François II, 1559-K

Duplessy 1025; Friedberg 370, PCGS graded AU-50

At the age of 15, Francois II succeeded his father as King of France. Due to his marriage to Mary, Queen of Scots, he was also Royal Consort of Scotland. Although he was technically of an age to rule in his own right, his inexperience and weak constitution led him to accept a regency involving his mother, Catherine de’ Medici and Mary’s uncles, Duke of Guise and Cardinal of Lorraine. The unpopularity of the Guise administration combined with repressive measures against Protestantism led to the Ambois Conspiracy (1560), in which French Huguenots staged a failed coup. In the aftermath, a more conciliatory policy was adopted towards the Protestants, but uprisings in the countryside were mercilessly crushed. The stage was set for the bloody Wars of Religion (1562-1598) that would plague France for almost half a century. However, Francois II died of infection in 1560 before the struggle between Catholic and Huguenot had broken out in earnest.

In the name of Henri II. Bordeaux. HENRICVS II D G FRANCOR REX, bare-headed and cuirassed bust of Henri II right; M below. Reverse: DVM TOTVM COPLEAT ORBEM 1559 (ship), cross with arms composed of Hs and terminating in crowns, lis in the angles.

Ex M&M Deutschland (16 May 2006), 1445