The Malcontents were a faction of gentlemen in the Fifth French War of Religion (1574–1576). It opposed the policy of Henry of Valois, duc d'Anjou, who had become king under the name Henry III, and allied itself to the Huguenots. The leader was the King's brother Francis, Duke of Anjou.
The main goal of the Malcontents was to oppose the absolutist ambitions of the King. They were unhappy (malcontent) with the way the King treated the old French nobility.
The Malcontent movement has been compared to the Fronde, 70 years later.
The Malcontents had both Catholic and Huguenot members. The leaders were:
- Francis, Duke of Anjou, Catholic and the King's brother.
- Henri I de Montmorency, Catholic.
- Guillaume de Montmorency-Thoré, Catholic.
- Henri, Prince of Condé, Protestant.
- Henri de Navarre, Protestant and future King Henry IV of France.
- John Casimir of the Palatinate-Simmern, German Protestant supporter of the Huguenots in France.
The conspiracy was a success. King Henry III of France was forced to sign the Edict of Beaulieu on 6 May 1576, because he needed their support against the Catholic League under Henry I, Duke of Guise.