Explorers, Scientists & Inventors

Musicians, Painters & Artists

Poets, Writers & Philosophers

Native Americans & The Wild West

First Ladies





Royal Families

Tribes & Peoples


Famous Speeches in History


Assassinations in History
Who got slain, almost slain, when, how, why, and by whom?

Go to the Assassination Archive

King John of England 1167-1216


Tsar Ivan IV the Terrible 1530 - 1584


Adolf Hitler 1889 - 1945



Online History Dictionary A - Z

Online History Dictionary A - Z


All-Time Records in History
What was the bloodiest battle, the battle with the least casualties, who was the greatest military leader?

Go to Records in History


Wars, Battles & Revolutions in History




The Wars of Religion 1562-1598

Also called the Huguenot Wars or the Catholic-Huguenot Wars, the Wars of Religion were civil wars in France.

Who Fought the Wars of Religion?

The Huguenots vs. the Roman Catholics.


Huguenot Leaders

Leaders of and powerful heads among the Huguenots were

  • Louis I de Bourbon, who was the Prince de Condé, and brother-in-law of Henry of Navarre

  • Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny

  • Queen Jeanne d'Albret of Navarre

  • Queen Jeanne d'Albret's son, King  Henry IV of France, aka Henry of Navarre

  • Philippe Duplessis-Mornay

Catholic Leaders

Leaders of the Catholics were

  • François de Guise

  • François' brother, Charles de Guise

  • and later François' sons, Henri, Louis, and Charles de Guise


The Papacy

There was much traffic off and onto the pontiff's throne from 1562 to 1598. In detail there were:

Pius IV, who ruled 1559-1565

Pius V, who ruled 1566-1572

Gregory XIII, who ruled 1572-1585

Sixtus V, who ruled 1585-1590

Urban VII, who ruled 1590

Gregory XIV, who ruled 1590-1591

Innocent IX, who ruled 1591

Clement VIII, who ruled 1592-1605


See also the list of all popes.


The French Crown

The French crown was rather flexible when in came to making alliances.

Catherine de Médicis for example kept a tolerant ruling policy and switched sides as she saw it necessary.


What Started the Wars of Religion?

In 1562, Catherine's Edict of January showed some consideration for the Huguenots.

The Catholics felt that this was completely out of line and dropped in on one of the Huguenots' houses of worship at Vassy.

The Massacre of Vassy in March 1562 officially started the Wars of Religion.


The Chapters of the Wars of Religion

The French Wars of Religion can be split into the following chapters:

First Civil War

March 1562 - March 1563

Second Civil War
September 1567 - March 1568

Third Civil War
August 1568 - 1570

Fourth Civil War
1572 - 1573

Fifth Civil War
1574 - 1576

Sixth Civil War
1577 - 1577

Seventh Civil War
1580 - 1580

War of the Three Henrys
1585 - 1589

War between Henry IV and the Holy League & Spain
1595 - 1598

Timeline - The Events in the Wars of Religion

Here are the major events during the French religious wars:

1562, March 1
Francois of Guise leads the Catholics in the Massacre of Vassy.

1562, April 12
Gathered at Orleans, the Huguenots declare that they see themselves forced to take up arms. This was a deviation from
John Calvin's teachings, who preached civil obedience. But then again, Calvin didn't exactly print a pamphlet on how to deal with massacres either.

1562, December 19
Francois de Guise and his troops defeat Louis I de Bourbon and his men in the Battle of Dreux.

1563, February 24
Francois de Guise gets assassinated by a Huguenot.

1563, March
The Peace of Amboise, also called the Edict of Amboise, concludes the First Civil War of the French Wars of Religion.

1563, August 17
Charles IX becomes officially of age to rule by himself.

1567, September
Unsuccessful coup by the Huguenots to kidnap Catherine and Charles IX at Meaux.

1567, November 10
The Huguenots were defeated at the Battle of Saint-Denis.

1568, February
Huguenots start the Siege of Chartres.

1568, March
The Peace of Longjumeau concludes the Second Civil War of the French Wars of Religion.

1568, August
Revocation of the Peace of Longjumeau. The Third Civil War begins.

1569, March 13
The royal army, led by the king's brother Henry, the future Henry III, defeats the Huguenots at the Battle of Jarnac. Louis I de Bourbon gets killed in this battle.

1569, October
Battle of Moncontour. The Huguenots defeated again.

1570, June 26
The Huguenots won the Battle of Arnay-le-Duc, Henry of Navarre's first victory.

1570, August
The Peace of Saint-Germain concludes the third Civil War of the French Wars of Religion..

1572 June
Henry of Navarre becomes the new King of Navarre upon the death of his mother.

1572, August 18
Catherine de Medicis' daughter Margaret of Valois gets married to Henry of Navarre, the future King Henry IV of France.

1572, August 22
Unsuccessful assassination attempt on the Huguenot leader Coligny.

1572, the night of August 24 / 25
The de Guise family strikes again, this time at the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day. And this time also with the approval of Catherine de Medicis and that of her son Charles IX. The Catholics kill many Huguenots in Paris.

The thrill to kill was contagious and Huguenots all over the country were massacred on a slaughter spree that lasted until October 1572. How many Huguenots died? Between 3,000 and 70,000, depending on whom you ask.

Upon hearing the news of the bloody St Bartholomew's Day, Pope Gregory XIII opened a keg, ordered to sing special praises, and released a coin to commemorate the event. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia,

"The medal which Gregory XIII had struck in memory of the event bears his effigy on the obverse, which ion the reverse under the legend Vgonotiorum Strages (overthrow of the Huguenots) stands an angel with cross and drawn sword, killing the Huguenots."

At Milhaud, the Huguenots resolve to resume resistance.

1574, May
Change of kings in France:
Henry III
succeeds his brother Charles IX who dies of tuberculosis.

1575, February 13
Henry III is crowned king at Reims.

The Peace of Monsieur concludes the Fifth Civil War of the French Wars of Religion. This peace was ratified by the Edict of Beaulieu and granted the Huguenots nationwide freedom of worship except in Paris.

Under Henry de Guise, the Catholics unite themselves in the radical Holy League, also called the Catholic League. The reason for the formation of this league was Henry III's tolerant course of action towards the Huguenots, i.e. the Peace of Monsieur.

1577, September
Henry III orders to dissolve the constantly in power gaining Holy League after realizing that he couldn't manage to control it.

1577, September 17
The Peace of Bergerac concludes the Sixth Civil War of the French Wars of Religion.

1584, June 10
Francois, the brother of King Henry III, dies and thereby shocks the Catholic world. Now, the next in line for the French throne is Henry III's cousin, the Huguenot Henry of Bourbon-Navarre.

1584, December
The de Guise family signs a treaty with Catholic Spain, the Treaty of Joinville.

1585, July
Henry III bans Protestantism with the Treaty of Nemours.

1586, July
Catherine de Medicis meets with Henry of Navarre to discuss politics.

The last chapter of the French Wars of Religion begins: The War of the Three Henrys.

The Three Henrys were: 1) French King Henry III, 2) Catholic leader Henri de Guise, and 3) Huguenot leader Henry of Navarre, who was heir to the throne.

1587, October 20
The Huguenots win the Battle of Coutras.

1587, October 26
The Catholics win the Battle of Vimory.

1587, November 23
The Catholics win the Battle of Auneau.

1588, May 12
Today was the Day of the Barricades, which meant riots in the streets of Paris. Henry III had to pack his bags and flee the city direction Chartres.

The Holy League forces King Henry III to sign the Edict of Union, which makes Henri de Guise commander of all troops and declares it illegal for a non-Catholic to become ruler of France.

1588, December 23
Henry III arranged for the assassination of the Henri de Guise.

1588, December 24
Henry III arranged for the assassination of the Henri de Guise's brother, the Cardinal Louis de Guise, who was also archbishop of Reims.

1589, January 5
Catherine de Médicis dies.

1589, July 30
King Henry III allies himself with Huguenot Henry of Navarre and together they start the Siege of Paris, which the Holy League had managed to bring under their control. The siege proves unsuccessful.

1589, August 1
Henry III gets himself stabbed and dies August 2. Henry of Navarre becomes the new king Henry IV.

1589, September 21
The Huguenots win the Battle of Arques.

1590, March 14
The Huguenots win the Battle of Ivry.

1591 - 1592
Unsuccessful Siege of Rouen by the Huguenots.

1593, July
Henry IV converts to Catholicism.

Henry IV officially crowned in Chartres.

1594, March 22
Paris submits to Henry IV's rule.

1595, January
Henry IV had had it with the Holy League and their Spanish friends. He declares war on Spain and follows up with a thorough and countrywide clean up to get rid of all his enemies.

1595, June 5
In Burgundy, Henry IV wins the Battle of Fontaine-Française.

1595, September 17
Pope Clement VIII revokes Henry IV's excommunication.

Also in September 1595, Charles de Guise and Henry IV came to an understanding. Charles was the brother of Henri and Louis de Guise and, after their assassination, became the leader of the Holy League.

1597, September
Henry IV recaptures Amiens from the Spanish.

1598, May 2
The war with Spain was concluded with the Peace of Vervins.

1598, April 13
Henry signs the Edict of Nantes, which concludes the French Wars of Religion.

Henry's grandson Louis XIV would revoke the Edict in 1685. And that's exactly the reason why grandparents decide to pass away in time.


And here is the map for the French Religious Wars

Map of France - Religious Wars 1562
1562 France Religious Wars
Click map to enlarge






More History



The American Revolution - Its Casualties, Its Battles, Its Impact


People in History

People in History A

People in History B

People in History Ca - Char

People in History Chas - Cz

People in History D

People in History E

People in History F

People in History G

People in History H

People in History I

People in History J - K

People in History L

People in History M

People in History N - O

People in History P - Q

People in History R

People in History S

People in History T

People in History U - Z

Explorers, Scientists & Inventors

Musicians, Painters & Artists

Poets, Writers & Philosophers

Native Americans & The Wild West

First Ladies





Royal Families

Tribes & Peoples


Wars, Battles & Revolutions

Wars & Revolutions A

Wars & Revolutions B - E

Wars & Revolutions F - G

Wars & Revolutions H - J

Wars & Revolutions K - O

Wars & Revolutions P - R

Wars & Revolutions S - Z

Wars & Revolutions Chronological

Battles A - C

Battles D - G

Battles H - L

Battles M - P

Battles Q - Z

Battles Ancient Times - 1499

Battles 1500 - 1699

Battles 1700 - 1799

Battles 1800 - 1899

Battles 1900 - Today

Picture Archive

History Pictures A - C

History Pictures D - M

History Pictures N - Z


Speech Archive

Speeches by Topic

Speeches by Speaker

Speeches by Date

Speeches by Women

Speeches by African-Americans

Speeches by U.S. Presidents


History Dictionary A - F

History Dictionary G - Z

Source Text - By Title

Source Text - By Author

Historic Documents A - K

Historic Documents L - Z

Historic Documents Chronological

Assassinations in History

Voyages in History

Castles & Palaces

Music in History

History Movies



Kids & History


About Us

Write Me



Sitemap 01   Sitemap 02   Sitemap 03    Sitemap 04   Sitemap 05   Sitemap 06  
Sitemap 07   Sitemap 08   Sitemap 09    Sitemap 10   Sitemap 11   Sitemap 12
Sitemap 13   Sitemap 14   Sitemap 15    Sitemap 16   Sitemap 17   Sitemap 18
Sitemap 19   Sitemap 20   Sitemap 21    Sitemap 22   Sitemap 23   Sitemap 24

Site Search














© 2016 Emerson Kent