel des Tournelles.
Cesspools and the guild that emptied them, the Maitres Fy-Fy,
developed at this time.
(Hem., 3/97, p.132)
1494-1553 Francois Rabelais, French satirist: "If
you wish to avoid seeing a fool you must first break your mirror."
[see 1490, 1553]
1495 Jan 28, Pope Alexander VI
gave his son Cesare Borgia as hostage to Charles VIII of France.
1498 Apr 8, Charles VIII (27),
King of France (1483-98), died while preparing a new expedition to
invade Italy. He was succeeded by his Valois cousin the Duc
d’Orleans (36), who reigned until 1515 as Louis XII.
(PC, 1992 ed, p.161)
1498 Aug 17, French King Louis
XII made Cesare Borgia (1475-1507) the Duke of Valentinois. Borgia
resigned his position as cardinal, which had been bestowed on him at
age 18 by his father, Pope Alexander VI.
1499 Sep 10, The French marched
(Hem., 12/96, p.19)
1500 Apr 8, Battle at Novara:
King Louis XII beat duke Ludovico Sforza (Il Sforza del Destino).
1500 Apr 10, France captured
duke Ludovico Sforza ("Il Sforza del Destino") of Milan.
c1500-1600 Madame Virginie de Rieux, 16th-century
French writer: "Marriage is a lottery in which men stake their
liberty and women their happiness."
c1500-1600 Clement Janequin was a 16th century
composer best known for his big pictorial secular songs that
included: "The Cries of Paris," "Bird Song," and "The Hunt." The
French Ensemble Clement Janequin was formed in 1978.
(SFC, 6/8/00, p.E3)
c1500-1600 The 16th century French text "The Rules
of Civility" was published.
(SFC, 7/4/02, p.D1)
1501 Mar 20, Jean Carondelet
(72), lawyer, chancellor of Burgundy (1480-96), died.
1503 Dec 14, Nostradamus
[Michel de Nostredame], prophet, was born in St. Remy, Provence,
France. He predicted correctly French king Henri II's manner of
death. Nostradamus was the author of a book of prophecies that many
still believe foretold the future. He was also physician, an
astrologer and a clairvoyant. He wrote in rhyming quatrains,
accurately predicting the Great London Fire in 1666, Spain’s Civil
War, and a Hitler that would lead Germany into war. He even
correctly predicted his own death on July 2, 1566.
(HN, 12/14/99)(MC, 12/14/01)
1503 Jean Poyet, Renaissance
artist, died. His work included "Vespers: Massacre of the Innocents
and Flight Into Egypt."
(WSJ, 2/22/00, p.A20)
1504 May 5, Anton of Burgundy
(~82), the Great Bastard, knight, died.
1505 Feb 4, Joan of Valois
(40), Queen of France, saint, died.
1505 Apr 20, Jews were expelled
from Orange, Burgundy, by Philibert of Luxembourg.
1506 Apr 7, Francis Xavier,
saint, Jesuit missionary to India, Malaya, and Japan, was born.
1507 Apr 25, Martin
Waldseemuller, a German geographer working at a small college in
Eastern France, labeled the New World "America," for the first time
in his book "Cosmographiae Introductio," and gave Amerigo Vespucci
(d.1512) credit for discovering it. Letters of 1504-1505 had
circulated in Florence claimed that Vespucci had discovered the new
World. Vespucci was in fact only a passenger or low officer on one
of the ships captioned by others. Vespucci was later believed to
have been the brother of Simonetta Vespucci, the model for Venus in
the Botticelli painting. In 2000 the US Library of Congress planned
to acquire the original map for $14 million from the Prince Johannes
Waldburg-wolfegg. A $10 million purchase was completed in 2003. In
2009 Toby Lester authored “The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to
the Ends of the World, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave
America Its Name."
(SFEC, 8/23/98, p.T10)(SFC, 10/27/00, p.C14)(WSJ,
7/25/03, p.W19)(AP, 4/25/07)(SSFC, 12/27/09, Books p.E5)
1507 Genoa was annexed by the
1509 May 14, In the Battle of
Agnadello, the French defeated the Venetians in Northern Italy.
1509-1523 The 177-foot Saint-Jacques bell tower
was constructed in central Paris as part of the Church of
Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie ("Saint James of the butchery"). The
was leveled in 1793 shortly after the French Revolution and only the
bell tower survived.
1509-1564 John Calvin, French theologian. He
started the Protestant Reformation in France in 1532.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.14)(SFC, 7/21/97, p.A11)
1510 May 25, Georges d'Amboise
(49), French cardinal, viceroy in North Italy, died.
1510 Bernard Pallissy (d.1590),
French ceramicist, painter and writer, was born.
1511 Sep 1, Council of Pisa
opened. Louis XII of France called the council to oppose the Holy
League of Pope Julius II.
(PTA, 1980, p.432)(MC, 9/1/02)
1512 Apr 11, The forces of the
Holy League were heavily defeated by the French at the Battle of
Ravenna. France under Gaston de Foix beat the Spanish Army. Gaston
de Foix, French pretender to Navarre throne, died in battle.
(HN, 4/11/99)(MC, 4/11/02)
1513 Jun 6, Battle at Novara:
Habsburgers vs. Valois.
1513 Aug 16, Henry VIII of
England and Emperor Maximilian defeated the French at Guinegatte,
France, in the Battle of the Spurs.
1513 Sep 9, King James IV of
Scotland was defeated and killed by English at the Battle of Flodden
Field. The Scottish navy was sold to France.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.10)(HN, 9/9/98)
1514 England and France
declared a truce in their warfare. Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII,
married Louis XII.
1515 Jan 1, King Louis XII
(b.1462) of France, died. He was succeeded by Francis I (1494-1547).
1515 Sep 13, King Francis of
France defeated the Swiss army under Cardinal Matthias Schiner at
Marignano, northern Italy. Switzerland was last involved in a war.
French armies defeated the Swiss and Venetians at the Battle of
Marignano and Milan fell to the French. Francis I conquered Lombardy
in northern Italy.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.11)(SFC, 6/7/96, p.A12)(HN,
1515 The first nationalized
French factories were set up in the manufacture of tapestries and
1516 The Treaty of Noyon
brought peace between France and Spain.
1518 Cardinal Wolsey arranged
the Peace of London between England, France, the Pope, Maximilian I
1518-1589 Catherine de Medicis, queen of Henry II
of France, mother of Francis II, Charles IX, and Henry III.
(WUD, 1994 p.233)
1519 Feb 16, Gaspard de
Coligny, Huguenot leader, French admiral, was born.
1519 May 2, Artist Leonardo da
Vinci (67) died at the Chateau du Clos-Luce, France, where he had
lived since 1516. In 1994 A. Richard Turner wrote "Inventing
Leonardo," a history of Leonardo legends. In 2004 Bulent Atalay
authored “Math and the Mona Lisa: The Art and Science of Leonardo da
Vinci." In 2004 Charles Nicholl authored “Leonard da Vinci: The
Flights of the Mind."
(AP, 5/2/97)(NH, 5/97, p.58)(Econ, 5/15/04,
p.80)(Econ, 12/11/04, p.81)(SSFC, 10/9/11, p.C6)
1521 Apr 22, French king
Francois I declared war on Spain.
1521 Nov 19, Battle at Milan:
Emperor Charles V's Spanish, German, and papal troops beat France
and occupied Milan. An eight year war between France and the Holy
Roman Emp., Charles V, began after the French supported rebels in
(TL-MB, 1988, p.12)(MC, 11/19/01)
1521 The Chateau de Chenonceaux
in the Loire Valley of France was built for the royal tax collector,
Thomas Bohier. It took eight years to construct.
1521 The manufacture of silk
cloth was introduced to France. It had been made in Sicily since the
1522 England declared war on
France and Scotland. Holy Roman Emp. Charles V visited Henry VIII
and signed the Treaty of Windsor. Both monarchs agreed to invade
1523 Oct 27, English troops
occupied Montalidier, France.
1524 Mar 19, Giovanni de
Verrazano of France sighted land around area of Carolinas.
1524 Aug 19, Emperor Charles
V's troops besieged Marseille.
1524 Chevalier Bayard,
commander of French forces in Lombardy, was killed and the French
were driven out.
1525 Feb 24, In the first of
the Franco-Habsburg Wars, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V captured
the French king Francis I at the battle of Pavia, in Italy. This was
the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521-26.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Pavia)(Econ, 12/12/09, p.93)
1525 Mar 20, The Paris
parliament began the pursuit of Protestants (Papists proudly
1526 Jan 14, Francis of France,
held captive by Charles V for a year, signed the Treaty of Madrid,
giving up most of his claims in France and Italy.
1526 Mar 26, King François I
returned Spanish captivity to France.
1527 Apr 30, Henry VIII and
King Francis of France signed the treaty of Westminster.
1528 Jan 22, England &
France declared war on Emperor Charles V of Spain. The French army
was later expelled from Naples and Genoa.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.13)(MC, 1/22/02)
1529 Apr 16, Louis de Berquin,
French humanist, reformer, heretic, was burned at stake.
1530 Apr 18, Francois Lambert
d'Avignon (~43), French church reformer, died.
1530 May 7, Louis I Conde,
French prince, leader of Huguenots, was born.
1530 The earliest known French
contract for comedia dell’arte players was drawn up.
1531 Marguerite de Navarre
(1492-1549), French noblewoman, authored “Le miroir de l'âme
pécheresse" (The Mirror of the Sinful Soul) following the death of
her young son. It combined her mysticism with her strong ideas for
political action within the Church. Her most famous work
“Heptameron," a collection of more than 70 short stories about women
and their relationships with men, and whether it was possible to be
virtuous and also experience real love, was published posthumously
1532 Francois Rabelais, French
satirist, published "La Vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel," a
grotesque and humorous satire on almost every aspect of contemporary
religion and culture.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.14)(SSFC, 2/10/02, p.G5)
1532 John Calvin (1509-1564),
French theologian, started the Protestant Reformation in France.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.14)
1533 Feb 28, Michel de
Montaigne (d.1592), was born near Bordeaux, France. He was the
French moralist who created the personal essay. Montaigne was
brought up by his father under peasant guidance and a German tutor
for Latin. He spent a lifetime of political service under Henry IV,
and then composed his "Essays." This was the first book to reveal
with utter honesty and frankness the author's mind and heart.
Montaigne sought to reach beyond his own illusions, to see himself
as he really was, which was not just the way others saw him.
"Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know."
(WUD, 1994, p.928)(V.D.-H.K.p.144)(HN, 2/28/99)
1533 Caterina de Medici (14)
married the future Henry II (14) of France.
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.98)
1534 Apr 20, Jacques Cartier
departed St. Malo on the 1st of his 3 expeditions to the New World.
1534 May 10, Jacques Cartier
reached Newfoundland. He noted the presence of the Micmac Indians
who fished in the summer around the Magdalen Islands north of Nova
(CFA, '96, p.46)(SFEC, 5/11/97, p.T15)
1534 Jun 9, Jacques Cartier
became the first man to sail into the mouth of the St. Lawrence
1534 Jun 29, Jacques Cartier
discovered Canada’s Prince Edward Islands.
1534 Jul 24, Jacques Cartier
landed in Canada and claimed it for France. Jacques Cartier while
probing for a northern route to Asia visited Labrador and said: "Fit
only for wild beasts... This must be the land God gave to Cain."
[see May 10]
(NG, V184, No. 4, 10/1993, p. 4)(MC, 7/24/02)
1534 Aug 15, St. Ignatius of
Loyola, Spanish ecclesiastic, founded the Society of Jesus (the
Jesuits) in Paris with the aim of defending Catholicism against
heresy and undertaking missionary work. Ignatius converted to
Christianity while convalescing after a battle and wrote his
Spiritual Exercises meant as a guide for conversion. In Paris,
Ignatius and a small group of men took vows of poverty, chastity and
papal obedience. Ignatius formally organized the order in 1539 that
was approved by the pope in 1540. The society‘s rapid growth and
emphasis on scholarship aided in the resurgence of Catholicism
during the Counter-Reformation. The Jesuits were also active in
missionary work in Asia, Africa and the Americas.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.14)(HNQ, 1/13/01)(MC, 8/15/02)
1534 Oct 18, A new pursuit of
French protestants began.
1535 May 19, French explorer
Jacques Cartier set sail for North America.
1535 Sep 1, French navigator
Jacques Cartier landed in Quebec. The site of the city of Quebec was
first visited by Jacques Cartier. It was an Indian village called
Stadacona. Quebec is the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in
what is now Canada.
(HNQ, 10/3/99)(MC, 9/1/02)
1535 Oct 2, Jacques Cartier
first saw the site of what is now Montreal and proclaimed "What a
royal mountain," hence the name of the city. [see 1536] Having
landed in Quebec a month ago, Jacques Cartier reached a town, which
he names Montreal.
(SFEC, 3/2/97, p.T7)(HN, 10/2/98)
1535 France became the first
country to have a permanent embassy at the Sublime Porte in
(Econ, 12/12/09, p.93)
1536 May, Jacques Cartier
sailed for France from Canada and carried with him the kidnapped
local chief Donnacona, who later died in France. Donnacona, prior to
his death, described a mythical kingdom with great riches called
(Canada, 1960, p.21)
1536 Jul 6, Jaques Cartier
returned to France after discovering the St. Lawrence River in
1536 Jul 9, French navigator
Jacques Cartier returned to Saint-Malo from Canada.
1536 Jul 14, France and
Portugal signed the naval treaty of Lyons aligning themselves
1536 Oct 6, William Tyndale,
the English translator of the New Testament, was strangled and
burned at the stake for heresy at Vilvorde, France. William Tyndale
was strangled and burned outside Brussels as a heretic by the Holy
(WSJ, 12/22/94, A-20)(WSJ, 11/19/96, p.A20)(HN,
1538 Jun 18, Treaty of Nice
ended the war between Emperor Charles V and King Francois I. It only
lasted 10 months.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.15)(PCh, 1992, p.180)(MC,
1538 France’s King Francois I
closed the French bath houses by this time.
(Econ, 12/19/09, p.139)
1539 Aug 10, King Francis of
France declared that all official documents were to be written in
French, not Latin.
1539 In Lyon printers went on
strike against long hours, poor conditions and excessive profits by
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R25)
1541 Aug 23, Jacques Cartier
landed near Quebec on his third voyage to North America and
established a short-lived community there.
(HN, 8/23/98)(TL-MB, 1988, p.16)
1541 Jean Clouet (b.1480),
French Renaissance artist, died. He was the chief painter of King
Francis I. Clouet’s work included a 1519 portrait of Francis I as
Saint John the Baptist.
1542 Bernard Palissy started
working in France. He produced dishes and plates with leaves,
lizards, snakes, insects and shells in high relief.
(SFC, 1/8/96, z-1 p.6)
1542 War was renewed between
the Holy Roman Empire and France.
1543 Aug 22, French and Ottoman
forces captured Nice following a siege of the city. Admiral
Barbarossa led the Ottoman fleet in the campaign.
1544 Sep 14, Henry VIII's
forces took Boulogne, France.
1544 Sep 14, Henry VIII's
forces took Boulogne, France.
1544 Sep 19, Francis, the king
of France, and Charles V of Austria signed a peace treaty in Crespy,
France, ending a 20-year war. The Peace of Crespy ended the fighting
between Charles V and Francis I. Henry VIII was not consulted.
France surrendered much territory and Charles gave up his claim to
(TL-MB, 1988, p.16)(HN, 9/19/98)
1544 Henry VIII crossed the
Channel to Calais to campaign with Charles V against Francis I.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.16)
1544 Gustavus I of Sweden
signed an alliance with France.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.16)
1545 Feb 13, William of Nassau
became prince of Orange.
1545 Apr 12, French king
Francis I ordered the Protestants of Vaudois killed.
1545 Apr 13, Elisabeth van
Valois, French queen of Spain, daughter of Henri II, was born.
1545 Jul 19, A French fleet
entered The Solent, the channel between the Isle of Wight and
Hampshire, England, and French troops landed on the Isle of Wight.
King Henry VIII of England watched his flagship, Mary Rose, capsize
in Portsmouth harbor as it left to battle the French. 73 people died
including Roger Grenville, English captain of Mary Rose. The Mary
Rose was raised in 1982.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)(HN,
1546 Jun 7, The Peace of Ardes
ended the war between France and England.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)(HN, 6/7/98)
1546 Aug 3, French printer
Etienne Dolet, accused of heresy, blasphemy and sedition, was hanged
and burned at the stake for printing reformist literature.
1546 Pierre Lescot, French
architect, began the building of the Louvre in Paris. Francois I,
needing more space for acquired works of art, started the
construction of 2 new wings to the 12th century Louvre fortress.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)(WSJ, 10/7/98, p.A20)
1547 Mar 31, Francis I, King of
France (1515-1547), died and was succeeded by his son Henry II, who
was dominated by his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, during his 12 year
(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)(HN, 3/31/99)
1548 Aug 15, Mary Queen of the
Scots (6), who was engaged to the Dauphin, landed in France.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)(MC, 8/15/02)
1548 Tomas Luis de Victoria,
composer of spiritual miniatures, was born.
(PNM, 1/25/98, p.5)
1549 Aug 9, France declared war
on England. England declared war on France.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.17)(HN, 8/9/98)
1549 Nov 5, Philippe du
Plessis, France, author, was born.
1550 Mar 24, France and England
signed the Peace of Boulogne. It ended the war of England with
Scotland and France. France bought back Boulogne for 400,000 crowns.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.18)(MC, 3/24/02)
1550 Jun 27, Charles IX, king
of France (1560-74), was born.
1551 Jun 27, France promulgated
the Edict of Chateaubriand, a crackdown on Protestantism in France.
The Edict of Chateaubriand placed severe restrictions on
Protestants, including loss of one-third of property to informers
and confiscation of all property of those who left France.
1552 Jan 15, France signed a
secret treaty with German Protestants.
1553 Aug 2, An invading French
army was destroyed at the Battle of Marciano in Italy by an imperial
1553 Dec 13, Henry IV (d.1610),
Henry of Navarre, Henry the Great, 1st Bourbon king of Navarre,
France, (1572/89-1610), was born.
(WUD, 1994, p.662)(MC, 12/13/01)
1553 "Les Observations de
Plusieurs Singularitez et Choses Memorables" was written by Pierre
Belon, French naturalist and traveler. It included an account of
Turkish fruit sorbets.
(NH, 4/97, p.77)
1553 Francois Rabelais
(b.1490), French physician, satirist and humorist, died. He studied
with the Benedictines and received orders from the Franciscans. His
work included the multi-volume "La Vie de Gargantua et de
(WUD, 1994, p.1183)(V.D.-H.K.p.143)(SSFC,
1554 Henry II of France invaded
(TL-MB, 1988, p.18)
1554 Fernelius, French
physician, codified the medicine of the Renaissance.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.18)
1554-1562 Pierre Eskrich (aka Pierre DuVase), a
French illustrator, produced a collection of 218 bird paintings. He
had fled Lyon to Geneva to escape the Edict of Chateaubriand (1551),
a crackdown on Protestantism in France.
(SFC, 3/17/06, p.E7)
1555 Balthazar de Beaujoyeoux,
violinist, introduced several fellow violinists to the court of
Catherine de Medici. Under his influence the lute was replaced by
the violin as France’s most popular instrument.
(SFC, 12/29/96, zone 1 p.2)
1556 Feb 5, Henry II of France
and Philip of Spain signed the truce of Vaucelles.
1556 The first tobacco seeds
from Brazil reached Europe, brought back by Andre Thevet, a
Franciscan monk. [see Mar 5, 1558, 1561]
(TL-MB, 1988, p.19)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R49)
1557 Sep 1, Jacques Cartier,
French explorer, died in St. Malo, France.
1557 Aug 10, Spanish and
English troops in alliance defeated the French at the Battle of St.
Quentin (San Quintino). French troops were defeated by Emanuele
Filiberto's Spanish army at St. Quentin, France. In 1559 Filiberto
made Turin capital of his Savoy state.
1557 The influx of New World
silver caused bankruptcies in France and Spain.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.19)
1558 Jan 6, The French seized
the British held port of Calais.
1558 Jan 7, The French, under
the Duke of Guise, finally took the port of Calais from the English.
1558 Mar 5, Smoking tobacco was
introduced in Europe by Francisco Fernandes.
1558 Apr 24, Mary, Queen of
Scotland, married the French dauphin, Francis.
1558 Apr 26, Jean Francois
Fernel, French physician, died.
1558 Jun 22, The French took
the French town of Thioville from the English.
1558 Jul 13, Led by the court
of Egmont, the Spanish army defeated the French at Gravelines,
1558 Jul 23, Battle at
Grevelingen: Gen. Lamoral van Egmont beat France. [see Jul 13]
1559 Apr 3, Philip II of Spain
and Henry II of France signed the peace of Cateau-Cambresis, ending
a long series of wars between the Hapsburg and Valois dynasties.
1559 Jul 10, Henry II of France
died following a wound to the head by a tournament lance on June 30.
This allegedly fulfilled a prophecy by Nostradamus. Gabriel de
Lorges de Montgomery, captain of the Scottish Guards, accidentally
killed Henry II as they jousted in front of the Hotel Royal des
Tournelles. The widowed queen, Catherine de Medicis (d.1589), had
the royal residence demolished.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.19)(SFEM, 3/15/98, p.16)
1559 The first synod of
Calvinist, or Reformed, churches, met in Paris. The common name
given to French Protestants during the Reformation, Huguenots, came
into use soon thereafter. They formed a loose national organization
as they won converts among many French nobles. This led to a series
of wars as Roman Catholic nobles feared the growth of Huguenot
power. The Religious Wars were marked by the St. Bartholomew’s Day
Massacre of 1572 in which Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny and
thousands of Huguenots were killed at the behest of Catherine de"
Medici. Persecution of Huguenots persisted until the French
Revolution in 1789 granted freedom of religion.
1560 Sep 16, Arnaud du Tilh,
who had confessed to impersonating Martin Guerre, was hanged in
front of Guerre’s house in Artigat, France. In 1941 Janet Lewis
(1899-1998) published "The Wife of Martin Guerre," a historical
novel based on Guerre. The story was turned into an opera in 1961
with music by William Bergsma. In 1984 a French film version was
released "The Return of Martin Guere." An American version,
"Somersby," was made in 1993 set during the Civil War.
1560 The Huguenot conspiracy of
Amboise attempted without success to overthrow the Guises, a
powerful French ducal line that championed the Catholic cause.
1561 Jan 28, The Edict of
Orleans suspended the persecution of French Huguenots.
1561 May, In Montpellier, a
Calvinist stronghold, the Catholics marched in protest against the
Calvinists chanting "We shall dance in spite of the Huguenots." Wars
of religion began to rip France apart and lasted for the next 6
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R22)
1561 Sep 20, Queen Elizabeth of
England signed a treaty at Hamptan Court with French Huguenot leader
Louis de Bourbon, the Prince of Conde. The English would occupy Le
Havre in return for aiding Bourbon against the Catholics of France.
1561 Sep 23, Philip II of Spain
gave orders to halt colonizing efforts in Florida. The French took
advantage of the opportunity.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.20)(HN, 9/23/98)
1561 Jean Nicot, French
ambassador to Lisbon, sent tobacco seeds and powdered leaves back to
France. The word "nicotine" is derived from his name. French
diplomat Jean Nicot introduced the use of tobacco to the French
court in the 1560s.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.20)(HNQ, 1/24/00)
1562 Jan 17, French Protestant
Huguenots were recognized under the Edict of St. Germain.
1562 Mar 1, Blood bath at
Vassy; General de Guise allowed the murder of 1200 Huguenots. The
Guises massacred more than 60 Huguenots at a Protestant service at
Vassy and sparked off The Wars of Religion in France.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.20)(SC, 3/1/02)
1562 May 1, The 1st French
colonists in the US, a 5-vessel Huguenot expedition led by Jean
Ribault (1520-1565), landed in Florida. He continued north and
established a colony named Charlesfort at Parris Island, NC.
1562 Dec 19, The French Wars of
Religion between the Huguenots and the Catholics began with the
Battle of Dreux.
1563 Feb 18, Huguenot Jean
Poltrot de Merde shot French Gen. Francois De Guise (44).
1563 Mar 19, The Peace of
Amboise granted Rights for Huguenots.
1563 Apr 30, Jews were expelled
from France by order of Charles VI.
1564 Jun 22, A 3-ship French
expedition under René de Laudonnière arrived in Florida and built
Fort Caroline. French artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues was part of
1564 Sep 4, A 10-ship Spanish
fleet under Pedro Menendez de Aviles made landfall in Florida.
Menendez was under orders from Phillip II to oust the French.
(Arch, 1/05, p.47)
1564 Sep 13, On the verge of
attacking Pedro Menendez's Spanish settlement at San Agostin,
Florida, Jean Ribault's French fleet was scattered by a devastating
1564 France adopted the
reformed calendar and shifted the new year from April to Jan. Some
didn't like the change and were called April fools.
(SFEC, 1/10/99, Z1 p.8)
1565 Sep 20, A Spanish fleet
under Pedro Menendez de Aviles wiped out some 350 Frenchmen at Fort
Caroline, in Florida. Spanish forces under Pedro Menendez massacred
a band of French Huguenots that posed a potential threat to Spanish
hegemony in the area. They also took advantage of the local Timucuan
Indian tribe. Artist Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues managed to escape
and return to France, where he painted watercolors depicting the
local botany. His alleged paintings of Indians living nearby were
later thrown into question.
(WSJ, 8/3/95, p.A-8)(Arch, 1/05, p.47)(WSJ,
7/18/08, p.W8)(Arch, 5/05, p.31)(Arch, 1/06, p.25)
1566 Jul 2, French astrologer,
physician and prophet Nostradamus died in Salon.
Nov 10, In the Battle at St. Denis the French government army faced
the Huguenots. Catholic duke François I of Condé (1530-1569) managed
to sustain his position against a numerically larger force of
Huguenots (French Protestants). The Huguenots had started a second
War of Religion in France with the Conspiracy of Meaux led by Condé
and Duke Anne of Montmorency (1493?-1567). Montmorency lost his life
at St. Denis.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.21)(DoW, 1999, p.390)
1567 Samuel de Champlain,
French explorer (Lake Champlain), was born. Later evidence suggested
that he was more likely born about 1580.
1568 Mar 23, Treaty of
Longjumeau: French Huguenots went on strike.
1568 May 3, French forces in
Florida slaughtered hundreds of Spanish.
1569 Mar 13, Count of Anjou
defeated the Huguenots at the Battle of Jarnac. Louis Conde, French
prince, co-leader of Huguenots, died in battle.
1569 Oct 3, Battle of
Montcontour the Duke of Anjou beat the Huguenots.
1570 Aug 8, Charles IX of
France signed the Treaty of St. Germain (Peace of St.
Germain-en-Laye), ending the third war of religion and giving
religious freedom to the Huguenots.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)(HN, 8/8/98)
1572 Aug 24, The slaughter of
French Protestants at the hands of Catholics began in Paris as
Charles IX of France attempted to rid the country of Huguenots.
Charles, under the sway of his mother Catherine de Medici, believed
the Huguenot Protestants were plotting a revolution. France’s fourth
war of religion started with the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day,
in which 50,000 Huguenots and their leader, Admiral Gaspard de
Chastillon, Count the Coligny, were killed in and around Paris.
Meyerbeer's 1836 opera "Les Huguenots" was centered on the struggle.
The House of Guise played a leading role in the massacre. In 2009
Stuart Carroll authored “Martyrs and Murderers: The Guise Family and
the Making of Europe."
(AP, 8/24/97)(HN, 8/24/98)(WSJ, 11/23/99,
p.A21)(Econ, 11/7/09, p.78)
1572 Michel de Montaigne,
French philosopher, observed that “there are men on whom the mere
sight of medicine is operative."
(Econ, 11/1/08, p.92)
1573 Mar 14, Claude II of
Lotharingen, duke of Aumale, died. He murdered Huguenot leader Adm.
Coligny. (see Aug 24, 1572]
1573 Apr 26, Marie de'Medici,
Queen of France, was born.
1574 Feb 23, The 5th War of
Religion, against the Huguenots, broke out in France.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)(HN, 2/23/98)(MC, 2/23/02)
1574 In France Charles IX died
and was succeeded by his brother Henry of Valois, Henry III.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)
1575 Nov 8, French Catholics
and Huguenots signed a treaty.
1576 Feb 3, Henry of Navarre
(future Henry IV) escaped from Paris.
1576 Feb 5, Henry of Navarre
renounced Catholicism at Tours.
1576 May 6, The peace treaty of
Chastenoy ended the fifth war of religion.
1576 Jean Bodin, French
political theorist, published his Six Books of the Commonwealth,
wherein he argues that the basis of any society is the family.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)
1576 Carolus Clusius, French
botanist, published his treatise on the flowers of Spain and
Portugal. It was the first modern work on botany.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)
1576 The Fifth War of Religion
in France ends with the Peace of Monsieur. The Huguenots were
granted freedom of worship in all places except Paris.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)
1578 The Pont-Neuf was begun.
(SFEM, 3/12/00, p.50)
1578 Faience, a tin-glazed
earthenware, was manufactured at Nevers, France, by the Conrade
(TL-MB, 1988, p.22)
1579 Jan 6, The Union of
Atrecht (French: Arras) was an accord signed in Atrecht (Arras),
under which the southern states of the Spanish Netherlands, today in
Wallonia and the Nord-Pas-de-Calais (and Picardy) regions in France,
expressed their loyalty to the Spanish king Philip II and recognized
the landlord, Don Juan de Austria. It is to be distinguished from
the Union of Utrecht, signed later in the same month. The Peace of
Arras ensured that the southern provinces of The Netherlands were
reconciled to Philip II. It joined the Low Country Walloons
(Catholics) with those of Hainaut and Artois.
1580 Mar 15, Spanish king
Philip II put 25,000 gold coins on head of Prince William of Orange.
1580 Nov 26, French Huguenots
and Catholics signed a peace treaty. France’s 7th War of Religion
broke out and ended with the Peace of Fleix.
(TL-MB, p.23)(PCh, 1992, p.200)(MC,
1580 Michel de Montaigne,
French scholar and nobleman, wrote his personal essays entitled "Les
Essais." His 107 essays included “On the Cannibals."
1580 The Roman fortress at Suin
(SFEC, 11/21/99, p.T4)
1581 Guillaume Postel, French
intellectual, mathematician and Kabbalist, died. In 1957 William
James Bouwsma (d.2004) authored "The Career and Thought of Guillaume
1581 Oct 15, Commissioned by
Catherine De Medici, the 1st ballet "Ballet Comique de la Reine,"
was staged in Paris.
1582 Oct 15, The Gregorian (or
New World) calendar was adopted in Italy, France, Spain, and
Portugal; and the preceding ten days were lost to history. This day
followed Oct 4 to bring the calendar into sync. by order of the
Council of Trent. Oct 5-14 were dropped.
(K.I.-365D, p.97)(NG, March 1990, J.
1583 Nov, Francis Throckmorton,
who was born in 1554, was arrested. He made a full confession of the
Throckmorton Plot for the overthrow of Queen Elizabeth I and the
restoration of papal authority in England after being tortured on
the rack. He was tried and then executed on July 20, 1584.
Throckmorton was the central figure in the conspiracy involving
France and Spain, which called for a French invasion of England and
the release from prison of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1584 Jul 10, William of Orange
(1533-1584), Prince of Orange (1544-1584), Count of Nassau
(1559-1584), and first stadholder of the United Provinces of the
Netherlands, was assassinated by Burgundian Balthasar Gerard (25)
with a handgun. Philip II of Spain had called for a volunteer
assassin due to William’s reluctance take a public stand on
religious issues. William was succeeded by his 17-year-old son,
Maurice of Nassau. In 2006 Lisa Jardine authored “The Awful End of
Prince William the Silent."
(TL-MB, 1988, p.23)(WSJ, 4/5/06, p.D8)
1584 The oldest surviving
lighthouse (wave-swept) was begun at Cordonau, by the mouth of the
Gironde River in France.
1585 Jul 7, King Henri III
& Duke De Guise signed the Treaty of Nemours: French Huguenots
lost all freedoms.
1585 Sep 9, Duc Armand Jean du
Plessis de Richelieu (d.1642), French cardinal and statesman who
helped build France into a world power under the leadership of King
Louis XIII, was born. He was premier of France from 1624 to 1642.
(HN, 9/9/98)(MC, 9/9/01)
1585 Sep 9, Pope Sixtus V
deprived Henry of Navarre of his rights to the French crown.
1585 The War of the Three
Henries [Henry III, Henry of Guise, and Henry of Navarre] began when
Henry of Navarre, a Huguenot, became heir to the French throne.
1587 Oct 20, In France,
Huguenot Henri de Navarre routed Duke de Joyeuse's larger Catholic
force at Coutras.
1588 May 9, Duke Henri de
Guise's troops occupied Paris.
1588 May 12, King Henry II fled
Paris after Catholic League under duke Henry of Guise entered the
city. The people of Paris rose against Henry III, who fled to
Chartres. Seven months later he had Henry of Guise and his brother,
Cardinal de Guise, assassinated.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.24)(HN, 5/12/98)(MC, 5/12/02)
1588 Dec 23, Henri de Guise
(37), French leader of Catholic League, was murdered.
1588 Jacques Le Moyne de
Morgues (b.~1533), French artist, died in England. He had painted
watercolors of the flora and fauna of Florida, which were lost
during a Spanish attack in 1565. Back in France he created new
paintings, which were also lost, but engravings made by a Flemish
publisher survived. In 2008 Miles Harvey authored “Painter in a
1589 Jan 5, Catherine de Medici
(b.1519), Queen Mother of France, died at age 69. In 2005 Leonie
Frieda authored “Catherine de Medici: Renaissance Queen of France."
(TL-MB, 1988, p.24)(AP, 1/5/98)(WSJ, 8/10/05,
1589 Aug 1, Monk Jacques
Clement attempted to murder French King Hendrik III. [see Aug 2]
1589 Aug 2, Henry III, King of
France, was assassinated by a Jacobin monk, Jacques Clement. Last of
the House of Valois, he named Henry (1553-1610), King of Navarre, to
succeed him. During France's religious war, a fanatical monk stabbed
King Henry II to death.
(TL-MB, 1988, p.24)(WUD, 1994, p.662)(HN, 8/2/98)
1589 Sep 21, The Duke of
Mayenne of France, head of the Catholic League, was defeated by
Henry IV of England at the Battle of Arques.
(HN, 9/21/98)(MC, 9/21/01)
1589 Bernard Palissey, a
Huguenot, expressed the opinion that fossils were the remains of
living creatures. He was locked up in the dungeons of the Bastille
for his opinions and died there.
(SFC, 9/20/97, p.E3)
1589-1610 Henry (1553-1610), King of Navarre, as
Henry IV became the first Bourbon King of France, Henry the Great.
He switched from Protestantism to Catholicism. "Paris is well worth
(TL-MB, p.24)(WUD, 1994, p.662)(Hem., 1/97,
1590 Dec 20, Ambroise Pare
(80), French surgeon, died.
1590 Bernard Pallissy (b.1510),
French ceramicist, painter and writer, died. Pallisy produced his
designs by attaching casts of dead lizards, snakes, and shellfish to
traditional ceramic forms such as basins, ewers, and plates. He then
painted these wares in blue, green, purple, and brown, and glazed
them with runny lead-based glaze to increase their watery realism.
The style became known as Pallisy ware.
1591 Mar 1, Pope Gregory XIV
threatened to excommunicate French king Henri IV.
1591 Sep 21, French bishops
recognized Henri IV as king of France.
1592 Sep 13, Michel Eyquem de
Montaigne (b.1533), French philosopher (L'Amiti), died of quinsy, a
recognized complication of tonsillitis, at the Château de Montaigne.
1593 Mar 19, Georges de la Tour
(d.1652), French painter, was born. His night painting "The Penitent
Magdelene" features a seated woman contemplating a flame with one
hand resting on a skull.
(NH, 10/96, p.39)(MC, 3/19/02)
1593 Jul 25, France's King
Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.
1594 Nicolas Poussin (d.1665),
known as the founder of French Classicism, was born.
(WSJ, 2/26/96, p.A-10)(AAP, 1964)(SFC, 11/22/97,
1594 The first act of Henry of
Navarre, when he entered Paris as Henry IV, was to touch 600
scrofulous [tuberculytic] persons.
(WP, 1951, p.7)
1594 Henry IV proposed his
"Grande Dessein" to join the Louvre with the nearby Tuileries
palace, which had been built under Catherine de Medici.
(WSJ, 10/7/98, p.A20)
1595 Jun 5, Henry IV’s army
defeated the Spanish at the Battle of Fontaine-Francaise.
1596 Mar 31, Rene Descartes
(d.1650), French philosopher, was born in La Haye, France. He
proposed a numerical index that represented fundamental notions. He
made consciousness the defining feature of the self. Descartes died
in Sweden. In 1997 Paul Strathern published: "Descartes in 90
Minutes," and Keith Devlin published "Goodbye Descartes: The End of
Logic and the Search for a New Cosmology of the Mind." In 1998 the
French biography by Genevieve Rodis-Lewis was translated to English:
"Descartes: His Life and Thought."
(V.D.-H.K.p.203)(Wired, 8/96, p.86)(WSJ, 3/18/97,
p.A20)(AP, 3/30/97) (WSJ, 7/23/98, p.A14)(WSJ, 8/21/98, p.W13)
1598 Apr 13, King Henry IV of
France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted political rights
to French Huguenots. (The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis
XIV, who declared France entirely Catholic again.)
(AP, 4/13/98)(HN, 4/13/98)
1598-1666 Nicolas Francois Mansart, architect. The
mansard roof is named after him.
(WUD, 1994, p.873)(SFC, 8/25/99, Z1 p.7)
1600s The contractor
Jean-Christophe Marie built bridges on the Seine to the Ile
St.-Louis and laid out lots on straight streets for sale.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.T8)
c1600 French fishermen and
their families settled the islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon off
the coast of Newfoundland. The 9-island was later made a French
(WSJ, 6/30/00, p.B4)
1600-1700 Cognac 1st appeared when Dutch sea
merchants found that they could better preserve white wine shipped
from France to northern Europe by distilling it. They then learned
the wine got better as it aged in wooden barrels.
(WSJ, 7/14/03, p.A1)
1601 Jan 17, The Treaty of
Lyons ended a short war between France and Savoy. Savoy was ceded to
France in 1860.
(WUD, 1994, p.1272)(HN, 1/17/99)
1601 Aug 17, Pierre de Fermat
(d.1665), French mathematician, was born. [There is some dispute as
to his exact birthdate.]
(WSJ, 11/25/96, p.A16)(SFEC, 12/797, BR p.5)(SC,
1601 Aug 22, Georges de
Scudery, French writer (Observations sur le Cid), was born.
1601 Sep 27, Maria de Medicis
(1575-1642), the 2nd wife of King Henry IV of France, gave birth to
Louis XIII, who later became king of France (1610-43). Henry IV, in
honor of the birth, revived a tapestry scheme by poet Nicholas Houel
and artist Antoine Caron, that had been conceived in honor of
Caterina de Medici (1519-1589). Louis ascended to the throne at the
age of nine following the assassination of his father. At 17, he
seized control of the empire from his mother Marie de' Medici. Louis
XIII proved to be a strongly pro-Catholic ruler.
1602 Jul 14, Jules Mazarin,
French cardinal, French 1st Minister (1642-61), was born.
1602 Jul 29, The Duke of Biron
was executed in Paris for conspiring with Spain and Savoy against
King Henry IV of France.
1604 Jun 26, French explorer
Samuel de Champlain, Pierre Dugua and 77 others landed on the island
of St. Croix and made friends with the native Passamaquoddy Indians.
It later became part of Maine on the US-Canadian border.
(PacDis, Spring/'94, p. 43)(SSFC, 6/20/04, p.D10)
1604 Claude Lorrain (b.1682),
French painter (also known as Claude Gelée), was born.
(WSJ, 11/6/02, p.D8)
1605 Henry IV and his minister,
Duc de Sully, decided to build a square over the former site of the
Hotel Royal des Tournelles. The new square was named the Place
Royale until the Revolution when it was renamed the Place des Vosges
after the first administrative department, Les Vosges, that paid
(SFEM, 3/15/98, p.16)
1605 French King Henry IV
established a building code that set architectural themes and
specified that pavilions had to be owned by a single family.
(SFEM, 3/15/98, p.35)
1605-1610 French King Henry IV and his minister,
the Duc de Sully, built the Place des Vosges, originally called the
Place Royale, in the Marais district of Paris.
(SSFC, 9/11/05, p.E6)
1605-1704 Marc-Antoine Charpentier, French
composer. His work included "Antiennes "O" de l’Avent."
(WSJ, 11/27/01, p.A20)
1606 Jun 6, Pierre Corneille
(d.1684), French dramatist, poet and writer of Le Cid, was born:
"Guess, if you can, and choose, if you dare."
(AP, 3/28/98)(HN, 6/6/98)
1606 The order of the Sisters
of Ursula was founded in France. Like their Jesuit brethren they try
to fuse contemplative withdrawal with worldly engagement.
(WSJ, 12/3/98, p.W17)
1607 Sep 28, Samuel de
Champlain and his colonists returned to France from Port Royal Nova
1608 Jul 3, The city of Quebec
was founded by Samuel de Champlain. The French adventurer Etienne
Brule accompanied Champlain to North America and was reportedly
eaten by the Huron Indians.
(AP, 7/3/97)(SFEC, 6/7/98, Z1 p.8)
1610 May 14, King Henri IV,
Henri de Navarre (56), Bourbon King of France (1572, 89-1610) was
assassinated by a fanatical monk, François Ravillac. Henri IV was
succeeded by 11-year-old Louis XIII, under the eye of Cardinal
Richelieu. Henry’s legacy included straight roads flanked by arbres
d’alignement on both sides.
(SFEM, 3/15/98, p.17)(HN, 5/14/99)(MC,
5/14/02)(Econ, 2/14/04, p.48)
1610 May 15, Parliament of
Paris appointed Louis XIII (8) as French king.
1610-1643 Louis XIII (1601-1643) was King of
France. He was the son of Henry IV of Navarre. He started the
fashion of men’s wigs do to loss of hair.
(WUD, 1994, p.524)(SFC, 12/29/96, zone 1 p.2)
1612 "Le Carrousel du Roi," an
equestrian ballet, was choreographed by Antoine de Pluvinel and
scored by Robert Ballard. It was performed as part of an engagement
ceremony for Louis XIII of France to Anne of Austria, princess of
Spain. An estimated 200,000 people viewed the performance in Paris’
Place Royale (later the Place des Vosges).
(SFEC, 6/4/00, DB p.38)(SFEC, 6/11/00, p.D9)
1612 The Pavillon du Roi, begun
under Henri IV, was completed. It was occupied by the king’s court
and then the Duc de Sully, after which it was called the Hotel de
(SFEM, 3/15/98, p.17)
1612 The French explorer
Etienne Brule (1592-1632) is believed to be the first European to
see the Great Lakes. Brule journeyed to North America with Samuel de
Champlain in 1608 and helped found Quebec. Brule explored Lake Huron
in 1612 and is believed to have also explored Lakes Ontario, Erie
and Superior after 1615. Brule is the first European to live among
the Indians and was probably the first European to set foot in what
is now Pennsylvania.
1612 French explorer Samuel de
Champlain compiled a 17 by 30 inch map depicting the coast of New
England and the Canadian maritime provinces.
(SFC, 12/5/15, p.A6)
1613 Sep 15, Francois, duc de
la Rochefoucauld (d.1680), writer (Memoires), was born in Paris,
France. "When we cannot find contentment in ourselves it is useless
to seek it elsewhere."
1613-1700 Andre Le Notre, architect and landscape
designer. He shaped the gardens at Vaux-le-Vicomte, Versailles,
Marly, Chantilly, Saint Germain-en-Laye, Les Tuileries, saint cloud,
Sceaux and Courances.
(WUD, 1994, p.820)(SFEM, 5/18/97, p.26)
1614 May 15, An aristocratic
uprising in France ended with the treaty of St. Menehould.
1614 King Louis XIII (13) gave
Christophe Marie and his partners the go-ahead to build the Pont
Marie linking Paris’ Right Bank to the Ile Saint Louis.
(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.33)
1615 Feb 23, The
Estates-General in Paris was dissolved, having been in session since
1615 Jul 28, French explorer
Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Huron on his seventh voyage to
the New World.
1615-1680 Nicolas Fouquet, treasurer to Louis XIV
of France. He used embezzled funds to build his chateau Vaux le
Vicomte. [see 1661]
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R8)
1616 Nov 20, Bishop Richelieu
became French minister of Foreign affairs and War.
1617 Baron de Vitry murdered
Marechal d’Ancre in a pavilion on the Place des Vosges.
(SFEM, 3/15/98, p.50)
1618 In France one of the first
manuals of conversation was published: “Maximes de la Bienséance en
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.80)
1619 Feb 24, Charles Le Brun,
painter, designer, was born in Paris.
1619 Mar 6, Cyrano de Bergerac
(d.1655), French poet, playwright (Voyage to the Moon), swordsman,
was born. His radical writings prefigured Voltaire and Diderot. His
noted nose was an invention of the poet Theophile Gautier introduced
in an 1844 book. Edmond Rostand’s play on Cyrano was unveiled in
(SFEC, 4/27/97, DB p.3)(MC, 3/6/02)
1620 Feb 10, Supporters of
Marie de Medici, the queen mother, who had been exiled to Blois,
were defeated by the king’s troops at Ponts de Ce, France.
1620 Feb 15, Francois
Charpentier, French scholar, archaeologist, was born.
1620 Jul 21, Jean Picard,
French astronomer, was born.
1620 Aug 7, French king Louis
XIII beat his mother Marie de Medici at the Battle at Ponts-the-Ca,
1620 Dec 23, French Huguenots
declared war on King Louis XIII.
c1620-1630 Marquisa de Rambouillet began inviting
acquaintances to her Paris townhouse for weekly conversations giving
birth to the Paris salon culture. In 2002 Benedetta Craveri authored
“The Age of Conversation." An English translation came out in 2005.
(WSJ, 5/13/05, p.W6)
1621 Jul 8, Jean La Fontaine,
poet and author of Fables, was born.
1621 Sep 8, Louis II Conde,
[Great Conde], duke of Bourbon (Rocroy), was born.
1622 Jan 15, Moliere (d.1673)
[Jean Baptiste Poquelin], French actor and comic dramatist, was
born. He was the author of "Tartuffe" and "The Misanthrope" (1666).
He also did the bilingual experiment "L’Impromptu du Versailles."
His last play was "The Imaginary Invalid." "It is a stupidity second
to none, to busy oneself with the correction of the world."
(WUD, 1994, p.923)(WSJ, 4/5/96, p.A-6)(LSA,
Spg/97, p.14)(WSJ, 4/2/98, p.A20)(AP, 11/10/98)(HN, 1/15/99)
1622 Sep 5, Richelieu became
1622 Oct 18, French King Louis
XIII and the Huguenots signed the treaty of Montpellier.
1622 Dec 28, Francois de Sales
(55), French bishop of Geneva, writer and saint, died.
1623 Jun 19, Blaise Pascal
(d.1662), French mathematician, physicist, religious writer, was
born. He affirmed that the heart has its reasons, which reason does
not comprehend. The French mathematician invented the roulette wheel
in an effort to create a perpetual motion machine. He formulated the
first laws of atmospheric pressure, equilibrium of liquids and
probability." All the troubles of man come from his not knowing how
to sit still."
(V.D.-H.K.p.123)(SFEC, 3/23/97, z1 p.7)(AP,
6/19/98)(AP, 5/28/99)(HN, 6/19/99)
1624 Apr 29, Louis XIII
appointed Cardinal Richelieu chief minister of the Royal Council.
1624 Aug 13, French King Louis
XIII named Cardinal Richelieu his first minister.
1624 Nicolas Poussin, French
painter, left France and went to Rome.
(WSJ, 2/26/96, p.A-10)
1624 Artisans of Louis XIII
completed the 1st generation of the Louvre.
(SFC, 7/15/00, p.B3)
1625 Aug 20, Thomas Corneille,
French playwright, was born.
1625 The Marais district house
at 62 Rue Saint Antoine, later known as the Hotel de Sully, was
(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T7)
1626 Feb 6, Huguenot rebels and
the French signed the Peace of La Rochelle.
1626-1636 Francois Mansart, French royal
architect, built the Chateau de Balleroy in Normandy.
(SSFC, 6/6/04, D6)
1627 May 29, Anne of Orléans,
duchess of Montpensier (Grand Mademoiselle), was born.
1627 Jul 10, English fleet
under George Villiers reached La Rochelle, France, a Huguenot
(MC, 7/10/02)(WUD, 1994, p.808)
1627 Jul 20, English fleet
under George Villiers reached La Rochelle. [see Jul 10]
1627 Aug 10, Cardinal Richelieu
began a siege of La Rochelle.
1628 Jan 13, Charles Perrault,
lawyer, writer (Mother Goose), was born in France.
1628 Oct 28, After a
fifteen-month siege, the Huguenot town of La Rochelle surrendered to
Cardinal Richelieu's Catholic forces. John Tradescant, an English
gardener who accompanied Duke George Villiers to rescue the
Huguenots, had designed siege trenches prior to the surrender.
(HN, 10/28/98)(MC, 10/28/01)(WSJ, 4/3/08, p.B19)
1630 Mar 23, French troops
occupied Pinerolo, Piedmont.
1630 Nov 10, In France there
was a failed palace revolution against Richelieu government.
1631 Oct 10, A Saxon army
1631 French artist Jean Lhomme
painted “Pardon in Assisi." In 2016 the work was stolen from a
village church in Nottoria, Italy, after it was damaged by a series
of powerful earthquakes.
(SFC, 11/8/16, p.A2)
1631 The French naval dockyards
were created in order to give France sufficient maritime power to
rival that of England. This laid the foundation for the French
defense firm DCNS.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DCNS_(company))(Econ, 5/14/16, p.55)
1632 Apr 20, Nicolas Antione,
converted to Judaism, was burned at the stake. [see Dec 20]
1632 Oct 30, Henri de
Montmorency, French duke and plotter, was beheaded.
1632 Dec 20, Nicolas Antoine,
French Catholic pastor who converted to Judaism, was executed. [see
1633 May 1, Sebastien le
Prestre de Vauban, French fortress architect, was born.
1634 Mar 13, Academie Francaise
was established. Its task was to preserve the purity of the French
language, which included maintaining a dictionary. Members came to
be known as the "immortals" and by 1998 they were struggling with
masculine nouns of positions held by women who desired feminine
(SFC, 1/17/98, p.A12)(MC, 3/13/02)
1634 Jul 14, Pasquier Quesnel,
French theologian, Jansenist (Jesus-Christ Penitent), was born.
1634-1644 Hugo Grotius (d.1645) of Holland, father
of international law, served the Swedish government as ambassador to
(HN, 4/10/98)(HNQ, 3/15/00)
1635 May 19, Cardinal Richelieu
of France intervened in the great conflict in Europe by declaring
war on the Hapsburgs in Spain.
(DTnet, 5/19/97)(HN, 5/19/99)
1635 Jun 3, Philippe Quinault
(d.1688), French dramatist whose popular librettos included Amadis,
Roland and Armida, was born.
1635 Feb 22, King Louis XIII at
the urging of Cardinal Richelieu granted letters patent to formally
establish the Academie Francaise in Paris. The Académie française
was responsible for the regulation of French grammar, orthography,
1635 May 5, Philippe Quinault,
French playwright (L'amant indiscret), was born.
1635 Jun 28, The French colony
of Guadeloupe was established in the Caribbean.
1635 Dec 25, Samuel de
Champlain, French explorer of North America, died. In 2008 David
Hackett Fischer authored “Champlain’s Dream."
(CFA, '96, p.60)(WSJ, 10/11/08, p.W8)
1636 Aug 8, The invading armies
of Spain, Austria and Bavaria were stopped at the village of
St.-Jean-de-Losne, only 50 miles from France.
1637 May 13, Cardinal Richelieu
of France created the table knife.
1638 Feb 28, Henri duc de
Rohan, French soldier, Huguenot leader, died.
1638 Apr 13, Duke Henri II
(58), French Huguenot leader, died.
1638 Sep 5, Louis XIV, "The Sun
King" (1643-1715) of France, was born. He built the palace at
Versailles. [see Sep 16]
1638 Sep 16, France's King
Louis XIV, the Sun King, was born. He ruled from 1643-1715 and died
in 1715. [see Sep 5]
(WUD, 1994, p.848)(AP, 9/16/97)
1638 Dec 18, Pere Joseph
(Francois du Tremblay, b.1577), French Capuchin friar, confidant and
agent of Cardinal Richelieu, died. He was the original éminence
grise -- the French term ("grey eminence") for a powerful advisor or
decision-maker who operates secretly or unofficially. Richelieu was
known as Éminence Rouge (red eminence); from the colors of their
1638-1715 Dom Perignon, a French monk. He
introduced blending, vineyard and cellaring practices that made
champagne a better wine.
(Hem., 10/97, p.104)
1639 Feb 7, Academie Francaise
began its Dictionary of French Language.
1639 The Hugel company began
producing wine in the Alsatian village of Riquewihr.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R46)(SFC, 6/12/09, p.B3)
1639-1699 Racine, French dramatist. His plays
included "Phedre" and "Ariadne’s Thread" based on Greek myths.
(WUD, 1994, p.1184)(WSJ, 10/8/02, p.D8)
1640 Mar 9, Pierre Corneille’s
"Horace," premiered in Paris.
1642 May 18, The Canadian city
of Montreal was founded by French colonists.
1642 Jul 3, Maria de' Medici
(~69), French queen-mother, died.
1642 Sep 12, Cinq Mars, French
plotter, was executed.
1642 Dec 4, Cardinal
Armand-Jean Duplessis Richelieu (57), French statesman and bishop of
Luzon, died. "If you give me six lines written by the most honest
man, I will find something in them to hang him." "He did too much
harm to be praised, and too much good to be damned."
(MC, 12/4/01)(WSJ, 9/24/02, p.D8)(Econ, 1/24/04,
1642 Le Vau, the royal
architect, built the Hotel Lambert on the Ile of Saint Louis.
(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.32)
1642 Blaise Pascal invented a
calculating machine to ease the drudgery of his tax-collector
father. It was considered too complicated.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R14)
1642 A diamond, said to be
stolen from a Hindu statue, was acquired in India by Jean Baptiste
Tavernier, a noted French traveler. The 45.52 carat steel blue
diamond was found in India back in remote times as a rough crystal
weighing 112 carats. Tavernier later sold to King Louis XIV of
France. The diamond, known as the French Blue or the Tavernier Blue,
disappeared. For many years it was not heard from at all. In 1830, a
large steel blue diamond of a different shape, and weighing only
44.50 carats appeared on the market in England and was purchased by
Henry Thomas Hope, an English banker. It changed hands a number of
times and in 1911 it was sold to Evelyn Walsh McLean of Washington,
DC, who had it placed in a Cartier setting.
1643 May 14, Louis XIV became
King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.
1643 May 18, Queen Anne, the
widow of Louis XIII, was granted sole and absolute power as regent
by the Paris parliament, overriding the late king's will.
1643 May 19, A French army
destroyed Spanish army at the Battle at Rocroi - Allersheim in
(DTnet, 5/19/97)(HN, 5/19/98)
1643 Nov 22, Rene R. Cavelier,
sieur de La Salle, French explorer, was born. [see Dec 22]
1643 Dec 22, Rene-Robert
Cavelier La Salle, French explorer (Louisiana), was born. [see Nov
1643-1715 Louis XIV was King of France. "L'etat
c'est moi" (I am the state). Francois Michelle Le Tellier, the
Marquis de Louvois, was his secretary of state for war. A portrait
of the Marquis was painted by Herault.
(WUD, 1994, p.848)(SFC,10/23/97, p.E1)
1645 Aug 16, Jean de la
Bruyere, French writer and moralist famous for his work "Characters
of Theophratus," was born.
1645 The construction of Saint
Sulpice in Paris, France, began over a Romanesque church and
(SSFC, 1/25/04, p.C12)
1645 The San Marcoul Hospital
was established in Rheims, France, by a devout woman for the care of
scrofulous [tubercular] patients.
(WP, 1951, p.7)
1646-1707 Jules Hardouin Mansart, architect. He
became the chief architectural director for Louis XIV.
(WUD, 1994, p.873)
1647 Mar 14, The 1647 Treaty of
Ulm was reached between the French and the Bavarians during the
Thirty Years' War. In negotiations with the French, Maximilian I of
Bavaria abandoned his alliance with the Holy Roman emperor Ferdinand
III through the Treaty of Ulm. In 1648 Bavaria returned to the side
of the emperor.
1647 Nov 8, Pierre Bayle
(d.1706), French-Dutch theologian, philosopher, and writer, was
born. He authored the "Historical and Critical Dictionary." "If an
historian were to relate truthfully all the crimes, weaknesses and
disorders of mankind, his readers would take his work for satire
rather than for history."
(WUD, 1994, p.128)(AP, 11/19/97)(WSJ, 12/2/97,
1647 "L’Orfeo" was produced in
France. It was composed by Luigi Rossi who was imported by Cardinal
Mazarin who sought to bring the Italian operatic tradition to France
and mate it with the court orchestra, Les Vingt-Quatre Vuiolons du
(WSJ, 6/19/97, p.A16)
1648 Aug 26, There was a
people's uprising, the Fronde, against Anna of Austria, regent for
Louis XIV of France, and Cardinal Mazarin (d.1661), the effective
(PC, 1992, p.241)(MC, 8/26/02)
1648 The painting "Holy Family
on the Steps," later acquired by the US National Gallery of Art, was
initially attributed to Nicolas Poussin. The original turned out to
be at the Cleveland Museum of Art and the National Gallery changed
the authorship to a "follower of Poussin."
(WSJ, 4/9/99, p.W16)
1648 The French Royal Academy
of Painting and Sculpture was founded.
(AM, 7/05, p.54)
1649 Mar 11, The peace of Rueil
was signed between the Frondeurs (rebels) and the French government.
1649 Poussin created his
painting "Moses Striking the Rock."
(WSJ, 1/04/00, p.A16)
1649-1743 Hyacinthe Rigaud, painter. Painted the
"Portrait of Louis XIV."