Treaty of Joinville

The Treaty of Joinville was signed in secret on 31 December 1584 by the Catholic League, led by France's first family of Catholic nobles, the House of Guise, and Habsburg Spain.[1]

Treaty provisionsEdit

In the treaty:

Consequences for EnglandEdit

By 1585, the treaty became known in England.[3] It was believed, though falsely, the aim of the treaty was to form a Catholic alliance against Protestants throughout Europe.[3]

However, Elizabeth was terrified by the nightmare scenario of a Catholic alliance between France and Spain against England, even if the prospect had been remote because of the prolonged Habsburg-Valois conflict. For the first time, she endorsed direct military intervention in the Spanish Netherlands, in the process of an uprising against Spanish rule. The Spanish response was a crackdown under a hardline military governor, the Duke of Parma.

Elizabeth's decision was a complete reversal of her previous policy not to support rebels rebelling against legitimate authority, as she feared that she was vulnerable to revolts from English Catholics. The new policy illustrated just how much the Treaty of Joinville alarmed her.

As a direct consequence, Elizabeth signed the Treaty of Nonsuch with the United Provinces in 1585 and financed an expedition to the Netherlands, led by Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester, of 7000 to 8000 soldiers. That was a catalyst for the war between England and Spain and resulted in the launch of the Spanish Armada in 1588.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b Baumgartner 1975, p. 37.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Davenport & Paullin 2004, p. 223-224.
  3. ^ a b Doran & Jones 2014, p. 11.


  • Baumgartner, Frederic J. (1975). Radical Reactionaries: The Political Thought of the French Catholic League. Librairie Droz.
  • Davenport, Frances Gardiner; Paullin, Charles Oscar, eds. (2004). European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648. The Lawbook Exchange Ltd.
  • Doran, Susan; Jones, Norman, eds. (2014). The Elizabethan World. Routledge.