1551 - 1589 (37 years)
Has more than 100 ancestors but no descendants in this family tree.
||Henry de France |
|Relationship||with Francis Fox|
||19 Sep 1551
||2 Aug 1589
||9 Oct 2002 |
||Roy Henry de France, II, b. 31 Mar 1519, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Yvelines, France , d. 10 Jul 1559, Paris, Île-de-France, Fr (Age 40 years) |
||Catherine di Medici, b. 13 Apr 1519, Firenze, Toscana, Italia , d. 15 Jan 1589, Blois, Loir-et-Cher (Age 69 years) |
||28 Oct 1533
||Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France
||9 siblings |
||Group Sheet | Family Chart
- King of France (1574-1589).
Henri III, the fourth son of Henri II and Catherine de Medici, was initially Duke of Anjou before becoming King of Poland in 1573 thanks to his mother's intrigues. He mounted the throne of France in the following year, after the death of his brother, Charles IX, without a male heir. He took over a kingdom that had been torn between Catholics and Protestants for twelve years. After the St. Bartholomew's Day's massacre, royal authority no longer had the resources to ensure that it was respected. Henri III was not the right man for the job. Even though he wanted to preserve the unity of his kingdom, he was too indecisive and easily influenced. His mother still played a leading role and his favourites had too great a hold on him. He led a luxurious life at court, with little awareness of the ravages being caused by the fighting. The war broke out again at the beginning of his reign. The Catholics won the Battle of Dormans (October 1575) but, by signing the Peace of Beaulieu (May 1576), the king granted advantages to the Protestants and this led to the setting up of the Roman Catholic League. The king became its leader in order to ensure greater control over it but the States General held in Blois forced him to take up the struggle against the Protestants again. The sixth war broke out in 1577. The Catholics were victorious at La Charite-sur-Loire and Issoire and the Treaty of Bergerac restricted Protestant worship. The League was dissolved. However, the Protestants did not uphold the new truce and a seventh war broke out in 1580 in Languedoc where Hertn of Navarre captured Callers. It ended with the Peace of Fleix which confirmed the Treaty of Bergerac. Henri III had no children from his marriage with Louise de Vaudemont in 1575 and his brother, Francois, was Heir Presumptive. The latter's death in 1584, however, led to a serious crisis since the pretender to the throne was thereafter Henri of Navarre. The possibility of Henri's mounting the throne was unacceptable to Catholics and led to the final war. The Catholics formed a new league and allied themselves with Philip II of Spain. They put pressure on Henri III who repealed all the concessions he had granted to the Protestants (July 1585).
The "War of the Three Henry's" brought confusion for the monarch.
Henri of Navarre won the Battle of Coutras (1587);
Henri de Guise defeated the Swiss and German Protestant reinforcements and entered Paris where he met with significant popular support. Three days later, riots caused the king to flee (May 1588). Henri III was again forced to capitulate. He summoned the States General, which were dominated by the League, and held a meeting in Blois but then regained a measure of self-control and had Henri de Guise murdered (December 1588). The Leaguers controlled Paris and declared the destitution of the monarch. The only way in which Henri III could regain power was by allying himself with Henn of Navarre. The two men then laid siege to Paris (July 1589). However, a few days later, Henri III was assassinated by a fana?tical monk named Jacques Clement. His reign, although troubled on the domestic front, was nevertheless marked by progress in royal administration. He ordered specialisation for the King's Councils (1578) and promulgated the Grand Ordinance of Blois (1579). When Henri III died without an heir, this marked the end of the Valois dynasty. He was succeeded by Henri IV.
The return of the Royal family to Blois coin?cided with the States General of 1576. Henry III who had returned from Poland to assume the French crown wanted to reestablish the religous and political unity, but Henry of Guise, the Balafre, Head of the Catholic Lea?gue already enjoyed an immense popularity and the deputies were with him. During this reign, Blois remained the most important of the Loire castles and the seat of the government when the king was in residence; it was here that he sumptuously received foreign ambassadeurs and took pleasure in codifying the court etiquette in minute detail. However the queen mother showed a preference for Chenonceau. In 1577 the country banquet which she offered to her son, her daughter-in-law Louise of Vaudemont, and her daughter, Margaret of Navarre (this banquet at which three queens resided) was one of the last grand celebrations of the Renaissance. The service was taken care of by beautiful ladies, " their hair dishevelled, half naked, wearing mens clothes in two colours ". The evening drew to a close with a firework display on the river. '
Several months later, Touraine was to become the refuge of the last of the Valais. After the day of the barricades, Henry III had to flee to Blois, the conflict was to be merciless; On 17th December 1588, during a dinner, the Cardinal of Lorraine raised a glass to the health of his brother "the future king of France! ".
The head of the League was on the point of dethroning the king who no longer had enough power to have him legally tried for outrage against the king. He felt defeated .... his faithful followers, his advisors, pressured him into taking action. Along with his body guards - who were called the forty five - he organised the murder of his enemy!
On the morning of 23rd Decem?ber the duke was summoned to the palace. Before entering the king's chambers, he was savagely assasinated ... Henry III arrived and looked at the body: "This is a great man. He seems even grea?ter dead than alive".
Twelve days later, Queen Cathe?rine passed away in one of the castle chambers.
The League was dismembered, but it gained a new leader, the Duke of Mayenne, brother of Guise who was advancing towards Tours. Henry III was therefore going to become reconciled with his brother-in-law, Henry of Navarre. They met in Plessis les Tours. Their reconciliation already ensured the national con?tinuation. When the king fell under Jacques Clement's blows on 1st August 1589, he had the time to solemnly declare the legi?timate heir to the throne as his successor.
was elected king of Poland in 1573 but returned to France in 1574 to succeed his brother Charles IX. His reign was almost continually disturbed by the Wars of Religion. The death in 1584 of his brother Fran?ois made him the last male member of the House of Valois. His recognition of Henri de Navarre (later Henri IV) as heir presumptive was opposed by Henri, 3rd Duc de Guise, head of the Catholic League (the "War of the Three Henrys" resulted). Having procured the murder of Guise (1588), the king was faced with a revolt of the League and was expelled from Paris. Henri de Navarre came to his aid, but Henri III was assassinated in the siege by Jacques Cl?ment, a fanatic monk.
--Columbia-Viking desk encyclopedia, 1953
Henri III is something of an historical enigma. The beautiful sketches of the royal family by Clouet show a young man with compellingly soulful eyes; later there is a certain haunted quality to them. He was the military hero of Jarnac and Montcontour (notable royal victories over the Huguenots), a keen blade and afficionado of the fence, who occasionally dressed in women's clothing and whose taste for luxury was considered the height of decadence. He kept a retinue of "mignons" -- his fanatically loyal courtiers, pretty boys with sharp swords who picked duels with the retainers of his enemies. He was sincerely, if intermittently, religious, establishing congregations of Penitents in Paris and walking barefoot in their processions, flagellating himself (there is a certain masochistic quality to his outbreaks of piety). In 1577 he gave the Protestants all the rights they would later have in the Edict of Nantes in 1598, although these were annulled over the years under pressure from the Catholic wing. In the end he valued blood ties over religion, and named Henri de Navarre his heir on his deathbed. History remembers him as an indolent "Prince of Sodom", but he was the most intelligent and capable of Catherine's brood. Destined to be the last of the Valois, he nevertheless kept his throne for 15 years in the face of chaos.