Henry IV of France

Henry IV of France

Henry IV (13 December 1553 - 14 May 1610), Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France.

As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the Wars of Religion before ascending the throne in 1589. Before his coronation as King of France at Chartres, he changed his faith from Calvinism to Catholicism and, in 1598, he enacted the Edict of Nantes, which guaranteed religious liberties to the Protestants, thereby effectively ending the civil war. One of the most popular French kings, both during and after his reign, Henry showed great care for the welfare of his subjects and displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the time. He was assassinated by Francois Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic.

He is the inspiration behind King Ferdinand of Navarre in William Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost.

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Birthday: December 13, 1553

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