About Claude de Saussure
Claude de Saussure was the son of Antoine de Saussure, early Huguenot, and wife Antoinette d'Augy. He was born in Lorraine, France in December, 1543. He married Anne de Pierre in 1566. Anne was the daughter of the lord of Chamel, in the Dauphiné, France. The couple moved to the Dauphiné after the marriage.
This was not a good time to move from Geneva back to France! The Dauphiné, in Southeastern France, suffered heavily in the religious wars as it was a center of Protestantism in France, in cities such as Gap, Die, and La Mure. François de Beaumont, the Huguenot leader, became famous for his cruelty and his destructions. The execution of Charles du Puy-Montbrun, leader of the Protestants, by the king of France, led to more violence and struggles between the two parties.
In 1575, Lesdiguières became the new leader of the Protestants and obtained several territories in the province. After the accession of Henry IV to the throne of France, Lesdiguières allied with the governor and the lieutenant general of Dauphiné. However, this alliance did not put an end to the conflicts. Indeed, a Catholic movement, la Ligue, which took Grenoble in 1590, refused to make peace. After months of assaults, Lesdiguières defeated the Ligue and took back Grenoble. He became the leader of the entire province.
The conflicts were over, but the Dauphiné was destroyed and its people exhausted. The enactment of the Edict of Nantes (1598) restored some civil rights to the Huguenots and brought peace for a short time, but the wars resumed soon afterward.
The anit-Protestant fervor was increasing all over France, culminating in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre on August 23-24, 1572. Many Huguenots fled Paris and the surrounding countryside for Geneva.
Claude and Anne stayed in Dauphine, enjoying the protection of her powerful father. They had four sons and two daughters. Their children gave them eleven grandchildren, including seven grandsons. However, the seven grandsons produced no male heirs, and this branch of the de Saussure name dies out in the mid-1600's.
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