Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria (1737–1740)
|Archduchess Maria Elisabeth|
|Archduchess of Austria|
Three floating children of Martin van Meytens: The young deceased daughters of Maria Theresia (Maria Elisabeth right)
5 February 1737|
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Archduchy of Austria, Holy Roman Empire
|Died||7 June 1740
Franzensburg Castle, Laxenburg, Mödling District, Empire of Austria, Holy Roman Empire
|Burial||Imperial Crypt, Capuchin Church, Innere Stadt, Vienna, Republic of Austria|
|Father||Prince Francis, Duke of Lorraine|
|Mother||Empress Maria Theresa I, Holy Roman Empress|
Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria (Full name (German): Maria Elisabeth Amalia Antonia Josefa Gabriele Johanna Agathe; 5 February 1737 – 7 June 1740), was the eldest child and daughter of Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, later Holy Roman Empress and Duke Francis of Lorraine.
Maria Elisabeth was born on 5 February 1737 at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna to Archduchess Maria Theresa, Duchess of Lorraine and Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine a little more than a year after their marriage.  There was, however, no great jubilation at the birth of the child, since her parents had wanted a son and heir. The name Maria was chosen in honour of Maria Theresa and the Virgin Mary, while Elisabeth was for her grandmothers, Elisabeth Christine, Holy Roman Empress and Elisabeth Charlotte d'Orleans.
A lively and lovely child, she soon became in the favorite of both her parents. Her grandfather, Emperor Charles VI, spoke with pleasure of his eldest granddaughter, whom she nicknamed Liesl, and often played with her.
During a visit to Laxenburg castle on 7 June 1740, Maria Elisabeth became suddenly ill with stomach cramps and vomiting. Throughout the day, the stomach cramps alternated with ever-renewed vomiting until the little Archduchess died that night at 9 p.m. aged 3. Her father Francis reported the death of his firstborn child:
At eight o'clock I was summoned and handed over to me a letter of the doctor, from which I deduced that it is time to take my wife away, for the child will not live longer. I walked away a little confused, and found my wife completely burst in tears when I arrived. I took them by the hand and took them to her apartments. Then I went back with the sick child. I had only been for a while when she sat up, looked at me, and said with a clear voice, "I commend myself, O my God!". Then she fell back and died in my arms.
- Hanne Egghardt: Maria Theresias Kinder. 16 Schicksale zwischen Glanz und Elend. Kremayr & Scheriau, Vienna 2010, ISBN 978-3-218-00813-6.
- Elfriede Iby: "Marie-Thérèse, biographie d'une souveraine".