FRANCOIS DE BEAUMONT DES ADRETS, Baron (c. 1512-1587), French Protestant leader, was born in 1512 or 1513 at the chateau of La Frette (Isere). During the reign of Henry II. of France he served with distinction in the royal army and became colonel of the "legions" of Dauphine, Provence and Languedoc. In 1562, however, he joined the Huguenots, not from religious conviction but probably from motives of ambition and personal dislike of the house of Guise. His campaign against the Catholics in 1562 was eminently successful. In June of that year Des Adrets was master of the greater part of Dauphine. But his brilliant military qualities were marred by his revolting atrocities. The reprisals he exacted from the Catholics after their massacres of the Huguenots at Orange have left a dark stain upon his name. The garrisons that resisted him were butchered with every circumstance of brutality, and at Montbrison, in Forez, he forced eighteen prisoners to precipitate themselves from the top of the keep. Having alienated the affections of the Huguenots by his pride and violence, he entered into communication with the Catholics, and declared himself openly in favour of conciliation. On the 10th of January 1563 he was arrested on suspicion by some Huguenot officers and confined in the citadel of Nimes. He was liberated at the edict of Amboise in the following March, and, distrusted alike by Huguenots and Catholics, retired to the château of La Frette, where he died, a Catholic, on the 2nd of February 1587.
Authorities. -J. Roman, Documents inedits sur le baron des Adrets (1878); and memoirs and histories of the time. See also Guy Allard, Vie de Francois de Beaumont (1675); l'abbe J. C. Martin, Histoire politique et militaire de Francois de Beaumont (1803); Eugene and Emile Haag, La France protestante (2nd ed., 1877 seq.).
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