Charles X, 1591-A

Duplessy 1172; Friedberg 389, PCGS graded MS-61

Charles de Bourbon was elected Cardinal in 1548 and appointed Governor of Paris following the Vassy Massacre in 1562. When it became clear that the House of Valois would end with the death of the childless Henri III and that the succession would devolve upon the House of Bourbon-Vendôme and the Huguenot Henri of Navarre, Charles became the favorite of the Catholic League to oppose him. Although Henri III had ordered his imprisonment in 1588, after the death of the king in the following year, the Catholic League and the Paris Parliament recognized the imprisoned cardinal as King Charles X. The League even went so far as to strike coins in his name beginning on August 2, 1589, but on May 9, 1590, Charles renounced the royal title in favor of Henri of Navarre. As he only ruled from a prison cell as a pawn of the Catholic League, Charles was considered to have never reigned by the restored Bourbon dynasty of the nineteenth century.

Paris. CAROLVS X D G FR-ANCOR REX 1591, crowned arms of France; sun above, A below. Reverse: + CHRISTVS REGNAT VINCIT ET IMPERAT, cross anillée fleurdelisée.

Ex CGB (18 June 2009), 405