Huguenot Hero ‘Helps’, Biogenetically Speaking, to Restore Religious Liberties for Great Britain’s Protestant Christians

Huguenot Hero “Helps”, Biogenetically Speaking,  to Restore Religious Liberties  for  Great  Britain’s  Protestant  Christians

James J. S. Johnson, JD, ThD, CPEE, CNHG

But Jehosheba, the daughter of king Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons which were slain; and they hid him, even him and his nurse, in the bedchamber, from Athaliah, so that he was not slain.   (2nd Kings 11:2)

God has a way of providentially securing biogenetic offspring, to provide for future national revivals, including revivals needing political support for religious freedom.


How did God bless progeny of Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny (AD1519-AD1572), renown French nobleman and Huguenot martyr, in ways that continued the faithful work of the godly admiral? Is God’s providence ever visible in history?

The French royal family and their allies carefully planned (using a wedding celebration as bait) and executed the assassination of Admiral de Coligny on August 24th of AD1572 (two days after the first assassination attempt which only wounded Admiral de Coligny). This assassination, which involved a team of home invaders, began the bloody St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre[1] in Paris, a massacre that continued for many days.

The frenzied massacre, which began in Paris but spread throughout France, quickly produced the butchering of many thousands of French Protestants, Huguenots who were killed for refusing to convert their religion (by making the sign of the cross and abjuring their Protestant faith) at knife-point. Many survivors fled to countries (like England and America) where Protestant Christianity was legal, and the descendants of many surviving Huguenots would make history in other geopolitical contexts, including George Washington, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton (just to name three).

In particular, consider Admiral de Coligny’s marriage to Charlotte de Laval (AD1530-AD1568), by whom he fathered three children, the first of which was a daughter named Louise (AD1546-AD1620, her name is also spelled “Luise”[2]).

Louise first married Charles de Téligny, but he was murdered during the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre – specifically, he was killed in the halls of the Louvre (in Paris) upon his refusal to recant his Protestant belief in Christ.[3]  So the massacre of the French Huguenots quickly robbed Louise of both her husband and her father.

Providentially, Louise survived the massacre of AD1572. In God’s providence Louise would remarry, about eleven years later  —  and the biogenetic history that God was writing, genealogically speaking, would immeasurably impact the  Britain’s religious liberties of British Protestants, about a century later.

In AD1583 Louise de Coligny remarried, to Holland’s William of Orange (a/k/a  “the Silent”,  whose name in Dutch is Willem “de Zwijger” van Oranje).   But who was this William “the Silent” of Orange, born Count of Nassau?

William was a political leader in what would soon become “Holland” in the Netherlands, which then was a possession of the Spanish-Austrian Hapsburg dynasty. William, in his younger years, had faithfully served the political interests of the Hapsburg Empire.

Once, William was prudently “silent” during a hunting trip, in AD1559, when he learned of the ongoing plans of Hapsburg Empire’s Duke of Alba and France’s King Henry II, to use genocidal tactics to exterminate Protestant Christians in both France and in Netherlands.  (That strategic “silence” led to his nickname, “William the Silent”.)

As late as AD1564 William still publicly called himself a Roman Catholic, although he then publicly argued that religious freedom should be tolerated, so he criticized King Philip II as being wrong to plan and to practice the large-scale extermination of Protestants within his Hapsburg dynasty kingdoms. The Counter-Reformation escalated.


Eight years later, the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre occurred in late AD1572, beginning during the night of August 23rd-24th.  [For a secular report/summary of this bloodbath of persecution, see ]

The massacre of Protestant Christians raged on in other French cities (such as Rouen, Lyon, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Troyes, Orleans, etc.), by Catholic mobs raging like out-of-control wildfire, into October of AD1572, and beyond.

For example, the mob in Bordeaux was inflamed by the hate-speech “preaching” of Edmond Auger, a Reformation-hating Jesuit, promoting mob violence and the slaughter of Bordeaux’s Protestants.  For another example, the Huguenot population in Rouen (the original county seat of Göngu-Hrólfr “Rollo” Ragnvaldsson, seminal forefather of the House of Normandy) dropped from about 16,500 to <3000 individuals, due to a causal combination of massacre-martyrdoms (i.e., being killed by a mob or neighbors for being Protestant),  “conversions” to Romanism, and/or emergency emigrations — fleeing from France for their lives — as refugees seeking safety and religious freedom.   According to one Huguenot (just-barely-survived) witness, de Sully, the death toll from the massacres approached some 70,000 murder victims.  (No wonder Huguenots fled from France  —  into England, Germany, Holland, and other Protestant countries!)

Gregory XIII decreed a special medal (with the motto “Ugonottorum strages 1572” = “slaughter of Huguenots 1572”), in Rome, to commemorate the papacy’s celebration of gratitude for the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre in France.


The persecution continued into the following year, as Huguenots in the wealthy port city of La Rochelle were besieged and attacked by royal forces under the direction of the Duke of Anjou (who later became France’s king Henry III, as well as king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth).


The following year (AD1573) William was no longer “silent”; he officially joined the Dutch Calvinist church. William increased in political power and in his desire to free the Netherlands from Hapsburg tyranny and its gory genocidal practices.

William survived an assassination attempt on March 18th of AD1582, a Hapsburg reaction to Holland’s declaration of independence on July 22nd of AD1581.  The wound he received so upset his third wife, Charlotte, who (with William’s sister) tended to his wound for months afterwards, that she died on May 5th of AD1582.

About a year later, William the widower remarried — the widow Louise de Coligny became William’s fourth wife on April 24th of AD1583.  Their happy marriage would be brief — it would be cut short by William’s death on July 10th AD1584, not long after the newlyweds’ first wedding anniversary.

Meanwhile a little more than ten months after their marriage, on January 29th AD1584, William “the (no longer) Silent” and Louise de Coligny had a son: Frederick Henry of Orange. [4]   But William I of Orange would not long enjoy the infancy of his youngest son – William was assassinated at home on July 10th AD1584 (by Balthasar Gérard, a French Catholic soldier who sought the reward of 25,000 crowns, promised by King Philip II to anyone who would assassinate William). William’s last-born son was only five months old.

Frederick Henry of Orange (AD1584-AD1647) grew up to marry Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, on April 4th AD1625.  Together they had three children, the first being a son: William II of Orange, who would become the Prince of Orange.[5]

William II of Orange (AD1625-AD1650) grew up to marry England’s princess Mary Henrietta Stuart, on May 2nd AD1641. Sadly, William II died of smallpox on November 6th AD1650, just eight days before their son William III of Orange was born (on November 14th AD1650 [N.S. dating]).[6]

It was this William III of Orange (AD1650-AD1702) who would later marry Mary Stuart (notice how, confusingly, his mother was a Mary Stuart and also his wife), on November 4th AD1677, in London.  This married couple, as king and queen of Great Britain, best known as William and Mary, would – in what has been labeled the “Glorious Revolution” (a/k/a the “Bloodless Revolution”) of AD1688 — restore Protestant Christianity to Great Britain (i.e., England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland), replacing the Roman Catholic Stuart dynasty at the abdication of tyrant James II Stuart (William III’s father-in-law, who had waged a reign of terror in England, persecuting English Protestants).


At long last, after repeated persecutions during the previous Stuart kings (Charles II and James II), Protestant Christians in Great Britain — thanks to God — could again worship without fear of governmental oppression, cruelty, and killings.[7]


Who would have thought that the Protestant Christianity of Great Britain, which had been lost to Catholic members of the Stuart dynasty, would be providentially recovered by Holland’s William III of Orange, a great-great-grandson of Admiral de Coligny, the persecuted Huguenot hero (and martyr) of France?

God, of course, is the Sovereign of all family history.        ><> JJSJ


[1] The French name for this is Massacre de la Saint Barthélemy. Historical records (with which even the Catholic writer Lord Acton concurred) indicate that the massacre was plotted mostly by the queen-mother, Catherine de Medici, with her royal son, France’s king Charles IX, and with eye-witnessed collaboration by the Guise family, including the new Duke of Guise (Jean Charles D’Ianowitz, a/k/a “Besme” or “Bême”, indicating his Bohemian Janovic family ancestry).

[2] As Admiral Coligny’s daughter, Louise is designated as the admiral’s F1 descendant (meaning first “filial” generation) by biogenetic historians.

[3] Hugh Chisholm, ed., “Téligny, Charles de”, Encyclopædia Britannica, 11th ed. (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1911).

[4] As Admiral Coligny’s grandson, via his daughter Louise, Frederick Henry is designated as the admiral’s F2 descendant (meaning second “filial” generation) by biogenetic historians.

[5] As Admiral Coligny’s great-grandson, via Louise his daughter and then via Frederick Henry his grandson, William II is designated as the admiral’s F3 descendant (meaning third “filial” generation) by biogenetic historians.

[6] As Admiral Coligny’s great-great-grandson, via Louise his daughter and then via Frederick Henry his grandson and then via William II his great-grandson, William III is designated as the admiral’s F4 descendant (meaning fourth “filial” generation) by biogenetic historians.

[7] For details on the Glorious Revolution of William & Mary, in AD1688, see generally Mike Ashley’s authoritative treatise, British Kings and Queens: The Complete Biographical Encyclopedia of the Kings and Queens of Britain (NY: Carroll & Graf, 1998), pages 660-668.

[ This historical study first appeared as “Huguenot Hero Helps British Christians”, Cross Timbers Review, short paper # AD2013-08-07.   Also, special thanks to Dr. Bill Cooper]



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