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lynnebh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Henry IV was the first king in the Bourbon family, from which came the famous Louis kings. He became king in 1589. He was born a Catholic, but raised a Protestant by his mother, and is famous for enacting the Edict of Nantes which gave religious freedom to Catholics and Protestants in France.

Henry was quite popular with women. He also was a man of courage. Instead of engaging in never-ending disputes with the French nobility like many French kings, he put an end to their sqabbles with the crown by paying them off. It was Henry that promised his people "a chicken in every pot." He was concerned about his people and tried to do right by them, again, unlike many of the other Bourbon kings. Remember it was under Louis XVI (a Bourbon king) that the French Revolution took place. Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were a far cry from Henry IV. Henry IV was one of the most popular kings in French history.

Henry was stabbed to death by a crazed religious fanatic. His wife at the time was Marie de Medici, who became regent until their son, the famous Louis XIII, was old enough to become king.

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In addition to the previous post, there are some more interesting facts to add regarding King Henry IV of France.

Before he had become King, he was arranged to be married to Margaret of Valois. They were married on August 19th of 1572. Is what is interesting about this is 5 days later the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre occurred. Many people (in the thousands) were killed because they were Protestants. They had come to Paris because of the wedding. King Henry IV surely would have murdered as well but he escaped to safety.

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