French Wars of Religion – a quick timeline

Further to my recent post, a few visitors have asked me when the French Wars of Religion occurred. This series of bloody wars came in separate but connected phases and present quite a complicated picture. So, for clarity’s sake I’ve put together this brief timeline which I hope is of help.

French Wars of Religion (1562-1629)

1562-63 – The first war starts after the Edict of Toleration in January 1562. Catholic violence at Vassy in March signals start of first war. Ends in March 1563 with the Treaty of Amboise.
1567-68 – Second war starts when Huguenots (Huguenots is the name given to French Calvinist Protestants) sieze several fortified towns. This war ends in March 1568 with the Edict of Longjumeau.
1568-70 – Third war starts in September 1568. It ends with the Edict of St Germain in August 1570.
(The above are often referred to as the “Early Wars”)
1572-74 – The St Bartholomew’s massacres of Protestants, in Paris and then elsewhere, starts the fourth war of Religion.It ends with Peace of La Rochelle. 1574 Charles IX dies; Henri III becomes king of France.
1575-76– Duke of Alencon’s escape from the royal court in February starts the fifth war. The Peace of Monsieur (ratified by the Edict of Beaulieu) ends the war. In 1576 the militant ‘Catholic League’ forms (also called the ‘Holy League’).
1577 – March – September. This sixth war ends with Peace of Bergerac
1580 – there is a brief seventh war that ends in November with the Treaty of Nerac and Peace of Fleix
1584 – Duke of Anjou dies and Protestant Henri of Navarre becomes heir to French throne. The  Guise family signs a treaty with Catholic Spain, the Treaty of Joinville.


1585-89 – Wars of the Three Henrys:

1585 – Henry III bans Protestantism with the Treaty of Nemoours
1588 – Henry III forced to surrender to the militant Catholic Guise Family and the Catholic League. Henry signs the Edict of Union which places Henri de Guise in charge of all troops and declares it illegal for a non-Catholic to be ruler of France. In December Henry III arranges the assassination Of Henri de Guise and also of his brother, Cardinal Louis de Guise who was also the archbishop of Reims.
1589 – Henry III allies with the Huguenots and, unsuccessfully, lays siege to Holy League-controlled Paris. Later that summer Henry III himself is assassinated and names Henri of Navarre his successor.
1593 – Henry IV converts to Catholicism, is crowned the following year in Chartres. and enters unapposed into Paris.


1595-98: War between Henry IV and the Catholic League + Spain:

1595 – Henry IV declares war on the Catholic League’s allies, Spain.
1598 – May: War with Spain ends through the Peace of Vervins. April: Henry IV signs the Edict of Nantes which, to a large extent, ends the French Wars of Religion.
1629 – The Peace of Alais or the Edict of Grace formally ends the French Wars of Religion. It was negotiated by Cardinal Richelieu and Huguenot leaders. It was similar to the Edict of Nantes but took away some Protestant rights while granting them amnesty and guaranteeing tolerance for their religious practices.
1685 – Revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV (Protestant persecution, which had occurred during Louis XIV’s reign, now intensifies).

About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
This entry was posted in 16th Century, 17th Century, Amboise, Catholicism, Protestantism + Huguenots, Wars of Religion and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to French Wars of Religion – a quick timeline

  1. Pingback: How many people were killed during the French Wars of Religion? | Social history in the Touraine ~ Central France

  2. Pingback: Dedication to William Penn in Saumur, Loire Valley, France 2011 « The life and family of the Quaker William Penn

  3. Pingback: Maillé and Luynes in the Touraine ~ C17th images by Louis Boudan | Social history in the Touraine ~ Central France

  4. Denise says:

    Great website

  5. Pingback: French Wars of Religion – a quick timeline | Social history in the … | Midia Social

  6. Pingback: French Wars of Religion – a quick timeline | Social history in the … - Christian IBD

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