The old port of La Rochelle as it is today:
The overlays that highlight 17th century London features are approximate and derived from Wenceslaus Hollar’s maps:
Open location in Google Maps: 46.158101, -1.153640
The old port of La Rochelle as it is today:
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean....Under Henry IV the city enjoyed a certain freedom and prosperity until the 1620s, but the city entered in conflict with the central authority of the King Louis XIII with the Huguenot rebellion (1622)....Many Huguenots emigrated, founding such cities as New Rochelle in the vicinity of today's New York in 1689. La Rochelle, and the siege of 1627 form much of the backdrop of the later chapters of Alexandre Dumas, père's classic novel, The Three Musketeers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Rochelle
The entrance to the old port is defended by two massive 14th-century towers. The pentagonal Saint-Nicolas Tower, the larger of the two, is an imposing fortress with crenellated walls and a keep. Opposite it stands the Tower de la Chaîne, so named because at night a big chain was strung between it and Saint-Nicolas Tower to close the port. In the 15th century a third tower, the Tower de la Lanterne, a round base surmounted by an octagonal spire, was built as a lighthouse.
Other buildings of interest are the Gothic Porte de la Grosse-Horloge, the Renaissance Hôtel de Ville, and the 18th-century Hôtel de la Bourse. The rue des Merciers is typical of the old streets. Many of the 16th- and 17th-century houses, built over arcades, are decorated with gargoyles and strange allegorical figures.
La Rochelle developed in the 12th century after the neighbouring town of Châtelaillon was destroyed by the dukes of Aquitaine.
During the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) it changed hands a number of times but was finally captured by the French in 1372.
It became largely Protestant at the time of the Reformation and after the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Day (1572), in which many French Protestants (Huguenots) were killed; many of the survivors took refuge there.
Under Louis XIII (reigned 1610–43), La Rochelle sided with the English, who had invaded Ré Island.
Richelieu, the king’s minister, besieged the town and built a vast sea wall to prevent English ships from relieving their allies.
After 15 months’ siege, the town capitulated, three-fourths of its citizens having starved to death.
It slowly recovered its former prosperity but declined once more after 1685, when the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, depriving French Protestants of religious and civil liberty, led to massive emigration.
"Despite King Charles' agreement to provide the French with English ships as a condition of marrying Henrietta Maria, in 1627 he launched an attack on the French coast to defend the Huguenots at La Rochelle. The action, led by Buckingham, was ultimately unsuccessful.
"Buckingham's failure to protect the Huguenots — and his retreat from Saint-Martin-de-Ré — spurred Louis XIII's siege of La Rochelle and furthered the English Parliament's and people's detestation of the duke.
"Charles provoked further unrest by trying to raise money for the war through a "forced loan": a tax levied without parliamentary consent.
"In November 1627, the test case in the King's Bench, the "Five Knights' Case", found that the king had a prerogative right to imprison without trial those who refused to pay the forced loan.
"Summoned again in March 1628, on 26 May Parliament adopted a Petition of Right, calling upon the king to acknowledge that he could not levy taxes without Parliament's consent, not impose martial law on civilians, not imprison them without due process, and not quarter troops in their homes.
"Charles assented to the petition on 7 June, but by the end of the month he had prorogued Parliament and re-asserted his right to collect customs duties without authorisation from Parliament.
"On 23 August 1628, Buckingham was assassinated."
By one of those unfed, unpaid soldiers, determined not to let Buckingham lead a second attack.
King Charles used the money raised to supply and pay the troops at the Ile de Rhe to buy the famous Gonzaga art collection. This article doesn't say that specifically, but the year is the same, and Charles didn't have the money to pay for both. He chose the paintings.
Not only did the sailors and troops go unfed and without adequate supplies, but according to "Earthly Joys" a book about John Tradescant by Philippa Gregory, the ladders they were supplied with to storm the walls of La Rochelle were too short, so it was a suicide mission.
La Rochelle, 14,000 dead and 5,000 fled of 25,000 citizens and sailors;
Buckingham, 4,000 of 7,000;
French Royalist, negligible of 30,000.
Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.