Catherine de’ Medici

Catherine de’ Medici
(1519–89)
   Monarch and Politician.
   Catherine was from a noble Florentine family and was related to Pope Clement VII. She was married to King Henry II of France and became Regent on her husband’s death. France at that time was embroiled in controversy between the Roman Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots. In 1561 Catherine called the Colloquy of Poissy in an attempt to find a political solution and initially she tried to work towards the toleration of Protestants. This policy had been abandoned by 1568 and in 1572 she was responsible for the notorious massacre of St Bartholomew’s Day when the Huguenot Admiral Cligny was murdered together with several thousand Protestants. Catherine was a patron of literature and the arts, but she does not seem to have been interested in theological differences unless they served political ends.
   J.E. Neale, The Age of Catherine de Medici (1943);
   N.M. Sutherland, Catherine de Medici and the Ancien Regime (1966).

Who’s Who in Christianity . 2014.

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