Gaspard de Saulx

Gaspard de Saulx, sieur de Tavannes (1509–1573) was a French Roman Catholic military leader during the Italian Wars and the French Wars of Religion.

Gaspard de Saulx


He was born in Dijon.

As a page of King Francis I, he was made prisoner by the Imperials in the Battle of Pavia (1525). Later he distinguished himself in the War of Provence and in Battle of Ceresole of 1544.

In 1552 he conquered Metz and had an important role in the French victory at the Battle of Renty (1554). After the conquest of Calais in 1558, he was appointed as Governor General of Burgundy. In this role, he was accused of excessive persecutions against the Protestants, a trait he also displayed in the Huguenot Wars. In the course of the latter he was victorious at the battles of Jarnac and Moncontour. As a reward for his deeds, he was made Marshal of France on 28 November 1570.

Saulx had also a role in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre on 24 August 1572. In October the same year he was appointed as governor of Provence and Admiral of the Levant.

He died in his castle at Sully, and was buried in the Sainte Chapelle of Dijon. His memoirs, edited and published by his son around 1620, are an important primary source for the period.[1]

Saulx is featured as a supporting character and the main antagonist in the 1966 Doctor Who serial The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, in which he is played by André Morell.


  1. ^ Saulx; Knecht, 122, 158.


  • Forster, Robert (1994). House of Saulx-Tavanes: Versailles and Burgundy, 1700–1830. Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-1247-X.
  • Knecht, R. J. (1998). Catherine de' Medici. London and New York: Longman. ISBN 9781138159075.
  • Oman, Charles (1937). A History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century. London: Methuen & Co..
  • Saulx, Jean de, vicomte de Tavannes ([c. 1620]; reprinted 1822). Mémoires de très-noble et très-illustre Gaspard de Saulx, seigneur de Tavannes, mareschal de France, admiral des mers de Levant, gouverneur de Provence, conseiller du roy, et capitaine de cent hommes d'armes, reprinted in Collection complèt̀e des méḿoires relatifs à ̀l'histoire de France, edited by M. Petitot. Paris: Foucault. Vols. 23, 24, & 25. OCLC 39499947.