Henry IV

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Henry IV,

1050–1106, Holy Roman emperor (1084–1105) and German king (1056–1105), son and successor of Henry IIIHenry III,
1017–56, Holy Roman emperor (1046–56) and German king (1039–56), son and successor of Conrad II. He was crowned joint king with his father in 1028, and acceded on Conrad's death in 1039.
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. He was the central figure in the opening stages of the long struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy.


During his minority the papacy, the German nobles, and the high ecclesiastics greatly increased their power at the expense of the imperial authority. In 1062, Archbishop Anno of Cologne abducted Henry and assumed the regency, which had been held by Henry's mother, Agnes; Anno enriched his see from the royal lands and revenues. He allowed Archbishop AdalbertAdalbert,
1043–72, German churchman, archbishop of Hamburg-Bremen, a diocese that included Scandinavia. He was a favorite of Holy Roman Emperor Henry III, who appointed Adalbert to the archbishopric in order to break the power of the dukes of N Europe.
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 of Hamburg-Bremen to share the authority and plunder, and Adalbert soon became sole regent. Henry attained his majority in 1065, but Adalbert retained the regency until jealous nobles persuaded Henry to dismiss (1066) him.

Conflict with the Pope

Henry's first task after assuming control was to restore his authority in the duchies, especially in Saxony, where a revolt (1073) was subdued in 1075. He then turned his attention to Italy, where he sought to restore imperial authority; this provoked a conflict with the papacy. Henry disregarded the opposition of Pope Gregory VIIGregory VII, Saint,
d. 1085, pope (1073–85), an Italian (b. near Rome) named Hildebrand (Ital. Ildebrando); successor of Alexander II. He was one of the greatest popes. Feast: May 25.
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 to lay investitureinvestiture,
in feudalism, ceremony by which an overlord transferred a fief to a vassal or by which, in ecclesiastical law, an elected cleric received the pastoral ring and staff (the symbols of spiritual office) signifying the transfer of the office.
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 and invested a new bishop of Milan. Gregory supported the previous bishop, who had been put in office by a revolutionary movement in the city, and threatened Henry with deposition. Henry summoned a council at Worms, which declared Gregory deposed (Jan., 1076).

Gregory, at a synod in Feb., 1076, declared Henry excommunicated and deposed and absolved his subjects of their oaths of fealty. A powerful coalition of German nobles, including the rebellious Saxons, agreed (Oct., 1076) not to recognize the king unless he obtained absolution by February; his fitness to rule was to be decided at a diet to be held at Augsburg under the chairmanship of the pope. To forestall the action of this diet, Henry crossed the Alps in the dead of winter to seek absolution. By his humiliation and penitence he moved the pope to grant him absolution at CanossaCanossa
, village, in Emilia-Romagna, N central Italy, in the Apennines. There are ruins of the 10th-century castle of the powerful feudal family that took its name from the place. In the 10th and 11th cent. they ruled over much of Tuscany and Emilia.
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 in Jan., 1077.

Despite the absolution, the rebel dukes were determined to depose Henry, and they elected Duke Rudolf of Swabia antiking, thus plunging Germany into civil war. Gregory remained neutral until Mar., 1080, when he renewed Henry's excommunication and deposition and recognized Rudolf's title. But Henry was now supported by a large party; German and Italian bishops joined him in declaring Gregory deposed and in electing an antipope, Clement III (see Guibert of RavennaGuibert of Ravenna
, d. 1100, Italian churchman, antipope (1080–1100) Clement III, b. Parma. As imperial chancellor of Italy (1057–63), he consistently supported the Holy Roman emperor's opposition to papal reform efforts, and he led the party that repudiated Pope
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Rudolf died in 1080, and his supporters elected a Lotharingian count, Herman of Salm, to succeed him. By this time, however, the German revolt was practically broken, and in 1081 Henry carried the war into Italy. After several unsuccessful attempts he occupied Rome in 1084, installed Clement III as pope, and was crowned emperor. He retired before the advance of Gregory's Norman allies under Robert GuiscardRobert Guiscard
, c.1015–1085, Norman conqueror of S Italy, a son of Tancred de Hauteville (see Normans). Robert joined (c.1046) his brothers in S Italy and fought with them to expel the Byzantines.
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, who rescued Gregory but plundered Rome. The Normans then withdrew from Rome, taking Gregory, who had gained the hatred of the Romans, with them.

In Germany, Henry broke (1088) the power of Herman, but his stubborn support of Clement III against Gregory's successors made his own family turn against him because they felt he was endangering the monarchy. When his son Henry (later Henry VHenry V,
1081–1125, Holy Roman emperor (1111–25) and German king (1105–25), son of Henry IV. Crowned joint king with his father in 1099, he put himself at the head of the party desiring reconciliation with the pope and, with the approval of Pope Paschal II,
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) rebelled in 1104, only the Rhenish cities were loyal to the emperor. Trapped by a promise of conciliation, Henry IV was imprisoned and forced to abdicate (1105). In 1106, just before his death, he escaped and received considerable support. During his reign Henry was caught between the rising particularism of the princes and the reformist demands of a revivified papacy, but he managed to salvage enough of his father's legacy to make possible a restoration of imperial power under the Hohenstaufens.

Henry IV,

1425–74, Spanish king of Castile and León (1454–74), son and successor of John II. His weakness opened the way to civil strife and anarchy. The Castilian nobles refused to recognize Henry's alleged daughter Juana la BeltranejaJuana la Beltraneja
, 1462–1530, Castilian princess, daughter of Juana of Portugal, queen of Henry IV of Castile. Her paternity was generally attributed to the court favorite Beltrán de la Cueva, whence her name.
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 as his heiress and forced the king to designate first his half-brother Alfonso (d. 1468) and then his half-sister Isabella (later Isabella IIsabella I
or Isabella the Catholic,
1451–1504, Spanish queen of Castile and León (1474–1504), daughter of John II of Castile. In 1469 she married Ferdinand of Aragón (later King Ferdinand II of Aragón and Ferdinand V of Castile).
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) as his successor. After Isabella's marriage (1469) to Ferdinand of Aragón, however, Henry again recognized Juana. On Henry's death civil war broke out among the contenders for the succession.


See study by T. Miller (1972).

Henry IV,

1367–1413, king of England (1399–1413), eldest son of John of GauntJohn of Gaunt
[Mid. Eng. Gaunt=Ghent, his birthplace], 1340–99, duke of Lancaster; fourth son of Edward III of England. He married (1359) Blanche, heiress of Lancaster, and through her became earl (1361) and duke (1362) of Lancaster.
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 and grandson of Edward III; called Henry of Bolingbroke. He founded the Lancastrian dynasty.

Seizure of Crown from Richard

By 1377 Henry had become the earl of Derby, and in 1380 he married Mary de Bohun, coheiress of the earl of Hereford. In 1387 he joined the opposition to King Richard IIRichard II,
1367–1400, king of England (1377–99), son of Edward the Black Prince. Early Life

After his father's death (1376) he was created prince of Wales and succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, to the throne.
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 led by his uncle, Thomas of Woodstock, duke of GloucesterGloucester, Thomas of Woodstock, duke of,
1355–97, English nobleman; youngest son of Edward III. He was betrothed (1374) to Eleanor, heiress of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford, and became earl of Buckingham at the coronation of Richard II (1377).
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, and became one of the five "lords appellant" who ruled England in 1388–89. In the early 1390s he served in Lithuania with the Teutonic Knights and went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

He supported the king when Richard took his revenge on three of the "lords appellant," including Gloucester, and was made duke of Hereford in 1397. However, in 1398 after a quarrel with Thomas Mowbray, 1st duke of NorfolkNorfolk, Thomas Mowbray, 1st duke of,
c.1366–1399, English nobleman. He was created earl of Nottingham in 1383, and in 1385 he was made earl marshal of England for life.
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, whose confidence he betrayed to Richard, Hereford was banished for 10 years by the king. When John of Gaunt died in 1399, Richard confiscated the vast Lancastrian estates, which were Hereford's inheritance.

The irate duke, taking advantage of Richard's absence in Ireland and the widespread dissatisfaction with Richard's rule, landed in England in July, 1399. He gained ample support, and Richard, who surrendered to him in August, was forced to abdicate. Henry's claim to the throne was confirmed by Parliament in September. He thus, by revolution and election, founded the Lancastrian dynasty.


The new king was immediately faced with insurrections. Early in 1400, supporters of Richard IIRichard II,
1367–1400, king of England (1377–99), son of Edward the Black Prince. Early Life

After his father's death (1376) he was created prince of Wales and succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, to the throne.
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 rebelled, but the revolt was easily suppressed and most of its leaders were subsequently executed. Richard himself died at Pontefract Castle, either by self-starvation or murdered on Henry's orders. The Welsh, aided by France, also revolted in 1400, and Henry led an ineffective invasion of Scotland. The Scots were decisively defeated in 1402 at Homildon Hill, but the Welsh continued their rebellion under Owen GlendowerOwen Glendower
, Welsh Owain Glyndwr, 1359?–1416?, Welsh national leader. A scion of the princes of Powys, he was also claimant through his mother to the lands of Rhys ap Gruffydd; he was thus one of the most powerful lords in Wales.
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. The Percys (Sir Henry PercyPercy, Sir Henry,
1366–1403, English nobleman, called Hotspur or Henry Hotspur; son of Henry Percy, 1st earl of Northumberland. In 1388 he participated in the famous battle of Otterburn, or Chevy Chase, against the Scots; he was captured but later ransomed, and he returned
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, his father, the 1st earl of NorthumberlandNorthumberland, Henry Percy, 1st earl of,
1342–1408, English nobleman. He fought in France in the Hundred Years War, became warden of the Scottish Marches, and was a supporter of John Wyclif.
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, and his uncle, the earl of WorcesterWorcester, John Tiptoft, earl of
1427?–1470, English nobleman. He studied at Oxford and was created earl of Worcester in 1449. He served as treasurer of the exchequer (1452–55) and lord deputy of Ireland (1456–57).
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), once the king's partisans, unexpectedly rebelled and were defeated at Shrewsbury in 1403. A rebellion of 1405 in the north was crushed, and the leaders, among them Richard Le ScropeScrope, Richard Le
, 1350?–1405, English archbishop. He probably studied law at both Oxford and Cambridge. Having taken priest's orders in 1377, he rose steadily in church rank.
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, archbishop of York, were executed; Henry was severely criticized for their deaths. Despite the capture (1406) of James (later James IJames I,
1394–1437, king of Scotland (1406–37), son and successor of Robert III. King Robert feared for the safety of James because the king's brother, Robert Stuart, 1st duke of Albany, who was virtual ruler of the realm, stood next in line of succession after the
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), heir to the Scottish throne, trouble with Scotland continued under Robert StuartStuart or Stewart, Robert, 1st duke of Albany,
1340?–1420, regent of Scotland; third son of Robert II.
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, 1st duke of Albany. Northumberland's new rebellion was put down at Bramham Moor in 1408, the Welsh were crushed shortly afterward (though Owen Glendower was not captured), and the French armies ceased to harry English possessions in France.

No sooner had his military troubles ended than others began for Henry—an illness that left him an invalid for much of his few remaining years and a somewhat obscure struggle between two parties, one of them led by his son, the future Henry VHenry V,
1387–1422, king of England (1413–22), son and successor of Henry IV. Early Life

Henry was probably brought up under the care of his uncle, Henry Beaufort.
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, for control of the council. Henry V came to a throne made temporarily secure by the military efforts of his father, but Henry IV had lacked the skill and patience to restore the financial stability of the crown, now enormously in debt, and to provide a satisfactory administration of civil justice.


See biography by J. L. Kirby (1971); V. H. H. Green, The Later Plantagenets (1955, repr. 1966); E. F. Jacob, The Fifteenth Century (1961).

Henry IV,

1553–1610, king of France (1589–1610) and, as Henry III, of Navarre (1572–1610), son of Antoine de BourbonBourbon, Antoine de
, 1518–62, duc de Vendôme, king of Navarre through his marriage to Jeanne d'Albret; father of Henry IV of France. He converted to Protestantism after his marriage (1548), becoming one of the most influential Huguenot leaders.
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 and Jeanne d'AlbretJeanne d'Albret
, 1528–72, queen of Navarre (1555–72), daughter of Henri d'Albret and Margaret of Navarre, and mother of King Henry IV of France (Henry III of Navarre). She became queen of Navarre on her father's death.
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; first of the Bourbon kings of France.

Early Life

Raised as a Protestant, he was recognized (1569) by the Huguenot leader Gaspard de ColignyColigny, Gaspard de Châtillon, comte de
, 1519–72, French Protestant leader. A nephew of Anne, duc de Montmorency, he came to the French court at an early age.
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 as the nominal head of the Huguenots. As a result of the temporary reconciliation (1570) between the Huguenots and the crown, Henry was betrothed to Margaret of ValoisMargaret of Valois
, 1553–1615, queen of France and Navarre, daughter of King Henry II of France and of Catherine de' Medici. She was known as Queen Margot. Her wedding (1572) with Henry, Protestant king of Navarre (later Henry IV of France), which was intended to mark the
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, sister of King Charles IXCharles IX,
1550–74, king of France. He succeeded (1560) his brother Francis II under the regency of his mother, Catherine de' Medici. She retained her influence throughout his reign.
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. A few days after his marriage (Aug. 18, 1572) the massacre of the Huguenots (see Saint Bartholomew's Day, massacre ofSaint Bartholomew's Day, massacre of,
murder of French Protestants, or Huguenots, that began in Paris on Aug. 24, 1572. It was preceded, on Aug. 22, by an attempt, ordered by Catherine de' Medici, on the life of the Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny.
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) took place. Henry saved his life by abjuring Protestantism; however, he remained a virtual prisoner of the court until 1576, when he escaped, returned to the Protestant faith, and joined the combined Protestant and moderate Roman Catholic forces in the fifth of the Wars of Religion (see Religion, Wars ofReligion, Wars of,
1562–98, series of civil wars in France, also known as the Huguenot Wars.

The immediate issue was the French Protestants' struggle for freedom of worship and the right of establishment (see Huguenots).
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Struggle for Succession

Henry became the legal heir to the French throne upon the death (1584) of Francis, duke of Alençon, brother and heir to King Henry IIIHenry III,
1017–56, Holy Roman emperor (1046–56) and German king (1039–56), son and successor of Conrad II. He was crowned joint king with his father in 1028, and acceded on Conrad's death in 1039.
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, who had succeeded Charles IX in 1574. The Catholic LeagueLeague
or Holy League,
in French history, organization of Roman Catholics, aimed at the suppression of Protestantism and Protestant political influence in France.
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, led by Henri, 3d duc de GuiseGuise
, influential ducal family of France. The First Duke of Guise

The family was founded as a cadet branch of the ruling house of Lorraine by Claude de Lorraine, 1st duc de Guise, 1496–1550, who received the French fiefs of his father, René II, duke
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, refused to recognize a Protestant as heir and persuaded the king to revoke concessions to the Protestants and to exclude Henry of Navarre from the succession. In the resulting war, known as the War of the Three Henrys, Henry of Navarre defeated (1587) the king's forces at Coutras but was reconciled with Henry III when the League revolted against him (1588).

After Henry III's death (1589), Henry IV defeated the League forces under the duc de MayenneMayenne, Charles de Lorraine, duc de
, 1554–1611, French Catholic general in the Wars of Religion (see Religion, Wars of); brother of Henri, 3d duc de Guise, and Louis de Lorraine, Cardinal de Guise.
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 at Arques (1589) and Ivry (1590) but was forced to abandon the siege of Paris when the League received Spanish aid. In 1593 he again abjured Protestantism, allegedly with the remark, "Paris is well worth a Mass." He was received in Paris in 1594. His conciliatory policy soon won him general support. To rid France of Spanish influence, Henry declared war on Spain (1595) and brought it to a successful conclusion with the Treaty of Vervins (1598).

Internal and Foreign Policy

Henry soon turned to the internal reconstruction of his war-ravaged kingdom. With the Edict of Nantes (1598; see Nantes, Edict ofNantes, Edict of,
1598, decree promulgated at Nantes by King Henry IV to restore internal peace in France, which had been torn by the Wars of Religion; the edict defined the rights of the French Protestants (see Huguenots).
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), he established political rights and a measure of religious freedom for the Huguenots. Aided by baron de Rosny (later duc de SullySully, Maximilien de Béthune, duc de
, 1560–1641, French statesman. Born and reared a Protestant, he fought in the Wars of Religion under the Huguenot leader Henry of Navarre (later King Henry IV of France). Before 1606 he was known as baron de Rosny.
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), Henry restored some measure of financial order, encouraged agriculture, founded new industries, built roads and canals, expanded foreign trade through commercial treaties with Spain, England, and the Ottoman Empire, and encouraged colonization of Canada. Anxious to see prosperity reach all classes, he is reputed to have said, "There should be a chicken in every peasant's pot every Sunday." In his foreign policy Henry sought to weaken the Spanish and Austrian Hapsburgs. He was preparing to oppose them on the question of the succession to the duchies of Cleves and Jülich when he was stabbed to death by a fanatic, François Ravaillac.

Personal Life

Henry's marriage to Margaret of Valois was annulled in 1599. His mistresses included Gabrielle d'EstréesEstrées, Gabrielle d'
, 1573–99, famous beauty, mistress (1592–99) of Henry IV of France, who made her marquise of Monceaux and duchess of Beaufort. She divorced her husband, and Henry was preparing to divorce Margaret of Valois, with the object of marrying
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 and Henriette d'Entragues. In 1600 he married Marie de' Medici, who was regent during the minority of their son Louis XIIILouis XIII,
1601–43, king of France (1610–43). He succeeded his father, Henry IV, under the regency of his mother, Marie de' Medici. He married Anne of Austria in 1615.
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. Numerous anecdotes and legends about Henry bear witness to his gallantry, his Gallic wit, and his concern for the common people, which have made him probably the most popular king among the French.


See biographies by P. G. Willert (1893), Q. Hurst (1938), H. Mann (2 vol., tr. 1937–39), and D. Seward (1971); R. Mousnier, The Assassination of Henry IV (tr. 1973).

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Henry IV

(Quatre) style (1586–1610)
The early phase of the Classical period of French architecture preceding the architecture of Louis XIII and Louis XIV; the style was particularly strong in domestic architecture and town planning.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved

Henry IV (1050–1106)

Holy Roman Emperor who begged forgiveness from the Pope at Canossa. [Eur. Hist.: Benét, 456]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Henry IV

1. 1050--1106, Holy Roman Emperor (1084--1105) and king of Germany (1056--1105). He was excommunicated by Pope Gregory VII, whom he deposed (1084)
2. surnamed Bolingbroke. 1367--1413, first Lancastrian king of England (1399--1413); son of John of Gaunt: deposed Richard II (1399) and suppressed rebellions led by Owen Glendower and the Earl of Northumberland
3. known as Henry of Navarre. 1553--1610, first Bourbon king of France (1589--1610). He obtained toleration for the Huguenots with the Edict of Nantes (1598) and restored prosperity to France following the religious wars (1562--98)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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Henry IV Part 2 includes some of the greatest moments in Shakespeare: the deathbed scene of the old King, when Hal contemplates the crown; and Hal's devastating rejection of Falstaff himself.
With the same creative team as the 2010 Henry IV productions, Shakespeare's Globe have created a large scale production that will offer regional audiences a unique opportunity to experience the work of one of London's leading theatres.
This is especially true of Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra and Pirandello's Henry IV, in which the protagonist-prophet of the first and the raisonneur-protagonist of the second discourse at length on matters that might otherwise be considered the preserve of philosophy.
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Shakespeare's audiences might also have seen some likeness between an early-modern duelist and the Hotspur of the cycle's next play, 1 Henry IV, due to what Harold E.
Henry IV was buried in the Basilica of Saint Denis near Paris, but during the frenzy of the French revolt, the royal graves were dug up and revolutionaries chopped off Henry's head, which was then snatched.