Date of Birth: 12/13/1553
Henry IV of France. The heir to the throne
Henry IV was born on 12.13.1553 in the city of Pau, his parents - Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne d`Albret. In the South, he was heir to the d`Albret, that is independent of the crown of France (Navarra) and extensive, although scattered possessions on the slopes of the Pyrenees, making them the owner of one of the great feudal lords of France. In the center, Bourbonnais, border areas and in the North it expected a legacy of the Bourbons. However, after the extinction of most of the property is an older line, and the confiscation of "traitor" Charles of Bourbon (1527), it has not been so great, but it was, as before, it is very tempting prospect: under Salic Law younger line - the Bourbons - had the right of succession of French throne if Valois die. However, by the time of the birth of Henry it was unlikely.
Personality of the parents and the long-term stay at the French court of Henry left their mark on the youth. Jeanne d`Albret, with 1555 firm supporter of Calvinism, has taken everything to make his son a Protestant, that did not exclude humanistic education in the spirit of her mother Margarita. His father, a Calvinist from the mid 50-ies., Who was more under the influence of Coligny than his wife, long remained a supporter of the Geneva case, and returned to the old religion as only Catherine initiative Medici entered the service of the French king in the position of lieutenant-general. For this reason, Henry was noteworthy and controversial experience. Relationship parents went wrong, as the mother and father sharply condemned strongly rejected the peace court. However, the father of the Protestant commander turned to the court, which, coupled with its large military leadership skills could not help but make an impression on the young man.
At the court in Paris and during the famous "great voyage" of the court staff in France (1564 - 1566) a young, smart, lively and practical, the royal son with the Pyrenees intensively and thoroughly acquainted with the life of Valois court. Following the example of his father, he again became a Catholic at once after his death returned to the mother religion which was able to influence his son with a friendly connivance of the then very supple Catherine de Medici.
At court he also met with his cousins, next to the last kings of the family of Valois, and their sister Margaret and respected, but at least her and one of her brothers. What is his relationship with the young Duke of Anjou, the future King Henry III of, were already friendly, it paid off in 1589
Only as a member of the court of Navarre Formation correctly assessed the value of the religious problems of modern politics. In the 50s and 60s. it was still not decided, it will be closed for a long time the Huguenots way to royal power in France. From time to time the palace politics were close to some leaders of the Calvinist party, such as Gaspard de Coligny, the Prince of Conde, Henry of Bourbon, brother of Odet de Coligny Chatillon and others; this is especially true kKolini, Admiral of France, an outstanding military and political figure of Protestantism in 1572 to Catherine de Medici and her sons Francis II and Charles IX sometimes distrusted Catholic court party because of its intensive contacts with Spain is much more than the Huguenots. Their policy towards the parties, which between 1560 and 1568 years. essentially determined by the chancellor Michel de L`Hopital, it was nothing more than an attempt not to make the final choice between the two radical positions. Therefore it is clear that Catherine in 1567, shortly before the beginning of enmity between the two parties has granted "leave" the young king and his recently is in the court of the mother. This decision brought Navarre first acquaintance with the religious wars "on the spot" in the Huguenot army in the south-west, and especially in the future Calvinist fortress of La Rochelle.
Meanwhile, Catherine promoted their marriage plans and after the conclusion of peace in the Saint-Germain-en-Laye (1570) has gone so far that the wedding with Marguerite Henry Navarre was scheduled for 1572 The fact that this event went down in history not as big and gala celebration of the royal line of Valois and Bourbon, and as a Parisian "Blood wedding", happened primarily because of two very personal reasons: because of too straightforward tactics Coligny, who at that time was trying to alienate the King Charles IX of his mother, and drag in opposite camp, and because of the sharp reaction of regent, which is now seen in the Admiral great danger to themselves and their sons than the Spaniards. The decision to eliminate the Admiral, an unsuccessful attempt and murder of a huge number of Calvinists in Paris and across the country show that for personal tactics, especially by the Catholic majority, hiding more powerful forces, which are increasingly determined by what is happening.
We know very little about how the Navarre survived St. Bartholomew in the Louvre. He was in a quandary: being a Protestant aristocrat, he personally was in danger, as well as his cousin and ally of Conde, who was with him at the court. In the end they are the prisoners of the king, what is now, switched to the bosom of the old church.
The action against the Calvinists was a political failure. Despite the loss, St. Bartholomew did not weaken the Huguenots. From now politically strengthened scientific system of French Protestantism, from now on religion was a political foundation, now it has become the "party." At the same time sounded noteworthy voices of people who held a moderate, conciliatory, supra-party position, speaking about religious tolerance. They were not a party, but the public perceives them as "politicians". Jean Bodin, erudite lawyer and expert on constitutional law, known for his researches on the historical method, in 1576, in the fundamental work "On the republic," the idea of ??a politically united with the idea of ??reasonable tolerance gain sovereign monarchy, and thus developed a political-theoretical concept.
Undoubtedly tolerable personal "bondage" of Navarre at the court lasted until 1576 By the time Catherine had long talks resumed course and young bearnets enjoyed court life, especially hunting, and have not yet found a solid, focused political will. Presumably, who lived with him Huguenot advisers finally took the opportunity to escape and returned to the young king in the Huguenot army in the south-west of France and thus to his future tasks.
In subsequent years, Henry of Navarre is not easily mastered the role of the leader of the Protestant party. He resisted the more ready to fight for the Protestant case cousin Conde. At this time, Navarre has not yet realized its own destiny. Although he again changed his religion, consistently "persistent" Protestants as Theodore de Bez, were skeptical about the way of life, which, in their opinion, does not correspond to God`s chosen leader of the Protestant. The decisive moment in the life of Henry IV was the fact that he was in the following years did not succumb to the pressure of the Protestants in his entourage was not only the head of the Protestant party, but reserved the right to reconciliation with yard course. There are signs that he has followed a conscious political line. An example is the debate about vnutriprotestantskie world Fle (1580). This peace treaty, one of the few at the time of religious wars, has not brought any benefit Protestants, and nearly Navarre made it with my brother the king alone. For the first time, having developed to an absolute mastery negotiating skills and the art of persuasion, clearly accentuating the idea of ??reconciling the warring parties for the benefit of France and Navarre to the representative assembly of the Huguenots (Montauban, 1581) insisted on the recognition of the world. After that, he is told by Jean-Pierre Babelon in his excellent biography of Henry IV of, became "something of a Protestant viceroy of France."
It has become so even more when in 1584 died last brother of Henry III of, the Duke of Anjou. King, from which no one was waiting for an heir, was left without a claimant to the throne of his house. That`s one fear, the other eagerly awaited: the younger line of Bourbon heir to give, and it could only be the head of Henry of Navarre House. The consequences of this event in the country were enormous. Since 1576 the highest Catholic aristocracy led by Guise supported the Union, the League, in which mixed religious motives and caste separatist understanding of freedom. Now Giza restored the union and went on a close relationship with the Parisian petty bourgeoisie. Protestants for their part, especially their leaders, to 1572 who took an extremely critical tone against the monarchy in general and in particular, the Valois, a change of strategy. They have now become fierce advocates of the monarchical principle in France and, of course, legitimate prestolonaslediyaPri such circumstances, there was nothing to think about stability. After the events of the summer of 1584 a religious war entered its last and fiercest phase, defines the Catholic side of the League in Paris, and with the Huguenot - its undisputed leader Henry of Navarre. The Catholic party is not only achieved by the Pope bulls, which declared all claims to the throne of Navarre untenable, but she managed to win over the king and force him to the abolition of all religious edicts. Navarre tried to get the support of European Protestants, but in Germany found a response only from the Calvinist Palatinate Johann Casimir background, and Elizabeth of England agreed to some minor subsidies.
Fortunately for Navarre, the enemy front was not united. Between the nobility and national basis League had serious ideological differences, besides the developments in Paris from 1586 to 1589, he became more radical, just as happened during the Revolution two hundred years later, that was not conducive to the unity of the League. Paris Members of the League is very not like the alliance with the king because they saw him as a consistent follower of Catholicism. When Henry III in 1588 increased its military forces around Paris, it came to this popular uprising, which ran in the yard better fortified Blois. From then until 1594, Paris was "without a king." After Henry III of Blois again made an unsuccessful attempt to become the head of the League, he decided to seize the initiative and ordered the killing of the leaders of the League - Duke Henry Guise and his brother the Cardinal of Lorraine, who on the occasion of the meeting of the States-General were in Blois.
This murder has not reached the goal. Henry III is not regained the initiative, on the contrary, he let go of her hand. Paris League again radicalized and formed along with the best League Magistrate new revolutionary urban governance. Sorbonne is also not lagging behind and in the illegal act of the university released all subjects from the oath of allegiance to the king. In March 1589 the Parliament of Paris, which has been cleared of faithful advisers to the king, the Duke appointed Mayennskogo, the younger brother of Guise, Lieutenant-General of the state and the crown of France, like the legitimate king was no more. Henry III had no choice but to get close to his cousin, a former comrade Henry of Navarre. King and Protestants joined the remaining military and moved to Paris to lead the city in obedience and faithful League institution. In the approach to Paris 08.01.1589, Henry III was killed by a Dominican monk Jacques Clement. On his deathbed, he found the strength to ask those present to recognize King Henry of Navarre. At the same time, he once again urged his successor to come back to the bosom of the old church.
Source: French kings and emperors, ed. Peter K. Hartmann; "Phoenix", Rostov-on-Don, 1997.