Siege of Chartres, 24 February-March 1568

The siege of Chartres (24 February-March 1568) was the last significant military action during the Second War of Religion, and saw a short-lived Huguenot attempt to take the city that was cut short by the peace negotiations that ended the war.

The war began with a failed Protestant attempt to seize control of the court (the Surprise of Meaux, September 1567), a short Huguenot blockade of Paris and the inconclusive battle of St. Denis (10 November 1567). In the aftermath of this battle Condé led the Huguenot army east into Lorraine, where in January it met up with a force of German reiters under John Casimir, the son of the Elector Palatinate. The combined army then moved west, watched by a larger Royal army under Henry, duke of Anjou (the further Henry III).

Condé's target was Chartres, fifty miles from Paris. He hoped to catch the Royalist by surprise, but this failed, and a small garrison was placed in the town before Condé arrived outside its walls on 24 February. Having failed to take the city by surprise Condé was now stuck outside the walls, with only five siege cannon and four light culverines in his entire army.

Perhaps fortunately for the Huguenots their close approach to Paris had tipped the balance of opinion at the court in favour of more serious peace talks. On 28 February Charles IX dispatched a delegation to meet with Huguenot representatives. After some difficult talks the two sides agrees to restore the Edict of Amboise of 1563, and on 23 March the Edict of Longjumeau ended the Second War of Religion.

The French Religious Wars 1562-1598, Robert Jean Knecht. A useful guide to the complex series of nine French Wars of Religion, including an examination of who the wars began and the main players on both sides, narrative accounts of the wars, overviews of the most important battles and sieges. Also looks at the impact of the wars on France’s neighbours, many of whom got dragged into the conflict, and on a selection of soldiers and civilians. Supported by a series of maps that help show how complex the conflict was
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (24 January 2011), Siege of Chartres, 24 February-March 1568 ,

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