Henri I. de Lorraine, duc de Guise

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Portrait of Heinrich von Guise in the Musée Carnavalet , Paris (unknown painter)
Signature Henri I. de Lorraine, duc de Guise.PNG

Henri de Guise , German Heinrich von Guise (* December 31, 1550 ; † December 23, 1588 ), also called Le Balafré (German "the scarred face"), was the eldest son of François de Guise and Anna d'Este and followed his Father after his death from February 24, 1563 to December 23, 1588 as duc de Guise (German about "Duke of Guise") after.


At the beginning of his military career Henri served in the pay of the Emperor in Hungary and the Balkans against the Turks, then, filled with thoughts of revenge for the murder of his father by a Huguenot , he participated in the Huguenot wars, especially at the eighth Huguenot war in part, even war called three Heinriche , and became the enemy of King Henry III. of Navarre, who later became King of France as Henry IV .

When Guise in 1570 for the hand of the sister of Charles IX. , Margaret of Valois , the future wife of his nemesis Henry of Navarre stopped, he was the king of favor. However, he knew how to rehabilitate himself by marrying the godchild of Catherine de Medici , Catherine de Clèves . He and his people, who had murdered Coligny shortly before, were also involved in the events of St. Bartholomew's Night , for which Karl soon took responsibility . Karl died in 1574, his brother Heinrich III. ascended the throne and continued the policy of his predecessor.

In the Battle of Dormans, which Henri von Guise won, he suffered a facial injury, which, like his father before, earned him the nickname Le Balafré , meaning the scarred one . In 1576 he was appointed leader of the Holy League . Their armed force frightened the king and his mother so much that on May 6, 1576, they concluded the Peace of Beaulieu with the Huguenots. Henri was able to challenge this successfully and force the king to join the league . Henri and his archenemy Navarre then faced each other in two wars on the battlefield.

When the king's last brother died in 1584, the Huguenot Heinrich von Navarra, the king's brother-in-law, took first place in the line of succession according to Salian law, "legally incontestable". Henri de Guise tried to enforce his succession with his descent from Charlemagne . King Henry III countered with the Treaty of Joinville, which Sixtus V and Philip II also signed, in which he designated Charles of Bourbon as heir. Henry of Navarre was banished by the Pope with a bull , Henri de Guise occupied the cities of Toul and Verdun and decisively defeated the Huguenots. On May 9, 1588, with the consent of the population, he entered Paris, where he oppressed the king. This fled to Blois .

Although Henri de Guise's power was unchallenged, he reached a settlement with the king, the Union of Rouen, in which Navarre was denied the throne. The king thus won allies and entered into a conspiracy against Henri de Guise. On December 23, 1588, Henry III asked . him to himself unarmed, where the king's bodyguard murdered him. His brother, Cardinal Louis II. De Lorraine-Guise , was executed in prison the next day, December 24, 1588. Both bodies were burned and the ashes were thrown into the Loire . The tomb of Henri I de Lorraines is - like that of his wife - in the chapel of the Jesuit College of Eu .


Tomb in the Jesuit chapel of Eu

The children came from his marriage to Catherine de Clèves :

  • Charles (August 20, 1571 - September 30, 1640), Duke of Guise, ⚭ 1611 Henriette Catherine de Joyeuse
  • Henri (* 1572; † 1574)
  • Catherine († 1573)
  • Louis (January 22, 1575 - June 21, 1621), Archbishop of Reims (1605–1621), cardinal from 1615
  • Charles († 1576)
  • Marie (* 1577- † 1582)
  • Claude (June 5, 1578; † January 24, 1657), Duke of Chevreuse , ⚭ 1622 with Marie de Rohan-Montbazon
  • Catherine, died as a child
  • Christine († 1580)
  • François (* 1581; † 1582)
  • Jeanne, Abbess of Jouarre (1586–1638)
  • Renée, Abbess of Reims (1585–1626)
  • François (February 7, 1589 - April 1, 1614), Chevalier de Guise, murdered
  • Louise Marguerite (* 1588; † April 30, 1631)


  • Mark Konnert: Provincial Governors and Their Regimes during the French Wars of Religion: The Duc de Guise and the City Council of Chalons-sur-Marne. In: The Sixteenth Century Journal. 25, 4, 1994, ISSN  0361-0160 , pp. 823-840.
  • Jean-Marie Constant: Les Guises. Hachette, Paris 1984.
  • Yvonne Bellenger (Ed.): Le mécénat et l'influence des Guises. (= Colloques, congrès et conférences sur la Renaissance. Vol. 9). Honoré Champion, Paris 1997, ISBN 2-85203-689-4 , especially the Henri de Guise et la Ligue department , pp. 497-611.
  • Alexander Wilkinson: 'Homicides Royaux'. The Assassination of the Duc and Cardinal de Guise and the Radicalization of French Public Opinion. In: French History 18 (2004), No. 2 ( preprint freely accessible on the author's university website; PDF).

Web links

Commons : Henri I. de Lorraine, duc de Guise  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Babel, Rainer: Karl IX. (1560-1574) . In: French kings and emperors of the modern age. From Louis XII. until Napoleon III. 1498-1870. Ed .: Peter C. Hartmann. Munich 1994, p. 114.
  2. ^ Mieck, Ilja : Heinrich III. (1574-1589) . In: French kings and emperors of the modern age. From Louis XII. until Napoleon III. 1498-1870. Ed .: Peter C. Hartmann. Munich 1994, p. 138.
predecessor Office successor
François de Lorraine Duke of Guise
Charles de Lorraine
François de Lorraine Prince of Joinville
Charles de Lorraine
Catherine de Clèves, duchesse de Guise Count of Eu
Charles de Lorraine