• German: Eidgenossen, confederates, popularized under the influence of the name Hugues, from Besançon Hugues, a Protestant leader


Term used in a popular sense after 1560 to designate the French Protestants of the 16th and 17th centuries. Their sect, which received its organization and form from John Calvin, gained a foothold in France where the Faith had been weakened by the Western Schism, the growth of Gallicanism, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1438, and the opposition to the Holy League of Pope Julius II. They provoked serious opposition, which abated, 1535, when Calvin championed their cause, only to break out again as a result of more stringent laws in 1540. They held a national synod, 1559, and gradually increased in strength under the leadership of d’ Andelot, Admiral Coligny, and Henry of Navarre. The last-named secured for them the free exercise of their religion by the Edict of Nantes, 1598. Not content with liberty, they sought to become a political and even a military power, and were disloyal to France. Their power was crushed, 1628, when La Rochelle surrendered, and they lost their political and religious freedom when Louis XIV revoked the Edict, 1685. They fled to England, South Africa, America, and the Netherlands.

MLA Citation

  • “Huguenots”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 6 July 2010. Web. 27 January 2022. <>