Henry III of France

Henry III of France

Overview
Henry III was King of France from 1574 to 1589. As Henry of Valois, he was the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

 with the dual titles of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1573 to 1575.

Henry was born at the Royal Château de Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne, fourth son of King Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

 and Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

, grandson of Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 and Claude of France
Claude of France
Claude of France was a princess and queen consort of France and ruling Duchess of Brittany. She was the eldest daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne, Duchess of Brittany....

, and brother of Francis II of France
Francis II of France
Francis II was aged 15 when he succeeded to the throne of France after the accidental death of his father, King Henry II, in 1559. He reigned for 18 months before he died in December 1560...

 and Charles IX of France
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

. He was made Duke of Angoulême and Duke of Orléans in 1560, and Duke of Anjou in 1566.

In 1564, his name became Henri.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Henry III of France'
Start a new discussion about 'Henry III of France'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Timeline

1574   Henry III becomes King of France.

1575   Henry III of France is crowned at Rheims, marrying Louise de Lorraine-Vaudémont on the same day.

1577   The Peace of Bergerac is signed between Henry III of France and the Huguenots.

1578   Duel of the Mignons claims the lives of two favourites of Henry III of France and two favorites of Henry I, Duke of Guise.

1588   French Wars of Religion: Henry III of France flees Paris after Henry of Guise enters the city.

 
Encyclopedia
Henry III was King of France from 1574 to 1589. As Henry of Valois, he was the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

 with the dual titles of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1573 to 1575.

Childhood


Henry was born at the Royal Château de Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne, fourth son of King Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

 and Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici
Catherine de' Medici was an Italian noblewoman who was Queen consort of France from 1547 until 1559, as the wife of King Henry II of France....

, grandson of Francis I of France
Francis I of France
Francis I was King of France from 1515 until his death. During his reign, huge cultural changes took place in France and he has been called France's original Renaissance monarch...

 and Claude of France
Claude of France
Claude of France was a princess and queen consort of France and ruling Duchess of Brittany. She was the eldest daughter of Louis XII of France and Anne, Duchess of Brittany....

, and brother of Francis II of France
Francis II of France
Francis II was aged 15 when he succeeded to the throne of France after the accidental death of his father, King Henry II, in 1559. He reigned for 18 months before he died in December 1560...

 and Charles IX of France
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

. He was made Duke of Angoulême and Duke of Orléans in 1560, and Duke of Anjou in 1566.

In 1564, his name became Henri. He was his mother's favourite; she called him chers yeux ("Precious Eyes") and lavished fondness and affection upon him for most of his life. His elder brother, Charles, grew to detest him, resenting Henry's greater health and activity.

Youth


In his youth, he was considered the best of the sons of Catherine de' Medici and Henry II. Unlike his father and elder brothers, he had little interest in the traditional Valois pastimes of hunting and physical exercise. Although he was both fond of fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

 and skilled in it, he preferred to indulge his tastes for the arts and reading. These predilections were attributed to his Italian mother.

At one point in his youth he showed a tendency towards Protestantism as a means of rebelling. At the age of nine, calling himself un petit Huguenot, he refused to attend Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

, sang Protestant psalms to his sister Margaret (exhorting her all the while to change her religion and cast her Book of Hours
Book of Hours
The book of hours was a devotional book popular in the later Middle Ages. It is the most common type of surviving medieval illuminated manuscript. Like every manuscript, each manuscript book of hours is unique in one way or another, but most contain a similar collection of texts, prayers and...

 into the fire), and even bit the nose off a statue of Saint Paul. His mother firmly cautioned her children against such behaviour, and he would never again show any Protestant tendencies—instead becoming nominally Roman Catholic.

Rumored homosexuality


It has long been claimed that Henry was homosexual or at least bisexual. The scholar Louis Crompton provides substantial contemporary evidence of Henry III's homosexuality, and the associated problems at court and politics. Despite this, it is still disputed. For example, some modern historians, such as P. Erlanger, J. F. Solnon, Nicolas Le Roux, and J. Boucher found evidence to support the idea that Henry was not homosexual (though still perhaps bisexual), as he had many famous mistresses. They found that there were no men named with whom he could have had sex, and that he was well-known at the time for his taste in beautiful women. They concluded that his supposed homosexuality was based on his dislike of war and hunting being interpreted as effeminate, an image cultivated by political opponents (both Protestants and Catholics) to turn the opinion of the French people against him. Most recently, Gary Ferguson has offered a detailed assessment of Henry III and his court, in the context of a discussion of the question of homosexuality in the French Renaissance.

Elizabeth


In 1570, discussions commenced to arrange for Henry to court Elizabeth I of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

. Elizabeth, almost 37, was in need of a husband in order to produce an heir. However, nothing came of these discussions. Elizabeth is viewed by historians as having intended only to arouse the concern of Spain, rather than to have seriously contemplated marriage. The chance of marriage was further blighted by their differing religious views—Henry was at least formally a Catholic while Elizabeth was a Protestant—and his opinion of Elizabeth. Henry tactlessly referred to Elizabeth as a putain publique (a "public whore") and made stinging remarks about their difference in age. Upon hearing (inaccurately) that she limped because of a varicose vein, he called her an "old creature with a sore leg".

Wars of Religion



Prior to ascending the throne, he was a leader of the royal army in the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

 against the Huguenots, and took part in the victories over them at Battle of Jarnac
Battle of Jarnac
The Battle of Jarnac on 13 March 1569 was an encounter during the French Wars of Religion between the Catholic forces of Marshal Gaspard de Saulx, sieur de Tavannes, and the Huguenots, near the nadir of their fortunes, financed by Reinhold von Krockow and led by Louis I de Bourbon, prince de...

 and Battle of Moncontour
Battle of Moncontour
The Battle of Moncontour occurred on 3 October 1569 between the Catholic forces of King Charles IX of France and the Huguenots during the "Third War" of the French Wars of Religion.-The battle:...

. While still Duke, he was involved in the plot for the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre
St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots , during the French Wars of Religion...

 (but did not participate), in which thousands of Huguenots were killed; his reign as King, like the ones of his elder brothers Francis II and Charles IX, would see France in constant turmoil over religion.

Henry continued to take an active role in the French Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

, and in 1572–1573 led the Siege of La Rochelle, a massive military assault
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

 on the Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

-held city of La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

 by Catholic troops during the fourth phase of the French Wars of Religion. At the end of May 1573, Henry learned that he had been elected King of Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, a country with a large Protestant minority, and political considerations forced him to negotiate an end to the assault. An agreement was reached on 24 June 1573 and Catholic troops ended the siege on 6 July 1573.

Polish reign (1573–1574)


In 1573, following the death of the Polish ruler Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus I was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, the only son of Sigismund I the Old, whom Sigismund II succeeded in 1548...

, Jean de Monluc
Jean de Monluc
See also Jean de Montluc d. 1579 etc.Jean de Monluc was a French nobleman, the brother of Blaise de Lasseran-Massencôme, seigneur de Montluc and a member of the Monluc family....

 was sent as the French envoy in Poland to negotiate the election of Henry of Valois, future Henry III of France, on the Polish throne, in exchange for military support against Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, diplomatic assistance in dealing with the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, and financial help.

On 16 May 1573 Polish nobles elected Henry, as the first elected monarch of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

. However, the Lithuanian nobles boycotted this election, and it was left to the Lithuanian ducal council to confirm his election. Thus the Commonwealth elected Henry, rather than Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

 candidates, partly in order to be more agreeable to the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 (a traditional ally of France through the Franco-Ottoman alliance
Franco-Ottoman alliance
The Franco-Ottoman alliance, also Franco-Turkish alliance, was an alliance established in 1536 between the king of France Francis I and the Turkish ruler of the Ottoman Empire Suleiman the Magnificent. The alliance has been called "the first non-ideological diplomatic alliance of its kind between a...

), and thereby strengthening a Polish-Ottoman alliance which was also in effect.

A Polish delegation went to La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

 to meet with Henry who was leading the Siege of La Rochelle (1572–1573). Henry left the siege following their visit. In Paris, on 10 September, the Polish delegation asked Henry to take an oath, at Notre Dame Cathedral, to "respect traditional Polish liberties and the law on religious freedom that had been passed during the interregnum
Interrex (Poland)
The institution of interrex existed in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, whose ruling classes liked to view their Republic or Commonwealth as an heir to Roman republican traditions...

". As conditions for his royal election, he was compelled to sign the pacta conventa
Pacta conventa (Poland)
Pacta conventa was a contractual agreement, from 1573 to 1764 entered into between the "Polish nation" and a newly-elected king upon his "free election" to the throne.The pacta conventa affirmed the king-elect's pledge to respect the laws of the...

and the Henrician Articles
Henrician Articles
The Henrician Articles or King Henry's Articles were a permanent contract that stated the fundamental principles of governance and constitutional law in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the form of 21 Articles written and adopted by the nobility in 1573 at the town of Kamień, near Warsaw,...

, pledging religious tolerance in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth was a dualistic state of Poland and Lithuania ruled by a common monarch. It was the largest and one of the most populous countries of 16th- and 17th‑century Europe with some and a multi-ethnic population of 11 million at its peak in the early 17th century...

. Henry chafed at the restrictions on monarchic
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 power under the Polish-Lithuanian political system
Political system
A political system is a system of politics and government. It is usually compared to the legal system, economic system, cultural system, and other social systems...

 of "Golden Liberty
Golden Liberty
Golden Liberty , sometimes referred to as Golden Freedoms, Nobles' Democracy or Nobles' Commonwealth refers to a unique aristocratic political system in the Kingdom of Poland and later, after the Union of Lublin , in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

". The Polish-Lithuanian parliament
General sejm
The general sejm was the parliament of Poland for four centuries from the late 15th until the late 18th century.-Genesis:The power of early sejms grew during the period of Poland's fragmentation , when the power of individual rulers waned and that of various councils and wiece grew...

 had been urged by Anna Jagiellon
Anna Jagiellon
Anna Jagiellon was queen of Poland from 1575 to 1586. She was the daughter of Poland's King Sigismund I the Old, and the wife of Stephen Báthory. She was elected, along with her then fiance, Báthory, as co-ruler in the second election of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth...

, the sister of the recently deceased king Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus
Sigismund II Augustus I was King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, the only son of Sigismund I the Old, whom Sigismund II succeeded in 1548...

, to elect him based on the understanding that Henry would wed Anna afterward.
It was at a ceremony before the Paris parlement
Parlement
Parlements were regional legislative bodies in Ancien Régime France.The political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the previous council of the king, the Conseil du roi or curia regis, and consequently had ancient and customary rights of consultation and...

 on 13 September that the Polish delegation handed over the "certificate of election to the throne of Poland-Lithuania". Henry also gave up any claims to succession and he "recognized the principle of free election" under the Henrician Articles
Henrician Articles
The Henrician Articles or King Henry's Articles were a permanent contract that stated the fundamental principles of governance and constitutional law in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the form of 21 Articles written and adopted by the nobility in 1573 at the town of Kamień, near Warsaw,...

 and the pacta conventa
Pacta conventa (Poland)
Pacta conventa was a contractual agreement, from 1573 to 1764 entered into between the "Polish nation" and a newly-elected king upon his "free election" to the throne.The pacta conventa affirmed the king-elect's pledge to respect the laws of the...

.

It was not until January 1574 that Henry was to reach the borders of Poland. On 21 February, Henry's coronation was held. It was in mid June 1574 that Henry would take leave of Poland and head back to France, upon hearing of his brother, Charles IX
Charles IX of France
Charles IX was King of France, ruling from 1560 until his death. His reign was dominated by the Wars of Religion. He is best known as king at the time of the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre.-Childhood:...

's death. Henry's absence 'provoked a constitutional crisis' which Parliament attempted to resolve by notifiying Henry that his throne would be lost if he did not return from France by 12 May 1575. His failure to return caused Parliament to declare his throne vacant.

The short reign of Henry at Wawel Castle
Wawel Castle
The Gothic Wawel Castle in Kraków in Poland was built at the behest of Casimir III the Great and consists of a number of structures situated around the central courtyard. In the 14th century it was rebuilt by Jogaila and Jadwiga of Poland. Their reign saw the addition of the tower called the Hen's...

 in Poland was marked by a clash of cultures between the Polish and the French. The young king and his followers were astonished by several Polish practices and disappointed by the rural poverty and harsh climate of the country. The Polish, on the other hand, wondered if all Frenchmen were as concerned with their appearance as their new King appeared to be.

In many aspects, Polish culture had a positive influence on France. At Wawel
Wawel
Wawel is an architectural complex erected over many centuries atop a limestone outcrop on the left bank of the Vistula River in Kraków, Poland, at an altitude of 228 metres above the sea level. It is a place of great significance to the Polish people. The Royal Castle with an armoury and the...

, the French were introduced to new methods of septic facilities, in which litter (excrement) was taken outside the castle walls. On returning to France, Henry ordered the construction of such facilities at the Louvre and other palaces. Other inventions introduced to the French by the Polish included a bath with regulated hot and cold water and the fork
Fork
As a piece of cutlery or kitchenware, a fork is a tool consisting of a handle with several narrow tines on one end. The fork, as an eating utensil, has been a feature primarily of the West, whereas in East Asia chopsticks have been more prevalent...

.

In 1578 Henry created the Order of the Holy Spirit
Order of the Holy Spirit
The Order of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit, was an Order of Chivalry under the French Monarchy. It should not be confused with the Congregation of the Holy Ghost or with the Order of the Holy Ghost...

 to commemorate his becoming first King of Poland and later King of France on the Feast of Pentecost and gave it precedence over the earlier Order of St. Michael, which had lost much of its original prestige through its having been awarded too frequently and too readily. The Order would retain its prestige as the premier order of France until the end of the French monarchy.

French reign (1575–1589)



Henry was crowned king of France on 13 February 1575, at Reims
Reims
Reims , a city in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France, lies east-northeast of Paris. Founded by the Gauls, it became a major city during the period of the Roman Empire....

 Cathedral. Although he was expected to produce an heir after he married Louise of Lorraine (14 February 1575), they were unable to conceive a child.

In 1576, Henry signed the Edict of Beaulieu
Edict of Beaulieu
The Edict of Beaulieu was promulgated from Beaulieu-lès-Loches on 6 May 1576 by Henry III of France, who was pressured by Alençon's support of the Protestant army besieging Paris that spring....

, granting many concessions to the Huguenots. His action resulted in the Catholic activist, Henry I, Duke of Guise
Henry I, Duke of Guise
Henry I, Prince of Joinville, Duke of Guise, Count of Eu , sometimes called Le Balafré, "the scarred", was the eldest son of Francis, Duke of Guise, and Anna d'Este...

, forming the Catholic League
Catholic League (French)
The Catholic League of France, sometimes referred to by contemporary Roman Catholics as the Holy League, a major player in the French Wars of Religion, was formed by Duke Henry of Guise in 1576...

. After much posturing and negotiations, Henry was forced to rescind most of the concessions that had been made to the Protestants in the edict.

In 1584, the King's youngest brother and heir presumptive, Francis, Duke of Anjou, died. Under Salic Law
Salic law
Salic law was a body of traditional law codified for governing the Salian Franks in the early Middle Ages during the reign of King Clovis I in the 6th century...

, the next heir to the throne was Protestant Henry III of Navarre
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

, a descendant of St. Louis IX
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

. Under pressure from the Duke of Guise, Henry III issued an edict suppressing Protestantism and annulling Henry III of Navarre's right to the throne.

Henry began a great friendship with the Feuillant
Feuillant (monks)
The Feuillants were monks of the Cistercian order who established an abbey in the diocese of Rieux in 1145.The abbey was named Notre-Dame-des-Feuillants and the name came to be applied to the monks too. Pope Gregory XIII established the Feuillants as a separate congregation in 1589 under their...

 reformer Jean de la Barrière
Jean de la Barrière
Jean Baptiste de la Barrière was a religious figure. He was named reformer of the Feuillants at the age of 19. During his life he became a spiritual adviser to King Henry III of France...

 and built a monastery for him and his followers to commemorate their friendship in 1587.

On 12 May 1588, when Henry I, Duke of Guise, entered Paris, Henry III fled the city.

On 23 December 1588, at the Château de Blois, the Duke of Guise arrived in the council chamber where his brother Louis II, Cardinal of Guise
Louis II, Cardinal of Guise
Louis II, Cardinal of Guise was the third son of Francis, Duke of Guise and Anna d'Este. His maternal grandparents were Ercole d'Este II, Duke of Ferrara and Renée of France....

, waited. The Duke was told that the King wished to see him in the private room adjoining the royal bedroom. There guardsmen murdered the Duke, then the Cardinal. To make sure that no contender for the French throne was free to act against him, the King had the Duke's son imprisoned.

Henry I, Duke of Guise, had been very popular in France, and the citizenry turned against King Henry for the murders. The Parlement
Parlement
Parlements were regional legislative bodies in Ancien Régime France.The political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the previous council of the king, the Conseil du roi or curia regis, and consequently had ancient and customary rights of consultation and...

instituted criminal charges against the King, and he joined forces with his heir, the Protestant Henry of Navarre, setting up the Parliament of Tours
Parliament of Tours
The Parliament of Tours was a faction of parliamentarians from the parliament of Paris faithful to the king and sitting at Tours from June 1589 to April 1594. It was also known as the King's Parliament, in opposition to the Catholic League's Parliament in Paris.In 1589, Paris was effectively in the...

.

Overseas relations


Under Henry, France named the first Consul of France in Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, in the person of Guillaume Bérard
Guillaume Bérard
Guillaume Bérard was a French Consul established in Fez, Morocco, in 1577 by Henry III of France. He was the first European to be named Consul in Morocco. His nomination followed the mission of Louis Cabrette, a French captain who had been used as an envoy to France by Sultan Al-Malek in 1576...

. The request came from the Moroccan prince Abd al-Malik
Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik I Saadi
Abu Marwan Abd al-Malik I , often simply Abd al-Malik or Mulay Abdelmalek, was the Saadi Sultan of Morocco from 1576 until his death right after the Battle of Ksar El Kebir against Portugal in 1578.-Saadi Prince:...

 who had been saved by Bérard during an epidemic in Constantinople
Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

, and wished to retain Bérard in his service.

Assassination


On 1 August 1589, Henry III lodged with his army at Saint-Cloud
Saint-Cloud
Saint-Cloud is a commune in the western suburbs of Paris, France. It is located from the centre of Paris.Like other communes of the Hauts-de-Seine such as Marnes-la-Coquette, Neuilly-sur-Seine or Vaucresson, Saint-Cloud is one of the wealthiest cities in France, ranked 22nd out of the 36500 in...

, Hauts-de-Seine, prepared to attack Paris, when a young fanatical Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 friar, Jacques Clément
Jacques Clément
Jacques Clément was the assassin of the French king Henry III.He was born at Serbonnes, in today's Yonne département, in Burgundy, and became a Dominican lay brother....

, carrying false papers, was granted access to deliver important documents to the King. The monk gave the King a bundle of papers and stated that he had a secret message to deliver. The King signaled for his attendants to step back for privacy, and Clément whispered in his ear while plunging a knife into his abdomen. Clément was killed on the spot by the guards.

At first the King's wound did not appear fatal, but he enjoined all the officers around him, in the event that he did not survive, to be loyal to Henry of Navarre as their new king. The following morning—the day that he was to have launched his assault to retake Paris—Henry III died.

Chaos swept the attacking army, most of it quickly melting away; the proposed attack on Paris was postponed. Inside the city, joy at the news of Henry III's death was near delirium; some hailed the assassination as an act of God
Act of God
Act of God is a legal term for events outside of human control, such as sudden floods or other natural disasters, for which no one can be held responsible.- Contract law :...

.

Burial


Henry III was interred at the Saint Denis Basilica
Saint Denis Basilica
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Denis is a large medieval abbey church in the commune of Saint-Denis, now a northern suburb of Paris. The abbey church was created a cathedral in 1966 and is the seat of the Bishop of Saint-Denis, Pascal Michel Ghislain Delannoy...

. Childless, he was the last of the Valois
Valois Dynasty
The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty, succeeding the House of Capet as kings of France from 1328 to 1589...

 kings. Henry III of Navarre succeeded him as Henry IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

, the first of the Bourbon
House of Bourbon
The House of Bourbon is a European royal house, a branch of the Capetian dynasty . Bourbon kings first ruled Navarre and France in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Bourbon dynasty also held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma...

 kings. During the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

 he was disinterred from his tomb, his body being desecrated and thrown into a common grave.

Literature

  • Pierre Matthieu
    Pierre Matthieu
    Pierre Matthieu was a French writer, poet, historian and dramatist.-Biography:Pierre Matthieu studied under the Jesuits and mastered Latin, Ancient Greek and Hebrew...

    , La Guisiade (1589)
  • Christopher Marlowe
    Christopher Marlowe
    Christopher Marlowe was an English dramatist, poet and translator of the Elizabethan era. As the foremost Elizabethan tragedian, next to William Shakespeare, he is known for his blank verse, his overreaching protagonists, and his mysterious death.A warrant was issued for Marlowe's arrest on 18 May...

    , The Massacre at Paris (1593)
  • George Chapman
    George Chapman
    George Chapman was an English dramatist, translator, and poet. He was a classical scholar, and his work shows the influence of Stoicism. Chapman has been identified as the Rival Poet of Shakespeare's Sonnets by William Minto, and as an anticipator of the Metaphysical Poets...

    , The Tragedy of Bussy D'Ambois (1607)
  • George Chapman, The Revenge of Bussy D'Ambois (1613)
  • John Dryden
    John Dryden
    John Dryden was an influential English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who dominated the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden.Walter Scott called him "Glorious John." He was made Poet...

     and Nathaniel Lee
    Nathaniel Lee
    Nathaniel Lee was an English dramatist.He was the son of Dr Richard Lee, a Presbyterian clergyman who was rector of Hatfield and held many preferments under the Commonwealth...

    , The Duke of Guise (1683)
  • Alexandre Dumas Les deux Diane (1846)
  • Robert Merle
    Robert Merle
    Robert Merle was a French novelist.-Biography:Born in Tébessa in French Algeria, he moved to France in 1918. A professor of English Literature at several universities, during World War II Merle was conscripted in the French army and assigned as an interpreter to the British Expeditionary Force...

     Paris ma bonne ville (1980)
  • Robert Merle Le prince que voilà (1982)
  • Robert Merle La violente amour (1983)

See also


  • History of Poland (1569-1795)
  • St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
    St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
    The St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572 was a targeted group of assassinations, followed by a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against the Huguenots , during the French Wars of Religion...

  • Les Mignons
    Les Mignons
    Les Mignons was a term used by polemicists in the toxic atmosphere of the French Wars of Religion and taken up by the people of Paris, to designate the favourites of Henry III of France, from his return from Poland to reign in France in 1574, to his assassination in 1589, a disastrous end to which...

  • Order of the Holy Spirit
    Order of the Holy Spirit
    The Order of the Holy Spirit, also known as the Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit, was an Order of Chivalry under the French Monarchy. It should not be confused with the Congregation of the Holy Ghost or with the Order of the Holy Ghost...


Ancestors





External links


|-
|-

|-
|-
|-
|-