Catherine de Medici Debate

Failed assassination of Admiral Coligny sparked the Massacre of Bartholomew

The massacre may only have taken place because the Admiral Coligny decided to bend down to tie his shoe when the assassin shot at him. If he had died then it is very likely the massacre would have never ensued. Most evidence suggests the plan to assassinate all Huguenots leaders only came about because of the danger the royal family was in as it would soon be known they were part of the assassination to kill Coligny and therefore they were removing themselves from danger, and at the same time solving the problem of the Huguenots.


There is no secure evidence to disprove that Catherine along with the Guises completely planned the massacre, had the assassination succeeded the massacre could still have taken place. The Huguenots were all in one city which made it easy to target them, and in killing all the leaders the Court removed a huge problem, which was causing countless wars, which suggests it could have been planned.

John - Surrey

I agree with John it seems more than just coincidence that the assassination was planned at the same time that all the Huguenot leaders had gathered in Paris, making them easy targets. There was so much to be gained from the massacre it seems unlikely it was unplanned.

Jessica - Durham

I disagree there are no documents found showing the event being planned and records found suggest it was a hurried decision made at the time. It seems odd that Catherine would have married her daughter off to a Huguenot, which would help cure divisions, if she planned a massacre at the same time.

Catherine - Leeds

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