Siege of Sancerre

Siege Of Sancerre

Military Conflict
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Siege of Sancerre

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The Siege of Sancerre (1572–1573) was a siege of the fortified hilltop city of Sancerre in central France during the Wars of Religion where the Huguenot population held out for nearly eight months against the Catholic forces of the king.


In 1529, John Calvin followed Protestant Reformer Melchior Wolmar to Bourges to continue his law studies under Andrea Alciati, an Italian who had been invited by Francis I to teach in France. Calvin's ideas became popular in Bourges and the doctrine of the Reformation spread throughout the region and France. Calvinism became influential in Sancerre in 1540. After the Conspiracy of Amboise and Massacre (1560), many Huguenots took refuge in Sancerre, which became, along with Nîmes, Montauban and La Rochelle, one of the principal cities of the Reformation in France.

In May 1562, Gabriel, comte de Montgomery, the Huguenot captain, captured Bourges during the First Civil War and raided churches and monasteries. The Catholics counter-attacked with reprisals and the campaign spread. Sancerre, spared during the first round of the conflict, was attacked in 1564 by Count Sciarra Martinengo, a Venetian, who was governor of Orléans, and Claude de La Châtre, governor of the Berry. Lacking bombard artillery, but armed with slings, (trebuchet), the hilltop city withstood the attack for five weeks until Martinengo and Châtre withdrew, finding the rebellious fortress too difficult to capture. Another attack against Sancerre was...
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