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Henri IV - An unfinished reign

The third war (1568-1570)

The peace that ensued was a fragile one, and the new treaty did not calm the tensions caused by the application of the Edict of Amboise. In addition, the crown took advantage of the calm to make a radical shift in direction. It abandoned the policy of compromise that it had followed since at least 1561, as can be seen in the removal from power of chancelier Michel de L’Hospital in September 1568. On the 23rd of that same month, Charles IX signed the Order of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés that, while upholding freedom of belief, forbade "exercise of any religion other than the Catholic and Roman." This return to a hard-line stance was accompanied by the creation of ultra-catholic "militias" for "eradicating heresy". In response to a call issued by Jeanne d’Albret, Protestants in the southwest of France took up arms, and the third War of Religion began. La Rochelle became the headquarters for Huguenot troops, which explains why clashes were basically limited to Poitou and Saintonge. Protestant forces were defeated at Jarnac on 13 March 1569, where Condé was killed, but won the Battle of Roche-l’Abeille in June. Led by Coligny, they met with defeat on 3 October 1569 at the Battle of Moncontour, but succeeded in joining up with troops from Gascony and making their way unmolested up the Rhone Valley. Charles IX and Catherine de Médicis resumed their moderate stance in order to put an end to the conflict. The Edict of Saint-Germain was signed on 8 August 1570.

Related multimedia

Title: The organisation of the Battle of Jarnac

Battle of Jarnac, 13 March 1569
© RMN / René-Gabriel Ojéda
Caption:
The organisation of the Battle of Jarnac, 13 March 1569, engraving by Frans Hogenberg after Tortorel and Perrissin, 16th c. Musée national du château de Pau

Title: Speech by Henri IV to Protestants

Speech by Henri IV to Protestants after the Battle of Jarnac
© Musée national du château de Pau / Jean-Yves Chermeux
Caption:
Speech by Henri IV to Protestants after the Battle of Jarnac, 13 March 1569, drawing by Antoine Borel, 1786. Musée national du château de Pau P.2004.2.1.1

Title: The defeat of the Battle of Moncontour

The defeat of Protestants, Battle of Moncontour
© RMN / René-Gabriel Ojéda
Caption:
The defeat of the Battle of Moncontour (3 October 1569), engraving by Frans Hogenberg after Tortorel and Perrissin, 16th c. Musée national du château de Pau
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