Portrait of Henry IV (1553-1610), King of France (1589-1610), King of Navarre (1572-1610), Duke of Vendôme (1562-1589), 1602
Henry IV (French: Henri IV, 13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), also known by the epithet "Good King Henry", was King of Navarre (as Henry III) from 1572 to 1610 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, another branch of the Capetian dynasty. Baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre, Henry inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on the death of his mother. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion, barely escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. He later led Protestant forces against the royal army. As Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was a direct male-line descendant of Louis IX of France, and "first prince of the blood". Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III of France in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law.
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