François Ravaillac brandishing his dagger, in a 17th-century engraving
|Died||27 May 1610 31–32) (aged|
|Penalty||Tortured and dismembered|
François Ravaillac (French pronunciation: [fʁɑ̃swa ʁavajak] ; 1578 – 27 May 1610) was a French Catholic zealot who assassinated King Henry IV of France in 1610.
Henry IV, also known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. He was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII.
Ravaillac was born at Angoulême of an educated family: his grandfather François Ravaillac, was prosecutor of Angoulême, and two of his uncles were canons of the Cathedral of Angoulême.His father Jean Ravaillac was a violent man whose many misdeeds were a public scandal and caused legal difficulties; his mother Françoise Dubreuil (sister of the canons) was known for her Catholic piety. The son Ravaillac began work as a servant, later becoming a school teacher. Obsessed by religion, he sought admission to the ascetic Feuillants order, but after a short probation, he was dismissed as being "prey to visions." An application in 1606 for admission to the Society of Jesus was also unsuccessful.
A canon is a member of certain bodies subject to an ecclesiastical rule.
The Society of Jesus is a scholarly religious congregation of the Catholic Church for men which originated in sixteenth-century Spain. The members are called Jesuits. The society is engaged in evangelization and apostolic ministry in 112 nations. Jesuits work in education, intellectual research, and cultural pursuits. Jesuits also give retreats, minister in hospitals and parishes, sponsor direct social ministries, and promote ecumenical dialogue.
In 1609, Ravaillac claimed to have experienced a vision instructing him to convince King Henry IV to convert the Huguenots to Catholicism. Between Pentecost 1609 and May 1610, Ravaillac made three separate trips to Paris to tell his vision to the king, and lodged with Charlotte du Tillet, mistress of Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette, duc d'Épernon. Unable to meet the king, Ravaillac interpreted Henry's decision to invade the Spanish Netherlands as the start of a war against the Pope. Determined to stop him, he decided to kill the king.
The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ while they were in Jerusalem celebrating the Feast of Weeks, as described in the Acts of the Apostles. In Christian tradition, this event represents the birth of the early Church.
Jean Louis de Nogaret de La Valette (1554–1642), created Duke of Épernon, was a powerful member of the French nobility at the turn of the 16th century. He was deeply involved in plots and politics throughout his life.
Spanish Netherlands was the collective name of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries, held in personal union by the Spanish Crown from 1556 to 1714. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.
On 14 May 1610, Ravaillac lay in wait in the Rue de la Ferronnerie in Paris (now south of the Forum des Halles); when the king passed, his carriage was halted by a blockage in the street, and Ravaillac stabbed Henry to death. Pierre de l'Estoile, the chronicler, stated of the king:
The Rue de la Ferronnerie is a street in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, in the Les Halles area.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris is one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
His coach, entering from St Honoré to Ferronnerie Street, was blocked on one side by a cart filled with wine and on the other by a cart filled with hay... Ravaillac climbed on the wheel of the above-named coach and with a knife trenchant on both sides stabbed him between the second and third ribs.
Hercule, Duke of Montbazon riding with Henry was wounded in the attack.Ravaillac was immediately seized by police and taken to the Hôtel de Retz to avoid a mob lynching. He was transferred to the Conciergerie .
Hercule de Rohan was a member of the princely House of Rohan. The second Duke of Montbazon, he is an ancestor of the present Princes of Guéméné. His daughter was the famous Frondeur the duchesse de Chevreuse. He was a Peer of France.
Lynching is a premeditated extrajudicial killing by a group. It is most often used to characterize informal public executions by a mob in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate a group. It is an extreme form of informal group social control such as charivari, riding the rail, and tarring and feathering, and often conducted with the display of a public spectacle for maximum intimidation. It is to be considered an act of terrorism and punishable by law. Instances of lynchings and similar mob violence can be found in every society.
The Conciergerie is a building in Paris, France, located on the west of the Île de la Cité, formerly a prison but presently used mostly for law courts. It was part of the former royal palace, the Palais de la Cité, which consisted of the Conciergerie, Palais de Justice and the Sainte-Chapelle. Hundreds of prisoners during the French Revolution were taken from the Conciergerie to be executed by guillotine at a number of locations around Paris.
During interrogation, Ravaillac was frequently tortured to make him identify accomplices, but he denied that he had any and insisted that he acted alone. His knowing the king's route and the blockage of traffic that put the king within reach excited speculation. The king was on his way to visit Sully, who lay ill in the Arsenal; his purpose was to make final preparations for imminent military intervention in the disputed succession to Jülich-Cleves-Berg after the death of Duke John William. The intervention on behalf of a Calvinist candidate would have brought him in conflict with the Catholic Habsburg dynasty.Ravaillac seems to have learned of the plans; in his tortured mind, "he had seen that the king wanted to make war on the pope, in order to transfer the Holy See to Paris."
At the start of the interrogation, Ravaillac said, "I know very well he is dead; I saw the blood on my knife and the place where I hit him. But I have no regrets at all about dying, because I've done what I came to do."
On May 27, he was taken to the Place de Grève in Paris and was tortured one last time before being pulled apart by four horses, a method of execution reserved for regicides. Alistair Horne describes the torture Ravaillac suffered: "Before being drawn and quartered... he was scalded with burning sulphur, molten lead and boiling oil and resin, his flesh then being torn by pincers." Following his execution, Ravaillac's parents were forced into exile, and the rest of his family was ordered never to use the name "Ravaillac" again.
In January 1611, Mme Jacqueline d'Escoman, who had known Ravaillac, denounced the Duc d'Épernon as the one responsible for the death of Henry IV; she was jailed for the rest of her life. Philippe Erlanger, in his book L'Étrange Mort de Henri IV (1957, rev. 1999), reveals Épernon's association with Ravaillac through his mistress. He concludes that he, the King's mistress Henriette d'Entragues and Charlotte du Tillet planned the assassination. The contrary view, that Ravaillac had no accomplices but his confessors,is expressed by Roland Mousnier in L'Assassinat d'Henri IV: 14 mai 1610 (Paris, 1964).
Henry III was King of France from 1574 until his death and also King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575. Henry was the thirteenth king from the House of Valois, the sixth from the Valois-Orléans branch, the fifth from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch, and the last male of his dynasty.
Marie de' Medici was Queen of France as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon. She was a member of the wealthy and powerful House of Medici. Following the assassination of her husband in 1610, which occurred the day after her coronation, she acted as regent for her son, King Louis XIII of France, until 1617, when he came of age. She was noted for her ceaseless political intrigues at the French court and extensive artistic patronage.
Maximilien de Béthune, 1st Duke of Sully, Marquis of Rosny and Nogent, Count of Muret and Villebon, Viscount of Meaux was a nobleman, soldier, statesman, and faithful right-hand man who assisted king Henry IV of France in the rule of France. Historians emphasize Sully's role in building a strong centralized administrative system in France using coercion and highly effective new administrative techniques. While not all of his policies were original, he used them well to revitalize France after the European Religious Wars. Most, however, were repealed by later monarchs who preferred absolute power. Historians have also studied his neo-Stoicism and his ideas about virtue, prudence, and discipline.
Charles de Valois was a French royal bastard, count of Auvergne, duke of Angoulême, and memoirist.
Roland Émile Mousnier was a French historian of the early modern period in France and of the comparative studies of different civilizations.
Les Mignons was a term used by polemicists in the toxic atmosphere of the French Wars of Religion and taken up by the people of Paris, to designate the favourites of Henry III of France, from his return from Poland to reign in France in 1574, to his assassination in 1589, a disastrous end to which the perception of effeminate weakness contributed. The mignons were frivolous and fashionable young men, to whom public malignity attributed heterodox sexuality, rumors that some historians have found to be a factor in the disintegration of the late Valois monarchy.
Pierre de L'Estoile was a Parisian diarist and collector.
Pierre Coton was a French Jesuit and royal confessor.
Nicolas IV de Neufville, seigneur de Villeroy was a secretary of state under four kings of France: Charles IX, Henry III, Henry IV, and Louis XIII. The most distinguished of all sixteenth-century French secretaries, Villeroy rose to prominence during the French Wars of Religion, a period of almost insoluble difficulties for the French monarchy and government. Despite faithfully serving Henry III, Villeroy found himself sacked by him without explanation in 1588, along with all the king's ministers. He was reinstated by Henry IV in 1594 and became more important than ever before. He remained in office until his death in 1617 during the reign of Louis XIII.
Catherine de Clèves was the wife of Henry, Duke of Guise, and matriarch of the numerous and influential House of Guise. By marriage she was Duchess of Guise from 1570 to 1588, and Dowager Duchess of Guise thereafter. She was Countess of Eu in her own right from 1564.
Henry IV of France's succession to the throne in 1589 was followed by a four-year war of succession to establish his legitimacy. This was part of the French Wars of Religion (1562–1598). Henry IV inherited the throne after the assassination of Henry III, the last Valois king, who died without children. Henry was already King of Navarre, as the successor of his mother, Jeanne d'Albret, but he owed his succession to the throne of France to the line of his father, Antoine of Bourbon, an agnatic descendant of Louis IX. He was the first French king from the House of Bourbon.
Henry IV of France's wives and mistresses played a significant role in the politics of his reign. Both Henry (1553–1610) and his first wife Margaret of Valois, whom he married in 1572, were repeatedly unfaithful to each other, and the collapse of their marriage led to their estrangement and living apart. Although Henry fathered children with a series of mistresses, his lack of a legitimate heir became a cause of concern, and his marriage was not annulled until 1599. In 1600, at the age of forty-six, he married his second wife, Marie de' Medici, who bore him six children, including the future Louis XIII. Henry was unfaithful to his second wife as well and insisted that she raise his illegitimate children along with her own.
Henry IV of France was the first Bourbon king of France. Formerly known as Henri of Navarre, he succeeded to the French throne with the extinction of House of Valois, at the death of Henry III of France.
Henri de Valois, duc d'Angoulême, sometimes called "Henri, bâtard de Valois" or "Henri de France", was a Légitimé de France, cleric, and military commander during the Wars of Religion.
Don Pedro of Toledo Kissing Henry IV's Sword is an 1814 painting in the Troubador style by the French artist Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, showing the Spanish ambassador Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, 5th Marquis of Villafranca kissing the sword of Henry IV of France in the salle des Caryatides of the Louvre palace. The painting is now lost. Between 1819 and 1832, Ingres painted three additional paintings of the subject.
Events of the year 1610 in France.