In Paris some of the leaders of the French Catholics arrange for murderous attacks on prominent Protestants. Among those killed is the Huguenot leader Admiral Gaspard de Coligny.
The killings excite the Paris mob and they go on the rampage for nearly a week, butchering all the Huguenots they can find. Around 3,000 people are murdered in Paris. Mob rule quickly takes hold of other cities, such as Bordeaux and Lyons, and there too massacres take place.
The slaughter does not end until well into the month of October. The episode becomes known as the Massacre of St Bartholomew, because the date it began was 24 August, St Bartholomew's Day.
During the rest of this year and in 1573, thousands of French Protestants take refuge in England. However, not all of them will settle here. Many will eventually return to France.