Presenting the Most Christian King: Charles IX's performance of Catholic ritual in the Royal Tour of France (1564-1566)

Linda Briggs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article examines the complex reasoning that led Charles IX to perform a series of public and private acts that emphasized his Catholicism during his royal tour of France (1564-6). His visibility in leading crowds to attend Mass, assisting in baptisms and embarking on pilgrimages chimed uneasily with his professed purpose in undertaking the progress: To instil temporary toleration after the first war of religion (1562-3). The article argues that Charles and his mother, Catherine de Médicis, planned these rituals in order to achieve two objectives. Firstly, they were determined to communicate that the religion of the king should be the religion of the people. Secondly, Charles sought to legitimize his reign by emulating rituals performed by his predecessors, especially François Ier. In coupling his demands for toleration with ritual performances, Charles and Catherine hoped to encourage and provide the opportunity for his subjects to renew their Catholic faith.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-24
Number of pages23
JournalFrench History
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2018

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