Awesome King Charles of France Passport 1562

An awesome passport of King Charles of France 1562An early passport of Charles IX, King of France, 1562, was at an auction last week. The final result was £2125 and was just a few bucks higher than my maximum bid. What a pity! Such early passports are very hard to find. This one was issued to a prominent diplomat and was well worth the price. A fantastic piece of history. Congratulation to the buyer!

Passport signed (“Charles”), issued to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, the English ambassador, allowing him to leave Paris and visit the Queen Mother [Catherine de Medicis] so that he can give her certain information from ‘our sister’ [Queen Elizabeth] (“…affin de lui faire entendre information choses de la part de notre seur…”); integral blank endorsed on the verso “Kings Passport for Sr N. Throcke: Ambassador to goe and speake with the Queene Mother of Fransse from Parys”, 1 page, some light staining at centre folds and dust-staining but in sound and attractive condition, folio, Paris, 5 January 1562.

Charles-King of France 1562 Charles-King of France 1562 Charles-King of France 1562

Sir Nicholas Throckmorton (or Throgmorton) (c. 1515/1516 – 12 February 1571) was an English diplomat and politician who was an ambassador to France and played a vital role in the relationship between Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Charles IX (Charles Maximilien; 27 June 1550 – 30 May 1574) was King of France from 1560 until he died in 1574. He ascended the French throne upon the death of his brother Francis II in 1560 and, as such, was the penultimate monarch of the House of Valois.

Charles’ reign saw the culmination of decades of tension between Protestants and Catholics. Civil and religious war broke out between the two parties after the massacre of Vassy in 1562. In 1572, following several unsuccessful attempts at brokering peace, Charles arranged the marriage of his sister Margaret to Henry of Navarre, a prominent Protestant nobleman in the line of succession to the French throne, in a last desperate bid to reconcile his people. Facing widespread hostility against this policy of appeasement and at the instigation of his mother, Catherine de Medici, Charles oversaw the massacre of numerous Huguenot leaders who gathered in Paris for the royal wedding. However, his direct involvement is still debated. This event, known as the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre, was a significant blow to the Huguenot movement, and religious civil warfare soon began anew. Charles sought to take advantage of the disarray of the Huguenots by ordering the siege of La Rochelle but was unable to take the Protestant stronghold.


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