Protestantism In France From The Death Of Henry II. To The Accession Of Henry IV (1559-1589)

Protestantism In France From The Death Of Henry II. To The Accession Of Henry IV (1559-1589).

Francis II. was but sixteen years old at his accession, and his competency to rule was not at all in excess of his years. While, therefore, he served as a figure-head, it was necessary that the government should be in other hands. The promptness and dexterity of the Guise brothers forthwith determined what hands should hold the reins. They secured - it might be said usurped -- the control of affairs, though it was under cover of the King's formal approbation that they proceeded. Next to them in influence stood the queen-mother, Catherine de Medici. Previously she had been held in the background. Now she came to the front, and began the political manœuvring which has earned for her an evil immortality. Her career henceforth was one of duplicity, ending in a crime which for horror and heartlessness has but few parallels in history. Still, dark as is the record, it is not probable that Catherine was, in natural bent, a person of extraordinary depravity. Under favorable conditions, she would have earned no unusual measure of opprobrium. But she was not fitted for the exercise of power, and least of all for its exercise amid the distracting conditions of the time, in the face of exigencies which would have taxed the clearest judgment as well as the soundest moral sense. The fatal defect in her moral composition was an utter lack of high principles. Having no better standard than mere policy, and being destitute at the same time of the broad and penetrating glance which might reveal the way of the truest discretion, she was driven hither and thither by the seeming demands of expediency; perfidious not so much because she loved falsehood, as because she was blind to all demands of truth and virtue where they stood in the way of apparent advantage. 1 Anquetil well eays, Elle ne fut méchant pour le plaisir de l'être, ni bonne par principe ou par une pente naturelle; ses vertus et ses vices dépendirent toujours des moments et des circonstances (Histoire de France, v. 37; compare Soldan, I. 385, 386). Nurtured in the school of Machiavelli, she heartily imbibed his maxims of state-craft. While she had no fanaticism to provoke to cruelty, the claims of humanity were of little account in her eyes. "Success was her only god." 2 Martin, Livre LIII.

In the last days of Francis II., whose short reign ended the year after it was begun, another factor -and one very different from either of those mentioned -was brought into the government in the person of the chancellor, Michel de l'Hospital. A man of insight, and a friend of tolerance, he sought to act the part of a mediator, to curb the rage of parties, to work toward the mutual recognition of the two religions instead of the suppression of either. During the eight years that he had a part in the government, he placed the Protestants under great obligations, not only by opposing the introduction of the Spanish Inquisition, but by advocating various positive concessions to their worship.

Just before the induction of L'Hospital into his office (1560), great hazard and opprobrium were brought upon the Protestant cause by an ill-advised rising,- the so-called conspiracy or tumult of Amboise. The immediate leader of the project was a nobleman by the name of La Renaudie. It is not improbable that Condé knew something of what was in preparation; but Coligny and his brothers had no connection with the enterprise, and it was strongly discountenanced by Calvin. The movement was not at all designed to be an assault upon the crown. In all the struggles that followed, the Protestants never entertained the thought of discrowning a legitimate sovereign. It was left to Roman Catholics to make that attempt. In the present instance, the design was to drive the Guise brothers from their overgrown influence in the government. Many Roman Catholics, as well as Protestants, regarded them as scarcely better than usurpers. They were looked upon as having crowded themselves into the place which by law and precedent belonged to the princes of the blood, so that an attempt to expel them from the control of affairs would be no real exhibition of disloyalty.

The answer which the intrepid Castelnau returned, as his sentence importing that he had been guilty of treason was read, indicates the standpoint of his party. "I am innocent," he said, "of this crime, since I am conscious of having undertaken nothing against the King, his mother, his wife, his brothers, or any of his relatives. To have taken arms against the Guises, foreigners who have usurped the public administration in violation of the laws of the realm, cannot be treason, unless these men have been proclaimed kings of France" (De Thou, Lib. XXIV.). As the project was betrayed before it reached maturity, it totally failed, and drew after it the wretched consequence of a long list of executions. Condé narrowly escaped being numbered with the victims. Though he cleared himself when first challenged, he was subsequently apprehended, and condemned to the scaffold,-a sentence which the implacable hatred of the Guise brothers would doubtless have carried through, had it not been for the speedy death of the King. 1 After the tumult of Amboise, the term Huguenots, as a designation of French Protestants, became current. Various theories as to the origin and significance of the name have been entertained. Perhaps the most probable conclusion is, that it was a corruption of Eidgenossen (confederates), a designation which had been applied to the republican and reform party in Geneva, which made alliance with the German Swiss to throw off the yoke of Savoy. It may have been used with the intent to stamp French Protestants as a republican and revolutionary faction. But great obscurity envelops the origin of the term. (See Soldan, I. 336, 337, 608-625; Martin, Livre LI.)

In the first years of the reign of Charles IX. (1560-1574), Catherine de Medici held the regency. For an interval, her counsels were less dominated by the house of Guise than they had been in the previous reign; and the result appeared in some concessions to the Protestants. An edict was issued in 1561, in which banishment was specified as the extreme penalty for simple heresy. A still further show of tolerance was given the same year by an invitation to the Protestant theologians to take part in a conference at Poissy. Theodore Beza, from the Academy of Geneva, appeared here as a chief defendant of the Reformed faith, - an office for which he was admirably qualified by his great learning, his ready address, and his engaging manners. As he entered the hall with his party, a scoffing opponent muttered, "There come the Geneva dogs." Beza overheard the compliment, and replied, "Yes, indeed; faithful dogs are needed in the sheepfolds of the Lord, to bark against the prowling wolves." 2 J. W. Baum, Theodor Beza, ii. 238. Baum gives a very complete account of the conference of Poissy. See also Histoire Ecclésiastique, i. 539-580. The disputation probably changed the convictions of very few. That it did not prejudice the cause of the Huguenots with the government, is evidenced by the fact, that, in January of the next year, the most tolerant measure yet devised -the edict of St. Germain -was issued. Therein the right was accorded to the new sect to assemble unarmed congregations, for purposes of worship, outside the walls of towns. This naturally was grievous in the sight of zealous Romanists. To their minds it seemed a monstrous thing that there should be two religions, two church organizations, within the same realm. They began at once to bestir themselves to nullify the January edict. In order to forestall the intervention of the German Protestants, the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Duke of Guise sought a meeting with Christopher of Würtemberg and some of the leading Lutheran theologians. At this meeting, the Cardinal, while he expressed his dislike of Calvinism, made it appear that he was very well satisfied with the Augsburg Confession. He played, in fact, the rôle of a wholesale hypocrisy, which was too transparent in its selfish intent to have even the merit of shrewdness. The Duke followed in the wake of his brother's craft, and joined with him in the pledge not to persecute the partisans of the new faith in France. Less than a fortnight after this promise was given, occurred the massacre at Vassy (March 1, 1562). Under circumstances which indicate a guilty connivance on the part of the Duke of Guise, if not unqualified responsibility, a troop of his fell upon a Huguenot congregation comprising women and children, as well as men, and killed about sixty of them, besides wounding a hundred more. Intense excitement naturally followed. The cry of the murdered victims may truly be said to have resounded throughout France, -to the Huguenots a stimulus to bitter resentment and gloomy apprehensions, to bigoted Roman Catholics an incitement to new atrocities. Voices were raised demanding redress for the outrage. It was on this occasion that Beza spoke to Anthony of Navarre, who was then siding with the party of Guise, these memorable words: "Sire, it befits the Church of God, in whose name I speak, to suffer, rather than to give, blows. But you should remember that it is an anvil which has worn out many hammers." 1 De Thou, Lib. XXIX. It was much easier, however, for a persecuted minority to ask for redress than to obtain it. Shortly afterwards, another massacre, quite as barbarous as that of Vassy, occurred at Sens.

It was under these provocations that the wrath of the Huguenots broke out into iconoclastic violence on a large scale. "Less barbarous, in general, than their adversaries, toward men, their rage was implacable toward things."

2 Martin, lii. The honest and serious intent back of some of the vandalism is evidenced by the story of the soldier at Orleans. Condé ordered him to desist from his attempt to reach and break an image placed at some distance above the pavement, and emphasized his command by pointing an arquebuse. But the soldier persisted, saying, "Have patience until I have destroyed this idol, and then you may slay me if you will" (Hist. Ecclésiastique, ii. 51).

The impulse to destroy whatever was deemed an object of idolatry urged them beyond the control of pastors and leaders. The fact that the Roman Catholic populace, as in the massacre at Sens, were incited to increased fury and bloodthirstiness by manufactured reports of miracles in connection with images, l Soldan, ii. 32. did not tend to soften their antipathy against the emblems of an idolatrous worship.

The massacre of Vassy ushered in the era of the civil wars. Taken in connection with the bearing of the Duke of Guise and his party after the event, it was an unmistakable notice to the Huguenots that laws made for their protection would not be observed. In resorting to arms, therefore, they could not be charged with taking the initiative in the conflict. Moreover, Condé, under whose standard they gathered, was specifically advised by the queen-mother not to disband his forces so long as the Duke of Guise kept his men under arms. 2 De Thou, Lib. XXIX. She feared the ascendency of this house, and now made it her policy to hold the balance between the contending parties, using the one to keep the other within bounds. Her position is well indicated by the manner in which she received the news of the battle of Dreux (December, 1562), the first great encounter of the civil wars. The earliest report assigned the victory to the Protestants. "Well!" said Catherine, "we must now be content to pray to the Lord in French." 3 Mezeray, iii. 274. Garnier considers it improbable that Catherine should have uttered these words at so serious a crisis. To us they do not seem specially counter, either to the character of Catherine, or to her position at the time. As she was better informed, and learned that the Roman Catholic army had won the victory, she gave orders for a public celebration. The victory was not a very decisive one; but being on the side of the stronger party, it inspired them with the hope of a speedy overthrow of the Huguenots. That hope, however, was soon dampened. About two months after the battle of Dreux, the most competent military leader in the party of repression, Francis, Duke of Guise, was assassinated by a fanatical Huguenot. 1 The only evidence that Coligny was accessory to the deed was the confession of Poltrot, the assassin, under torture, --a confession which he himself contradicted (De Thou, Lib. XXXIV.). Such wretched evidence is far more than counterbalanced by the known character of Coligny, his frank statement respecting his whole relation to Poltrot, and his earnest request that the assassin might be kept till he could confront him in the presence of the judges.

The peace concluded in 1563 was rather a truce than a peace. The continuance of persecution and menacing preparations gave the Huguenots to understand that no basis of security had yet been obtained. Thus a second civil war broke out (1567-68); and this, after a slight interval, was followed by a third. St. Denis, Jarnac, and Moncontour were the principal fields of battle. Condé fell at Jarnac in 1569. As D' Andelot died soon after, Coligny was the only great captain left to the Huguenots; and in the name of the youthful Henry of Navarre, and the son of the fallen Condé, he took the command.

In 1570 a peace was concluded, upon what was thought to be a firmer foundation than had been supplied previously. The terms were favorable to the Protestants. A large number of towns were designated, in which they were to be allowed freedom of worship; and four fortified cities were given over to their keeping, as security for the observance of the treaty. Thus a species of political significance was allowed to the Huguenots within the realm.

As if to cement the peace which had been concluded, a marriage was proposed between Margaret, the youngest sister of Charles IX., and Henry of Navarre. Jeanne D'Albret was not altogether pleased with such an alliance for her son, and could not refrain from some unhappy forebodings while giving her consent. It was her good fortune to die before the marriage was consummated, and the events ushered in, to which it was a prelude. No more courageous or steadfast adherent sustained the Protestant cause of that age than this woman. At various crises in the civil conflict, her spirit rose to a grand height of heroic constancy. She may have manifested something of the rigor naturally inspired by a stern ordeal and a stern creed; but the general tone of her life was elevated, and won the praise of a large proportion of the Roman Catholic writers of the era, as well as of the Protestant.

In the light of what followed, the marriage looks like a piece of stupendous hypocrisy on the part of those who planned it, designed to disarm the suspicions of the Huguenots. Only four days after the wedding, Coligny, as he was returning from a conference with the King, was fired upon and wounded; and the circumstances showed that the would-be assassin was associated with the Duke of Guise. Charles IX. expressed himself as greatly incensed at the outrage, showed every attention to the admiral, and gave him a special guard for his protection. A preponderance of authority seems to indicate that in this the King was sincere, and was moved by a genuine regard for Coligny.

Catherine de Medici was now made seriously to fear the influence of the noble admiral with the King, and joined all her power of persuasion with that of several others, including the King's brother, the Duke of Anjou, to induce Charles to sacrifice Coligny. The weak-minded King at last assented, but is said to have put in the condition that no Huguenots should be left to avenge the crime. Thus the massacre of St. Bartholomew was planned. The preparations were completed two days after the assault upon the admiral, or on the 24th of August, 1572; and at the first approach of dawn the bell of St. Germain l' Auxerrois tolled forth the signal for the slaughter. Coligny was among the first to fall, the Duke of Guise going in person to make sure of his death. The young princes, Henry of Navarre and Condé, were spared only on condition of accepting the Roman Catholic faith. On every hand the helpless Huguenots were cut down without mercy. If the statement of Brantôme and some others may be trusted, the King himself, as if crazed by the carnival of blood, fired from his window upon the fugitives. 1 Brantôme, Les Vies des Grand Capitains, Livre I., Partie II., chap. xxxix.: Baird, ii. 482. For a whole week the murderous work continued in the metropolis, though considerably abated after the third day. Paris was made a veritable inferno. Private revenge and lust of gain, as well as religious bigotry, urged on the murderous work; and in some instances Roman Catholics were among the victims. Meanwhile, in answer to the royal orders, 2 These orders were verbal and secret; the public order which was sent out being of a different tenor, and designed to afford a convenient shelter from responsibility. similar scenes began to be enacted in the great cities of the provinces. In a number of instances, however, the magistrates, and even the bishops, had the humanity to discard the orders, and labored to prevent an outbreak.

A vivid impression as to the difficulty of escape for any one known to be a Protestant is given by Sully's narrative of his own experience. "I was aroused," he writes, "about three hours after midnight by the noise of bells and the confused cries of the populace. St. Julien, my governor, went out hastily with my valet de chambre, to learn the cause; and I have never since heard any thing of those two men, who were, without doubt, sacrificed among the first to the public fury. I remained alone, dressing myself in my chamber, when a few minutes after I observed my host enter, pale and in consternation. He was of the religion; and, having heard what was the matter, he had decided on going to mass to save his life, and preserve his house from plunder. He came to persuade me to do the same, and to take me with him. I did not think fit to follow him. I resolved on attempting to get to the College of Burgundy, where I studied. I put on my scholar's gown, and taking a pair of large prayer-books under my arm, I went down-stairs. I was seized with horror as I went into the street at seeing the furious men running in every direction, breaking open the houses, and calling out,'Kill! massacre the Huguenots!' and the blood which I saw shed before my eyes redoubled my fright. I fell in with a body of soldiers, who stopped me. I was questioned; they began to ill-treat me, when the books which I carried were discovered, happily for me, and served me for a passport. Twice afterward I fell into the same danger, from which I was delivered with the same good fortune. At length I arrived at the College of Burgundy: a still greater danger awaited me there. The porter having twice refused me admittance I remained in the middle of the street at the mercy of the ruffians, whose numbers kept increasing, and who eagerly sought for their prey, when I thought of asking for the principal of the college, named Dafaye, a worthy man and who tenderly loved me. The porter, gained by small pieces of money which I put into his hand, did not refuse to fetch him. This good man took me to his chamber, where two inhuman priests, whom I heard talk of the Sicilian vespers, tried to snatch me from his hands, to tear me to pieces, saying that the order was to kill even infants at the breast. All he could do was to lead me to a remote closet, where he locked me in. I remained there three whole days, uncertain of my fate, and receiving no assistance but from the servant of this charitable man, who came from time to time, and brought me something to live upon." 1 W.S. Browning, History of the Huguenots, chap, xxviii.

That the massacre was positively designed, and designed to the fullest extent, admits of no question. That it was planned long beforehand on the scale on which it occurred, may be doubted. Very likely Catherine de Medici had been cherishing the design of cutting off the leaders of the Huguenots, if it should appear politically expedient. It may be concluded, however, that the bloody plot in its full dimensions was first decided upon after the assault upon Coligny had miscarried, and was designed, in part, to anticipate any new uprising of the Huguenots which might be called forth by that outrage. Charles IX. at first denied responsibility for the massacre, but afterwards confessed that he gave the orders, and attempted to excuse himself under the miserable slander that the Huguenots had prepared a conspiracy against the throne.

As to the number of victims, the estimates of contemporary writers vary greatly. "Papyre Masson, from whom we have a biography of Charles IX., reckons them at twelve thousand and upwards, De Thou at thirty thousand, Sully at seventy thousand. The Bishop Péréfixe, who afterwards described the life of Henry IV. for the young Louis XIV., raised the number to one hundred thousand, a sum which also was given in a Huguenot representation which appeared two years after the bloody event. In Paris alone there fell, according to Papyre Masson, two thousand; according to Capilupi, three thousand; according to Brantôme, more than four thousand." Soldan, II. 471. As respects the number connected above with the name of De Thou, it should be noticed that he gives it as a common estimate in his day, and adds that he considers it somewhat too large. He says: Per alias etiam urbes, et ab urbibus per oppida et pagos exemplum grassatum est, proditumque à multis, triginta hominum millia toto regno in his tumultibus varia peste extincta, quamvis aliquanto minorem numerum credo (Lib. LII.). It is altogether probable that not less than twenty thousand were butchered. 2 Among recent writers, Martin, Baird, and Ranke regard this as about the lowest allowable estimate. Alzog, who makes four thousand the total number of victims, gives no sufficient grounds for his minifying estimate. La Popelinière, whom he quotes in a strangely inadequate way, makes the total not less than twenty thousand (Lingard, Hist. of Eng., vol. viii.; Martin, liv.; Henry White, Massacre of St. Bartholomew, chap. xiv.).

Outside of France the massacre was hailed with general reprobation, but Philip II. and the Pope were found capable of heartily applauding the enormity. Philip II. had a double occasion for rejoicing. While the wholesale murder of heretics was most acceptable to his feelings as a religious bigot, he saw that the massacre was greatly to his political advantage, since it had removed the most determined opponents of his ambitions, and would naturally be prejudicial to the relations of France with the Protestant powers. As for the Popes, the massacre but fulfilled the counsels which for years they had been pressing upon the French government. Nearly every message which came from Rome was a call to extermination. Pius IV. formally approved the atrocities of Blaise de Montluc. 1 Raynaldus, anno 1562, n. 158. Pius V. fumed against every concession to the Huguenots; ordered the troops, which he sent to re-enforce the Roman Catholic forces, to give no quarter to the foe; 2 Ranke, History of the Popes, p. 146, London edition. and finally wrote to Charles IX. an earnest exhortation not to spare one of the hundreds of thousands of Protestants in his realm, tearing up the roots of heresy, and even the very fibers of the roots. 3 "Radices, atque etiam radicum fibras." "Let your Majesty," said he, "take warning from the example of King Saul. He had received orders from God, by the mouth of the prophet Samuel, so to smite the infidel Amalekites, as in no wise or on any pretext to spare one of them. But he did not obey the will and voice of God; therefore he was severely reprimanded, and finally was deprived of his kingdom and his life. By this example God has wished to admonish all kings, that, by neglecting to avenge injuries done to Him, they will provoke against themselves His wrath and indignation." 4 De Potter, Lettres de Saint Pie V., Lettre XII. A communication to Catherine de Medici at the same time was not a whit more gentle in its suggestions (Lettre XIII.). To this savage advice, Gregory XIII., who was on the throne at the time of the massacre, gave the fitting supplement by ordering public rejoicings, as the news of the tragedy came to Rome, and causing a medal to be struck, which bore the image of the destroying angel, and the inscription, "Ugonottorum strages" (massacre of the Huguenots). A still more elaborate memorial was also prepared. "By the order of the Pope, the famous Vasari painted in the Sala Regia of the Vatican palace several pictures representing different scenes in the Parisian massacre. Upon one an inscription was placed which tersely expressed the true state of the case, 'Pontifex Colinii necem probat.' The paintings may still be seen in the magnificent room which serves as ante-chamber to the Sistine Chapel." 1 Baird, ii. 533. Thus the Popes in their relations to France were the ringleaders of the most violent fanaticism and intolerance. Surely, to join infallibility with such a temper savors no less of magic than it would to attach intelligence and sensibility to a marble statue. An infallible butcher or hangman is not a New Testament conception.

It was no enviable fate to which the chief perpetrators of this bloody tragedy went forward. The miserable life of Charles IX. ended with a miserable death in 1574. Catherine de Medici outlived her influence, and came to her grave amid universal indifference. The end of the Duke of Guise was a tragedy, as was also that of Henry III., the brother and successor of Charles.

Though stunned for a little space, by the blow which had fallen upon them, the Huguenots soon rallied, and in 1516 commanded an exceedingly advantageous treaty. With the exception of Paris and its neighborhood, they were allowed the free use of their religion in the whole realm, were declared eligible to civil offices, and were placed in possession of a number of cities.

This again was too much for the patience of Romish zealots. With whatever degree of sincerity the King had published the edict of peace,-and his moral shallowness was a poor guaranty of a thoroughly serious intent,--he was made subject to a pressure not easy to resist. Accordingly he beat a hasty retreat, canceled his most solemn pledges, and declared that he would tolerate only one religion in his realm. His conscience, though it probably had but moderate need of such a salve, was eased by the explicit teaching of the French theologians that it was not necessary for him to keep faith with heretics. 1 De Thou, Lib. LXIII. Theologi nostri disputabant, et jam aperto capita in concionibus at evulgatis scriptis ad fidem sectariis servandam non obligari principem contendebant, allato in eam rem concilii Constantiensis decreto, unicam ecclesiam esse, unumque verum Dei cultum; si multi admittantur, falsos necessario admitti; qua re irritatum Deum nunquam passurum ut dum Galli plus momentaneæ quieti quam Dei gloriæ student, otio tantopere expetito diu fruantur. Thus the long list of civil Fears was still farther extended.

Among the factors constraining the King to break faith with the Huguenots, the most influential was the League. This was an association devoted to the maintenance of Roman Catholic supremacy in the realm. In its germs it had existed some years earlier, but as a definite and formidable organization it first became prominent in 1576. From the start, while it professed loyalty to the throne, it had the animus of an independent power, determined at least to control the government to the extent of defeating all concessions to the Huguenots. After the year 1584, when the death of the King's brother left Henry of Navarre the nearest heir to the French crown, the League went further. Usurping the prerogatives of sovereignty, it entered into an alliance with Philip II.; and pledges were given looking to the extermination of heresy, the sustaining of the Spanish interest in the Netherlands, and the elevation of the Cardinal of Bourbon, a pliant creature of the League, to the French throne, in case Henry III. should die childless. The leader of the League was Henry, Duke of Guise. The Jesuits were its active supporters, and it had the favor of a large proportion of ardent Romanists. The King's inward attitude toward it was, no doubt, from the first, one of dislike. He could not be blind to the fact that it was a powerful means of coercing royalty. Policy, however, led him to dissemble, and in part to join hands with the League.

In the renewed conflict the Protestants were favored with the services of Henry of Navarre. This prince had fled from virtual imprisonment at court, and resumed the profession of the Protestant faith. It was not long before the value of his leadership was made manifest. Dowered with a contagious enthusiasm, and having the eye of an eagle to detect the supreme exigency and opportunity of a battle, he knew how to lead the Huguenots to victory, as was shown on the field of Coutras in 1587.

Defeat but inflamed the zeal of intense Romanists. More than ever they began to show weariness of the weak and inefficient King. Henry III. saw himself reduced to an abject position, while the Duke of Guise, the idol of the League, was treated as the real sovereign. Provoked beyond measure, he resolved to rid himself of his too powerful rival, and caused his assassination (December, 1588). A few days later, the brother of the murdered Duke, the Cardinal of Guise, was put out of the way. This atrocity completed the alienation of zealous Romanists from Henry III. They now spurned the King as a child of hell, and openly taught that his assassination would be a service most acceptable to Heaven. The only resource left to the wretched monarch was to ally himself with Henry of Navarre. Thus the prince who had shared in the inauguration of the St. Bartholomew massacre came finally to depend upon the Huguenots to maintain his throne. But his immunity from Roman Catholic vengeance was exceedingly brief. As the combined army of royalists and Huguenots was nearly ready for the assault upon Paris (July 31, 1589), Jacques Clement, a young Dominican monk, plunged a knife into the body of Henry III. The murderer was killed on the spot. He was a visionary fanatic, with nothing specially commendable in his character; but immediately the party of bigotry adored him as a saint. The Pope joined in the panegyrics that were lavished upon the assassin, and even went so far as to compare the deed, in respect of utility, with the incarnation and resurrection of the Saviour, and in respect of heroism, with the acts of Judith and Eleazar. 1 Anquetil, vi. 2, 3.

With the fall of Henry III., the house of Valois came to an end. The voice of the dying King named Henry of Navarre his successor. Several years of warfare followed, in the course of which Henry gained the remarkable victory of Ivry, before he came into undisputed possession of the throne.

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