List of rulers of Lorraine

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The rulers of Lorraine have held different posts under different governments over different regions, since its creation as the kingdom of Lotharingia by the Treaty of Prüm, in 855. The first rulers of the newly established region were kings of the Franks. The Latin construction "Lotharingia" evolved over time into "Lorraine" in French, "Lotharingen" in Dutch and "Lothringen" in German. After the Carolingian kingdom was absorbed into its neighbouring realms in the late ninth century, dukes were appointed over the territory. In the mid-tenth century, the duchy was divided into Lower Lorraine and Upper Lorraine, the first evolving into the historical Low Countries, the second became known as the Duchy of Lorraine and existed well into the modern era.

Kings of Lotharingia[edit]

Charles the Bald claimed Lotharingia on Lothair's death and was crowned king in Metz, but his brother Louis the German opposed his claim and in 870 the Treaty of Mersen divided Lotharingia between the two brothers and subsequently their sons. In 880, the Treaty of Ribemont gave the whole of Lotharingia to Louis the Younger, son of Louis the German.

In 925, Lotharingia was subsumed into East Francia.

Dukes of Lorraine[edit]

In 959, Lorraine was divided into two districts, Lower and Upper Lorraine, each governed by a margrave, under Bruno. Upon Bruno's death in 965, both margraves were recognised as dukes of Lower and Upper Lorraine, respectively. The two duchies remained separate, following separate pathways, except for the brief period between 1033 and 1044.

Dukes of Lower Lorraine[edit]

Note that the numbering of the dukes varies between sources.

Matfriding dynasty[edit]

Carolingian dynasty[edit]

House of Ardennes–Verdun[edit]

House of Luxembourg[edit]

House of Ardennes–Verdun[edit]

  • Godfrey III the Bearded (1065–1069) (also known as Godfrey II, previously duke of Upper Lorraine)
  • Godfrey IV (1069–1076) (also known as Godfrey III)

Salian dynasty[edit]

House of Boulogne (Ardennes–Bouillon)[edit]

House of Limburg Limburg New Arms.svg[edit]

House of Leuven Coat of arms of the archduchy of Austria.svg[edit]

House of Limburg Limburg New Arms.svg[edit]

House of Leuven Coat of arms of the archduchy of Austria.svg[edit]

Passes to the Duke of Brabant, who until 1795 kept the title "Duke of Lothier".

Dukes of Upper Lorraine[edit]

House of Ardenne–Bar[edit]

House of Ardenne–Verdun[edit]

  • Gothelo (r. 1033–1044) (also duke of Lower Lorraine).
  • Godfrey, the Bearded (r. 1044–1046) (later duke of Lower Lorraine)

House of Metz (Ardenne–Metz)[edit]

Portrait Name Start term End term Note
Adalbert 1047 1048  
Lorraine Gérard dAlsace.jpg
Gerhard 1048 6 March 1070  
Theodoric II, Duke of Lorraine.png
Theodoric II 6 March 1070 23 January 1115  
Simon I, Duke of Lorraine.png
Simon I 23 January 1115 13 April 1138  
Matthias I, Duke of Lorraine.png
Matthias I 13 April 1138 13 May 1176  
Simon II, Duke of Lorraine.png
Simon II 13 May 1176 1205  
Frederick I, Duke of Lorraine.png
Frederick I 1205 7 April 1206  
Frederick II of Lorraine.png
Frederick II 7 April 1206 10 October 1213  
Theobald I, Duke of Lorraine.png
Theobald I 10 October 1213 17 February 1220  
Matthias II of Lorraine.png
Matthias II 17 February 1220 24 June 1251  
Frederick III 24 June 1251 31 December 1302  
Theobald II, Duke of Lorraine.png
Theobald II 31 December 1302 13 May 1312  
Frederick IV, Duke of Lorraine.png
Frederick IV 13 May 1312 23 August 1328  
Effigie Raoul de Lorraine.jpg
Raoul 23 August 1328 26 August 1346 killed at the Battle of Crécy
Effigie Jean Ier de Lorraine.jpg
John I 26 August 1346 27 September 1390  
Effigie Charles II de Lorraine.jpg
Charles II 27 September 1390 25 January 1431  
Isabella 25 January 1431 28 February 1453 with her husband, René I

House of Anjou[edit]

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
25 January 1431 –
28 February 1453
16 January 1409
Château d'Angers
son of Louis II of Anjou and Yolande of Aragon
(1) Isabella
ten children
(2) Jeanne de Laval
10 September 1454
no issue
10 July 1480
aged 71
John II
28 February 1453 –
16 December 1470
Francesco laurana, medaglia di jean d'anjou, 1464.JPG
2 August 1424
son of René and Isabella
Marie de Bourbon
five children
16 December 1470
aged 46
Nicholas I
16 December 1470 –
24 July 1473
Lorraine Arms 1430.svg
son of John II and Marie de Bourbon
never married 24 July 1473
aged 22

House of Lorraine[edit]

Junior branch of the previous rulers of Ardennes–Metz, known as the House of Lorraine

Portrait Name Start term End term Note
Effigie René II de Lorraine.jpg
René II 24 July 1473 10 December 1508 grandson of René I and Isabella; also Duke of Bar
Hans Holbein d. J. 036.jpg
Antoine 10 December 1508 14 June 1544  
François Ier duc de Lorraine.jpg
Francis I 14 June 1544 12 June 1545  
Charles III 12 June 1545 14 May 1608  
Henri II Lorraine.jpg
Henry II 14 May 1608 31 July 1624  
Nicole de Lorraine, Duchess of Lorraine by Moncornet.jpg
Nicole 31 July 1624 25 November 1625 she was the daughter of Henry II; the estates of Lorraine eventually decided that she was not eligible to reign, and gave the crown to her uncle, Francis II; her husband and first cousin, Charles IV, would reign thereafter
François II duc de Lorraine et de Bar en 1625 (1572-1632).jpg
Francis II 25 November 1625 1 December 1625 he immediately abdicated in favour of his son, Charles IV; died 1632
Charles IV of Lorraine.jpg
Charles IV 1 December 1625 19 January 1634 abdicated in favour of his brother
Nicholas II 19 January 1634 1 April 1634 fled into exile and abdicated in favour of his older brother; the duchy remained under effective French control for the next 27 years
Charles IV of Lorraine.jpg
Charles IV 1 April 1634 18 September 1675 nominally restored as a result of his brother's abdication; Lorraine was occupied by France, and the Duke in exile, from 1634 to 1661 and again from 1670 until his death
Charles 05 Lorraine 1643 1690 young.jpg
Charles V Leopold 18 September 1675 18 April 1690 He was in exile and Lorraine was occupied by France throughout his nominal reign
Léopold duc de Bar et de Lorraine 00206.jpg
Leopold 18 April 1690 27 March 1729 He was in exile and Lorraine was occupied by France until 30 October 1697, when it was returned to Léopold Joseph; it was again occupied by France from 1702 to 1714, although the duke remained in place
Franz I Stephan portrait.jpg
Francis III Stephen 27 March 1729 9 July 1737 traded Lorraine in exchange for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany; elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1745; died 1765, husband of Empress Maria Theresa

House of Leszczyński[edit]

Portrait Name Start term End term Note
Stanisław Leszczyński par Girardet.PNG
Stanisław I 9 July 1737 23 February 1766 Former king of Poland. After him, the Duchy is inherited by his son-in-law, king Louis XV of France and incorporated in his dominions

The House of Habsburg-Lorraine continued carrying the title as titular Dukes of Lorraine.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Putnam, Ruth. Alsace and Lorraine: From Cæsar to Kaiser, 58 B.C.-1871 A.D. New York: 1915.