House of Lorraine

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House of Lorraine
House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Coat of arms of the House of Lorraine.png
Original arms of the House of Lorraine
Country Austria, Bohemia, Brabant, Flanders, Hungary, Lorraine, Luxembourg, Mexico, Modena and Tuscany
Parent house
Titles and so forth
Current head Karl Habsburg-Lothringen
Dissolution

Lorraine:
1738 – Francis I ceded title in accordance with the Treaty of Vienna, gaining Tuscany

Holy Roman Empire, Luxembourg,
Brabant, and Flanders
:

1805 – Francis II & I ceded titles in accordance with the Peace of Pressburg

Parma:
1847 – Marie Louise died without issue

Tuscany:
1859 – Leopold II abdicated due to pressure from Italian nationalists

Mexico:
1867 – Maximilian I executed by Liberal revolutionaries

Austria, Hungary and Bohemia:
1918 – Charles I & IV relinquished participation in state affairs following the end of World War I
Cadet branches

The House of Lorraine (German: Haus Lothringen) originated as a cadet branch of the House of Metz. It inherited the Duchy of Lorraine in 1473 after the death of duke Nicholas I without a male heir. By the marriage of Francis of Lorraine to Maria Theresa in 1736, and with the success in the ensuing War of the Austrian Succession, the House of Lorraine was joined to the House of Habsburg, and was now known as Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Habsburg-Lothringen). Francis, his sons Joseph II and Leopold II, and grandson Francis II were the last four Holy Roman Emperors from 1745 to the dissolution of the empire in 1806. Habsburg-Lorraine inherited the Habsburg Empire, ruling the Austrian Empire and Austria-Hungary until the dissolution of the monarchy in 1918.

Although its senior agnates are the Dukes of Hohenberg, the house is currently headed by Karl Habsburg-Lothringen (born 1961), the titular Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary, Bohemia, Galicia and Lodomeria, Croatia, Illyria, as well as the titular King of Jerusalem.[1]

Ancestry[edit]

House of Ardennes–Metz[edit]

The house claims descent from Gerard I of Paris (Count of Paris) (died 779) whose immediate descendants are known as the Girardides. The Matfridings of the 10th century are thought to have been a branch of the family;[2] at the turn of the 10th century they were Counts of Metz and ruled a set of lordships in Alsace and Lorraine. The Renaissance dukes of Lorraine tended to arrogate to themselves claims to Carolingian ancestry, as illustrated by Alexandre Dumas, père in the novel La Dame de Monsoreau (1846);[3] in fact, so little documentation survives on the early generations that the reconstruction of a family tree for progenitors of the House of Alsace involves a good deal of guesswork.[2]

What is more securely demonstrated is that in 1048 Emperor Henry III gave the Duchy of Upper Lorraine first to Adalbert of Metz and then to his brother Gerard whose successors (collectively known as the House of Alsace or the House of Châtenois) retained the duchy until the death of Charles the Bold in 1431.[4]

Houses Vaudemont and Guise[edit]

See also: House of Guise

After a brief interlude of 1453–1473, when the duchy passed in right of Charles's daughter to her husband John of Calabria, a Capetian, Lorraine reverted to the House of Vaudemont, a junior branch of House of Lorraine, in the person of René II who later added to his titles that of Duke of Bar.[5]

The French Wars of Religion saw the rise of a junior branch of the Lorraine family, the House of Guise, which became a dominant force in French politics and, during the later years of Henri III's reign, was on the verge of succeeding to the throne of France.[6] Mary of Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, also came from this family.

Under the Bourbon monarchy the remaining branch of the House of Guise, headed by the duc d'Elbeuf, remained part of the highest ranks of French aristocracy, while the senior branch of the House of Vaudemont continued to rule the independent duchies of Lorraine and Bar. Louis XIV's imperialist ambitions (which involved the occupation of Lorraine in 1669–97) forced the dukes into a permanent alliance with his archenemies, the Holy Roman Emperors from the House of Habsburg.

House of Habsburg-Lorraine[edit]

The coat of arms of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. The shield displays the marshaled arms of the Habsburg, Babenberg and Lorraine families.

Following the failure of both Emperor Joseph I and Emperor Charles VI to produce a son and heir, the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 left the throne to the latter's yet unborn daughter, Maria Theresa. In 1736 Emperor Charles arranged her marriage to Francis of Lorraine who agreed to exchange his hereditary lands for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (as well as Duchy of Teschen from the Emperor).

At Charles's death in 1740 the Habsburg lands passed to Maria Theresa and Francis, who was later elected Holy Roman Emperor as Francis I. The Habsburg-Lorraine nuptials and dynastic union precipitated, and survived, the War of the Austrian Succession. Francis and Maria Theresa's daughters Marie Antoinette and Maria Carolina became Queens of France and Naples-Sicily, respectively; while their sons Joseph II and Leopold II succeeded to the imperial title.

Apart from the core Habsburg dominions, including the triple crowns of Austria, Hungary, and Bohemia, several junior branches of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine reigned in the Italian duchies of Tuscany (until 1860), Parma (until 1847) and Modena (until 1859). Another member of the house, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, was Emperor of Mexico (1863–67).

In 1900, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria (then heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne) contracted a morganatic marriage with Countess Sophie Chotek. Their descendants, known as the House of Hohenberg, have been excluded from succession to the Austrian-Hungarian crown, but not that of Lorraine, where morganatic marriage has never been outlawed. Nevertheless, Otto von Habsburg, the eldest grandson of Franz Ferdinand's younger brother, was universally regarded as the head of the house until his death in 2011.[7] It was at Nancy, the former capital of the House of Vaudemont, that the crown prince married Princess Regina of Saxe-Meiningen in 1951.[1]

List of heads[edit]

Francis I of Lorraine with his family.

The following is a list of ruling heads (after 1918 pretenders) of the house of Ardennes-Metz and its successor houses of Lorraine and Habsburg-Lorraine, from the start of securely documented genealogical history in the 11th century.[2]

House of Metz (Ardennes-Metz)

Charles II died without male heir, the duchy passing to Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, consort of Naples by marriage to Duke René of Anjou. The duchy passed to their son John II (r. 1453–1470), whose son Nicholas I (r. 1470–1473) died without male heir. The title now went to Nicholas' aunt (sister of John II) Yolande.

House of Lorraine

The House of Lorraine was formed by Yolande's marriage to René, Count of Vaudémont (1451–1508), who was descended from John I (Yolande's great-grandfather) via his younger son Frederick I, Count of Vaudémont (1346–1390), Antoine, Count of Vaudémont (c. 1395–1431) and Frederick II, Count of Vaudémont (1417–1470). René inherited the title of Duke of Lorraine upon his marriage in 1473.

House of Habsburg-Lorraine

The heir of Franz Joseph, Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, committed suicide in 1889. Franz Joseph was succeeded by his grandnephew Charles I, son of Archduke Otto Francis, the son of Archduke Karl Ludwig, a younger brother of Franz Joseph.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gordon Brook-Shepherd. Uncrowned Emperor: the Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 1-85285-439-1. Pages XI, 179, 216.
  2. ^ a b c Cawley, Charles, Lorraine, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy ,[self-published source][better source needed], in Medieval Lands Project
  3. ^ See Chapter XXI.
  4. ^ William W. Kibler, Grover A. Zinn. Medieval France: an Encyclopedia. Routledge, 1995. ISBN 0-8240-4444-4. Page 561.
  5. ^ Encyclopedia of the Middle Ages (ed. by André Vauchez). Routledge, 2000. ISBN 1-57958-282-6. Page 1227.
  6. ^ Robert Knecht. The Valois: Kings of France 1328–1589. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2007. ISBN 1-85285-522-3. Page 214.
  7. ^ Brook-Shepherd also notes that morganatic alliances were not forbidden by ancient Magyar laws. See Brook-Shepherd 179.

External links[edit]

Royal house
House of Lorraine
House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Preceded by
House of Habsburg
Archduchy of Austria
1780–1804
Archduchy elevated to the Empire of Austria
Kingdom of Bohemia
1780–1918
Kingdom abolished
Duchy of Burgundy and the Burgundian Netherlands
1780–1795
Duchy abolished
Kingdom of Hungary
1780–1849
Incorporated into the Empire of Austria
Austro-Hungarian Compromise recreates the Kingdom of Hungary separate from the Empire of Austria in 1867
Kingdom of Hungary
1867–1918
Kingdom abolished
New title Empire of Austria
1804–1918
Empire abolished
Preceded by
House of Medici
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
1765–1801
Grand Duchy abolished
Became the Kingdom of Etruria, a territory of the House of Bourbon
Preceded by
House of Bonaparte
Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia
1815–1866
Kingdom abolished
Italy united under the House of Savoy
Grand Duchy of Tuscany
1814–1859
Grand duchy abolished
Incorporated into the United Provinces of Central Italy
Preceded by
House of Iturbide
Deposed in 1823, a republic was created in the interim
Empire of Mexico
1864–1867
Empire abolished