Francis II, king of France

Francis II, 1544–60, king of France (1559–60), son of King Henry II and Catherine de' Medici. He married (1558) Mary Queen of Scots (Mary Stuart), and during his brief reign the government was in the hands of her uncles, François and Charles de Guise. Their ruthless persecution of Protestantism led to the conspiracy of Amboise (1560; see Amboise, conspiracy of), an attempt to remove the Guises from power. During Francis's reign French Protestantism became a political force (see Huguenots). Francis was succeeded by his brother, Charles IX.

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