Francesco III d'Este


Francesco III d'Este

Francesco III d'Este (2 July 1698 - 22 February 1780) was Duke of Modena and Reggio from 1737 until his death. He was the son of Rinaldo III, Duke of Modena, and Charlotte Felicity of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

Francesco was born in Modena. During is reign, the duchy exhausted by the Wars of Spanish, Polish and Austria Successions, Francesco was forced to sell the most precious works of the Estense Gallery. He was a careful administrator, although much of the policy was in the hands of the Austrian plenipotentiary Beltrame Cristiani.

Among his measures, the urban renovation of Modena and the construction of the Via Vandelli, connecting the city to Tuscany.

He died in 1780 in his villa at Varese. His son Ercole III d'Este succeeded him.

Family and children

In 1721, he married Charlotte Aglaé of Orléans (1700–1761), a daughter of Philippe II, Duke of Orléans, and had nine children;

*Alphonso (1723-1725)
*Francesco Costantino (1724-1725)
*Maria Teresa (1726-1754)
**Married to Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duc de Penthièvre (1725-1793), who was the founder of the "House of Bourbon-Penthièvre", and had issue;
*Ercole Rinaldo (1727-1803)
*Mathilde (1729-1803)
*Beatrice (1731-1736)
*Maria Fortunata (1734-1803)
**Married to Louis François II de Bourbon, prince de Conti (1734-1814);
*Benedetto Filippo (1736-1751)
*Maria Elisabetta (1741-1774)

After his first wife's death, he remarried twice more morganatically to Teresa Castelberco and Renata Teresa d'Harrach.


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