Large wall plate of King Henry IV, copper, from 18th Century France. Inscribed “Henri IV” on one side, “Roi de Fr. & N” on the other. 38″ diameter. Hook on back for hanging.
Henry of Navarre (1553-1610, who would rule France as King Henry IV) was the victor at the end of one of the bloodiest episodes in French history. As a general, Henry of Navarre, a Protestant, fought against Catholic and royal forces before later converting to Catholicism to take the throne in 1594. As king, he undertook a number of measures to unify the French government, including the Edict of Nantes in 1598. These laws allowed a degree of religious toleration for Protestants in France. Henry IV was one of the first monarchs to elevate national unity above religion in terms of importance for a ruler.