Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Saturday, October 18, 2014

18 October 1685 A.D. King Louis XIV of France Revokes Edict of Nantes—Another Era of French Inquisitors Against the French Huguenots

18 October 1685 A.D.  King Louis XIV of France Revokes Edict of Nantes—Another Era of French Inquisitors Against the French Huguenots.

Dr. Rusten tells the story.

Rusten, E. Michael and Rusten, Sharon. The One Year Christian History. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2003.  Available at:

The Wars of Religion began in 1562 in France.  It was underway in the Low Countries under the IOOs of Charles V.  The war between the false church and the true Churches of the Huguenots was on.

The Huguenots were led by Henry of Navarre—a minor region in southern France and now the present-day Hispanic province of Navarre.  Henry inherited his throne from his staunchly Calvinistic mother.

Henry’s cousin, King Henry III, died in 1589.  Henry became the heir apparent, but his Calvinism was an obstacle to enthronement.  So, he embraced Romanism and was crowned Henry IV in 1593.  But, he never forgot his Reformed and Calvinist roots.

In 1598, he issued the Edict of Nantes.  This gave religious freedom, civic equality and the fairm administration of the law to Huguenots. Further, state subsidies supported Huguenot armies and churches.  200 towns received provisions.  Historically, this was entirely unique—the legal tolerance of two religions side-by-side.

By the late 1600s, Henry IV’s grandson, Louis XIV, was the King of France. [Never forget the Charles II or James II connection to England here.  England’s Reformed theology was endangered, post-1662.]

On 16 October 1685,  the Edict of Toleration and Nantes was revoked. The results were:

  1. Huguenot worship and educations were forbidden.
  2. Huguenot churches were destroyed or converted to Romish conventicles.
  3. Huguenot clergy were given 14 days to leave France.
  4. Huguenot parishioners were not allowed to leave France.
  5. All children were to be baptized and reared in the Romish conventicles.
  6. 1.5 million Huguenots existed in France in 1660, but 400, 000 crossed guarded borders.
  7. ¼ of London consisted of Huguenot emigrees.
  8. 1/5 of Berlin consisted of Huguenots.  The Elector of Brandenburg welcomed them.
  9. Many fled to South Carolina and New York.

The Revocation was successful.  Less that 1% of the French population has Huguenot roots.  France was judged.  They lost their best and brightest.  They yielded to Romanist darkness.  True Churchmen blessed other nations.


  1. Doctrine of providence?  France rather than England?  France rather than Germany? 
  2. Would you be willing to move family due to persecutions for the Reformed faith?
  3. What of French history courses?  Why was this not developed at WTS or RES?


Durant, Will and Ariel. The Age of Louis XIV: A History of European Civilization in the Period of Pascal, Moliere, Cromwell, Milton, Peter the Great, Newton and Spinoza. Vol. 8 of The Story of Civilization. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1963. 69-75.

Hope, N.V. “Henry IV.” WWCH. 311-2.

Johnstone. Operation World. 5th ed. 224-27.

Langer, William. An Encyclopedia of World History: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern Chronologically Arranged. Rev. ed. Edinburgh: Harra0, 1948. 443.

Linder, Robert D. “Henry IV of France (1553-1610).” NIDCC. 460-1.

Norman, J.G.G. “Nantes, Edict of (1598).” NIDCC. 693-4.

Schlessinger, Arthur M., Jr., ed. The Almanac of American History. Rev. ed. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. 65.

No comments: