Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Religious reform, the House of Guise and the Council of Fontainebleau: the French memorial service for Marie de Guise, August 1560

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Open Access permissions



School/Research organisations


During the summer of 1560 the power of the Guise family was under attack in France and Scotland alike. In Scotland, Marie de Guise, mother of Mary, queen of Scots, who had acted as Regent for her daughter from 1554 onwards, had recently been defeated by religious rebels and died shortly thereafter. In France, the influence of her two younger brothers, Charles, cardinal of Lorraine, and Francois, duke of Guise, over Francois II provoked criticism whilst the government was also under pressure to make concessions to Protestants. On 12 August 1560 a memorial service was held in Notre Dame de Paris. This is entirely passed over in accounts of French politics in the period, and appears as a mere epilogue to studies of Marie de Guise herself. This article offers the first analysis of the organisation of, attendance at, and contents of the service, focusing in particular on the funeral sermon. Coming eight days before the Council of Fontainebleau the memorial service, witnessed by a large and influential audience, provided an excellent opportunity for Marie de Guise's family not only to celebrate her life but to tell a positive narrative about the House of Guise as a counter to widely circulating criticisms.


Original languageEnglish
JournalÉtudes Epistémè
Issue number37
Early online date1 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2020

    Research areas

  • Marie de Guise, Charles de Guise Cardinal of Lorraine, Claude d'Espence, Funerary Sermons, Council of Fontainebleau, gynecocracy debate, Guise family, religious reform, propaganda

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Writing Scottish Parliamentary history, c.1500 – 1707

    Blakeway, A. L. & Stewart, L., Feb 2021, In: Parliamentary History. 40, 1, p. 93-112

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Marie de Guise: Dowager and Regent of Scotland

    Blakeway, A., 1 Jul 2018, Marie de Lorraine-Guise (1515-1560), un itinéraire européen. Cirlep, p. 123-135 13 p. (Les annales de l'est).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  3. Spies and Intelligence in Scotland, c.1530-1550

    Blakeway, A. L., Apr 2018, Crossing Borders: Boundaries and Margins in Medieval and Early Modern Britain. Butler, S. & Kesselring, K. J. (eds.). Leiden: Brill, p. 83-106

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

  4. Review of: MacDonald (ed.), The Gude and Godlie Ballatis and May and Alan Bryson (eds), Verse Libel in Renaissance England and Scotland

    Blakeway, A., 1 Oct 2017, In: Scottish Historical Review. 96, 2, p. 239-242

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review

  5. The Anglo-Scottish war of 1558 and the Scottish Reformation

    Blakeway, A. L., Apr 2017, In: History: The Journal of the Historical Association. 102, 350, p. 201-224

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 271801121