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Guise

The Third Duke of Guise

Charles's nephew Henri de Lorraine, 3d duc de Guise, 1550–88, son of François, fought in the Wars of Religion and cooperated with Catherine de' Medici in planning the massacre of the Huguenots on Aug. 24, 1572 (see Saint Bartholomew's Day, massacre of). After the peace of 1576 he formed the Catholic League (see League), and King Henry III, although secretly afraid of the League, became its nominal head. After the death of Francis, duke of Alençon and Anjou (1584), Henri de Lorraine revived (1585) the League in opposition to the Protestant Henry of Navarre (later King Henry IV), who had become heir presumptive to the throne.

War broke out between the League and Henry of Navarre. Although the king was the nominal head of the League, he was overshadowed by the immensely popular de Guise, who had designs on the throne. In May, 1588, when de Guise returned to Paris, the Parisians revolted against the king on the Day of the Barricades (May 12). However, instead of taking the throne Guise permitted Henry III to escape, and the king named him lieutenant general of France. Later in the same year, however, the king brought about his assassination.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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