1519 (31st March)
King Henry II of France was born to King Francis I
and Queen Claude at the Chateau de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris. He was the couple’s 4th child, his elder sister Louise had been born in 1515 and died in 1517, Charlotte had been born in 1516 and Francis in 1518. Henry was styled Duke of Orleans.
1520 (7th June)
1520 (10th August)
Henry’s sister Madeleine, was born to Francis and Claude.
Charles V, newly elected Holy Roman Emperor, decided to take Milan and expelled the French from the city.
1522 (22nd January)
Henry’s brother Charles was born to Francis and Claude.
1522 (277th April)
Italian Wars – Battle of Bicocca
defeated the French and expelled them from Lombardy.
King Francis had initially been tolerant of the new Protestantism beliefs. However, he now saw its spread as a threat to Catholicism and began burning heretics.
1523 (5th June)
Henry’s sister Margaret was born to Francis and Claude.
King Francis helped to fund Giovanni da Verrazzano’s expedition to north America. Verrazzano claimed Newfoundland for France.
Francis marched at the head of an army to retake Lombardy and Milan. He managed to recover many towns.
1524 (20th July)
Henry’s mother, Queen Claude of France, died.
1524 (8th September)
Henry’s sister Charlotte died.
1525 (24th February)
Italian Wars – Battle of Pavia
The town of Pavia had held against the French. Charles V’s army gave battle and defeated the French. Henry’s father King Francis I was captured and imprisoned in Madrid.
1526 (14th January)
Italian Wars – Treaty of Madrid
This treaty with Charles V secured the release of King Francis in exchange for Burgundy. However, Henry and his brother Francis now became hostages at the Spanish court under the terms of the treaty.
1526 (6th March)
The hostage exchange was made. King Francis was released from captivity and his sons Henry and Francis took his place.
1526 (22nd May)
Italian Wars – League of Cognac
In contravention of the Treaty of Madrid, which Francis declared null and void as signed under duress, Francis joined this league with Florence, Venice, Milan and Pope Clement VII to reduce the power of Charles V in Italy.
1527 (18th August)
Treaty of Amiens
This treaty between England and France agreed a commercial deal. The treaty also included plans to free the Pope and Francis I’s sons from Charles V. The treaty was to be sealed with the marriage of Henry VIII’s daughter, Princess Mary
to Henry Duke of Orleans.
1530 (7th July)
Henry’s father, Francis I married Eleanor of Austria, sister of Charles V.
1533 (13th August)
Francis I reached an agreement with Fez Ahmed ben Mohammed, ruler of Morocco.
1533 (28th October)
Henry married Catherine de Medici at the Eglise Saint-Ferreol les Augustins in Marseilles. The bride was the niece of Pope Clement VII and the marriage had been arranged by the Pope and Francis I.
Henry began a relationship with Diane de Poitiers, a widow twenty years older than him. The relationship would last for the rest of Henry’s life and Diane was styled ‘King’s Official Mistress’.
1534 (20th April)
French explorer, Jaques Cartier left France seeking a north-west passage to Asia.
1534 (24th July)
Jaques Cartier reached Canada but believed he had reached Asia. He claimed Gaspe Bay for France.
1534 (25th September)
Catherine de Medici’s uncle, Pope Clement VII, died. Alessandro Farnese was appointed Pope Paul III. The new Pope cancelled the alliance with France and refused to make further dowry payments for Catherine.
1534 (17th October)
Affair of the Placards
Overnight, Protestants had posted anti-Catholic placards at various points in Paris, Blois, Rouen, Tours and Orleans. King Francis I saw this as a personal attack as well as an attack on Catholicism. He ordered persecution of Protestants to be stepped up.
Work began on a new administration centre. the Hotel de Ville.
1535 (19th May)
French explorer, Jaques Cartier left France on a second voyage. He sailed up the St Lawrence river believing it to be a northwest passage until he reached a series of rapids which he named La Chine (French for China). Now named the Lachine Rapids they are in the province of Quebec. Cartier returned to France the following year.
The French ambassador in Turkey, Jean de la Foret, managed to secure a commercial treaty between the Ottoman Empire and France.
Following the death of the Duke of Milan, Ludovico Sforza, in October 1535, Charles V had given Milan to his son, Philip. Francis marched to Italy to gain control of Milan.
Francis managed to take control of Turin but was unable to take Milan.
In response to Francis’ invasion of Italy, Charles V invaded Provence in France and took Aix-en-Provence. He attempted to march on to Marseilles but was blocked by the French.
1536 (10th August)
Henry’s brother Francis, died. This meant that Henry was now the heir to the throne and was styled Dauphin of France.
1536 (late August)
Francis I stationed a French/Ottoman naval force off the coast of Marseilles then launched an attack on Genoa. Unfortunately for the French King the Italian city had been reinforced and was too difficult to take. Francis marched to Piedmont instead and took a number of towns.
1537 (1st January)
Henry’s sister, Madeleine, who was in poor health, married James V of Scotland
in Notre Dame Paris.
1537 (2nd July)
Henry’s sister Madeleine died.
A daughter, Diane, was born illegitimately to Henry and Filippa Duci. The birth quelled rumours that Henry was sterile which were circulating court because Catherine de Medici had not become pregnant.
1538 (18th June)
Italian Wars – Truce of Nice
Francis and Charles agreed a truce and halted hostilities.
1539 (10th August)
Ordinance of Villers-Cotterets
This Ordinance reformed French administration by declaring French rather than Latin to be the official language of France.
1540 (1st June)
Edict of Fontainebleau
This royal edict declared Protestantism to be a treasonable offence.
1541 (23rd May)
French explorer, Jaques Cartier returned to Canada. Francis I had asked him to support Jean-Francois de la Rocque de Roberval in the colonisation of the region.
Francis declared war on Charles V and resolved to take Milan. However, Charles had made an alliance with Henry VIII and while Francis was in Italy the English King invaded France.
1544 (18th September)
Italian Wars – Treaty of Crepy
Charles V was forced to agree a peace with Francis I because he no longer had funds to continue the conflict.
1547 (31st March)
Henry’s father King Francis I, died at the Chateau de Rambouillet. Henry became King Henry II of France.
1547 (25th July)
King Henry II of France was crowned at Reims Cathedral.
Mary Queen of Scots
was brought to the French court by her mother Mary of Guise
to protect her from the English. The young Queen was betrothed to Henry’s son Francis and raised at the French court.
1550 (8th September)
The Genoese admiral Andrea Doria conquered Majdiya, Tunisia for Charles V. Henry was unhappy with the Emperor gaining more territory and strengthened the French alliance with the Ottoman Turks.
A son, Henri d’Angouleme, was born illegitimately to Henry and Janet Stewart, illegitimate daughter of King James IV
and governess to Mary Queen of Scots.
Edict of Chateaubriant
This edict gave power to the courts to find, try and punish heretics. It also made it illegal for anyone to sell, import or print a heretical book.
1551 (15th August)
Italian Wars – Siege of Tripoli
The Ottomans took Tripoli from Malta. Previously taken by Charles V, he had given Tripoli to the Knights of Malta in 1530.
1552 (15th January)
Treaty of Chambord
This was a treaty of alliance between Henry II and three German Protestant princes led by Maurice of Saxony.
1554 (2nd August)
Battle of Marciano
The French attempted to invade Tuscany but were defeated by a German-Spanish-Florentine force commanded by Gian Giacomo Medici.
1554 (12th August)
Battle of Renty
Duke Francis of Guise led the French to victory against Emperor Charles V. This gave Henry II control of Metz, Toul and Verdun.
Holy Roman Emperor Charles V abdicated. He divided his lands between his sons with Spain going to Philip II
and Germany to Ferdinand I.
A son, Henri de Saint-Remy, was born illegitimately to Henry and Nicole de Savigny.
1557 (10th August)
Battle of Saint Quentin
The French were defeated by the forces of Philip II and Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy in this battle.
1558 (8th January)
Philip had persuaded his wife, Queen Mary I
of England, to send troops to help him fight the French. The French lay siege to Calais in retaliation and took control from the English.
1558 (24th April)
Mary Queen of Scots, who had been raised at the French court for safety, married the Dauphin Francis. It was known that Queen Mary I was dying and Henry hoped that Mary would stake a claim to the kingdom of England when she died.
1559 (2nd April)
Peace of Cateau-Cambresis
On this day a peace was signed between Henry II of France and Elizabeth I of England. The terms of the treaty reaffirmed possession of Calais to France.
1559 (3rd April)
Peace of Cateau-Cambresis
On this day a peace a peace was signed by Philip II of Spain and Henry II of France. It was to be sealed by the marriage of Henry’s daughter Elizabeth to Philip II of Spain and by the marriage of his sister, Margaret to Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy.
1559 (22nd June)
Henry’s daughter, Elizabeth married Philip II of Spain.
1559 (30th June)
Henry took part in a joust which was being held at the Plac des Vosges,as part of the celebrations to mark the treaty of Cateau-Cambresis and the marriage of his daughter Elizabeth to Philip II. During a match with the Comte de Montgomery, Captain of the Scottish Guard, he was struck by the Comte’s lance. A piece shirred off went through his eye and pierced his brain. Henry’s surgeon managed to remove the splinter and hoped the King would recover.
1559 (4th July)
Henry had developed a fever caused by septicaemia as a result of the injury sustained in the joust. His doctors, Ambroise Pare and Andreas Vesalius tried various procedures to save him.
1559 (10th July)
King Henry II of France died. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Francis.