Surprise of Meaux
The surprise of Meaux was a conspiracy organised in 1567 by Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé
Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé
Louis de Bourbon was a prominent Huguenot leader and general, the founder of the House of Condé, a cadet branch of the House of Bourbon.-Life:...

 to capture Charles IX
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

 and the rest of the French royal family. It failed, and sparked the Second War of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...



Sensing rising danger to French Protestants, Condé decided to take pre-emptive and preventive action, despite the reservations of Coligny
Gaspard de Coligny
Gaspard de Coligny , Seigneur de Châtillon, was a French nobleman and admiral, best remembered as a disciplined Huguenot leader in the French Wars of Religion.-Ancestry:...

. Taking as his pretext that the king was threatened by Italian plans to capture him, on 28 September 1567 Condé invaded the château de Montceaux in Brie
Brie is a historic region of France most famous for its dairy products, especially Brie cheese. It was once divided into two sections ruled by different feudal lords: the western Brie française, corresponding roughly to the modern department of Seine-et-Marne in the Île-de-France region; the...

, near Meaux
Meaux is a commune in the Seine-et-Marne department in the Île-de-France region in the metropolitan area of Paris, France. It is located east-northeast from the center of Paris. Meaux is a sub-prefecture of the department and the seat of an arondissement...

, in order to arrest the king's person. He and his mother, Catherine de Médici, were only able to escape the Protestants by extreme hardship and fled to Meaux and thence to Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...



This event formed the pretext for new outbreaks of violence. The next day, Saint Michael's day
Michaelmas, the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel is a day in the Western Christian calendar which occurs on 29 September...

, Catholic priests were massacred at Nîmes
Nîmes is the capital of the Gard department in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.-History:...

 in atrocities that came to be known as the Michelade
The Michelade is the name given to the massacre of Catholics, including 24 Catholic priests and monks, by Protestant rioters in Nîmes on Michaelmas 1567, following their failure to abduct the king and queen mother in the so-called, Surprise of Meaux the previous day and in retaliation for the...

. However, the Second War of Religion which it also triggered did not last long, since the opposing sides lacked the financial means and perhaps the will to engage in battle, and rapidly declined into a few minor operations. The Peace of Longjumeau
Peace of Longjumeau
The Peace of Longjumeau was signed on March 23, 1568 by Charles IX of France and Catherine de' Medici. This accord officially ended the second phase of the French Wars of Religion. Overall, the treaty confirmed the Edict of Amboise, which granted significant religious privileges and freedoms to...

 which ended the war reinstated the status quo ante but was simply a truce in order for each side to rebuild its military forces. The Huguenots installed themselves at La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

during the truce in order to rebuild their forces, and the following battles occurred in the western and south-western provinces of France.
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