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The Three Bishoprics (French : les Trois-Évêchés [le tʁwa.z‿evɛʃe] ) constituted a government of the Kingdom of France consisting of the dioceses of Metz, Verdun, and Toul within the Lorraine region. The three dioceses had been Prince-bishoprics of the Holy Roman Empire until they were seized by King Henry II of France between April and June 1552. At the end of the Thirty Years' War, they were officially ceded to France by the 1648 Peace of Westphalia.
In the course of the rebellion against the Habsburg emperor Charles V, several Protestant Imperial princes met at Lochau Castle near Torgau in May 1551. Here the receiving Wettin elector Maurice of Saxony forged an alliance with Duke John Albert I of Mecklenburg, Prince William IV of Hesse, whose father Landgrave Philip I was jailed by the emperor, the Hohenzollern margrave Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and his cousin Duke Albert of Prussia.
Dissatisfied with the Interim decreed by Charles V at the 1548 Diet of Augsburg, the insurgents were full of resolution to defend Protestantism and–not least–their autonomy against the Imperial central authority. They agreed to establish contacts with the Catholic French king Henry II, disregarding his oppression of the Protestant Huguenots. In autumn Henry declared war against Charles V and prepared to march against the Empire up to the Rhine River. On 15 January 1552, he signed the Treaty of Chambord with Maurice of Saxony and his Protestant allies, whereby the French conquests were legitimised ahead of time. The princes acknowledged the king's lordship as "Vicar of the Empire" over the Imperial cities of Metz, Toul and Verdun, as well as Cambrai "and other towns of the Empire that do not speak German".[ citation needed ] The insurgents in turn received subsidies and military assistance from the French, their troops moved into the Habsburg hereditary lands and laid siege to the emperor at Innsbruck, while his brother Ferdinand I entered into negotiations that led to the revocation of the Augsburg Interim by the 1552 Peace of Passau.
Backed by Duke Francis of Guise and his brother Cardinal Charles of Lorraine, King Henry II of France upon his agreement with the Protestant princes had started his Voyage d’Allemagne "for the sake of German liberties". On Palm Sunday 1552 French troops under the command of Anne de Montmorency in a surprise attack moved into the walls of Metz, followed by the occupation of Toul on 13 April. Henry then turned against the Lorraine capital Nancy, where he had the minor duke Charles III abducted to the French court in Paris. On 18 April the king celebrated his entry into Metz and, after a failed attack on the Imperial City of Strasbourg, returned from the Rhine to move into Verdun on 12 June. At that time, the French had occupied the three Imperial cities as well as the territory of the surrounding Prince-bishoprics.
As from the emperor's perspective, Elector Maurice and his allies had no right to legally dispose of Imperial territory, Charles V started a campaign against the French in order to reconquer the occupied dioceses culminating in the Siege of Metz from 19 October 1552 to 2 January 1553. The expedition ultimately failed, when the Imperial troops were defeated by the French forces under Duke Francis of Guise in the 1554 Battle of Renty. When the emperor, worn out and exhausted, abdicated in 1556, his successor Ferdinand I discontinued all attempts to regain the Three Bishoprics.
King Henry II left a permanent garrison in each of the cities and gradually subjected its citizens to his royal authority. Especially the Metz townsmen filed several petitions to the Imperial Diet, however, the retrieval of the lost Three Bishoprics was no longer a main concern of the disintegrating Empire during the ongoing confessionalization. Initiated by Cardinal Richelieu, the Trois-Évêchés received a certain autonomy with a provincial parlement installed in 1633 in Metz, dominated by the city's patriciate. Civil commotions decreased as the cities prospered under French rule, though the implementation of the gabelle of salt sparked some unrest in Metz. When King Louis XIV acceded to the throne in 1643, he confirmed the privileges of the Metz, Toul and Verdun citizens as his "good and faithful subjects".
After the acquisition of the Three Bishoprics was finally recognized by the Holy Roman Empire in the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the province's territory was further enlarged by parts of the Duchy of Luxembourg around Thionville (Diedenhofen), ceded to France according to the 1659 Treaty of the Pyrenees, and several Lorraine villages annexed in 1661.
The Diocese of Saint-Dié, created in 1777 and sometimes called the "Fourth Bishopric of Lorraine" ("le Quatrième Évêché lorrain"), is not related historically to the Three Bisphoprics.
Year 1552 (MDLII) was a leap year starting on Friday of the Julian calendar.
The Duchy of Lorraine, originally Upper Lorraine, was a duchy now included in the larger present-day region of Lorraine in northeastern France. Its capital was Nancy.
Charles de Lorraine, Duke of Chevreuse, was a French Cardinal, a member of the powerful House of Guise. He was known at first as the Cardinal of Guise, and then as the second Cardinal of Lorraine, after the death of his uncle, Jean, Cardinal of Lorraine (1550). He was the protector of Rabelais and Ronsard and founded Reims University. He is sometimes known as the Cardinal de Lorraine.
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V had won a victory against Protestant forces in the Schmalkaldic War of 1547. Many Protestant princes were unhappy with the religious terms of the Augsburg Interim imposed after this victory. In January 1552, led by Maurice of Saxony, many formed an alliance with Henry II of France at the Treaty of Chambord. In return for French funding and assistance, Henry was promised lands in western Germany. In the ensuing Princes' Revolt, also known as the Second Schmalkaldic War, Charles was driven out of Germany to his ancestral lands in Austria, Innsbruck by the Protestant alliance, while Henry captured the three Rhine Bishoprics of Metz, Verdun and Toul.
Maurice was Duke (1541–47) and later Elector (1547–53) of Saxony. His clever manipulation of alliances and disputes gained the Albertine branch of the Wettin dynasty extensive lands and the electoral dignity.
Nicolas of Lorraine, Duke of Mercœur was the second son of Antoine, Duke of Lorraine and Renée de Bourbon.
The Italian War of 1551–1559, sometimes known as the Habsburg–Valois War and the Last Italian War, began when Henry II of France declared war against Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with the intent of recapturing Italy and ensuring French, rather than Habsburg, domination of European affairs. Historians have emphasized the importance of gunpowder technology, new styles of fortification to resist cannon fire, and the increased professionalization of the soldiers.
The Battle of Renty was fought on 12 August 1554, between France and the Holy Roman Empire at Renty, a northern French secondary theatre of the Italian Wars. The French were led by Francis, Duke of Guise, while the Imperial forces were led by Emperor Charles V of Habsburg.
The Electorate of Trier, traditionally known in English by its French name of Trèves, was an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire that existed from the end of the 9th to the early 19th century. It consisted of the temporal possessions of the prince-archbishop of Trier, also a prince-elector of the empire, along with the Elector of Cologne and the Elector of Mainz, among which the latter ranked first.
The Bishopric of Metz was a prince-bishopric of the Holy Roman Empire. It was one of the Three Bishoprics that were annexed by France in 1552. The Bishops of Metz had already ruled over a significant amount of territories within the former Kingdom of Lotharingia, which by the 870 Treaty of Meerssen became a part of East Francia. They had to struggle for their independence from the Dukes of Lorraine, acquired the lands of the Counts of Metz, but had to face the rise of their capital Metz to the status of an Imperial City in 1189. In 1234 the unrest of the Metz citizens forced the bishops to move their residence to Vic-sur-Seille.
The Bishopric of Verdun was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. It was located at the western edge of the Empire and was bordered by France, the Duchy of Luxembourg, and the Duchy of Bar.
The Diocese of Toul was a Roman Catholic diocese seated at Toul in present-day France. It existed from 365 until 1824. From 1048 until 1552, it was also a state of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Electorate of Saxony was a state of the Holy Roman Empire established when Emperor Charles IV raised the Ascanian duchy of Saxe-Wittenberg to the status of an Electorate by the Golden Bull of 1356. Upon the extinction of the House of Ascania, it was feoffed to the Margraves of Meissen from the Wettin dynasty in 1423, who moved the ducal residence up the river Elbe to Dresden. After the Empire's dissolution in 1806, the Wettin Electors raised Saxony to a territorially reduced kingdom.
The Treaty of Chambord was an agreement signed on 15 January 1552 at the Château de Chambord between the Catholic King Henry II of France and three Protestant princes of the Holy Roman Empire led by Elector Maurice of Saxony. Based on the terms of the treaty, Maurice ceded the vicariate over the Three Bishoprics of Toul, Verdun, and Metz to France. In return, he was promised military and economic aid from Henry II in order to fight against the forces of Emperor Charles V of Habsburg.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Nancy and Toul is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. After a considerable political struggle between Louis XV, Louis XVI, and the Dukes of Lorraine, the diocese was erected by Pope Pius VI on 17 December 1777. The diocese is currently suffragan to the Archdiocese of Besançon.
The Siege of Metz during the Italian War of 1551–59 lasted from October 1552 to January (1-5), 1553.
Metz, the capital and the prefecture of both the Lorraine region and the Moselle department in France, has a recorded history dating back over 3,000 years. During this time, it was successively a Celtic oppidum, an important Gallo-Roman city, the Merovingian capital of the Austrasia kingdom, the birthplace of the Carolingian dynasty, a cradle of Gregorian chant, and one of the oldest republics of the common era in Europe. As an important city in the heart of Europe and the crossroads of different cultures, Metz has variously experienced an integration into the Roman Empire, the period of christianization, the barbarian depredations, religious wars, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, an annexation into the German Empire, and World War II.
Charles of Lorraine was the Roman Catholic Bishop of Metz and Strasbourg. Pope Sixtus V made him a cardinal-deacon in 1589, and in 1591 gave him the titular church of Sant'Agata dei Goti. He regularly served as stadtholder (regent) for his father in the duchies of Lorraine and Bar.
The imperial election of 1562 was an imperial election held to select the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. It took place in Regensburg on November 28.
The Second Schmalkaldic War, also known as the Princes' Revolt, was an uprising of German Protestant princes led by elector Maurice of Saxony against the Catholic emperor Charles V that broke out in 1552. Historians disagree whether the war concluded the same year with the Peace of Passau in August, or dragged on until the Peace of Augsburg in September 1555. The Protestant princes were supported by King Henry II of France, who was a Catholic, but sought to use the opportunity to expand his territory in modern-day Lorraine.