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Henri IV - An unfinished reign


Philippe-Emmanuel de Lorraine, duc de Mercœur


Philippe-Emmanuel de Lorraine, was the last noble to fight Henri IV, but rallied to the king in 1598.

Prior to this, he was a member of the Holy League and, with help from Spain, fought the king from his base in Brittany. His surrender cost the royal treasury more than 4 million livres; in addition, Henri IV offered to marry one of his illegitimate sons (César de Bourbon, whom he had had with Gabrielle d’Estrées) to the duc's only daughter. After joining the king's side, Mercoeur helped Hungary fight the Turks. He died of a fever in Nuremberg in 1602.

Portrait of the duc de Mercœur
© RMN / René-Gabriel Ojéda
Philippe Emmanuel, duc de Mercoeur (1558-1602) drawing by Thierry Bellange, 17th c. Musée national du château de Pau, P.

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