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I Read the News Today

Weird and wonderful, it all happened in April

1578 MINION MELEE MADNESS

BATTLE OF THE HENRYS

During the French Wars of Religion (1562-98), the court of Henry III was divided. The mignons (above), meaning ‘the dainty ones’ or ‘darlings’, were the King’s favourites but they had made enemies of the supporters of Henry, Duke of Guise. On 27 April 1578, three members from each expressed their animosity through an utterly pointless, tragic duel. Two were cut down in the fighting, one succumbed the next day, another spent six weeks in hospital and the fourth fatality – who sustained 19 wounds – died after 33 days of agony. Needless to say, the ‘Duel of the Mignons’ did nothing to close the gap between the two Henrys.

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The April 2016 issue of History Revealed.