HENRY IV. (1553-1610), king of France, was born in the castle of Pau in 1553, being son of Antony of Bourbon, king of Navarre and duke of VendOme, and Jeanne of Albret. By his father he was tenth in descent from Saint Louis, and only a very distant cousin to his predecessor, Henry III. His mother, a grand and noble lady, brought him up as a Calvinist. His education was rough and hard, and fostered that originality of character which so marked his life; his military training was under the great captain, Gaspard of Coligny. In 1571 he was wedded to the daughter of Catherine de' Medici, Margaret of Valois ; and on his mother's death in 1572 he became king of Navarre.
the Spanish and Leaguers were driven out of Burgundy, and the recovery of Amiens from the Spaniards in 1596 secured Picardy and the northern frontier. The Satire Menippee, published in 1593 and 1594, had already condemned the Leaguers as hirelings of the Spanish king ; and in April 1598 by the edict of Nantes Henry assured their position to his old Huguenot followers, while by the peace of Vervins (May 1598) he ended the Spanish war, and took from the League its last source of strength.
After 1598 the energies of Henry IV. were given to the restoration of his country, which in nearly forty years of civil war had suffered terribly ; the organizing genius of Maximilian of Bethune, duke of Sully, restored the finances; agriculture, manufactures, and commerce made marvellous advances. Henry also upheld the authority of France ; iii 1601 he acquired Bresse, Bugey, and Valromey from Savoy. He supported the Netherlands against Spain, and he was preparing a great army, which, in combination with the Dutch under Maurice of Nassau, was to interfere in the tangled Cleves-Juliers question, when he was assassinated by Ravaillac on the 14th of May 1610. For his character see FRANCE, vol. ix. p. 566.
henry IV. left no children by his first wife Margaret of Valois ; by his second, Marie de' Medici, he had three sons and three daughters, - Louis, who succeeded him as Louis XIII.; a child who died in 1611 ; Gaston, duke of Orleans, the meanest of the race ; Elizabeth, wife of Philip IV. king of Spain ; Christine, wife of Victor Amadeus, duke of Savoy; and lastly Henriette Marie, queen of England, spouse of Charles I. He also left behind him several natural children, of whom the most celebrated was Cesar, duke of -Vendome, son of the famous Gabrielle d'Estrees.
See Pierre l'Estoile, Journal du regne de Henri Perefixe, Histoire cla roi Henri le Grand ; Xivrey, Peewit des lettres missim de Henri IV. (1839-53); Palma Cayct, Chronologie norensaire 11-lemoires de Tavainecs ; Memoires dc Vieillcr lle ; Mentoires do Castelnau; Sully, CEconomies royales; Cimber and Danjou, Archive evrieuses ; Art de verifier les dales, serie ii. torn. vi. The reader ie also referred to the documents cited by Von Emile in his Frantosisehe Gesehielde, and to Olivier de Serres's Theatre cragri• culture et message des champs. (G. W. K.)