Wednesday, August 26, 2015

St. Bartholomew August 26

On the 26th of August, 1572 the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre spread to Troyes and La Charite.  I could not find a description of the massacre in La Charite, but in Troyes the news arrived and the killing did not start immediately.  The gates were closed, however, so that no one could get away.  By the 30th the Huguenots were all arrested and put into jail, but few were slain.  Then Pierre Belin arrived in Troyes.  Berlin had participated in the slaughter in Paris and was now sent to Troyes.  When he discovered the people had not slaughtered the Huguenots, he demanded the killing begin in the name of the King.  The local bishop confirmed Belin’s statements.  The local hangman did refuse to start the killing claiming he only killed those who had been found guilty after trial, but others were less concerned with such things and the prisons were emptied by death.  The bodies then plundered and laid out on the streets.  A parade was held the next day so that all could march past and examine the dead Huguenots and learn the price of “heresy”. 

The story also includes a letter to Montsoreau, an agent of the government, from Henry the Duke of Anjou, the King’s brother.  Montsoreau was tasked with killing all the Huguenots in Saumur and then after he finished there to go to Angers both of which fell under the rule of Anjou.  This man began his work giving the orders in Saumur on the 26th.  We can assume he was in Angers within a day or two to carry the massacre to that city as well. 

In Paris the killing continued as more people died.  One old man who had been thrown into the river to drown was able to swim to the far side.  He made his way to a cousin’s house where his wife was hiding. She refused to let him in, and eventually the man was found and killed this time.  Such was the fear during this time.  This is also the day Peter Ramus, the philosopher and Huguenot.  Accounts of his death differ.  Some say they found him in his study of the college because he had come out of hiding on the third day.  Then many still refused to kill him, but finally the third party did.  Others say he was was found in a cellar at the college hiding by his philosophical rival Jacques Chaarpentier, an Aristotelian Catholic.  He took a large sum of money from Ramus and then killed him anyway and threw him from an upper window at the college and the students then ripped his body apart.  It was the third day of rampaging killing in Paris.