Henry IV (French: Henri IV, read as Henri-Quatre [ɑ̃ʁi katʁ]; 13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), also known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre (as Henry III) from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. He was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII.
Baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, Henry inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on the death of his mother. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion, barely escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. He later led Protestant forces against the royal army.
Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; Henry IV belonged to the House of Bourbon, descended from Robert, Count of Clermont, younger son of Saint Louis. As Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood." Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law.
He initially kept the Protestant faith (the only French king to do so) and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith. As a pragmatic politician (in the parlance of the time, a politique), he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes (1598), which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby effectively ending the Wars of Religion.
Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death. He was admired for his repeated victories over his enemies and his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" (le bon roi Henri) was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education. During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas truly began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in the popular song "Vive le roi Henri" (which later became an anthem for the French monarchy during the reigns of his successors) and in Voltaire's Henriade.
|King of France|
|Reign||2 August 1589 – 14 May 1610|
|Coronation||27 February 1594|
|King of Navarre|
|Reign||9 June 1572 – 14 May 1610|
|Born||13 December 1553|
Pau, Kingdom of Navarre
|Died||14 May 1610 (aged 56)|
Paris, Kingdom of France
|Burial||1 July 1610|
Basilica of St Denis, Paris, France
|Father||Antoine of Navarre|
|Mother||Jeanne III of Navarre|
|Royal styles of|
King Henry IV
Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre
|Reference style||His Most Christian Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Most Christian Majesty|
Henry de Bourbon was born in Pau, the capital of the joint Kingdom of Navarre with the sovereign principality of Béarn. His parents were Queen Joan III of Navarre (Jeanne d'Albret) and her consort, Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme, King of Navarre. Although baptised as a Roman Catholic, Henry was raised as a Protestant by his mother, who had declared Calvinism the religion of Navarre. As a teenager, Henry joined the Huguenot forces in the French Wars of Religion. On 9 June 1572, upon his mother's death, the 19-year-old became King of Navarre.
At Queen Joan's death, it was arranged for Henry to marry Margaret of Valois, daughter of Henry II and Catherine de' Medici. The wedding took place in Paris on 18 August 1572 on the parvis of Notre Dame Cathedral.
On 24 August, the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre began in Paris. Several thousand Protestants who had come to Paris for Henry's wedding were killed, as well as thousands more throughout the country in the days that followed. Henry narrowly escaped death thanks to the help of his wife and his promise to convert to Catholicism. He was forced to live at the court of France, but he escaped in early 1576. On 5 February of that year, he formally abjured Catholicism at Tours and rejoined the Protestant forces in the military conflict. He named his 16-year-old sister, Catherine de Bourbon, regent of Béarn. Catherine held the regency for nearly thirty years.
Henry became heir presumptive to the French throne in 1584 upon the death of Francis, Duke of Anjou, brother and heir to the Catholic Henry III, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574. Because Henry of Navarre was the next senior agnatic descendant of King Louis IX, King Henry III had no choice but to recognise him as the legitimate successor. Salic law barred the king's sisters and all others who could claim descent through only the female line from inheriting. Since Henry of Navarre was a Huguenot, the issue was not considered settled in many quarters of the country, and France was plunged into a phase of the Wars of Religion known as the War of the Three Henries. Henry III and Henry of Navarre were two of these Henries. The third was Henry I, Duke of Guise, who pushed for complete suppression of the Huguenots and had much support among Catholic loyalists. Political disagreements among the parties set off a series of campaigns and counter-campaigns that culminated in the Battle of Coutras.
In December 1588, Henry III had Henry I of Guise murdered, along with his brother, Louis, Cardinal de Guise. Henry III thought that the removal of the brothers would finally restore his authority. However, the populace were horrified and rose against him. In several cities, the title of the king was no longer recognized. His power was limited to Blois, Tours, and the surrounding districts. In the general chaos, Henry III relied on King Henry of Navarre and his Huguenots.
The two kings were united by a common interest—to win France from the Catholic League. Henry III acknowledged the King of Navarre as a true subject and Frenchman, not a fanatic Huguenot aiming for the destruction of Catholics. Catholic royalist nobles also rallied to the king's standard. With this combined force, the two kings marched to Paris. The morale of the city was low, and even the Spanish ambassador believed the city could not hold out longer than a fortnight. But Henry III was assassinated shortly thereafter, on 2 August 1589, by a fanatical monk.
When Henry III died, Henry of Navarre nominally became king of France. The Catholic League, however, strengthened by support from outside the country—especially from Spain—was strong enough to prevent a universal recognition of his new title. The Pope excommunicated Henry and declared him devoid of any right to inherit the crown. Most of the Catholic nobles who had joined Henry III for the siege of Paris also refused to recognize the claim of Henry of Navarre, and abandoned him. He set about winning his kingdom by military conquest, aided by English money and German troops. Henry's Catholic uncle Charles, Cardinal de Bourbon, was proclaimed king by the League, but the Cardinal was Henry's prisoner at the time. Henry was victorious at the Battle of Arques and the Battle of Ivry, but failed to take Paris after besieging it in 1590.
When Cardinal de Bourbon died in 1590, the League could not agree on a new candidate. While some supported various Guise candidates, the strongest candidate was probably the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, the daughter of Philip II of Spain, whose mother Elisabeth had been the eldest daughter of Henry II of France. In the religious fervor of the time, the Infanta was recognized to be a suitable candidate, provided that she marry a suitable husband. The French overwhelmingly rejected Philip's first choice, Archduke Ernest of Austria, the Emperor's brother, also a member of the House of Habsburg. In case of such opposition, Philip indicated that princes of the House of Lorraine would be acceptable to him: the Duke of Guise; a son of the Duke of Lorraine; and the son of the Duke of Mayenne. The Spanish ambassadors selected the Duke of Guise, to the joy of the League. But at that moment of seeming victory, the envy of the Duke of Mayenne was aroused, and he blocked the proposed election of a king.
The Parlement of Paris also upheld the Salic law. They argued that if the French accepted natural hereditary succession, as proposed by the Spaniards, and accepted a woman as their queen, then the ancient claims of the English kings would be confirmed, and the monarchy of centuries past would be nothing but an illegality. The Parlement admonished Mayenne, as Lieutenant-General, that the Kings of France had resisted the interference of the Pope in political matters, and that he should not raise a foreign prince or princess to the throne of France under the pretext of religion. Mayenne was angered that he had not been consulted prior, but yielded, since their aim was not contrary to his present views.
Despite these setbacks for the League, Henry remained unable to take control of Paris.
On 25 July 1593, with the encouragement of his great love, Gabrielle d'Estrées, Henry permanently renounced Protestantism and converted to Roman Catholicism—in order to obtain the French crown, thereby earning the resentment of the Huguenots and his former ally Queen Elizabeth I of England. He was said to have declared that Paris vaut bien une messe ("Paris is well worth a mass"), although there is some doubt whether he said this, or whether the statement was attributed to him by his contemporaries. His acceptance of Roman Catholicism secured the allegiance of the vast majority of his subjects.
Since Reims, the traditional location for the coronation of French kings, was still occupied by the Catholic League, Henry was crowned King of France at the Cathedral of Chartres on 27 February 1594. Pope Clement VIII removed the ban of excommunication from Henry on 17 September 1595. He did not forget his former Calvinist coreligionists, however and was known for his religious tolerance. In 1598 he issued the Edict of Nantes, which granted circumscribed toleration to the Huguenots.
Henry's first marriage was not a happy one, and the couple remained childless. Henry and Margaret separated even before Henry acceded to the throne in August 1589. Margaret lived for many years in the Château d'Usson in the Auvergne. After Henry became king of France, it was of the utmost importance that he provide an heir to the crown to avoid the problem of a disputed succession. Henry favoured the idea of obtaining an annulment of his marriage to Margaret and taking his mistress Gabrielle d'Estrées as his bride; after all, she had already borne him three children. Henry's councillors strongly opposed this idea, but the matter was resolved unexpectedly by Gabrielle's sudden death in the early hours of 10 April 1599, after she had given birth to a premature and stillborn son. His marriage to Margaret was annulled in 1599, and Henry married Marie de' Medici in 1600.
For the royal entry of Marie into Avignon on 19 November 1600, the citizens bestowed on Henry the title of the Hercule Gaulois ("Gallic Hercules"), justifying the extravagant flattery with a genealogy that traced the origin of the House of Navarre to a nephew of Hercules' son Hispalus.
During his reign, Henry IV worked through his faithful right-hand man, the minister Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully, to regularize state finance, promote agriculture, drain swamps, undertake public works, and encourage education. He established the Collège Royal Henri-le-Grand in La Flèche (today the Prytanée Militaire de la Flèche). He and Sully protected forests from further devastation, built a system of tree-lined highways, and constructed bridges and canals. He had a 1200-metre canal built in the park at the Château Fontainebleau (which may be fished today) and ordered the planting of pines, elms, and fruit trees. He used one construction project to attract attention to his power. When building the Pont-Neuf, a bridge in Paris, he placed a statue of himself in the middle.
The King restored Paris as a great city, with the Pont Neuf, which still stands today, constructed over the river Seine to connect the Right and Left Banks of the city. Henry IV also had the Place Royale built (since 1800 known as Place des Vosges), and added the Grande Galerie to the Louvre Palace. More than 400 metres long and thirty-five metres wide, this huge addition was built along the bank of the Seine River. At the time it was the longest edifice of its kind in the world. King Henry IV, a promoter of the arts by all classes of people, invited hundreds of artists and craftsmen to live and work on the building's lower floors. This tradition continued for another two hundred years, until Emperor Napoleon I banned it. The art and architecture of his reign have become known as the "Henry IV style" since that time.
King Henry's vision extended beyond France, and he financed several expeditions of Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Monts and Samuel de Champlain to North America. France lay claim to New France (now Canada).
During the reign of Henry IV, rivalry continued among France, the Habsburg rulers of Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire for the mastery of Western Europe. The conflict was not resolved until after the Thirty Years' War.
During Henry's struggle for the crown, Spain had been the principal backer of the Catholic League, and it tried to thwart Henry. Under the Duke of Parma, an army from the Spanish Netherlands intervened in 1590 against Henry and foiled his siege of Paris. Another Spanish army helped the nobles opposing Henry to win the Battle of Craon against his troops in 1592.
After Henry's coronation, the war continued because there was an official tug-of-war between the French and Spanish states, but after victory at the Siege of Amiens in September 1597 the Peace of Vervins was signed in 1598. This enabled him to turn his attention to Savoy, with which he also had been fighting. Their conflicts were settled in the Treaty of Lyon of 1601, which mandated territorial exchanges between France and the Duchy of Savoy.
In 1609 Henry's intervention helped to settle the War of the Jülich Succession through diplomatic means.
It was widely believed that in 1610 Henry was preparing to go to war against the Holy Roman Empire. The preparations were terminated by his assassination, however, and the subsequent rapprochement with Spain under the regency of Marie de' Medici.
Even before Henry's accession to the French throne, the French Huguenots were in contact with Aragonese Moriscos in plans against the Habsburg government of Spain in the 1570s. Around 1575, plans were made for a combined attack of Aragonese Moriscos and Huguenots from Béarn under Henry against Spanish Aragon, in agreement with the king of Algiers and the Ottoman Empire, but this project floundered with the arrival of John of Austria in Aragon and the disarmament of the Moriscos. In 1576, a three-pronged fleet from Constantinople was planned to disembark between Murcia and Valencia while the French Huguenots would invade from the north and the Moriscos accomplish their uprising, but the Ottoman fleet failed to arrive. After his crowning, Henry continued the policy of a Franco-Ottoman alliance and received an embassy from Sultan Mehmed III in 1601. In 1604, a "Peace Treaty and Capitulation" was signed between Henry IV and the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I. It granted numerous advantages to France in the Ottoman Empire.
During the reign of Henry IV, various enterprises were set up to develop trade with faraway lands. In December 1600, a company was formed through the association of Saint-Malo, Laval, and Vitré to trade with the Moluccas and Japan. Two ships, the Croissant and the Corbin, were sent around the Cape of Good Hope in May 1601. One was wrecked in the Maldives, leading to the adventure of François Pyrard de Laval, who managed to return to France in 1611. The second ship, carrying François Martin de Vitré, reached Ceylon and traded with Aceh in Sumatra, but was captured by the Dutch on the return leg at Cape Finisterre. François Martin de Vitré was the first Frenchman to write an account of travels to the Far East in 1604, at the request of Henry IV, and from that time numerous accounts on Asia would be published.
From 1604 to 1609, following the return of François Martin de Vitré, Henry developed a strong enthusiasm for travel to Asia and attempted to set up a French East India Company on the model of England and the Netherlands. On 1 June 1604, he issued letters patent to Dieppe merchants to form the Dieppe Company, giving them exclusive rights to Asian trade for 15 years. No ships were sent, however, until 1616. In 1609, another adventurer, Pierre-Olivier Malherbe, returned from a circumnavigation of the globe and informed Henry of his adventures. He had visited China and India, and had an encounter with Akbar.
Henry IV proved to be a man of vision and courage. Instead of waging costly wars to suppress opposing nobles, Henry simply paid them off. As king, he adopted policies and undertook projects to improve the lives of all subjects, which made him one of the country's most popular rulers ever.
Henry is said to have originated the oft-repeated phrase "a chicken in every pot". The context for that phrase:
Si Dieu me prête vie, je ferai qu'il n'y aura point de laboureur en mon royaume qui n'ait les moyens d'avoir le dimanche une poule dans son pot!
(If God keeps me, I will make sure that no peasant in my realm will lack the means to have a chicken in the pot on Sunday!)
This statement epitomises the peace and relative prosperity which Henry brought to France after decades of religious war, and demonstrates how well he understood the plight of the French worker and peasant farmer. This real concern for the living conditions of the "lowly" population—who in the final analysis provided the economic basis for the power of the king and the great nobles—was perhaps without parallel among the kings of France. Following his death Henry would be remembered fondly by most of the population.
Henry's forthright manner, physical courage, and military successes also contrasted dramatically with the sickly, effete languor of the last Valois kings, as evinced by his blunt assertion that he ruled with "weapon in hand and arse in the saddle" (on a le bras armé et le cul sur la selle). He was also a great philanderer, fathering many children by a number of mistresses.
Henry was nicknamed "the Great" (Henri le Grand), and in France is also called le bon roi Henri ("the good king Henry") or le vert galant ("The Green Gallant", for his numerous mistresses). In English he is most often referred to as Henry of Navarre.
He was finally killed in Paris on 14 May 1610 by a Catholic fanatic, François Ravaillac, who stabbed him in the Rue de la Ferronnerie. Henry's coach was stopped by traffic congestion related to the Queen's coronation ceremony, as depicted in the engraving by Gaspar Bouttats. Hercule de Rohan, duc de Montbazon, was with him when he was killed; Montbazon was wounded, but survived. Henry was buried at the Saint Denis Basilica.
The reign of Henry IV was long remembered by the French people. A statue was erected in his honour at the Pont Neuf in 1614, four years after his death. Although this statue—along with other royal monuments—was torn down during the French Revolution, it was the first to be rebuilt, in 1818, and it stands today on the Pont Neuf. A cult surrounding the personality of Henry IV emerged during the Bourbon Restoration. The restored Bourbons were keen to play down the controversial reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI, and instead lauded the reign of the benevolent Henry IV. The song Marche Henri IV ("Long Live Henry IV") was popular during the Restoration. In addition, when Princess Caroline of Naples and Sicily (a descendant of his) gave birth to a male heir to the throne of France seven months after the assassination of her husband Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry, by a Republican fanatic, the boy was conspicuously named Henri in reference to his forefather Henry IV. The boy was also baptised in the traditional way of Béarn/Navarre, with a spoon of Jurançon wine and some garlic, imitating the quaint manner in which Henry IV had been baptised in Pau.
Henry IV's popularity continued when the first edition of his biography, Histoire du Roy Henry le Grand, was published in Amsterdam in 1661. It was written by Hardouin de Péréfixe de Beaumont, successively bishop of Rhodez and archbishop of Paris, primarily for the edification of Louis XIV, grandson of Henry IV. A translation into English was made by James Dauncey for another grandson, King Charles II of England. An English edition was published at London in 1663.
Historians have been making the assertion that Henry IV was a convinced Calvinist, only changing his formal religious allegiance to adjust, suit or achieve his political goals.
Henry IV was baptized a Roman Catholic on January 5, 1554. He was raised Reformed by his mother Jeanne III of Navarre. In 1572, after the massacre of French Calvinists, he was forced by Catherine de' Medici and other powerful Roman Catholic royalty to convert. In 1576, as he managed to escape from Paris, he abjured Roman Catholicism and returned to Calvinism. In 1593, in order to become King of France rather than by his own beliefs, he converted again to Roman Catholicism. Although a formal Roman Catholic, he valued his Calvinist upbringing and was tolerant toward the Huguenots until his death in 1610, and issued the Edict of Nantes which granted many concessions to them.
Henry's religious affiliation by date:
None (1553; not baptized yet)
Roman Catholic (1554; at baptism)
Reformed (1554-1572; raised Calvinist)
Roman Catholic (1572-1576; forced conversion to Roman Catholicism)
Reformed (1576-1593; returned to Calvinism)
Roman Catholic (1593-1610; converted to Roman Catholicism for coronation)
On 18 August 1572, Henry married his second cousin Margaret of Valois; their childless marriage was annulled in 1599. His subsequent marriage to Marie de' Medici on 17 December 1600 produced six children:
|Louis XIII, King of France||27 September 1601||14 May 1643||Married Anne of Austria in 1615|
|Elisabeth, Queen of Spain||22 November 1602||6 October 1644||Married Philip IV, King of Spain, in 1615|
|Christine Marie, Duchess of Savoy||10 February 1606||27 December 1663||Married Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy, in 1619|
|Nicolas Henri, Duke of Orléans||16 April 1607||17 November 1611|
|Gaston, Duke of Orléans||25 April 1608||2 February 1660||Married (1) Marie de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier, in 1626|
Married (2) Marguerite of Lorraine in 1632
|Henrietta Maria, Queen of England, Queen of Scots, and Queen of Ireland||25 November 1609||10 September 1669||Married Charles I, King of England, King of Scots and King of Ireland, in 1625|
The arms of Henry IV changed throughout his lifetime:
Henry III of Navarre & IV of France
Cadet branch of the Capetian dynastyBorn: 13 December 1553 Died: 14 May 1610
| King of Navarre
9 June 1572 – 14 May 1610
Louis XIII and II
| King of France|
2 August 1589 – 14 May 1610
Antoine of Navarre
| Duke of Vendôme and Beaumont
Count of Marle, La Fère, and Soissons
17 November 1562 – 2 August 1589
|Merged into the crown|
Jeanne III of Navarre
| Duke of Albret|
Count of Foix, Armagnac,
Limoges, and Périgord
Viscount of Béarn
Lord of Donezan
9 June 1572 – 2 August 1589
The 1590s decade ran from January 1, 1590, to December 31, 1599.1610 in France
Events of the year 1610 in France.Antoine of Navarre
Antoine (in English, Anthony; 22 April 1518 – 17 November 1562) was the King of Navarre through his marriage (jure uxoris) to Queen Jeanne III, from 1555 until his death. He was the first monarch of the House of Bourbon, of which he was head from 1537. He was the father of Henry IV of France.Battle of Arques
The Battle of Arques occurred on 15–29 September 1589 between the French royal forces of King Henry IV of France and troops of the Catholic League commanded by Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne during the eighth and final war (1585-1598) of the French Wars of Religion. It was a victory for Henry IV.Battle of Fontaine-Française
The Battle of Fontaine-Française occurred on 5 June 1595 between the French royal forces of King Henry IV of France and troops of Spain and the Catholic League commanded by Juan Fernández de Velasco and Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne during the eighth and final war (1585-1598) of the French Wars of Religion.Battle of Ivry
The Battle of Ivry was fought on 14 March 1590, during the French Wars of Religion. The battle was a decisive victory for Henry IV of France, leading Huguenot and English forces against the Catholic League by the Duc de Mayenne and Spanish forces under the Count of Egmont. Henry's forces were victorious and he went on to lay siege to Paris.The battle occurred on the plain of Épieds, Eure near Ivry (later renamed Ivry-la-Bataille), Normandy. Ivry-la-Bataille is located on the Eure River and about thirty miles west of Paris, at the boundary between the Île-de-France and the Beauce regions.Catherine Henriette de Bourbon
Catherine Henriette de Bourbon (11 November 1596 – 20 June 1663) was an illegitimate daughter of King Henry IV of France and his long-term maîtresse en titre Gabrielle d'Estrées. She was declared legitimate on 17 November 1596 at the Abbey of St. Ouen in Rouen and married into the Princely House of Guise.Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency
Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency (11 May 1594 – 2 December 1650) was an heiress of one of France's leading ducal families, and Princess de Condé by her marriage to Henri de Bourbon. She almost became a mistress of Henry IV of France, but her husband escaped with her after the wedding and did not return to France until after King Henry's death.Charlotte de Sauve
Charlotte de Beaune Semblançay, Viscountess of Tours, Baroness de Sauve, Marquise de Noirmoutier (26 October 1551 – 30 September 1617) was a French noblewoman and a mistress of King Henry of Navarre, who later ruled as King Henry IV of France. She was a member of Queen Mother Catherine de' Medici's notorious "Flying Squadron" (L'escadron volant in French), a group of beautiful female spies and informants recruited to seduce important men at Court, and thereby extract information to pass on to the Queen Mother.Count of Foix
The Count of Foix ruled the independent County of Foix, in what is now southern France, during the Middle Ages. The House of Foix eventually extended its power across the Pyrenees mountain range, moving their court to Pau in Béarn. The last count unified with King Henry IV of France in 1607.Descendants of Henry IV of France
Henry IV of France was the first Bourbon king of France. Formerly known as Henri of Navarre, he succeeded to the French throne with the extinction of House of Valois, at the death of Henry III of France.
His descendants are varied and numerous. Some of his descendants are Juan Carlos of Spain, Franz, Duke of Bavaria, Diana, Princess of Wales, actress Brooke Shields and singer and actress Jane Birkin. He had six children with his wife Marie de' Medici and also had many illegitimate children with his many mistresses. This article deals with each of his children and their respective descendants.Don Pedro of Toledo Kissing Henry IV's Sword
Don Pedro of Toledo Kissing Henry IV's Sword is an 1814 painting in the Troubador style by the French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, showing the Spanish ambassador Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, 5th Marquis of Villafranca kissing the sword of Henry IV of France (held by a young page) in the salle des Caryatides of the Louvre palace. The painting is now lost. Between 1819 and 1832, Ingres painted three additional paintings of the subject.Edict of Nantes
The Edict of Nantes (French: édit de Nantes), signed in April 1598 by King Henry IV of France, granted the Calvinist Protestants of France (also known as Huguenots) substantial rights in the nation, which was still considered essentially Catholic at the time. In the edict, Henry aimed primarily to promote civil unity. The edict separated civil from religious unity, treated some Protestants for the first time as more than mere schismatics and heretics, and opened a path for secularism and tolerance. In offering general freedom of conscience to individuals, the edict offered many specific concessions to the Protestants, such as amnesty and the reinstatement of their civil rights, including the right to work in any field or for the state and to bring grievances directly to the king. It marked the end of the religious wars that had afflicted France during the second half of the 16th century.
The Edict of St. Germain, promulgated 36 years before by Catherine de Médici, had granted limited tolerance to Huguenots but was overtaken by events, as it was not formally registered until after the Massacre of Vassy on 1 March 1562, which triggered the first of the French Wars of Religion.
The later Edict of Fontainebleau, which revoked the Edict of Nantes in October 1685, was promulgated by Louis XIV, the grandson of Henry IV. It drove an exodus of Protestants and increased the hostility of Protestant nations bordering France.Gabrielle d'Estrées
Gabrielle d'Estrées, Duchess of Beaufort and Verneuil, Marchioness of Monceaux (French pronunciation: [ɡabʁiɛl dɛstʁe]; 1573 – 10 April 1599) was a mistress, confidante and adviser of Henry IV of France. She persuaded Henry to renounce Protestantism in favour of Catholicism in 1593. Later she urged French Catholics to accept the Edict of Nantes, which granted certain rights to the Protestants. It was legally impossible for the king to marry her, because he was already married to Margaret of Valois, but he acknowledged Gabrielle as the mother of three of his children, and as "the subject most worthy of our friendship".Henry IV Receiving the Spanish Ambassador
Henry IV Receiving the Spanish Ambassador is an 1817 painting in the Troubador style by the French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. It shows Henry IV of France playing with his children whilst receiving the Spanish ambassador, with Marie de Medici seated at the centre.
It is now in the Petit Palais, Paris. It was shown in the 2014 exhibition L'invention du Passé. Histoires de cœur et d'épée 1802–1850. at the musée des beaux-arts de Lyon.Panache
Panache (French pronunciation: [panaʃ]) is a word of French origin that carries the connotation of flamboyant manner and reckless courage.
The literal translation is a plume, such as is worn on a hat or a helmet; the reference is to King Henry IV of France (13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), a pleasure-loving and cynical military leader, famed for wearing a striking white plume in his helmet and for his war cry: "Follow my white plume!" (French: "Ralliez-vous à mon panache blanc!").Siege of Paris
The Siege of Paris may refer to:
Siege of Paris (845), the Viking siege by Ragnar Lodbrok
Siege of Paris (885–886), the Viking siege by Rollo
Siege of Paris (1429), by Charles VII of France and Joan of Arc
Siege of Paris (1465), by the League of the Public Weal
Siege of Paris (1590), the Protestant siege by Henry IV of France
Siege of Paris (1870–71), the German siege in the Franco–Prussian WarSiege of Rouen (1591)
The Siege of Rouen (December 1591 – May 1592) was an unsuccessful attempt by Henry IV of France to capture Rouen, the historical capital city of Normandy. The battle took place as part of the French Wars of Religion, the Eighty Years' War, and the Anglo–Spanish War (1585–1604). Although he had claimed the throne 1589, Henry, a Huguenot, was not recognized by many of his Catholic subjects, and he was forced to fight against a Catholic League determined to resist his rule, and which was aided by Spain.
At Rouen the combined French, English and Dutch forces of Henry IV battled the troops of the Catholic League, commanded by André de Brancas, Amiral de Villars, and the Spanish forces led by Don Alexander Farnese, Duke of Parma (Spanish: Alejandro Farnesio). The city resisted until the arrival of the Spanish troops, which defeated and forced the Protestant forces to lift the siege.Succession of Henry IV of France
Henry IV of France's succession to the throne in 1589 was followed by a four-year war of succession to establish his legitimacy. This was part of the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598). Henry IV inherited the throne after the assassination of Henry III, the last Valois king, who died without children. Henry was already King of Navarre, as the successor of his mother, Jeanne d'Albret, but he owed his succession to the throne of France to the line of his father, Antoine of Bourbon, an agnatic descendant of Louis IX. He was the first French king from the House of Bourbon.
Henry's succession in 1589 proved far from straightforward. He and King Henry III were moving to besiege Paris at the time of the latter's death. The city and large parts of France, mostly in the north, were in the hands of the Catholic League, an alliance of leading Catholic nobles and prelates who opposed the Protestant Henry of Navarre as heir to the throne. Instead, they recognized Henry's uncle, Charles of Bourbon, as the heir, and on Henry III's assassination declared Charles king. As a result, Henry IV was forced to fight a civil war in order to assert his position as king, followed by a war against Spain, who continued to question his legitimacy. After the death of Charles of Bourbon, the Catholic League's failure to choose a replacement claimant to the throne, in combination with Henry IV's conversion to Catholicism, led to a general recognition of the king in France. Henry IV's successors ruled France until the French Revolution and the subsequent Bourbon restorations, and they founded dynasties in Spain and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
|Ancestors of Henry IV of France|
Henry's patriline was his line of descent in the male line, that is, from father to son only.
Patrilineal descent governs membership and succession in many royal and noble houses. Henry was a scion of the House of Bourbon, which was a branch of the Capetian dynasty, which sprang from the Robertians.
Henry's patriline ran through the house of Bourbon-Vendôme (Counts and then Dukes of Vendôme), descended from a younger son of the Count of Marche, descended from a younger son of the Duke of Bourbon, whose father was a younger son of Louis IX. Louis was the direct descendant of Hugh Capet, who became King of France in 987 and made the crown hereditary. Hugh was the heir of the "Robertian" house, Counts of Worms, descended from Robert of Hesbaye.
This line has continued to the present day, more than 1,200 years in all, through kings of France, Navarre, France again, Spain, Portugal, and the Two Sicilies, dukes of Parma, grand dukes of Luxembourg, princes of Orléans, and emperors of Brazil. It is one of the oldest royal patrilines in Europe.
Recognized as Francia from 481 to 843 – Recognized as West Francia from 843 to 987 – Recognized as France from 987 to present
Styled President of the Republic after 1871, except from 1940 to 1944 (Chief of State) and 1944 to 1947 (Chairman of the Provisional Government).
Detailed monarch family tree | Simplified monarch family tree
Robertians and Bosonids (751–987)
|House of Capet (987–1328)|
|House of Valois (1328–1589)|
|House of Lancaster (1422–1453)|
|House of Bourbon (1589–1792)|
|First Republic (1792–1804)|
|First Empire (1804–1815)|
|Bourbon Restoration (1815–1830)|
|July Monarchy (1830–1848)|
|Second Republic (1848–1852)|
|Second Empire (1852–1870)|
|Government of National Defense (1870–1871)|
|Third Republic (1871–1940)|
|Vichy France (1940–1944)|
|Provisional Government (1944–1947)|
|Fourth Republic (1947–1958)|
|Fifth Republic (1958–present)|
Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk*. Millerand held the presidency in an acting capacity before being fully elected.
|House of Íñiguez|
|House of Jiménez|
|House of Champagne|
|House of Capet|
|House of Évreux|
|House of Trastámara|
|House of Foix|
|House of Albret|
|House of Bourbon|