Edict of Nantes


Term applied to an order issued in 1598 by King Henry IV of France, which provided for the re-establishment of the Catholic religion in that country, the restoration of Church property and rights, and for the free exercise of their religion by the Huguenots, eligibility to public office, state subsidies for their schools and churches, and representation in the Parliament of Paris. The religious peace which resulted came to an end after the death of Henry in 1610 when the Huguenots abused their political power and attempted a revolution which was subdued chiefly through the efforts of Cardinal Richelieu. In the early part of the reign of King Louis XIV, persecution of both Catholics and Huguenots began, but the latter were treated more severely. The edict was revoked in 1685 and they were persecuted and forbidden to emigrate. The results were disastrous for France as they could not be held back. Commerce was ruined, wealth and population decreased. Nevertheless, they were officially persecuted until the middle of the 18th century, and only received religious freedom again by the Edict of Toleration, 1787.

MLA Citation

  • “Edict of Nantes”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 July 2010. Web. 30 March 2020. <http://catholicsaints.info/edict-of-nantes/>