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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

September 21st, 1589 – The Battle of Arques

Conflict: French Religious Wars

Combatants: Catholic League vs. French Royal Forces

Location: France

Outcome: French Royal victory

In September of 1589, Henry of Navarre, the designated king of France, lured the forces of the Catholic League, who supported Charles of Bourbon, into an ambush at a prepared position along the Bethune River. Although outnumbering Henry's men by 3-to-1, the League and its Spanish allies, led by Charles de Lorraine the Duc de Mayenne, were badly defeated. The Catholics retreated toward Amiens while Henry marched for Paris.

Henri IV à la Bataille d'Arques by Jacob Bunel

Points of Interest:

  • Navarre took advantage of marshy terrain forcing the League into a battle where it could only commit its forces piecemeal.

  • Henry would return to Catholicism and re-unite most of France in 1593. In 1598, Henry granted religious freedom to Protestants and signed a peace treaty with Spain.

Henri IV, King of France (1553-1610) by Frans Pourbus the Younger

Charles de Lorraine, duc de Mayenne by Henri Bellange

Charles de Bourbon, connétable de France by an unknown artist

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