Amboise, conspiracy of

Amboise, conspiracy of, 1560, plot of the Huguenots (French Protestants) and the house of Bourbon to usurp the power of the Guise family, which virtually ruled France during the reign of the young Francis II. The plan, presumably worked out by Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé, provided for a march on the castle of Amboise, the abduction of King Francis II, and the arrest of François, duc de Guise, and his brother Charles, cardinal of Lorraine. The cardinal was forewarned, and the rebels, beaten before they had united their forces, were ruthlessly massacred. For weeks the bodies of hundreds of conspirators were hanging from the castle and from every tree in the vicinity. The Huguenots were enraged. A brief period of conciliation followed under the chancellorship of Michel de L'Hôpital, appointed by the king's mother, Catherine de' Medici. He temporarily halted Protestant persecution until the outbreak (1562) of the Wars of Religion.

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