See also:law promulgated in
See also:April 1598 by which the French
See also:Henry IV., gave religious liberty to his
See also:Protestant subjects, the
See also:Huguenots . The
See also:story of the struggle for the edict is
See also:part of the
See also:history of France, and during the
See also:thirty-five years of
See also:civil war which preceded its
See also:grant, many
See also:treaties and other arrangements had been made between the contending religious parties, but none of these had been satisfactory or lasting . The elation of the Protestants at the accession of Henry IV. in 1589 was followed by deep depression, when it was found that not only did he adopt the
See also:Roman Catholic faith, but that his efforts to redress their grievances were singularly ineffectual . In 1594 they took determined
See also:measures to protect themselves; in 1597, the war with Spain being practically over, long negotiations took place between the king and their representatives, prominent among whom was the historian J . A. de Thou, and at last the edict was
See also:drawn up . It consisted of 95 general articles, which were signed by Henry at Nantes on the 13th of April 1598, and of 56 particular ones, signed on the 2nd of May . There was also some supplementary
See also:matter . The
See also:main provisions of the edict of Nantes may be briefly summarized under six heads: (1) It gave liberty of
See also:conscience to the Protestants throughout the whole of France . (2) It gave to the Protestants the right of holding public worship in those places where they had held it in the
See also:year 1576 and in the earlier part of 1577; also in places where this freedom had been granted by the edict of
See also:Poitiers (1577) and the treaties of
See also:Nerac (1J79) and of Felix (1580) . The Protestants could also worship in two towns in each bailliage and senechausee . The greater nobles could hold Protestant services in their houses; the lesser nobles could do the same, but only for gatherings of not more than thirty
See also:people . Regarding
See also:Paris, the Protestants could conduct worship within five leagues of the city; previously this prohibition had extended to a distance of ten leagues .
(3) Full civil rights were granted to the Protestants . They could
See also:trade freely, inherit
See also:property and enter the
See also:universities, colleges and
See also:schools . All official positions were open to them . (4) To
See also:deal with disputes arising out of the edict a chamber was established in the
See also:parlement of Paris (le chambre de l'edit) . This seas to be composed of ten Roman Catholic, and of six Protestant members .
See also:Chambers for the same purpose, but consisting of Protestants and Roman Catholics in equal numbers, were established in connexion with the provincial parlements . (5) The Protestant pastors were to be paid by the state and to be freed from certain burdens, their position being made practically equal to that of the Roman Catholic
See also:clergy . (6) A
See also:hundred places of safety were given to the Protestants for eight years, the expenses of garrisoning them being undertaken by the king . In many ways the terms of the edict were very generous to the Protestants, but it must be remembered that the liberty to hold public worship was made the exception and not the
See also:rule; this was prohibited except in certain specified cases, and in this respect they were less favourably treated than they were under the arrangement made in 1576 . The edict was greatly disliked by the Roman Catholic clergy and their friends, and a few changes were made to conciliate them . The parlement of Paris shared this dislike, and succeeded in reducing the number of Protestant members of the chambre de l'edit from six to one . Then cajoled and threatened by Henry, the parlement registered the edict on the 25th of
See also:February 1599 .
After similar trouble it was also registered by the provincial parlements, the last to take this step being the parlement of
See also:Rouen, which delayed the
See also:registration until 1609 . The strong
See also:political position secured to the French Protestants by the edict of Nantes was very objectionable, not only to the ardent Roman Catholics, but also to more moderate persons, and the payments made to their ministers by the state were viewed with increasing dislike . Thus about 166o a strong
See also:movement began for its repeal, and this had
See also:great influence with the king . One after another proclamations and declarations were issued which deprived the Protestants of their rights under the edict; their position was rendered intolerable by a series of persecutions which culminated in the dragonnades, and at length on the 18th of
See also:October 1685
See also:Louis revoked the edict, thus depriving the Protestants in France of all civil and religious liberty . This gave a new impetus to the emigration of the Huguenots, which had been going on for some years, and England,
See also:Holland and
See also:Brandenburg received numbers of .thrifty and industrious French families . The history of the French Protestants, to which the edict of Nantes belongs, is dealt with in the articles FRANCE : History,and HUGUENOT s . For further details about the edict see the papers and documents published as Le Troisibme centenaire de l'edit de Nantes (1898); N . A . F . Puaux, Histoire du Protestantisme
See also:francais (Paris, 1894); H . M .
See also:Baird, The Huguenots and the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes (
See also:London, 1895) ; C .
See also:des Protestants sous le regime de l'edit de Nantes et Orbs sa revocation (Paris, 1900) ; A . Lods, L'Edit de Nantes
See also:levant le parlement de Paris (1899) ; and the Bulletin historique et litteraire of the Societe de I'Histoire du Protestantisme Francais .
ROBERT NANTEUIL (1623-1678)
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