Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine

Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine
Charles IV
Duke of Lorraine
Spouse Nicolette of Lorraine
Béatrice de Cusance
Marie Louise d'Aspremont
Anne, Princess of Lillebonne
Charles Henri, Prince of Vaudémont
Full name
Charles de Lorraine[citation needed]
House House of Lorraine
Father Francis II, Duke of Lorraine
Mother Christina of Salm
Born 5 April 1604(1604-04-05)
Died 18 September 1675(1675-09-18) (aged 71)
Charles IV

Charles IV (April 5, 1604, Nancy – September 18, 1675) was Duke of Lorraine from 1624 to 1634, when he abdicated under French pressure in favor of his younger brother, and again from 1661 until 1675.



He came to lose his duchy because of his notionally anti-French policy for in 1633, French troops invaded Lorraine in retaliation for Charles's support of Gaston d'Orléans-—who repeatedly plotted against Richelieu's governance of France under the childless Louis XIII and treated dangerously with its enemies as a young heir apparent—-and Richelieu's policies were always anti-Habsburg so as to increase the strength and prestige of France at the expense of the two dynasties. Gaston d'Orléans, frequently sided with either branch of the Habsburg family against Richelieu, who was de facto ruler of France as its Chief Minister, and had to flee several times to avoid charges and trial for treason. His allies and confederates generally bore the price of these escapades by the young and impetuous heir and Charles IV was one such.

Beatriz Cusance.jpg

In that circumstance and sense, Charles was a casualty of the fierce factional infighting in the French court between the King's brother Gaston d'Orléans, and Cardinal Richelieu, even though technically, Lorraine was subject to the Holy Roman Empire and the Emperor Ferdinand II of Austria. Forced to make humiliating concessions to France, he abdicated under the French pressure and invasion in 1634 in favor of his brother and entered the imperial service in the Thirty Years' War.

In 1651 Charles IV was approached by an Irish delegation who were seeking his support to defend Ireland from the invasion of the Parliamentarian army of England. Traditional accounts of the Cromwellian wars often dismiss the appeal to Lorraine as an act of desperation, but recently one historian has argued that the stateless Duke was in fact seriously interested in becoming the Protector of Ireland.[1] In the summer of 1652, a number of ships sent by Charles arrived at Inishbofin island with supplies, one of the last strongholds of the Irish. Unfortunately Charles faced great opposition by the Irish Leaders Clanricarde and Ormonde, both of whom were arch-royalists loyal to Charles II of England. Lorraine eventually concluded that Ireland had been destroyed by the jealousy of those who desired the loss of it, than they should be obliged for its recovery to the protection of his said Highness.

In 1670, the duchy was again occupied by the French under King Louis XIV. He served in the Imperial armies in both the Thirty Years' War and the Franco-Dutch War (1672–1678), both of which added to the power of France.

In 1675 he defeated François de Créquy at Konzer Brucke, and died the same year in Austrian service.
The duchy was not restored to his family until more than twenty years later.

He is sometimes numbered as Charles III of Lorraine.


Charles' only surviving son Charles Henri.

Charles married first Nicolette of Lorraine, whom he deposed and replaced as monarch of Lorraine in 1625. He later married Béatrice de Cusance secretly and had three children;

  • Francis de Lorraine (1637 † 1638);
  • Anne de Lorraine [1] (1639 † 1720), married her cousin François Marie de Lorraine (1624 † 1694), Prince of Lillebonne in 1660,had issue;
  • Charles Henri de Lorraine[2] (1649 † 1723), Prince of Vaudémont and of Commercy.

See also


  1. ^ O Siochru, Micheal God's Executioner, p. 162


Preceded by
Duke of Lorraine
Succeeded by
Nicholas II
Preceded by
Nicholas II
Duke of Lorraine
Succeeded by
Charles V

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