Charles Buck Theological Dictionary
Edicts of, were decrees, granted by the kings of France to the Protestants, for appeasing the troubles occasioned by their persecution. The first Edict of Pacification was granted by Charles IX. in January 1562, permitting the free exercise of the reformed religion near all the cities and towns of the realm. March 19, 1563, the same king granted a second Edict of Pacification, at Amboise, permitting the free exercise of the reformed religion in the houses of gentlemen and lords high justiciaries (or those who had the power of life and death, ) to their families and dependents only; and allowing other Protestants to have their sermons in such towns as they had them in before the seventh of March; obliging them withal to quit the churches they had possesed themselves of during the troubles. Another called the Edict of Lonjumeau, ordering the execution of that of Amboise, was published March 27, 1558, after a treaty of peace. This pacification was but of short continuance; for Charles perceiving a general insurrection of the Huguenots, revoked the said edicts in September, 1568, forbidding the exercise of the Protestant religion, and commanding all the ministers to depart the kingdom in fifteen days. But on the eighth of August, 1570, he made peace with them again, and published an edict on the eleventh, allowing the lords high justiciaries to have sermons in their houses for all comers, and granting other Protestants two public exercises in each government. He likewise gave them four cautionary towns, viz. Rochelle, Montaubon, Cognal, and La Charite, to be places of security for them during the space of two years.
Nevertheless, in August, 1572, he authorised the Bartholomew massacre, and at the same time issued a declaration, forbidding the exercise of the Protestant religion. Henry III. in April, 1576, made peace with the Protestants; and the Edict of Pacification was published in parliament, May 14, permitting them to build churches and have sermons where they pleased. The Guisian faction, enraged at this general liberty, began the famous league for defense of the Catholic religion, which became so formidable, that it obliged the king to assemble the states of the kingdom at Blois, in December, 1576, where it was enacted that there should be but one religion in France, and that the Protestant ministers should be all banished. In 1577, the king, to pacify the troubles, published an edict in parliament, October 8th, granting the same liberty to the reformed which they had before. However, in July 1585, the league obliged him to publish another edict, revoking all former edicts granted to the Protestants, and ordering them to depart the kingdom in six months, or turn Papists. This edict was followed by more to the same purpose. Henry IV. coming to the crown, published a declaration, July 4, 1591, abolishing the edicts against the Protestants. this edict was verified in the parliament of Chalons; but the troubles prevented the verification of it in the parliaments of the other provinces; so that the Protestants had not the free exercise of their religion in any place but where they were masters, and had banished the Romish religion. In April 1598, the king published a new Edict of Pacification at Nantz, granting the Protestants the free exercise of their religion in all places where they had the same in 1596 and 1597, and one exercise in each bailiwick. This Edict of Nantz was confirmed by Lewis XIII. in 1610, and by Lewis XIV. 1652. But the latter abolished it entirely in 1685.
See HUGUENOTS, and PERSECUTION.
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Buck, Charles. Entry for 'Pacification'. Charles Buck Theological Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/cbd/p/pacification.html. 1802.