How many people were killed during the French Wars of Religion?



Following the discussion re the killing of St Martin Monks at Tours, I thought the following figures re the numbers who died during the French Wars of Religion would be of interest (although somewhat rather macabre!)

  1. France, Religious Wars, Catholic vs. Huguenot (1562-1598) 3,000,000
    • Robert J. Knecht The French Religious Wars, 1562-1598 (2000): Deaths during the wars estimated at 2,000,000 to 4,000,000.
  2. St. Bartholomew’s Massacre, France (1572):
    • Encarta hedges its bets by giving the death toll as 2 to 100 thousand.
    • The 15th edition of Britannica (1992) does too: 2 to 70 thousand, although it explains that the low number comes from an unnamed “Catholic apologist”, while the high number comes from a contemporary Huguenot, Duke de Sully
    • The 11th edition of Britannica (1911) was more certain: 50,000 in the whole of France
    • Davies: 2,000 in Paris
    • Catholic Encyclopedia: 2000 in Paris; 6000-8000 nationwide
    • Richard Dunn, The Age of Religious Wars 1559-1715: 3,000 k in Paris, 10,000 k in provinces.
    • Helen Ellerbe, The Dark Side of Christian History: 10,000
    • Fox’s Book of Martyrs, Ch.IV: 10,000 in Paris; 6,000 in Rouen; 100,000 nationwide.
    • Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic: 5,000 k in Paris, 25,000-100,000 nationwide.
    • Rummel: 36,000 democides
    • Trager, People’s Chronology: 50,000
    • MEDIAN: 3,000 in Paris; 36,000 nationwide

    Source of the above: 20th Century Atlas


About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
This entry was posted in 15th Century, Wars of Religion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How many people were killed during the French Wars of Religion?

  1. Pingback: The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland « I Love History…and Research

  2. Far too many and mankind has learned nothing! Perhaps religion is a pox that God or the Devil gave us as a punishment.

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