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This article is part of the Good King Henry Timeline.
Born, Henry of Navarre, December 13, 1553. Ascended to the French throne after the death of King Henry III and took the name Henry IV. He came to rule France (1589) during the wars of religion immediately following the reformation. He took power after the fateful Bartholemew's Day Massacre. Although he was born Protestant, King Henry IV converted to Catholicism shortly after taking the throne. He passed the Edict of Nantes in 1598, giving the French Protestant Huguenots the right to worship in 150 fortified towns.
Although he is credited with laying the bedrock for absolutism, he didn't have the traits of an absolutist monarch and was more similar to a "New Monarch". He lowered taxes on most people, instituted an estate tax for nobles, and funded transportation infrastructure.
In 1610, members of his court uncover an assassination conspiracy of a Catholic zealot against the King, tacitly supported by his own wife, Marie de Medici. He has his marriage annulled by Pope Alexander VIII. He marries his long time consort Henriette d'Entragues and legitimizes her son by her, Gaston Henri, born the same year as his son by Marie, Louis XIII.
After 1616, King Henry's policy is heavily influenced by his Secretary of State of Foreign Affairs, Cardinal Richelieu. That year he orders intendants to keep an eye on pro-Habsburg nobles. This later leads to a war with the nobles that Henry IV decisively wins. After years of the religious wars, people are unwilling to rebel against the King.
He dies in 1621 of a tumor.