What were the Forty-Five Guards?

Introduction The Forty-five guards were recruited by the Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, Duke of Épernon to provide Henry III of France with trusted protection in the midst of the War of the Three Henrys (1587-1589). Background The Forty-five were noblemen of lesser nobility (many from Gascony) with little more than a horse,… Read More


What was the War of the Three Henrys (1587-1589)?

Introduction The War of the Three Henrys (1587 to 1589) was the eighth conflict in the series of civil wars in France known as the Wars of Religion. It was a three-way war fought between: King Henry III of France, supported by the royalists and the politiques; King Henry of Navarre, heir presumptive to the… Read More

What were the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598)?

Introduction The French Wars of Religion were a prolonged period of war and popular unrest between Catholics and Huguenots (Reformed/Calvinist Protestants) in the Kingdom of France between 1562 and 1598. It is estimated that three million people perished in this period from violence, famine, or disease in what is considered the second deadliest religious war… Read More

What was the Battle of Dreux (1562)?

Introduction The Battle of Dreux was fought on 19 December 1562 between Catholics and Huguenots. The Catholics were led by Anne de Montmorency while Louis I, Prince of Condé, led the Huguenots. Though commanders from both sides were captured, the French Catholics won the battle which would constitute the only major engagement of the first… Read More