Archduchess Maria Elisabeth of Austria (1737–1740)

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Archduchess Maria Elisabeth
Extract from a portrait of Martin van Meytens, who represents the three daughters of Maria Theresa who died in infancy.
Born(1737-02-05)5 February 1737
Vienna, Austria
Died7 June 1740(1740-06-07) (aged 3)
Full name
English: Maria Elizabeth Amelia Antonia Josepha Joanna Gabriella Agatha
German: Maria Elisabeth Amalia Antonia Josefa Johanna Gabriele Agathe
FatherFrancis I, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherMaria Theresa of Austria

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 Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and Duke Francis of Lorraine, later Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor.


Three floating children of Martin van Meytens: The young deceased daughters of Maria Theresia (Maria Elisabeth right).

Maria Elisabeth was born on 5 February 1737 at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.[1] There was, however, no great jubilation at the birth of the child, since her parents had wanted a son and heir.

A lively and lovely child, she soon became the favorite of both her parents. Her grandfather, Emperor Charles VI, spoke with pleasure of his eldest granddaughter, whom he 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.[2] 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.

Maria Elisabeth was the first member of the Habsburg-Lorraine family to be buried in the Maria Theresa Vault at the Imperial Crypt, Vienna. One of her younger sisters was also given her name.


  1. ^ Edwin Dillmann: Maria Theresia. dtv, Munich 2000, ISBN 3-423-31028-6, p. 26.
  2. ^ Sabine Weiss: Zur Herrschaft geboren. Kindheit und Jugend im Hause Habsburg von Kaiser Maximilian bis Kronprinz Rudolf. Tyrolia, Innsbruck 2008, ISBN 978-3-7022-2972-6, p. 145.


  • 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".

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