Montluo, Blaise De

Montluo, Blaise de a French marshal, noted for his cruelty towards Protestants; one of the "two personages who obtained by their enormities a notoriety so hideous that the history of cruelty would be imperfect if they were passed over in silence" (Smedley, 1:211). He was a brother to the succeeding, and was born in Gascony in 1501. When only a youth of twenty, he entered military life, and soon distinguished himself by his bravery as well as his brutality. He was universally severe with his enemies, and would give no quarter. In the contest with the Huguenots, he advised their absolute extermination, and actually wrote a memoir (in 1562) showing how easily it might be done (see Memoires de Conde, 3:184 sq.). Placed in charge of his native province, he used his unlimited power to destroy every one who appeared to be tainted with the heresy, and instituted a strict inquisition " into the strange names of overseers, deacons, consistories, synods, and conferences," "food of which kind," he adds, " never yet had furnished me with a breakfast" (Comment. lib. 5, tom. 2, page 3). The number of persons who fell victims to his rage is legion, and he appears to us in the role of a modern Nero. We have not room to enter here into detail, but refer to Smedley (Hist. of the Ref. Religion in France, 1:211 sq.; 2:25). Montluc fought also against the imperialists, commanded by Charles V, and assisted at the siege of La Rochelle and Calais. For his services against the Protestants he was in 1573 made "marshal" by Henry III. Montluc died in 1577, leaving the Memoires of his military life (1592), which are not an honor to any man's memory nor to any man's country. See Brantome, Vies des Hommes illustres Francais; Mezeray, Abregy de l'histoire de France; Sainte-Beuve, in the Moniteur (Paris), October 1854; Browning, Hist. of the Huguenots, 1:118,136, 280; 2:4. (J.H.W.)

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