The Siege of La Rochelle, Part I

G.A. Rothrock describes how, at the close of the French Wars of Religion in 1627-8, the Protestant centre of La Rochelle succumbed to royal siege.

La Rochelle is an old port on the French west coast, built on a rocky cape standing in wide salt marshes. It can trace its origins to mention in late tenth-century acts of the Dukes of Aquitaine, and by the twelfth century it was a flourishing town that had won chartered privileges of self-government from its dukes. Toward the middle of the twelfth century the heiress of Aquitaine married the King of England; for the next three hundred years the French and English crowns struggled for control of western France and, courted by both sides, La Rochelle grew ever more powerful and more independent. By the mid-fifteenth century it was a well-fortified port governed by its bourgeoisie through an elected mayor and city council.

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