chapter  Three
The early wars, 1562–1570
Pages 36

The late 1550s and early 1560s were a period of political crisis, noble factionalism, and increasing religious violence. By 1562, Vassy was the site of one of the larger Huguenot churches in Champagne. The relationship of the Guises with the town of Vassy was particularly complicated. News of the massacre spread quickly throughout Champagne and the rest of France, prompting massacres elsewhere, notably in Sens and Tours. A Catholic was stabbed by a Huguenot, provoking an armed confrontation, while on Easter Sunday, 29 March, both religions worshipped protected by armed forces. On Sunday 2 August, Huguenots returning from their worship service outside the walls were confronted by a Catholic show of force. The Catholics in Troyes looked increasingly to des Bordes to counteract the conciliatory measures enacted by Nevers. The experience of Troyes during the first religious war demonstrates several things.