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Henri IV - An unfinished reign

The sixth war (1576-1577)

Hard-line Catholics viewed the Edict as capitulation by Henri III. During the Estates-General organised at Blois in the winter of 1576, the deputies decided to revert to a single religion. At the same time, the period saw the rise of "leagues" of Catholics who did not accept the provisions of the Edict of Beaulieu. The largest such league was formed at Péronne in Picardy, around its governor Jacques d’Humières. The form was not original, but the content was – the issue was no longer fighting the spread of heresy, but protesting against a peace imposed by the king. Henri III attempted to control the movement by proclaiming himself leader and taking up arms again. Thus, the sixth war began with the taking of Charité-sur-Loire by royalist troops on 1 May 1577. It continued with a series of sieges, most won by troops loyal to the king (Issoire, Brouage etc.). Financial difficulties on both sides quickly led to negotiations. The Edict of Poitiers, amended and completed by the Treaty of Nérac (February 1579), brought an end to the hostilities.

Related multimedia

Title: Siege of a city

Siege of a city, tapestry
© RMN / Gérard Blot
Siege of a city, tapestry, 16th c. Musée national de la Renaissance d’Écouen

Title: Scenes depicting the desecration of a tomb and the burning of a church

Scenes depicting the desecration of a tomb and the burning of a church
© RMN / Droits réservés
Scenes depicting the desecration of a tomb and the burning of a church, print. Musée des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon

Title: The château de Nérac

© Ministère de la Culture / Grégory Champeaud
The château de Nérac, where the Treaty of Nérac was signed
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