France History Timeline


March - March 1563 First War of Religion



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March - March 1563 First War of Religion

  • May 1 The 1st French colonists in the US, landed in Florida.

  • Dec 19 Battle of Dreux

    1563 Feb 18 Huguenot Jean Poltrot de Merde shot French Gen. Francois De Guise (44).

    • March 19 Peace of Amboise granted Rights for Huguenots.

    • April 30 Jews were expelled from France by order of Charles VI.

    1564 June 22 A 3-ship French expedition under René de Laudonnière arrived in Florida and built Fort Caroline.

    • Sep 4 A 10-ship Spanish fleet under Pedro Menendez de Aviles made landfall in Florida.

    • Sep 13 Jean Ribault's French fleet was scattered by a devastating storm.

    • France adopted the reformed calendar and shifted the new year from April to Jan.

    1565 Sep 20 A Spanish fleet under Pedro Menendez de Aviles wiped out some 350 Frenchmen at Fort Caroline, in Florida.

    1566 July 2 French astrologer, physician and prophet Nostradamus died in Salon.



    1567 Sep - March 1568 Second War of Religion, ended by the Peace of Longjumeau

    1567 Nov 10 Battle of Saint Denis

    1568 March 23 Treaty of Longjumeau: French Huguenots went on strike.

    1568 May 3 French forces in Florida slaughtered hundreds of Spanish.



    1568–70 Third War of Religion,, ended by the Peace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye

    1569 March 3 Battle of Jarnac



    • March 13 Count of Anjou defeated the Huguenots at the Battle of Jarnac.

    • June Battle of La Roche-l'Abeille

    • Oct 3 Battle of Moncontour

    1570 Aug 8 Treaty of St. Germain (Peace of St. Germain-en-Laye), ending the third war of religion.

    1572 Aug 24 St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre

    1572–73 Fourth War of Religion,, ended by the Edict of Boulogne

    1572 Nov - July 1573 - Siege of La Rochelle

    1573 May Henry d'Anjou elected King of Poland

    1574–76 Fifth War of Religion,, ended by the Edict of Beaulieu

    1574 Death of Charles IX

    1575 Nov 8 French Catholics and Huguenots signed a treaty.

    1576 Feb 3 Henry of Navarre (future Henry IV) escaped from Paris.



    • Feb 5 Henry of Navarre renounced Catholicism at Tours.

    • May 6 The peace treaty of Chastenoy ended the fifth war of religion.

    • Formation of the first Catholic League in France

    1576–77 Sixth War of Religion,, ended by the Treaty of Bergerac (also known as the "Edict of Poitiers")

    1579 Jan 6 Union of Atrecht



    1579–80 Seventh War of Religion,, ended by the Treaty of Fleix

    1580 March 15 Spanish king Philip II put 25,000 gold coins on head of Prince William of Orange.

    1580 Nov 26 French Huguenots and Catholics signed a peace treaty.

    1582 Oct 15 Gregorian (or New World) calendar adopted in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal; preceding ten days were lost.

    1584 June death of François, Duke of Anjou, heir presumptive

    1584 July 10 William of Orange (1533-1584) assassinated.

    1584 Dec Treaty of Joinville

    1585 July 7 King Henri III & Duke De Guise signed the Treaty of Nemours: French Huguenots lost all freedoms.

    1585 Sep 9, Pope Sixtus V deprived Henry of Navarre of his rights to the French crown.

    1585 The War of the Three Henries [Henry III, Henry of Guise, and Henry of Navarre]



    1585–98 Eighth War of Religion,, ended by the Peace of Vervins and the Edict of Nantes

    1587 Oct 20 Battle of Coutras, Battle of Vimory

    1588 May 9 Duke Henri de Guise's troops occupied Paris.

    1588 May 12 King Henry II fled Paris after Catholic League under duke Henry of Guise entered the city.

    1588 Dec 23 Henri de Guise (37), French leader of Catholic League, was murdered.

    1589 Jan 5 Catherine de Medici (b.1519), Queen Mother of France, died at age 69.



    • Aug 2, Henry III, King of France, was assassinated by a Jacobin monk, Jacques Clement.

    • Sep 21, Battle of Arques.

    1589-1610 Henry of Navarre, as Henry IV became first Bourbon King of France

    1590 March Battle of Ivry, Siege of Paris

    1591 March 1 Pope Gregory XIV threatened to excommunicate French king Henri IV.

    1591 Sep 21 French bishops recognized Henri IV as king of France.

    1593 July 25 France's King Henry IV converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

    1594 The first act of Henry of Navarre, when he entered Paris as Henry IV, was to touch 600 scrofulous [tuberculytic] persons.

    1594 Henry IV proposed his "Grande Dessein" to join the Louvre with the nearby Tuileries palace,

    1594 - Henry IV crowned in Chartres.

    June 5, 1595 - Battle of Fontaine-Française

    April – September 1597 - Siege of Amiens



    April 13. 1598 - Edict of Nantes issued by Henry IV

    1600s The contractor Jean-Christophe Marie built bridges on the Seine to the Ile St.-Louis and laid out lots on straight streets for sale.

    1601 Jan 17, Treaty of Lyons ended a short war between France and Savoy. Savoy was ceded to France in 1860.

    1602 July 29, Duke of Biron was executed in Paris for conspiring with Spain and Savoy against King Henry IV of France.

    1605-1610 King Henry IV and his minister, Duc de Sully, built Place des Vosges, originally called the Place Royale.

    1606 The order of the Sisters of Ursula was founded in France.

    1607 Sep 28, Samuel de Champlain and his colonists returned to France from Port Royal Nova Scotia.

    1608 July 3, The city of Quebec was founded by Samuel de Champlain.

    1610 May 14, King Henri IV, Henri de Navarre (56), was assassinated by a fanatical monk, François Ravillac.

    1610 May 15, Parliament of Paris appointed Louis XIII (8) as French king.

    1610-1643 Louis XIII (1601-1643) was King of France. He was the son of Henry IV of Navarre.

    1614 May 15, An aristocratic uprising in France ended with the treaty of St. Menehould.

    1614 Louis XIII gave go-ahead to build the Pont Marie linking Paris’ Right Bank to the Ile Saint Louis.

    1615 Feb 23, The Estates-General in Paris was dissolved, having been in session since October 1614.

    1615 July 28, French explorer Samuel de Champlain discovered Lake Huron on his seventh voyage to the New World.

    1615-1680 Nicolas Fouquet, treasurer to Louis XIV of France. He used embezzled funds to build his chateau Vaux le Vicomte. [see

    1616 Nov 20, Bishop Richelieu became French minister of Foreign affairs and War.

    1617 Baron de Vitry murdered Marechal d’Ancre in a pavilion on the Place des Vosges.

    1617 16-year old Louis exiled his mother and took control of the government.

    1620 Aug 7, French king Louis XIII beat his mother Marie de Medici at the Battle at Ponts-the-Ca, Poitou.

    1620 Dec 23, French Huguenots declared war on King Louis XIII.

    c1620-1630 Marquisa de Rambouillet giving birth to the Paris salon culture.

    1622 Sep 5, Richelieu became Cardinal.

    1622 Oct 18, treaty of Montpellier.

    1624 April 29, Cardinal Richelieu appointed chief minister of the Royal Council.

    1624 Aug 13, Cardinal Richelieu first minister.

    1620 Feb 10, Supporters of Marie de Medici, the queen mother, were defeated by the king’s troops at Ponts de Ce, France.

    1626 Feb 6, Huguenot rebels and the French signed the Peace of La Rochelle.


    • Richelieu ordered all fortresses destroyed and dueling outlawed.

    1627 July 10, English fleet under George Villiers reached La Rochelle, France, a Huguenot stronghold.

    1627 Aug 10, Cardinal Richelieu began a siege of La Rochelle.

    1628 Oct 28, After a fifteen-month siege, the Huguenot town of La Rochelle surrendered

    1630 March 23, French troops occupied Pinerolo, Piedmont.

    1630 Nov 10, In France there was a failed palace revolution against Richelieu government.

    1631 Oct 10, A Saxon army occupied Prague.

    1632 April 20, Nicolas Antione, converted to Judaism, was burned at the stake.

    1632 Oct 30, Henri de Montmorency, French duke and plotter, was beheaded.

    1632 Dec 20, Nicolas Antoine, French Catholic pastor who converted to Judaism, was executed.

    1635 May 19, Cardinal Richelieu of France intervened in the great conflict in Europe by declaring war on the Hapsburgs in Spain.

    1635 June 28, The French colony of Guadeloupe was established in the Caribbean.

    1636 Aug 8, Invading armies of Spain, Austria and Bavaria were stopped at the village of St.-Jean-de-Losne, 50 miles from France.

    1638 Sep 5, Louis XIV, "The Sun King" (1643-1715) of France, was born.

    1642 May 18, The Canadian city of Montreal was founded by French colonists.

    1642 Sep 12, Cinq Mars, French plotter, was executed.

    1642 Dec 4, Cardinal Armand-Jean Duplessis Richelieu (57), French statesman and bishop of Luzon, died.

    1643 May 14, Louis XIV became King of France at age 4 upon the death of his father, Louis XIII. Cardinal Mazarin became regent.

    1643 May 18, Queen Anne, widow of Louis XIII, was granted absolute power as regent.

    1643 May 19, A French army destroyed Spanish army at the Battle at Rocroi - Allersheim in France

    1643-1715 Louis XIV was King of France. "L'etat c'est moi" (I am the state).

    1647 March 14, The 1647 Treaty of Ulm was reached between the French and the Bavarians during the Thirty Years' War.

    1648 Aug 26, There was a people's uprising, the Fronde, against Anna of Austria, and Cardinal Mazarin.


    1649 March 11, The peace of Rueil was signed between the Frondeurs (rebels) and the French government.

    1651 Nov 7, King Louis XIV of France (13) was declared of full age.

    1652 July 4, Prince of Cond‚ started a blood bath in Paris.

    1652 July 22, Prince Conde's rebels narrowly defeated Chief Minister Mazarin's loyalist forces at St. Martin, near Paris.

    1652 Oct 21, King Louis XIV returned to Paris.

    1654 June 7, Louis XIV was crowned King of France in Rheims.

    1657 March 23, France and England formed an alliance against Spain.

    1659 Franco-Spanish War: Victorious France signs the Treaty of the Pyrenees

    1661 March 9, Cardinal Jules Mazarin (58), the chief minister of France, died, leaving King Louis the 14th in full control.

    1661 Fouquet, treasurer to Louis XIV, ordered his arrest and had him imprisoned for embezzlement.

    1662 April 27, Netherlands and France signed a treaty of alliance in Paris.

    1662 Oct 26, Charles II of England sold Dunkirk to France.

    1663-1742 Jean Baptiste Massillon, French clergyman: "To be proud and inaccessible is to be timid and weak."

    1664 May, Benoit Rencorel, a shepherd girl in the French Alps, alleged that she began receiving apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

    1664 Aug 1, The Turkish army was defeated by French and German troops at St. Gotthard, Hungary.

    1664-1769 French East India Company was chartered to carry on trade in the East Indies.

    1665 Louis XIV began to systematically hollow out guarantees to the Protestants

    1666 The French Academy of Sciences was founded.

    1667 Louis XIV opened the 1st stretch of the Champs-Elysees

    1667-1668 The War of Devolution was fought between France and Spain

    1668 Feb 7, The Netherlands, England and Sweden concluded an alliance directed against Louis XIV of France.

    1668 May 2, Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle ended the War of Devolution.

    1668 Louis XIV of France purchased the 112 carot blue diamond

    1669 Feb 1, French King Louis XIV limited the freedom of religion.

    1670 May 26, A treaty was signed in secret in Dover, ending hostilities.

    1670 Le Notre, the royal landscaper of Louis XIV, laid out the Triumphal Way in Paris.

    1670s French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, explored the Great Lakes region of the New World.

    1671-1729 John Law, Scotsman and financier for France.

    1672 April 29, King Louis XIV of France invaded the Netherlands.

    1673 May 17, Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette began exploring the Mississippi.

    1673 June 25, French commander Charles de Batz (b.1611), known as D’Artagnan, died at Siege of Maastricht.

    1675 June 11, France and Poland formed an alliance.

    1677 Feb 15, King Charles II reported an anti-French covenant with Netherlands.

    1678 Louis XIV claimed the region of Alsace from Germany.

    1678 Treaties of Nijmegen: A series of treaties ending the Franco-Dutch war.

    1681 May 17, Louis XIV sent an expedition to aid James II in Ireland.

    1681-1730 Huguenots, migrated in large numbers to England

    1682 May 6, King Louis XIV moved his court to Versailles, France.

    1682 Pere Lachaise, a Jesuit priest, was confessor to Louis XIV.

    1683 Louis XIV married Madame de Maintenon (1635-1719), his mistress



    1684 For one year Paris was the world's biggest city.

    1684 Aug 15 Truce of Ratisbon: End of the War of the Reunions.

    1685 Oct 18, King Louis the XIV signed the Edict of Fontainebleau, revoking the Edict of Nantes

    1687 Aug 12, At the Battle of Mohacs, Hungary, Charles of Lorraine defeated the Turks.

    1687 Dec 31, The 1st Huguenots departed France to the Cape of Good Hope.

    1688 Nov 26, Louis XIV declared war on the Netherlands.

    1688 Dec 23, English King James II fled to France.

    1689 April 15, French king Louis XIV declared war on Spain.

    1689 May 11, The French and English naval battle took place at Bantry Bay.

    1689 May 12, England’s King William III joined the League of Augsburg and the Netherlands.

    1689 Aug 4-5, War between England and France led them to use their native American allies as proxies.

    1689 Aug 25, Battle at Charleroi: Spanish and English armies chased the French.

    1690 Feb 8, French and Indian troops set Schenectady, NY, settlement on fire.

    1690 March 16, French king Louis XIV sent troops to Ireland.

    1690 July 1, Led by Marshall Luxembourg, the French defeated the forces of the Grand Alliance at Fleurus in the Netherlands.

    1691 July 12, William III defeated the allied Irish and French armies at the Battle of Aughrim, Ireland.

    1692 May 29, Battle at La Hogue: An English & Dutch fleet beat France.

    1692 Aug 3, French forces under Marshal Luxembourg defeated the English at the Battle of Steenkerke in the Netherlands.

    1693 July 4, Battle at Boussu-lez-Walcourt: French-English vs. Dutch army.

    1693 July 29, The Army of the Grand Alliance was destroyed by the French at the Battle of Neerwinden in the Netherlands.

    1693 Heidelberg was torched by the troops of Louis XIV in a dispute over a royal title.

    1697 Sep 20, The Treaty of Ryswick was signed in Holland.

    1701 July 9 Battle of Carpi: In what was the first battle of the War of the Spanish succession,

    1701 Sep 7, England, Austria, and the Netherlands formed an Alliance against France.

    1702 Oct 12, [British] Admiral Sir George Rooke defeated the French fleet off Vigo.

    1703 Sep 30, Battle of Hochstadt

    1703 Nov 19, The "Man in the Iron Mask," a prisoner in Bastille prison in Paris, died.

    1704 Aug 13, The Battle of Blenheim,

    1706 May 23, Battle of Ramillies: Marlborough defeated the French

    1707 April 25, Battle of Almansa, Franco-Spanish forces defeated Anglo-Portuguese.

    1708 July 11, The French were defeated at Oudenarde, Malplaquet, in the Netherlands

    1708 Dec 21, French forces seized control of the eastern shore of Newfoundland after winning a victory at St. John's.

    1709 Sep 11, Duke of Marlborough, won against the French at Malplaquet.

    1709 Oct 20, Marlborough and Eugene of Savoy took Mons in the Netherlands.

    1709 Representatives of the Comedie-Francaise tore down the loges at the Foire de Saint-Germain.

    1711 Sep 22, French troops occupied Rio de Janeiro.

    1713 April 11, The Peace of Utrecht was signed, France ceded Maritime provinces to Britain.

    1714 March 7 War of the Spanish Succession: The Treaty of Rastatt ended hostilities between France and Austria.

    1715 Sep 1 Louis XIV died of gangrene.



    1715 Sep 1, Louis XIV (b.1638), "the Sun King," died.

    1715-1770 France reneged on the terms of its debt five times during this period.

    1715-1774 Louis XV, great-grandson of Louis XIV, ruled as king.

    1717 Aug 4, A friendship treaty was signed between France and Russia.

    1717 The French notes of John Law's bank were made receivable for taxes and other royal revenue.

    1717-1718 Voltaire (1694-1778), French writer, was imprisoned in the Bastille for his lampoons of the Regency.

    1718 Nov 18, Voltaire's "Oedipe" premiered in Paris.

    1718 John Law's Bank was made the state-royal-bank.

    1718 The Paris Meridian was first plotted. It was recalculated in the early 1800s by Arago.

    1719 Sep, John Law announced that he would buy the entire debt of France.

    1719 The fair theaters were closed through the intrigues of their enemies.

    1719 The French government gave the Law company the right of coinage.

    1720 cJan, John Law was appointed France's comptroller general.


    • Feb 17 Treaty of The Hague: ending the War of the Quadruple Alliance.

    • Feb 27, The government ordered that no person should have more than 500 livres in coins

    • March 24, In Paris, banking houses closed in the wake of financial crisis.

    • May 21, The government issued an edict that devalued all the notes and shares of the Law company and fixed their prices.

    • May 25, "Le Grand St. Antoine" reached Marseille, plague killed 80,000.

    • June 1, The French state bank closed for 10 days.

    • June 10, The French state bank reopened and some people were crushed to death in the rush to get in.

    • July 17, Barricades, placed at the state bank, incited a crowd and 12 people were killed.

    • Nov 27, John Law's bank closed for the last time.

    • Dec, John Law left France and returned to England.

    • Paris, France, had 380 coffee houses by this time.

    1721 The bandit Cartouche (The Cartridge) took refuge in a Belleville cabaret, Le Pistolet.

    1723 Feb 15 Louis XV entered his majority.

    1726 St. Louis-en-l'Ile Church was built on the Ile St. -Louis on the Seine in Paris.

    1731 The ship Diligent left a Breton port to pick up some 250 slaves for Martinique.

    1733 Oct 10, France declared war on Austria over the question of Polish succession.

    1733 Voltaire authored his "Lettres Anglaises" in which he hailed England as a "nation of philosophers."

    1735 A French expedition to South America was led by Charles-Marie de la Condamine.

    1736 May 26, British and Chickasaw Indians defeated the French at the Battle of Ackia.

    1737 Feb 20, French minister of Finance, Chauvelin, resigned.

    1737 The French annual art exhibition known as the Salon was inaugurated.

    1738 Nov 18 Treaty of Vienna: The signing of the treaty ended the War of the Polish Succession.

    1741 May 8, France and Bavaria signed the Covenant of Nymphenburg.

    1742-1752 Henri Louis Duhamel du Monceau served as the inspector general of the navy.

    1743 June 27, English defeated the French at Dettingen, Bavaria.

    1744 Feb 9, Battle at Toulon: French-Spanish faced the English fleet of Adm. Matthews.

    1744 Feb 21, The British blockade of Toulon was broken

    1745 May 11, French forces defeated an Anglo-Dutch-Hanoverian army at Fontenoy.

    1745 June 17, American New Englanders captured Louisburg, Cape Breton, from the French.

    1745 Nov 28-29, French troops attacked Indians at Saratoga, NY.

    1746 Sep 20, Bonnie Prince Charlie fled to France from Scotland.

    1746 Sep 21, A French expeditionary army occupied Labourdonnais.

    1747 July 2, Battle of Lauffeld.

    1748 Oct 18 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle: ended the War of the Austrian Succession.

    1749 July 24, Denis Diderot was arrested in Paris during a government crackdown on writers and publishers of subversive books.

    1751 July 28, In France the 1st volume of the Encyclopedie, edited by Diderot and D’Alembert, was published with a print run of 1,625.

    1751 Dec 23, France set plans to tax clergymen.

    1752 Feb 7, Publication, of the 1st 2 volumes of the Encyclopedie were summarily forbidden by order of King Louis XV.

    1753 March 25, Voltaire left the court of Frederik II of Prussia.

    1753 May 9, King Louis XV disbanded the French parliament.

    1754 July 3, George Washington surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity (later Pittsburgh)

    1754-1838 Talleyrand-Perigord, statesman, served as the minister of foreign affairs during the reign of Napoleon.

    1755 July 8, Britain broke off diplomatic relations with France as their disputes in the New World intensified.



    • Sep 8, Battle of Lake George, NY.

    • Oct 24, A British expedition against Fort Niagara ended in failure.

    • Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote his "Discourse on the Origin of Inequality,"

    1756 May 17, Britain declared war on France, beginning the French and Indian War.

    1756 Aug 31, The British at Fort William Henry, surrendered to Montcalm.



    1756-1763 The Seven Years War.

    1757 Jan 4, Robert Francois Damiens made an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate King Louis XV of France.

    1757 Aug 9, English Ft. William Henry, NY, surrendered to French and Indian troops.

    1757 Nov 5, Frederick II of Prussia defeated the French at Rosbach in the Seven Years War.

    1758 Jan 2, The French began bombardment of Madras, India.


    • July 8, British attack on Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, New York, was foiled by the French.

    • June 23, British and Hanoverian armies defeated the French at Krefeld in Germany.

    • July 26, British fleet under Gen. James Wolfe captured France's Fortress of Louisbourg

    • Nov 25, General John Forbes captured Fort Duquesne.

    1759 March 8, Louis XV revoked the license of the Encyclopedie as the 8th volume was about to be printed.

    • April 13, The French defeated European Allies in Battle of Bergen.

    • April 23, British seized Basse-Terre and Guadeloupe in the Antilies from France.

    • July 25, British forces defeated a French army at Fort Niagara in Canada.

    • Aug 1, Battle of Minden, Germany.

    • Aug 18, battle of Lagos Bay.

    • Sep 3, Pope Clement XIII officially placed the French Encyclopedie on the Vatican’s Index of Prohibited Books.

    • Sep 13, Battle of Quebec [Canada].

    • Sep 18, Quebec surrendered to the British

    • Voltaire wrote his novel Candide.

    • Britain triumphed over France in the naval victory at Quiberon Bay.

    1760 April 28, French forces besieging Quebec defeated the British in the second battle on the Plains of Abraham.

    • July 31, Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick, foiled French threat at Warburg

    • Nov 29, Major Roger Rogers took possession of Detroit on behalf of Britain.

    1760s Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour built the La Petit Trianon at Versailles as a retreat.

    1762 Feb 5, Martinique, a major French base in the Lesser Antilles of the West Indies, surrendered to the British.


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