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(1576–98) Association of Roman Catholics during the French Wars of Religion. It was first organized under the leadership of the 3rd duke de Guise, to oppose concessions granted to the Protestant Huguenots by Henry III. In 1584, when the Huguenot leader Henry of Navarra (later Henry IV) became heir to the throne, the Holy League set up an alternative candidate, with Spain's assistance. To put an end to the league, which challenged his authority, Henry III had the duke de Guise assassinated (1588), an act that, rather than destroying the League, led to Henry's own assassination in 1589. The league opposed the accession of Henry IV, but its power waned when he became a Roman Catholic in 1593.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Holy League, visit Britannica.com.
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