Catherine de' Medici

(1519-1589) (Catherine de Médicis)
   queen of France
   one of the most influential queens of France and mother of the last three Valois kings, Catherine de' Medici was born in Florence, italy, the great-granddaughter of Lorenzo de' Medici (the Magnificent) and daughter of Lorenzo, duke of Urbino. In 1537, she married the duke of Orléans, the future henry ii. She had little effect during the reigns of her husband and of her eldest son, francis ii, but as regent for her second son, charles ix, she began to exercise great political control. To preserve royal power, Catherine played the Catholics, led by the House of Guise, against the Protestant Bourbons. Free from fanaticism herself, and acting always in the interests of political expediency, she appointed the tolerant Michel de l'hospital as minister and adopted, initially, a policy of conciliation toward the Protestants (Edict of Tolerance, 1561; Edict of Amboise, 1563; Peace of Saint-Germain, 1570). In 1560, Catherine arranged for her daughter, Elisabeth of France, to marry Philip II of spain and, in 1572, for another daughter, marguerite de valois, to marry the Protestant king Henri de Navarre, later henry iv.In that same year, alarmed by growing huguenot influence, particularly that of Admiral gaspard de coligny, over her son, charles ix, she instigated the plot that led to the st. Bartholomew's day massacre. In 1574, her third son, henry III, ascended the throne. Apart from her political role, Catherine was also a patron of the arts. She added a new wing to the royal residence at the louvre and rebuilt parts of the Tuileries gardens and the château of Monceau. Her personal library, with many rare manuscripts, was renowned in Renaissance France.

France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present . 1884.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Catherine de' Medici — • Born 13 April, 1519; died 5 January, 1589; she was the daughter of Lorenzo de Medici (II), Duke of Urbino, and Madeleine de la Tour d Auvergne who, by her mother, Catherine of Bourbon, was related to the royal house of France Catholic… …   Catholic encyclopedia

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  • Catherine de' Medici — see MEDICI2 Catherine de …   English World dictionary

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  • Catherine de' Medici — /ˈkæθrən də mɛˈditʃi/ (say kathruhn duh me deechee) noun See Medici family …   Australian English dictionary

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  • Descendants of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici — The Praying figures of Henry II of France and his wife, Catherine De Medici, Funerary Monument, created by Francesco Primaticcio who appointed Germain Pilon as sculptor, commissionned by Catherine de Medici at the death of Henry II, completed in… …   Wikipedia

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