Catherine de Medici Debate

2 July 1565 - meeting with her daughter Elizabeth of Spain in Saint-Bayonne

The Huguenots were banned from this meeting because Spain was so against the Huguenot cause and would have refused the meeting had they been present. Catherine also partook in extensive conversations with the Duke of Alba over marriage arrangements, which ended in nothing. These two factors contributed to Catherine’s black legend– later on after the massacre of Bartholomew Catherine was blamed for planning the massacre as early as this with the Duke of Alba. The Duke of Alba developed a terrible reputation after slaughtering Huguenot rebels in the Netherlands, therefore the Huguenots in France believed Catherine had panned the massacre in her discussions with the Duke. However Philip of Spain hated her, especially her moderate policy towards the Huguenots, and would not meet her when she met her daughter. There is also evidence that suggests Catherine only talked to the Duke about further marriage arrangements. She still at this time followed a policy of toleration and there is very little evidence suggesting she made any plans of persecution.


She still excluded the Huguenots from the meeting showing her prejudice against them, so it is incorrect to say she completely followed the policy of toleration as if she had she would not have treated them as inferior and excluded them.

Joan - York

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