Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor

Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor - Holy Roman Emperor, Timeline and Childhood

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Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's Personal Details

Francis I served as the Holy Roman Emperor and Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1740s until his death in 1765

InformationDetail
BirthdayDecember 8, 1708
Died onAugust 18, 1765
NationalityGerman
FamousHistorical Personalities, Emperors & Kings, Emperors, Holy Roman Emperor, Kings
SpousesMaria Theresa
ChildrensMarie Antoinette
Birth PlaceNancy
ReligionCatholicism
GenderMale
FatherLeopold, Duke of Lorraine
Sun SignSagittarius
Born inNancy
Famous asHoly Roman Emperor
Died at Age56

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Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's photo

Who is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor?

Francis I was the Holy Roman Emperor who along with his wife founded the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. Born to Leopold Joseph, Duke of Lorraine, Francis became the oldest surviving son of his father after the death of his brother Leopold Clement. As such, in 1729, he succeeded his father as the Duke of Lorraine. Family relations with Emperor Charles VI led to an alliance between Francis and Maria Theresa. Under the alliance, Francis was to marry Maria Theresa. He had to give up on his dukedom of Lorraine and instead was to be made Grand Duke of Tuscany. From 1737 until his death in 1765, he served as the Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1740, he became the Archduke of Austria and in 1745 was appointed as the Holy Roman Emperor. Despite being in powerful position, Francis rarely executed the powers he had, which was mostly used by his wife—the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions

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Childhood & Early Life

Francis was born on December 8, 1708 to Leopold Joseph, Duke of Lorraine, and Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans in Ducal Palace of Nancy. He was the oldest surviving son of the couple.

Francis grandparents were connected to the Habsburg- his grandmother being the daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III. Later on, the family won the favour of Emperor Charles VI as well.

Accession & Reign

Following the death of his elder brother, Francis was taken up as the future son-in-law for Emperor Charles who had wished to marry his daughter Maria Theresa to late Leopold Clement.

Francis was raised in Vienna along with Maria Theresa. In 1729, he succeeded his father as the Duke of Lorraine. Two years later, he was initiated into the freemasonry. Subsequently, he was made Master Mason.

In 1732, he agreed to serve as the Lord Lieutenant of Hungary for Francis. For the same, he moved to Pressburg. Following year, War of the Polish Succession broke out.

In 1735, the Treaty of the Vienna was signed which finally put an end to the War of the Polish Succession. Under the treaty, Emperor Charles VI agreed to the marriage between Francis and Maria only if Francis gave up Lorraine to Stanislaw Leszczyński. In return, Francis was to succeed as the Grand Duke of Tuscany.

In 1737, following the death of the last Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, Gian Gastone, Francis succeeded as the Grand Duke of Tuscany. With this succession, peace was finally attained. The Spanish troops were replaced by Austrians in the Tuscany borders.

After being appointed as the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Francis left for Hungary to fight against the Turks in June 1737. In 1738, he along with his wife, Maria Theresa travelled south to Florence.

Following the death of Emperor Charles VI in October 1740, Maria Theresa succeeded her father as the female rule of the Habsburg dominion. Almost immediately, she appointed Francis as her co-regent. The new position gave Francis equal powers as his wife.

As the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominion, Maria Theresa’s rule was challenged by Saxony, Prussia, France and Bavaria. When Prussia invaded the affluent province of Silesia in Habsburg, it led to the War of the Austrian Succession, a conflict which continued for nine-years. Though Francis was eager to defend her inheritance and lead the Austrian army, Maria repudiated.

During the War of Austrian Succession, Francis was appointed as the Holy Roman Emperor, after the death of Charles VII.

Francis, though shared equal power with Maria, played an inconsequential role in the working of the government. He, in fact, was content playing second fiddle to his wife. However, blessed with business acumen and natural instincts, he was of immense help and assisted Maria in the governing of the complicated Austrian dominions.

Though Francis as not active politically, he did manage the economic condition of the dominion and played an active role in the financial affairs. It was under his leadership that despite being heavily indebted and on the verge of bankruptcy, the Austrian Empire was in a better off position than France or England during the 1780s.

Personal Life & Legacy

Emperor Charles intended to get his daughter married to Leopold Clement, Francis’ elder brother. However, due to the untimely death of Clement, Francis was agreed upon as the future son-in-law after much consideration.

Francis marriage to Maria Theresa was more of a formal agreement between the two. They tied the nuptials at the Augustinian Church on February 12, 1736 followed by a grand wedding on February 14, 1736.

Francis and Maria were blessed with sixteen children, including the Queen of France, the Queen of Naples and Sicily, the Duchess of Parma and two Holy Roman Emperors, Joseph II and Leopold II.

Francis was a womanizer and was popular for his philandering activities. The most notable affair was with Maria Wilhelmina, Princess of Auersperg. She was thirty years younger to him.

Francis died an untimely sudden death on August 18, 1765 while returning from the opera at Innsbruck in his carriage. He was buried in tomb number 55 in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. His wife, Maria Theresa was devastated by his death.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Joseph as the Holy Roman Emperor.

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Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor biography timelines

  • // 8th Dec 1708
    Francis was born on December 8, 1708 to Leopold Joseph, Duke of Lorraine, and Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans in Ducal Palace of Nancy. He was the oldest surviving son of the couple.
  • // 1729
    Francis was raised in Vienna along with Maria Theresa. In 1729, he succeeded his father as the Duke of Lorraine. Two years later, he was initiated into the freemasonry. Subsequently, he was made Master Mason.
  • // 1732
    In 1732, he agreed to serve as the Lord Lieutenant of Hungary for Francis. For the same, he moved to Pressburg. Following year, War of the Polish Succession broke out.
  • // 1735
    In 1735, the Treaty of the Vienna was signed which finally put an end to the War of the Polish Succession. Under the treaty, Emperor Charles VI agreed to the marriage between Francis and Maria only if Francis gave up Lorraine to Stanislaw Leszczyński. In return, Francis was to succeed as the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
  • // 14th Feb 1736
    Francis marriage to Maria Theresa was more of a formal agreement between the two. They tied the nuptials at the Augustinian Church on February 12, 1736 followed by a grand wedding on February 14, 1736.
  • // 1737
    In 1737, following the death of the last Medici Grand Duke of Tuscany, Gian Gastone, Francis succeeded as the Grand Duke of Tuscany. With this succession, peace was finally attained. The Spanish troops were replaced by Austrians in the Tuscany borders.
  • // Jun 1737 To 1738
    After being appointed as the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Francis left for Hungary to fight against the Turks in June 1737. In 1738, he along with his wife, Maria Theresa travelled south to Florence.
  • // Oct 1740
    Following the death of Emperor Charles VI in October 1740, Maria Theresa succeeded her father as the female rule of the Habsburg dominion. Almost immediately, she appointed Francis as her co-regent. The new position gave Francis equal powers as his wife.
  • // 18th Aug 1765
    Francis died an untimely sudden death on August 18, 1765 while returning from the opera at Innsbruck in his carriage. He was buried in tomb number 55 in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna. His wife, Maria Theresa was devastated by his death.

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Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's FAQ

  • What is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor birthday?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor was born at 1708-12-08

  • When was Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor died?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor was died at 1765-08-18

  • Where was Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor died?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor was died in Innsbruck

  • Which age was Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor died?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor was died at age 56

  • Where is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's birth place?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor was born in Nancy

  • What is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor nationalities?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's nationalities is German

  • Who is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor spouses?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's spouses is Maria Theresa

  • Who is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor childrens?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's childrens is Marie Antoinette

  • What is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's religion?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's religion is Catholicism

  • Who is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's father?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's father is Leopold, Duke of Lorraine

  • What is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor's sun sign?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor is Sagittarius

  • How famous is Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor?

    Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor is famouse as Holy Roman Emperor