Henry of Navarre (King Henry IV of France)
Henry IV (1553-1610 AD) was the first king of France from the House of Bourbon. Although he was baptised as a Catholic, he was raised in the Protestant faith by his mother Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre. He inherited the throne of Navarre at the death of his mother in 1572. As a Protestant leader, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion. He barely escaped an assassination attempt during the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. He later led Protestant forces against the royal army.

Over a couple decades three French kings died. According to Salic Law, Henry was the next in line for the throne of France. Henry was not a popular choice among Catholics because he was a Huguenot. After four years of civil war, Henry abandoned Protestantism in favor of Catholicism. His did not convert for religious reasons but for political ones. Specifically, he realized that if he assumed the French throne as a Catholic he would have the authority and influence to end the wars of religion once and for all; moreover, he would also have the authority to introduce new laws like the Edict of Nantes.

The Edict of Nantes (1598) guaranteed the religious liberties of Protestants thereby effectivley ending the Wars of Religion. Henry IV was considered a traitor by some Protestants and a fake by some Catholics. Nonetheless, his passage of the Edict of Nantes led many leaders and people in Europe to regard Henry as a good example of a progressive monarch. He was assassinated in 1610 by a Catholic fanatic. Henry was on his way to help broker a peace between German Protestant and Catholic factions. If Henry would not have been killed, there is a possibility the Thirty Years' War--a conflict last three decades killing upwards of 30-40% of Germany's population--would have been prevented.