Palissy, Bernard, was born in Perigord, France, in 1510. By his own unaided efforts he acquired such a knowledge of natural science as was possible in his day, and, having married, settled down to work at his father's trade. He spent sixteen years in finding out the process of enamelling quite familiar to the craftsmen of Italy. At last he was successful, and his vigorously-modelled specimens of earthenware found favour with Catherine de Medici and the Court; but Palissy had adopted Huguenot principles, and so his business was ruined and he himself imprisoned. Charles IX. released him, and gave him a plot of ground - afterwards the Tuileries - as a site for his works. In 1588, however, he again became the victim of fanaticism, and even Henry III. was powerless to protect him. He was thrown into the Bastille, where he died, in 1589, before his execution could be carried out.