1598: The Edict of Nantes

Grands Documents de l’Histoire de France, Archives Nationales (Public Domain)


The Protestant Henry of Navarre converts to Catholicism in 1572, after the St. Bartholomew Massacre when he is almost killed at his own wedding. He is proclaimed King Henry IV of France in 1589.


In April 1598, the new king issues the Edict of Nantes, granting freedom of worship to his former co-religionists.


The edict remains in force for 87 years before it is revoked by Louis XIV.


“… we have permitted, and herewith permit, those of the said religion pretended Reformed to live and abide in all the cities and places of this our kingdom and countries of our sway, without being annoyed, molested, or compelled to do anything in the matter of religion contrary to their consciences…” – The Edict of Nantes, April 1598


Read the full edict here.