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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

March 14th, 1590 - The Battle of Ivry

Conflict: French Wars of Religion

Combatants: Catholic League vs. French Huguenots-Royalists

Location: France

Outcome: Huguenot-Royalist victory

Using both cavalry and arquebusiers, the royal French successor Henry of Navarre (later Henry IV), though outnumbered, inflicted a major defeat on the Catholic League. The Huguenot-Royalist army made good use of arquebusiers and artillery to halt the charges of the Catholic cavalry.

Henry IV at the Battle of Ivry by Charles de Steuben

Henry then personally led a cavalry counterattack which routed all but the Swiss mercenaries in the opposing army. The Swiss surrendered under the promise of fair terms. The League lost almost 4,000 soldiers to the Royalist losses of around 500.

Henry IV at the Battle of Ivry by Peter Paul Rubens

Points of Interest:

  • Henry followed up the victory at Ivry, albeit slowly, with the Siege of Paris.

  • Henry would return to the Catholic faith in 1593, thereby regaining much of his countrymen's support against the League and its Spanish Ally.

  • In 1598, Henry effectively ended the Wars of Religion by granting religious freedom to Protestants in France.

Henry IV of France by an unknown artist
Portrait de Charles, duc de Mayenne (1554-1611) by Étienne Dumonstier



Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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