Nicholas, Duke of Mercoeur

Nicholas, Duke of Mercoeur

Nicholas of Lorraine-Mercoeur, Duke of Mercoeur (Bar-le-Duc, October 16, 1524 – January 23, 1577) was the second son of Antoine, Duke of Lorraine and Renée of Bourbon-Montpensier.

He was originally destined for an ecclesiastical career, being made bishop of Metz in 1543 and Verdun in 1544. In June 1545, he became joint "tutor and administrator" for his nephew, Charles III, Duke of Lorraine, with his sister-in-law Christina of Denmark. However, the Estates of Lorraine, in November 1545, removed him in favor of a sole regency by Christina. He opposed the pro-Imperial politics of Christina, and he took the title of Count of Vaudémont and resigned his bishoprics in 1548, in favor of his uncle John, Cardinal of Lorraine. After the seizure of the Three Bishoprics in 1552 by Henry II of France, he was re-appointed as sole regent for his nephew, a position he maintained until 1559.

In 1551, Nomeny was detached from the Bishopric of Metz and given to him, and he was created Marquis of Nomeny by Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor in 1567. In France, he was honored by the elevation of his mother's barony of Mercoeur to a principality in 1563 and a peerage duchy in 1569; he was also created a knight of the Order of Saint Esprit.

He married thrice. His first marriage was on May 1, 1549 in Brussels, to Marguerite d'Egmont (1517 – March 10, 1554, Bar-le-Duc), daughter of Jean III, Count of Egmont. By her he had one son and three daughters:
# Marguerite (b. February 9, 1550), d. young
# Catherine (b. February 26, 1551, Nomeny), d. young
# Henri (b. April 9, 1552, Nomeny) Count of Chaligny, d. young
# Louise (April 30, 1553, Nomeny – January 29, 1601, Château de Moulins), married on February 13, 1575, at Reims, Henry III of France

His second marriage was on February 24, 1555 at Fontainebleau, to Joanna of Savoy-Nemours (1532–1568), daughter of Philippe de Savoie, 1st Duc de Nemours. By this marriage he had four sons and two daughters:
# Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercoeur (1558–1602)
# Charles (April 20, 1561, Nomeny – October 29, 1587, Paris), Cardinal of Vaudémont, Bishop of Toul and Verdun
# Jean (b. September 14, 1563, Château de Deneuvre), d. young
# Marguerite (May 14, 1564, Nomeny – September 20, 1625), married on September 24, 1581 in Paris Annas, Duc de Joyeuse (1561–1587), married on May 31, 1599 François de Luxemburg, Duc de Piney (d. 1613)
# Claude (b. April 12, 1566, Nomeny), d. young
# François (September 15, 1567 – 1596, Châtel-sur-Moselle), Marquis of Chaussin

His third marriage was on May 11, 1569 at Reims, to Catherine Romula of Lorraine-Aumale (1550–1606), daughter of Claude, Duke of Aumale.By her he had three sons and two daughters:
# Antoine (August 27, 1572 – 1587, Mainz), Abbot of Beaulieu and Bishop of Toul
# Henri (July 31, 1570, Nancy – October 26, 1600, Vienna), Marquis of Mouy and Count of Chaligny, married on September 19, 1585 Claude de Mouy
# Christine (b. September 24, 1571, Château de Koeurs), d. young
# Louise (b. March 27, 1575, Nancy), d. young
# Eric (March 14, 1576 – April 27, 1623), Bishop of Verdun

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