Henry IV of France

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Henry IV of France
Henry IV of france by pourbous younger.jpg
A picture of Henry IV of France made by Frans Pourbus the younger.
King of France
Reign2 August 1589 to 14 May 1610 (20 years, 285 days)
Coronation27 February 1594(1594-02-27) (aged 40)
PredecessorHenry III
SuccessorLouis XIII
King of Navarre
Reign9 June 1572 – 14 May 1610
PredecessorJeanne III
SuccessorLouis II
Born(1553-12-13)13 December 1553
Pau, Kingdom of Navarre (Lower Navarre)
Died14 May 1610(1610-05-14) (aged 56)
Paris, France
SpouseMargaret of France
Marie de' Medici
IssueLouis XIII of France
Elisabeth, Queen of Spain
Christine, Duchess of Savoy
Nicholas Henri, Duke of Orléans
Gaston, Duke of Orléans
Henrietta Maria, Queen of England and Scotland
HouseHouse of Bourbon
FatherAntoine of Navarre
MotherJeanne III of Navarre

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 part of the Capetian dynasty and the first king of the Bourbon family in France. During his reign, he built the Grande Galerie onto the Louvre.

Life[change | change source]

Henry IV was born in Pau. He was the son of Antoine de Bourbon and Jeanne of Navarre. On 18 August 1572, Henry married Margaret of Valois. She was the sister of Charles IX. He became the King of Navarre in the same year.

Henry's children were Louis XIII and Henrietta Maria of France, who married Charles I and became the Queen of England. He was a friend of Michel of Montaigne.

Henry was murdered by a fundamentalist Catholic on a street in Paris on 14 May 1610.

His reputation[change | change source]

Henry IV is remembered as a good king who helped to stop religious wars. He changed his own religious beliefs several times. He was hated by some Catholics and Protestants who held strongly traditional views. He ruled for 17 years. He tried to make sure that poor people had enough to eat. Two beautiful landmarks in Paris were started during his reign: the Pont Neuf and the Place des Vosges.

In 2010 scientists found part of his embalmed head and used forensic tests to prove that it was his. It had been stolen from the tombs of the French kings and queens in Saint Denis in 1793 at the time of the French Revolution.[1]

Children[change | change source]

Name Birth Death Notes
Louis XIII, King of France 27 September 1601 14 May 1643 Married Anne of Austria in 1615.
Elisabeth, Queen of Spain 22 November 1602 6 October 1644 Married Philip IV, King of Spain in 1615.
Christine Marie, Duchess of Savoy 12 February 1606 27 December 1663 Married Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy in 1619.
Nicolas Henri, Duke of Orléans 16 April 1607 17 November 1611 .
Gaston, Duke of Orléans 25 April 1608 2 February 1660 Married (1) Marie de Bourbon in 1626.
Married (2) Marguerite of Lorraine in 1632.
Henrietta Maria, Queen of England, Queen of Scots, and Queen of Ireland 25 November 1609 10 September 1669 Married Charles I, King of England, King of Scots and King of Ireland in 1625.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Found at last: 400-year-old head of Henri IV; The Independent 16 December 2010 p.21