Guise, House of

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Guise, House of Ducal house of Lorraine, the most powerful family in 16th-century France. Claude, Duke of Lorraine (1496–1550), founded the house in 1528. His eldest son, Francis (1519–63), supervised the massacre of Huguenots at Vassy in 1562, precipitating the French Wars of Religion. His second son, Charles (1524–74), Cardinal of Guise, played an important role at the Council of Trent. His daughter Mary of Guise, married James V, and was the mother of Mary. Francis' son, Henri (1550–88), helped to organize the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre (1572) and led the Holy League, which vehemently opposed Protestantism. Guise power declined when Henry IV acceded to the throne.

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