Ugo d'Este

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Ugo d'Este, also known as Hugh Aldobrandino (1405 - Ferrara, May 21, 1425), was the son of Niccolò III d'Este and his lover Stella de' Tolomei.


His other brothers were Hugh Leonello (1407–1450) and Borso (1413–1471), both future rulers of Ferrara.

Although he was illegitimate, he was destined to succeed his father as Nicholò's eldest son, and spent a life of luxury and significant expenditure more than his younger siblings.[1]

Since his father had never married his mother, Ugo was first treated coldly by his young stepmother Parisina Malatesta,[2] who was almost his own age. Between Parisina and her husband whom she married in Ravenna in 1414, the age difference was indeed remarkable: nearly twenty years.

The Fatal Relationship[edit]

In 1424, during a trip in which his father ordered him to accompany his stepmother, the relationship with the girl emerged that went on even when the two returned to Ferrara. The places where they could meet undisturbed were the delizie di Belfiore, Fossadalbero e Quartesana.[3]

Other sources report a different meeting between the two: to escape the plague of 1423, they took refuge in the castello di Fossadalbero she was accompanied by her stepson, and there in the small castle their relationship was born.[4]


A maid reported the affair to Nicholò, who spied on the lovers and had them imprisoned in the castle where they were sentenced to death by decapitation.[5]

After Hugh's death, his younger brother Leonard d'Este, also a son of Stella, succeeded his father.[6]