Siege of Toulouse, 22 January-20 February 1570

The siege of Tolouse (22 January-20 February 1570) saw an unsuccessful Huguenot attempt to seize the city, abandoned because of a lack of supplies.

The Third War of Religion saw the Huguenots suffer two major battlefield defeats - Jarnac in March 1569 had ended with the death of the Prince of Condé, and Moncontour (3 October 1569) had ended with the virtual destruction of their army. Despite these two disasters Admiral Coligny continued the struggle. Moving to the south of France he raised a new army and began to dominate the region, by the start of 1570 he had decided that the only way to end of the war would be to move north to threaten Paris.

In January 1570 Coligny joined with Gabriel de Lorges, comte de Montgomery, the victor of a brief campaign that had seen the Protestants regain control of Béarn.

Colingy's route would take him from the south-west of France, up the Garonne and across to the Mediterranean coast, before he turned north to advance up the Rhone.

On 22 January 1570 the Huguenot army began a month-long siege of Toulouse. The city was rather too strongly defended for Coligny to risk an assault, and it was his own supplies that ran out first. On 20 February, after ravaging the local countryside, the Huguenot army lifted the siege and moved east towards Carcassonne. From there they moved on to the Rhone, and ended with year in the area to the west of Lyon. The main campaign then paused while Coligny recovered from a serious illness, while negotiations filled much of March and April 1571. When these broke down Coligny resumed his march north, winning a crucial victory at Arnay-le-Duc in June 1570. After this the negotiations resumed, and the war was ended by the Peace of St.-Germain of 8 August 1570.

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 (3 February 2011), Siege of Toulouse, 22 January-20 February 1570 ,

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