Charles IX, 1567-A

Duplessy 1057; Friedberg 378, PCGS graded MS-63

The reign of Charles XI was almost entirely consumed with the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). This bloody and destabilizing conflict broke out between the Catholic crown and members of the French Huguenot nobility following a massacre of Protestant worshippers at Vassy in 1562. Civil war flared on and off until 1572, when Charles XI arranged the marriage of his sister, Mary of Valois to the Huguenot noble, Henri of Navarre, in an attempt to establish a basis for future peace. This conciliatory attitude drew harsh criticism from the king’s Catholic advisors and especially his mother. Therefore, when most of the Huguenot nobility had assembled for the wedding celebration, Catherine de’ Medici ordered their slaughter in the infamous St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Charles XI attempted to take advantage of the confusion that ensued by laying siege to the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle in 1572-1573, but could not take it. The St. Bartholemew’s Day Massacre weighed heavily on the king, who seems to have suffered from bouts of mental illness before dying of tuberculosis in 1574.

Paris. CAROLVS VIIII D G FRANC REX MDLXVII, crowned arms of France; sun above. Reverse: CHRISTVS REGNAT VINCET ET IMPERAT, cross fleurdelisée.

Ex Goldberg (15 September 2015), 2406