Leopold, Duke of Lorraine

Leopold, Duke of Lorraine

:"See Leopold Joseph for similarly named royalty"

Leopold Joseph called "le bon (the good"), (Innsbruck, September 11 1679 – Lunéville , March 27 1729), was Duke of Lorraine from 1690 to his death.

Before 1697 and from 1702 to 1714, his duchy was occupied by France. He was the son of Charles V, Duke of Lorraine, exiled in the Austrian court, and Eleonora Maria Josefa, Archduchess of Austria (1653-1697), daughter of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor and widow of Michael I of Poland.

Upon the death of his father in 1690, he is sent to Vienna for a military education.He is engaged in the siege of Temesvar and is involved on the Rhine in the finishing stages of the War of the Grand Alliance.

Leopold recovered Lorraine in 1697, lost by his father to Louis XIV of France, under the dispositions of the Treaty of Ryswick, which returned Lorraine and the Duchy of Bar to the ducal family.

He entered Nancy on August 17 1698 and married a niece of Louis XIV on october 13. His whole reign was focused on neutrality and on not enraging his powerful neighbour. He reconstructed and repopulated his war-stricken duchy, encouraging immigration. At the end of his reign the duchy was safe and prosperous.

Under his reign, the castle of Lunéville was built. It was called the "Lorraine Versailles".


Marriage and children

On october 13 1698 at Fontainebleau he married Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans(1676 - 1744), daughter of Philippe I, Duke of Orléans, and of Elizabeth Charlotte, Princess Palatine.

They had 13 children :

* Léopold (26 Aug 1699 - 2 April 1700)
* Elisabeth Charlotte (21 Oct 1700 - 4 May 1711)
* Louise Christine (13 Nov 1701 - 18 Nov 1701)
* Marie Gabrièle Charlotte (30 Dec 1702 - 11 May 1711)
* Louis (28 Jan 1704 - 10 May 1711)
* Josepha Gabrièle (16 Feb 1705 - 25 Mar 1708)
* Gabrièle Louise (4 Mar 1706 - 13 June 1710)
* Léopold Clement Charles (25 April 1707 - 4 June 1723)
* Francis Stephen (8 Dec 1708 - 18 Aug 1765), his successor, married Maria Theresa of Austria and became Holy Roman Emperor.
* Eléonore (4 June 1710 - 28 July 1710)
* Elisabeth Therese (15 Oct 1711 - 3 July 1741), married in 1737 Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia.
* Charles Alexander Emmanuel (12 Dec 1712 - 4 July 1780), governor of the Austrian Netherlands and army commander.
* Anne Charlotte (1714 - 1773), abbesse at Essen.


In 1708, his cousin Charles IV, Duke of Mantua, was deposed by the emperor, and later died without legitimate heirs, and the House of Gonzaga went extinct in male line. The Lorraines represented an opinion that the Duchy of Montferrat, which was inheritable by females, belonged to them as Charles' next heir. The emperor, who had used Montferrat as a reward in his arrangements and ceded it to the Dukes of Savoy, finally compensated the Lorraines by granting them the Silesian duchy of Teschen.

ee also

* Dukes of Lorraine family tree

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