Vassy, Massacre of

Vassy, Massacre of Vassy is a town of France in Haute-Marne, on the Blaise, twenty-eight miles north-northwest of Chaumont, and is celebrated for the massacre of the Protestants by order of Guise. On Sunday morning, March 1, 1562, the Duke of Guise, with a retinue of nobles and soldiers, arrived at Vassy, on his way to Paris. The Protestants were holding their meeting in a large barn, to which the duke sent some of his soldiers, who provoked a conflict. The rest of the soldiers came to their aid, broke open the door slaughtered a large number of the defenseless congregation, and plundered their houses. After this bloody deed, the duke was received at Paris with acclamations, while the Protestants throughout France considered it a wanton and atrocious violation of the Religious Peace, and flew to arms, inaugurating a series of wars which only terminated with the accession of Henry IV to the throne. See Fisher, Hist. of the Reformation. (N.Y. 1873), p. 267 sq.

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