Gabriel de Lorges, 1st Earl of Montgomery

Gabriel de Lorges, 1st Earl of Montgomery, Lord of Lorges and Ducey, (5 May 1530  26 June 1574) was a French nobleman of Scottish extraction and captain of the Scots Guard of King Henry II of France. He is remembered for mortally injuring Henry II in a jousting accident and subsequently converting to Protestantism, the faith that the Scots Guard sought to suppress. He became a leader of the Huguenots.[1] In French-language contexts, his name is often spelled Montgommery.

The Earl of Montgomery
Lord of Lorges and Ducey
BornGabriel de Lorges
(1530-05-05)5 May 1530
Ducey, Normandy, France
Died26 June 1574(1574-06-26) (aged 44)
Place de Grève, Paris, France


On either 30 June or 1 July 1559, during a jousting match to celebrate the Peace of Cateau Cambrésis between Henry II and his longtime Habsburg enemies, a splinter of wood from Montgomery's shattered lance pierced Henry's eye and entered his brain, mortally injuring him. From his deathbed Henry absolved Montgomery of any blame, but, finding himself disgraced, Montgomery retreated to his estates in Normandy.[1] There he studied theology and converted to Protestantism,[1] making him an enemy of the state.

In 1562, Montgomery allied himself with another Protestant convert, Louis I de Bourbon, prince de Condé. He was one of the few refugees to survive the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre[1] after a wounded Huguenot swam across the Seine to warn him that rioting had begun. He took control of Bourges and during September and October defended Rouen from the Royal Army.[1] A price was put on his head, but he managed to escape to England. The queen mother, Catherine de' Medici, asked Queen Elizabeth I for his extradition, but Elizabeth refused.

Montgomery returned to France with a fleet in an attempt to relieve the Siege of La Rochelle in 1573.[1] The following year he attempted an insurrection in Normandy, but was captured, taken to Paris,[2] and sentenced to death. On 26 June 1574, as he was about to be beheaded,[1] Montgomery was informed that a royal edict had proclaimed that his property would be confiscated and his children deprived of their titles.

A freely adapted version of Montgomery's life is told in Alexandre Dumas' novel The Two Dianas.

Marriage and issue

He married Isabeau de La Touche (1550–1593), by whom he had four sons and four daughters:[3]


  • Jacques I de Montgomery (1551–1560)
  • Gédéon de Montgomery (died 1596)
  • Gilles de Montgomery (1558–1596)
  • Gabriel II de Montgomery (1565–1635), who built the Château de Ducey, and was father to six children:
    • Louise de Montgomery
    • Gabriel III de Montgomery (1560–1635)
    • Suzanne de Montgomery
    • Louis I de Montgomery (1601–1682)
    • Jean de Montgomery (1605–1694)
    • Jacques III de Montgomery (1609–1682)


  • Suzanne de Montgomery
  • Elisabeth de Montgomery
  • Claude de Montgomery
  • Roberte de Montgomery, wife of Gawen Champernowne (died 1591) of Dartington in Devon, by whom she had issue. In 1582 she divorced him for adultery and in 1595 married Thomas Horner of Cloford.[4]


  1. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Montgomery, Gabriel, Seigneur de Lorges, Comte de" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 18 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 783.
  2. Gilman, D. C.; Peck, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Montgomery, Gabriel, Count de" . New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
  3. Source:French Wikipedia
  4. Vivian, Lt.Col. J. L., (Ed.) The Visitations of the County of Devon: Comprising the Heralds' Visitations of 1531, 1564 & 1620, Exeter, 1895, p. 163, pedigree of Champernowne


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