Henry II of France
Infobox French Royalty|monarch
title=King of France, Count of Provence
reign=31 March 1547 – 10 July 1559
coronation=25 July 1547
titles="HM" The King
The Dauphin of Viennois
The Duke of Brittany
The Duke of Orléans
Catherine de' Medici
Francis II of France
Elisabeth, Queen of Spain
Claude, Duchess of Lorraine
Margaret, Queen of Navarre and France
Hercule François, Duke of Anjou
House of Valois
royal anthem =
Claude of France
date of birth=birth date|1519|3|31|df=y
place of birth=
date of death=death date and age|1559|7|10|1519|3|31|df=y
place of death=
place of burial=
Saint Denis Basilica, France|
Henry II ( _fr. Henri II) (31 March 1519 – 10 July 1559), of the
House of Valoisand the son and successor of Francis I, was King of Francefrom 31 March 1547, until his death.
Henry was born in the Royal
Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude de Franceand the grandson of Louis XII of Franceand Anne, Duchess of Brittany. With his brother, he spent three years in Spain as a hostage to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, as surety for his father, who had been captured at the Battle of Pavia. Henry married Catherine de' Medici(13 April 1519–5 January 1589) on 28 October 1533, when both were fourteen years old.
The following year he became involved with the thirty-five-year-old, recently widowed,
Diane de Poitiers, who became his most trusted confidante and for the next twenty-five years wielded considerable influence behind the scenes, even signing royal documents. Extremely confident, mature and intelligent, she left Catherine powerless to intervene.
When his older brother Francis died in 1536 after a game of tennis, Henry became heir to the throne; he succeeded his father on his 28th birthday, March 31, 1547 and was crowned King of France on 25 July 1547 at
Henry's reign was marked by wars with
Austria, and the persecution of the Protestant Huguenots. Henry II severely punished them, particularly the ministers: burning them at the stake or cutting off their tongues for speaking their heresies. Even those suspected of being Huguenots could be imprisoned. The Edict of Chateaubriand(27 June 1551) called upon the civil and ecclesiastical courts to detect and punish all heretics and placed severe restrictions on Huguenots, including loss of one-third of property to informers, and confiscations. It also strictly regulated the press by prohibiting the sale, importation or printing of any unapproved book.
The Italian War of 1551–1559, sometimes known as the Habsburg–Valois War, began when Henry declared war against Charles V with the intent of recapturing Italy and ensuring French, rather than Habsburg, domination of European affairs. An early offensive into Lorraine was successful, with Henry capturing the three episcopal cities of
Metz, Toul, and Verdun, but the attempted French invasion of Tuscanyin 1553 was defeated at the Battle of Marciano.
After Charles's abdication in 1556 split the Habsburg empire between
Philip II of Spainand Ferdinand I, the focus of the war shifted to Flanders, where Phillip, in conjunction with Emmanuel Philibertof Savoy, defeated the French at St. Quentin. England's entry into the war later that year led to the French capture of Calais, and French armies plundered Spanish possessions in the Low Countries; but Henry was nonetheless forced to accept the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis, in which he renounced any further claims to Italy.
The Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis was signed between
Elizabeth I of Englandand Henry on 2 April and between Henry and Philip II of Spainon 3 April 1559, at Le Cateau-Cambrésis, around twenty kilometers south-east of Cambrai. Under its terms, France restored Piedmont and Savoyto the Duke of Savoy, but retained Saluzzo, Calaisand the bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun. Spain retained Franche-Comté. Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, married Margaret of France, Duchess of Berry, the sister of Henry II, and Philip II of Spainmarried Henry's daughter Elisabeth.
Henry raised the young Queen
Mary I of Scotlandat his court, hoping to use her as a tool of Valois imperialism. On April 24, 1558, Henry's fourteen-year-old son Francis was married to Mary in a union intended to give the future king of France not only the throne of Scotland but a claim to the throne of England. Henry had Mary sign secret documents, illegal in Scottish law, that would ensure Valois rule in Scotland even if she died without heir (Guy 2004:91). Mary's claim to the English throne quickly became current when Mary I of Englanddied later in 1558, Henry and his Catholic advisors regarding Elizabeth Tudor as illegitimate.
Henry II was an avid hunter and a participant in jousts and tournaments. On 30 June 1559, at the
Place des Vosgesin Paris, during a match to celebrate the Peace Treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis with his longtime enemies, the Habsburgs of Austriaand to celebrate the marriage of his daughter Elisabeth of Valoisto King Philip II of Spain, King Henry was mortally wounded by the lance of Gabriel Montgomery, captain of the King's Scottish Guard. The lance pierced his temple and, despite the efforts of royal surgeon Ambroise Paré, he died on 10 July 1559 [ [http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Henry_II_Of_France Classic Encyclopedia Web, Based on 1911 Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica] ] and was buried in a cadaver tombin Saint Denis Basilica. Prior to his death, Queen Catherine limited access to his bedside and denied his mistress ( Diane de Poitiers) access to him, even though he repeatedly asked for her. Following his death, Catherine sent de Poitiers into exile, where she was to live in comfort on her own properties until her death.
Henry was succeeded by his son, Francis II, who died the following year and was succeeded by his two brothers. Their mother acted as
Regent. For the forty years following Henry II's death, France was filled with turbulence as Protestants and Catholics fought the bitter Wars of Religion.
Henry's ancestors in three generations
1 = Henry II of France
Francis I of France
Claude of France
Charles, Count of Angoulême
Louise of Savoy
Louis XII of France
Anne of Brittany
John, Count of Angoulême
Marguerite de Rohan
Philip II, Duke of Savoy
Margaret of Bourbon
Charles I de Valois, Duke of Orléans
Marie of Cleves
Francis II, Duke of Brittany
Margaret of Foix
Children of Henry II of France and Catherine de' Medici
Henry II also had four illegitimate children:
*By Catherine Michelle:
Elaine de francias(1557)–(1635) Henry supposedly questioned whether or not to give her a title and it was not until his death bed that he admitted to her being his. He gave her the title Countess de Montmorency. It is questioned as to why he was so secretive about this one daughter.
*By Filippa Duci: Diane, Duchesse d'Angoulême (1538–1619). Some sources have stated that the little girl was the natural daughter of Henry's long-time mistress,
Diane de Poitiers. This is probably not the case since Henry had Filippa Duci monitored closely throughout her pregnancy, and there is a record of this. She gave birth to the baby in a convent and it appears that she remained there for the rest of her life. The younger Diane married (at the age of 14) Orazio Farnese, Duke of Castro. He died young in battle. Her second marriage was to François, Duc de Montmorency.
Lady Janet Stewart(1508–1563), herself an illegitimate daughter of James IV of Scotland: Henri de Valois (1551 – June 1586). He was legitimized and became governor of Provence.
*By Nicole de Savigny: a son, Henri (1557–1621), whom Henry did not legitimize because he was unsure about his paternity. He gave him the title of Comte de Saint-Rémy. One of his last descendants was to be Jeanne de Valois-Saint-Rémy,
Comtesse de la Motte, famous for her role in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace.
Infobox French Monarchical Styles
royal name=King Henry II
Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France
Most Christian Majesty
offstyle=Your Most Christian Majesty
altstyle=Monsieur Le Roi|Michel
Nostradamus, the French astrologer known for his prophecies, is often said to have first become famous when one of his quatrains was construed as a prediction of the death of King Henry II:
CI, Q 35 "The young lion shall overcome the older one," "on the field of combat in single battle," "He shall pierce his eyes in a golden cage," "Two forces one, then he shall die a cruel death."
But in fact the link was first proposed in print only in 1614 [César Nostradamus, "L'Histoire et Chronique de Provence", Lyon, Simon Rigaud, 1614] , 55 years after the event and 48 after Nostradamus's death. The quatrain also speaks of pierced eyes, but Henry died of an injury to his temple. The Italian astrologer
Luca Gaurico, a contemporary of Nostradamus, is also said to have predicted the king's death.
* Guy, John, "My Heart is my Own", London, Fourth Estate, 2004, ISBN 0–00–71930–8
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