History 351: Seventeenth Century Europe 2011


Henry was instrumental in resolving the affair of the Venetian Interdict in 1606-7, arguably averting a European-wide war



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Henry was instrumental in resolving the affair of the Venetian Interdict in 1606-7, arguably averting a European-wide war.



Henry IV: foreign affairs

  • Henry became infatuated with Charlotte Marguerite de Montmorency, the fifteen-year old wife of his cousin Henry de Bourbon, Prince of Condé; the Prince fled with her to the Spanish Netherlands.

  • Henry made plans for war with the Habsburgs; perhaps he intended to pressure them into returning Charlotte; or maybe his main intention was to intervene in the Cleves/ Jülich succession crisis.

  • Before he could take military action, he was stabbed to death by Ravaillac.

Ravaillac assassinates Henry IV, May 14 1610

Memorial, at the place where Ravaillac assassinated Henry

Louis XIII (1610-43): Minority 1610-17

  • Marie de’ Medici: Regent to 1614 (effectively to 1617).

  • Marie: greedy; pious; venerates the Virgin Mary; pro-Habsburg (her mother was the daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand I); dévot.

  • She confirmed the Edict of Nantes.

  • The high nobility, including Condé, resented her power, and protested that her regime was corrupt.

  • They pressured her into calling the Estates-General in 1614.

Louis XIII (1610-43): Minority 1610-17

  • The Estates-General achieved little; Marie dissolved it in 1615.

  • In 1616 she had Condé arrested and removed some of his main allies from office.

  • She ruled with her greedy Italian favorites Concino Concini and Leonora Dori Galigaï.

  • In 1616 Marie and Concini brought in to their administration, as secretary of state, Richelieu.

Concino Concini (1575-1617), Marquis d’Ancre and Marshal of France

Leonora Dori Galigaï (1568-1617); Lady-in-waiting and favorite of Marie de’ Medici

Louis and Luynes, 1617-21

  • Louis XIII took power for himself and his favorite Charles d’Albert, lord (Duke 1619) of Luynes.

  • Louis was pious, with a high sense of duty; he liked outdoor sports, and especially hunting (most of all with falcons or vultures); he was suspicious of intellectuals.

  • He befriended aristocrats with similar interests, especially Luynes, whom he made Grand Falconer of France in 1616.

  • Luynes organized a coup against Marie in 1617; Concini was ambushed, assassinated, and torn apart.



The execution of Leonora Dori Galigaï, 1617

Louis XIII in the early 1620s

Charles d’Albert, Duke of Luynes, 1578-1621

Louis and Luynes, 1617-21

  • Leonora Dori Galigaï was convicted of bewitching Marie, and of Judaizing; she was beheaded and then burned at the stake.

  • Marie soon recovered power as one of the King’s advisors.

  • Marie, Louis, and Luynes and Louis agreed that the Huguenots held too much military power.

  • Béarn in the Pyrenees was in the Kingdom of Navarre, and so theoretically independent of France.



Louis and Luynes, 1617-21

  • Louis and Luynes used force to end the independence of Béarn, and to promote Catholicism there.

  • Some Protestant nobles elsewhere in France resented these actions, and openly resisted the King.

  • 1621: while he was campaigning against them, Luynes caught a fever and died, leaving Louis without a chief minister.

The Rise of Richelieu

  • Eventually (by 1624) Richelieu became Louis’ leading advisor.

  • Richelieu was born in 1585. He was Armand-Jean du Plessis; his father was lord (seigneur) de Richelieu; Richelieu is in Poitou, west central France.

  • Richelieu was the fourth of five children (and the third son).

  • His father died in 1590, when he was five.



The Rise of Richelieu

  • Richelieu’s father had been a supporter of Henry III (and later of Henry IV).

  • Henry III rewarded the family by giving it the right to appoint the Bishop of Luçon; it became the family bishopric.

  • Richelieu was not in line to inherit lands or the title; the heir was his eldest brother Henry.

  • The next brother was Alphonse, who was intended for the bishopric.

The Rise of Richelieu

  • Richelieu was trained to be a soldier; he attended the University of Paris, and then a school for nobles which taught courtly manners and fencing; Richelieu retained military interests throughout life.

  • Brother Alphonse (intended for the bishopric) got religion to such an extent that he became a monk. Richelieu retrained for the bishopric, studying theology.



The Rise of Richelieu

  • Since he was under the canonical age (26) to be a bishop, Richelieu went to Rome to plead for a dispensation from the pope in 1606.

  • His intelligence, quick wits, and abilities as a speaker, greatly impressed the pope, who granted the dispensation.

  • In 1608 Richelieu took up the job as bishop.

  • He was a hard-working, committed, Counter-Reformation bishop, who looked after the spiritual interests of his diocese, and wrote against Protestantism.

Richelieu’s Principaux Points de la Foy (1618 Paris reprint of a book published at Poitiers in 1617)

The Rise of Richelieu

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