Charles IX King of France

Male 1550 - 1574  (23 years)

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  • Name Charles IX King of France 
    Born 27 Jun 1550  St-Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 30 May 1574  Vincennes, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I775  King of Scots
    Last Modified 16 Feb 2009 

    Father Henry II King of France,   b. 31 Mar 1519, St-Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 10 Jul 1559, Paris, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 40 years) 
    Mother Catherine Medici (Queen of France),   b. 13 Apr 1519, Florence, Tuscany, Italy Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 05 Jan 1589, Château de Blois Blois, Loir-et-Cher, France Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years) 
    Married 28 Oct 1533 
    Family ID F314  Group Sheet

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 27 Jun 1550 - St-Germain-en-Laye, Paris, France Link to Google Earth
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    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

  • Photos
    Charles IX of France
    Charles IX of France
    Personal Collection

  • Notes 
    • Charles IX (27 June 1550 ? 30 May 1574) born Charles-Maximilien, was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.

      He was born in the royal chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, third son of King Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici, grandson of François I and Claude de France, and brother of François II and Henri III. He was one of 10 children:

      Francis II, King of France (19 January 1544 ? 5 December 1560).
      Married Mary, Queen of Scots, in 1558.
      Elizabeth, Queen consort of Spain (2 April 1545 ? 3 October 1568).
      Married Philip II, King of Spain, in 1559.
      Claude, Duchess consort of Lorraine (12 November 1547 ? 21 February 1575).
      Married Charles III, Duke of Lorraine.
      Louis, Duke of Orleans (3 February 1549 ? 24 October 1549). Died in infancy.
      Henry III, King of France (19 September 1551 ? 2 August 1589).
      Married Louise of Lorraine in 1575.
      Marguerite, Queen consort of France and Navarre (14 May 1553 ? 27 March 1615).
      Married Henry, King of Navarre, the future Henry IV of France, in 1572.
      François, Duke of Anjou (18 March 1555 ? 19 June 1584).
      Victoria (24 June 1556 ? 24 June 1556).
      Twin of Joan. Died at birth.
      Joan (24 June 1556 ? August 1556).
      Twin of Victoria. Died in infancy.[1]
      He was made a Knight of the Order of the Garter on Sunday 14 May 1564 at St George's, Windsor, along with Francis Russell, 2nd Earl of Bedford and Sir Henry Sidney. That year, Charles IX issued the Edict of Roussillon fixing 1 January as the first day of the year.

      King of France
      After the death of his elder brother, François II, in 1560, he inherited the throne and was crowned King of France in 1560 in the cathedral at Reims. The politics of that era were greatly influenced by his mother, Catherine de' Medici, who was regent for the ten-year-old Charles, and by the power of the opposing religious faction leaders; the Protestant-leaning House of Bourbon and the ultra-Catholic House of Guise.

      The first of the French Wars of Religion broke out in 1562-1563 when armed Protestant troops seized many French cities following an attack on Protestant worshippers by retainers of the Duke of Guise. After a four-year period of peace, an attempt by Huguenot armies at Meaux to capture and control the king led to the Second War of Religion from 1567 to 1568. A third war raged chiefly in south-western France from 1568 to 1570 with foreign intervention.

      On 26 November 1570 Charles married Elisabeth of Austria. They had one daughter, Marie-Elisabeth (27 October 1572 ? 9 April 1578). Charles IX also had an illegitimate son, the duc d'Angoulême, with his mistress, Marie Touchet.

      In 1572, Charles IX witnessed the massacre of thousands of Huguenots (Protestants) in and around Paris in what became known as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre.

      Charles IX did not long survive the Massacre. He had always been fragile, both emotionally and physically: Emotionally, his moods now swung from coarse boasting about the extremity of the Massacre, to claims that the screams of the murdered Huguenots kept ringing in his ears. Frantically he blamed his mother: "Who but you is the cause of all of this? God's blood, you are the cause of it all!" The Queen-mother responded by declaring she had a lunatic for a son.[2]

      Physically, Charles had never been strong, tending towards tuberculosis.

      The strain following the Massacres weakened his body to the point where, by spring of 1574, the hoarse coughing turned bloody and the hemorrhages grew more violent. He became bedridden and delusional,

      What blood shed! What murders! he cried to his nurse. What evil council I have followed! O my God, forgive me...I am lost! I am lost!"[3]

      On his last day, 30 May 1574, at the Château de Vincennes, Val-de-Marne, Charles called for Henry of Navarre, embraced him, and said, "Brother, you are losing a good friend. Had I believed all that I was told, you would not be alive. But I always loved you...I trust you alone to look after my wife and daughter. Pray God for me. Farewell."[4]

      Charles was not yet twenty-four years old. The crown of France now passed to his brother, Henry III.

      In fiction
      Charles IX is a supporting character in Alexandre Dumas' historical novel Queen Margot, which focuses on the marriage between Henry of Navarre and Marguerite de Valois. In the book, Charles' mother Catherine accidentally causes his death by arsenic poisoning. She attempts to assassinate Henry by means of a tainted book placed in his chamber but Charles finds the book instead and ingests a lethal dose of arsenic.

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