Peace of St.-Germain, 8 August 1570

The Peace of St.-Germain (8 August 1570) ended the Third War of Religion, and gave the Huguenots substantially the same rights that they had held at the beginning of the war, as well as allocating them four 'security towns'.

Although the Catholics had won two major battles during the war (Jarnac and Moncontour), the Huguenots had held on to La Rochelle and had taken control of much of the south-west of France. Admiral Coligny had managed to raise a new army in the south, and then advanced up the Rhone to threaten Paris. On 25 June he won the battle of Arnay-le-Duc, and this defeat for the Royal forces convinced Charles IX to make peace. Negotiations had been going on for most of 1570, and so a new treaty was quickly agreed.

Huguenot worship was to be allowed in any town that had been held by them on 1 August 1570 as well as the suburbs of two towns in every province. The only exceptions were Paris and the Royal Court. Noblemen who held their lands with 'high justice' were also given the right to hold Huguenot acts of worship of their own estates.

Charles IX also agreed to pay the German reiters who had fought for the Huguenots and to provide them with four security towns (La Rochelle, Montauban, La Charité and Cognac) which would be held by them for two years.

The Peace of St.-Germain lasted for two years, before it was ended by the St. Bartholomew's Eve Massacre of 23-24 August 1572, which triggered the Fourth War of Religion.

The French Religious Wars 1562-1598, Robert Jean Knecht. A useful guide to the complex series of nine French Wars of Religion, including an examination of who the wars began and the main players on both sides, narrative accounts of the wars, overviews of the most important battles and sieges. Also looks at the impact of the wars on France’s neighbours, many of whom got dragged into the conflict, and on a selection of soldiers and civilians. Supported by a series of maps that help show how complex the conflict was
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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 February 2011), Peace of St.-Germain, 8 August 1570 ,

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