Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers
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|jure uxoris Duke of Nevers|
Louis de Nevers and his spouse
|Born||18 September 1539|
|Died||23 October 1595 (aged 56)|
|Noble family||House of Gonzaga|
|Spouse(s)||Henriette of Cleves|
Catherine, Duchess of Longueville
Marie Henriette, Duchess of Mayenne
Charles I, Duke of Mantua
|Father||Frederick II Gonzaga|
Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers (Italian: Ludovico or Luigi di Gonzaga-Nevers; 18 September 1539 – 23 October 1595) was an Italian-French dignitary and diplomat in France. He was the third child of Frederick II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Margaret Palaeologina.
Born in Mantua, at the age 10 he was sent to Paris to inherit the assets left by his grandmother, Anne d'Alençon, widow of Marquess William IX of Montferrat. He entered Henry II of France's army and fought in the battle of St. Quentin (1557), where he was taken prisoner by the Spanish.
On 4 March 1565 he married Henriette of Cleves, heiress to the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel (titles which Louis carried thenceforth), and granddaughter of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme through her mother Marguerite of Bourbon-La Marche. Their son Charles became duke of Mantua in 1627, establishing the Gonzaga-Nevers line.
Louis died at Nesle in 1595.
He is considered by many historians as one of the courtiers most responsible for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572. In conspiracy theories, such as the one promoted in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Louis been alleged to be the fifteenth Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.
He and his wife, Henriette of Cleves, had five children:
- Catherine Gonzaga (21 January 1568 – 1 December 1629). Married Henry I, Duke of Longueville.
- Maria Henrietta Gonzaga (3 September 1571 – 3 August 1614). Married Henry of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne.
- Frederick Gonzaga (11 March 1573 – 22 April 1574).
- Francis Gonzaga (17 September 1576 – 13 June 1580).
- Charles I, Duke of Mantua (6 May 1580 – 20 September 1637).
- Holt 2002, p. 20.
- Holt, Mack P. (2002). The Duke of Anjou and the Politique Struggle During the Wars of Religion. Cambridge University Press.
- Marek, Miroslav. "A listing of descendants of Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua". Genealogy.EU.