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Posts Tagged ‘Edict of Nantes’

ON THIS DATE

Henry IV (of Navarre) King of France, 4/13/1598, granted Huguenot Believers “The Edict of Nantes” (rhymes with font) a city in Brittany. This “too little, too late” law granted a degree of liberty to his “Protestant” subjects upholding some freedom of conscience and permitting Believers to hold public worship in parts of France – but not in Paris. “Protestants” could keep places they held in August 1597.

Catholicism was restored in ALL places where its practice had been interrupted & expanding true worship in France was made legally impossible. Cardinal de Richelieu & Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes.  The Huguenots remembering the “St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre” (8/23/1572) in which thousands (estimates run from 5000 to 30,000 were killed) emigrated—to the British Isles, Prussia, Holland, & the New World, leaving France 400,000 people short in the very important industrious/commercial groups.

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ON THIS DATE

This date 1/29 has two black spots in France.  1/29/1535 the French royal family, church officials, and other dignitaries joined a torch-lit procession through Paris to “purge” it from “Protestant defilement” – 6 Protestants were hung from ropes and roasted.                         

On the same date in 1685, The Edict of Nantes was revoked by King Louis XIV.  Protestant ministers were given 2 weeks to turn Catholic or leave France while Huguenot (Protestant) non-ministers were forbidden to leave.  They left.  Some 400,000 fled to England, Prussia, Netherlands, Switzerland, and even South Africa. This exodus severely damaged France as it lost some of its most skilled workers and it awakened France’s neighboring countries to what Louie the 14th was really like.                                                        

Americans – never take our religious freedom (though limited) for granted.

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