Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara
|Alfonso II d'Este|
|Duke of Ferrara, Modena, and Reggio|
Alfonso II d'Este by Girolamo da Carpi
|Spouse(s)||Lucrezia di Cosimo de' Medici
Barbara of Austria
|Noble family||House of Este|
|Father||Ercole II d'Este|
|Mother||Renée of France|
|Born||22 November 1533|
|Died||27 October 1597
As a young man, he fought in the service of Henry II of France, fighting against the Habsburgs. Soon after his accession to the throne, he was forced by Pope Pius IV to send back his mother to France, due to her Calvinist creed. He commanded Ferrara at the time of the 1570 Ferrara earthquake.
He married three times:
- On 3 July 1558, Alfonso married his first wife Lucrezia di Cosimo de' Medici, a daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Eleonora di Toledo. She died two years afterwards, and poisoning has been suspected, although, it's now thought that she died of tuberculosis.
- On 5 December 1565, Alfonso married his second wife Barbara of Austria (30 April 1539 - 19 September 1572), eighth daughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary.
- On 24 February 1579, Alfonso married his third wife Margherita Gonzaga (27 May 1564 - 6 January 1618). She was the eldest daughter of William I, Duke of Mantua and Eleonora of Austria. Eleonora was the niece of his second wife Barbara.
He had no known children, legitimate or otherwise.
The legitimate line ended in 1597 with him. Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor recognized as heir his cousin Cesare d'Este, member of a cadet branch, who continued to rule in the imperial duchies and carried on the family name. The succession, however, was recognized only by the Emperor but not by the Popes. In 1598 Ferrara was therefore incorporated into the Papal States by Pope Clement VIII, on grounds of doubtful legitimacy.
Patron of the arts and sciences 
Alfonso II raised the glory of Ferrara to its highest point, and was the patron of Torquato Tasso, Giovanni Battista Guarini, and Cesare Cremonini—favouring the arts and sciences, as the princes of his house had always done. Luzzasco Luzzaschi served as his court organist.
His expenses, however, went at damage of the public treasure.
|Ancestors of Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of Ferrara|
- Illustrious people (English)
Alfonso II d'Este, Duke of FerraraBorn: 22 November 1533 Died: 27 October 1597
|Duke of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio