Francis II, the eldest son of King Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici, became King of France in 1559 after the death of his father. His rule was shaped by the complicated political situation in Europe in the 1600s. This included the ongoing fight between Catholics and Protestants during the chaotic French Wars of Religion.
Francis II of France was born on January 19, 1544, and took the throne when he was only fifteen years old. His rule was marked by political turmoil and religious conflict, and it ended sadly when he died at the age of 16 on December 5, 1560. Francis II's death is still shrouded in mystery, which has led to speculation and historical drama for hundreds of years.
Who Is Francis II?
Francis II was King of France from 1559 to 1560. From 1558 until 1560, he was also King of Scotland as the husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
After his father, Henry II, died accidentally in 1559, Louis ascended to the kingdom of France at the age of 15. His brief reign was marked by the early stirrings of the French Wars of Religion.
Although the royal age of majority was 14, his mother, Catherine de' Medici, handed the reins of government to his wife Mary's relatives from the House of Guise, who were fervent advocates of the Catholic cause. They were unable to assist Catholics in Scotland against the growing Scottish Reformation, and the Auld Alliance was disbanded.
After dying of an ear infection, Francis was succeeded by two of his brothers, both of whom were unable to ease tensions between Protestants and Catholics.
How Did Francis II of France Die?
In November 1560, the king's health got worse. On November 16, he passed out. Francis II died on December 5, 1560, in Orléans, Loiret, of an ear problem. He had only been king for 17 months. Several diseases, like mastoiditis, meningitis, or otitis that got worse and turned into an abscess, have been proposed.
The royal surgeon, Ambroise Paré, thought about doing a trepanation. Some Catholics thought that Protestants poisoned the king when tensions between them and Protestants were rising, but this has not been proven.
Francis II died without having any children, so his younger brother Charles, who was 10 at the time, took over. The council made Catherine de' Medici the Regent of France on December 21. The Guises left the court, and Francis II's wife, Mary Stuart, went back to Scotland. After some talks with Catherine de Médici, Louis, Prince of Condé, who was in jail and about to be killed, was set free.
Francis II's body was put to rest in the Basilica of St. Denis on December 23, 1560, by the Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon.