Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercoeur

Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercoeur

Philippe Emmanuel of Lorraine-Mercoeur, Duke of Mercoeur (September 9, 1558, Nancy – February 19, 1602, Nürnberg), the eldest surviving son of Nicholas, Duke of Mercoeur and Jeanne de Savoie-Nemours, was a French soldier and prominent member of the Catholic League.

He was made a knight of the Order of Saint Esprit in 1578, and married Marie de Luxembourg (1562–1623), Duchesse de Penthièvre, on July 12, 1579 in Paris.

In 1582 he was made governor of Brittany by Henry III of France, who had married his half-sister. Mercoeur put himself at the head of the League in Brittany, and had himself proclaimed protector of the Roman Catholic Church in the province in 1588. Invoking the hereditary rights of his wife, who was a descendant of the dukes of Brittany, he endeavoured to make himself independent in that province, and organized a government at Nantes, calling his son "prince and duke of Brittany". With the aid of the Spaniards he defeated the duc de Montpensier, whom Henry IV of France had sent against him, at Craon in 1592, but the royal troops, reinforced by English contingents, soon recovered the advantage. The king marched against Mercoeur in person, and received his submission at Angers on March 20, 1598. Mercoeur subsequently went to Hungary, where he entered the service of the emperor Rudolph II, and fought against the Turks, taking Székesfehérvár in 1599.

He had two children with Marie:
# Philippe Louis de Lorraine (May 21, 1589 – December 21, 1590)
# Françoise de Lorraine, Duchesse de Mercoeur et de Penthièvre (November 1592 – September 8, 1669, Paris), married at Fontainebleau on July 16, 1608 César de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme.



Recent bibliography

St François de Sales. "Oraison funèbre de Philippe-Emmanuel de Lorraine, duc de Mercoeur et de Penthièvre". Introduction de Pierre-Olivier Combelles. Editions Saint-Rémi (Cadillac), 2006. []

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