Edict of Beaulieu (also known at the time as the Peace of
Monsieur) was promulgated from Beaulieu-lès-Loches on 6 May
1576 by Henry III of France, who was pressured by Alençon's
support of the
Protestant army besieging Paris that spring.
The Edict, which was negotiated by the king's brother, Monsieur—
François, duc d'Alençon, who was now made duc d'Anjou— gave
Huguenots the right of public worship for their religion, thenceforth
officially called the religion prétendue réformée ("supposed
reformed religion"), throughout France, except at Paris and at Court.
In eight parlements there were also to be established chambers, called
the mi-partis because they were composed of equal numbers of Catholics
and Huguenots; eight places de sûreté were to be given to the
Huguenots; there was to be a disclaimer of the Massacre of St.
Bartholomew, and the families which had suffered from it were to be
reinstated. These large concessions to the Huguenots and the
approbation given to their political organization led to the formation
Catholic League, which was organized by Catholics anxious to
defend their religion.
The King held a lit de justice in the
Parlement of Paris on 14 May to
subvent pending opposition in the strongly
Catholic parlement and
to ensure that the Edict was duly inscribed. In December 1576,
however, the States-General of Blois declared itself against the Edict
of Beaulieu. Thereupon the Protestants took up arms under the
leadership of Henry of Navarre, who, escaping from the Court, had
returned to the
Calvinism which he had abjured at the time of the
Massacre of St. Bartholomew. The advantage was on the
thanks to some successes achieved by the duc d'Anjou. In September
1577, the Treaty of Bergerac, confirmed by the Edict of Poitiers, left
the Huguenots the free exercise of their religion only in the suburbs
of one town in each bailiwick (bailliage), and in those places where
it had been practiced before the outbreak of hostilities and which
they occupied at the current date.
French Wars of Religion
List of treaties
^ Beaulieu lies directly across the Indre from Loches.
^ Pierre Miquel, p. 314.
^ "...it was thought that the most important thing was to appease the
duke of Alençon, "
Jacques-Auguste de Thou
Jacques-Auguste de Thou remarked in his Histoire
universelle, based on notes he had been accumulating. "Thus his
apanage was augmented with the three richest provinces in the kingdom:
Berry, Touraine and Anjou." (Quoted by Mack P. Holt, "The King in
Parlement: The Problem of the Lit de Justice in Sixteenth-Century
France" The Historical Journal 31.3 [September 1988:507-523] p. 310).
Pierre de l'Estoile
Pierre de l'Estoile recorded in his diary "This was so odious to the
Court, that if the King had not come there in person, it would never
have been published" (Quoted Holt 1988:511).
^ According to the papal nuncio, Antonio Maria Salviati, "La corte non
voleva emologare le lettere, ma il Re in persona vi è andato..." Holt
1988, eo. loc..
Pierre Miquel, Les Guerres de religion, Fayard, 1980.
Wilkinson, Maurice, "The Wars of Religion in the Périgord", The
English Historical Review 21, No. 84., October 1906, (Oxford
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the
public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name
Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robe