Archduchess Margaret of Austria

Archduchess Margaret of Austria

Infobox Austrian Royalty|archduchess
name =Archduchess Margaret of Austria
title =Princess of Asturias
Duchess consort of Savoy

caption =Portrait of Margaret of Austria, dressed as a widow, by Bernard van Orley
spouse =Juan, Prince of Asturias
Philibert II, Duke of Savoy
royal house =House of Savoy
House of Trastámara
House of Habsburg
father =Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
mother =Mary, Duchess of Burgundy
date of birth =Birth date|1480|1|10|df=yes
place of birth =
date of death =death date and age|1530|12|1|1480|1|10
place of death =
place of burial =

The Archduchess Margaret (Margaretha) of Austria (10 January 1480 – 1 December 1530) was a Habsburg princess, the daughter of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Mary of Burgundy.

Early life

In 1483, she was betrothed to the Dauphin of France, later King Charles VIII of France, bringing with her a dowry of Franche-Comté and Artois, and was transferred to the guardianship of King Louis XI of France (see Treaty of Arras (1482)). After Charles renounced the treaty and married Anne, Duchess of Brittany, Margaret was returned to her father in 1493.


First Marriage

In 1497, she was married to Juan, Prince of Asturias, Infante of Spain (1478–1497), the son and heir of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile. The marriage was part of a double alliance, also including her brother Philip the Handsome marrying Infanta Joan. Juan of Asturias died after only six months. Juan left her pregnant, but she gave birth to a stillborn child. She returned to the Netherlands early in 1500.

econd Marriage

In 1501, she married Philibert II, Duke of Savoy (1480–1504), who died three years later. This marriage had been childless as well. After his death, she vowed never to marry again. Her court historian and poet Jean Lemaire de Belges gave her the title "Dame de deuil" (Lady of Mourning) [Gonkdo, Michal (2006). Dame de Deuil. Musical Offerings for Marguerite of Austria (1480-1530), 3. CD Booklet KTC 4011] .

Political Role

She was appointed for the first time as governor of the Habsburg Netherlands (1507–1515) and guardian of her young nephew Charles (the future Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor).Margaret acted as intermediary between her father and his subjects in the Netherlands, negotiated a treaty of commerce with England favorable to the Flemish cloth interests, and played a role in the formation of the League of Cambrai (1508).After his majority in 1515, Charles rebelled against her influence, but he soon recognized her as one of his wisest advisers, and she was again governor of the Netherlands (1519–30) intermittently until her death. In 1529, together with Louise of Savoy, she negotiated the Treaty of Cambrai, the so-called "Ladies' Peace".

Her reign was a period of relative peace and prosperity for the Netherlands, although the Protestant Reformation started to take root, especially in the northern Netherlands. The first Protestant martyrs were burnt at the stake in 1524 and 1525. She had some difficulty in keeping Duke Charles of Guelders under control. She could make him sign the Treaty of Gorinchem in 1528, but the problem was not finally dealt with during her reign.

Patroness of the Arts

Margaret had received a fine education. She played serval instruments, was well read and wrote poetry. Her court at Mechelen was visited by the great humanists of her time, including Erasmus [Triest, Monica (2000). "Macht, vrouwen en politiek 1477-1558. Maria van Bourgondië, Margaretha van Oostenrijk, Maria van Hongarije". Leuven, Van Halewijck.] . She possessed a rich library, consisting mostly of missals, historical and ethical treatises (among which the works of Christine de Pizan) and poetry. It included the famous illuminated Très Riches Heures du duc de Berry [Schreurs, Eugeen; Vendrix; Philippe (2005). "The sweet melancholy of Margaret", translated by Celia Skrine, 11. CD Booklet MEW 0525. ] . She ordered several splendid music manuscripts from Pierre Alamire [Kellman, Herbert (ed.) (1999). The Treasury of Petrus Alamire. Music and Art in Flemish Court Manustricpts 1500-1535. Leuven, Die Keure.] to send them as gifts to members and her family and to her political relations, and possessed several "Chansonniers" herself [Schreurs, Eugeen (1998). "Margarete – Maximilian I", translated by Stratton Bull, 14. CD Booklet ORF CD 265. ] . They contained works by Josquin Desprez, Johannes Ockeghem, Jacob Obrecht and Pierre de la Rue, who was her favourite composer.


She died at Mechelen, between Antwerp and Brussels, her main place of residence in the Netherlands, after appointing her nephew, Charles V, as her universal and sole heir. She is buried at Bourg-en-Bresse, [department of l'Ain, Rhone-Alpes] in the magnificent mausoleum that she ordered for her second husband (Philibert) and her.There is a statue of her next to the cathedral of Mechelen.


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1= 1. Margaret of Habsburg
2= 2. Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
3= 3. Mary of Burgundy
4= 4. Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
5= 5. Eleanor of Portugal
6= 6. Charles I, Duke of Burgundy
7= 7. Isabella of Bourbon
8= 8. Ernest, Duke of Austria
9= 9. Cymburgis of Masovia
10= 10. Edward of Portugal
11= 11. Leonor of Aragon
12= 12. Philip III, Duke of Burgundy
13= 13. Isabel of Portugal
14= 14. Charles I, Duke of Bourbon
15= 15. Agnes of Burgundy
16= 16. Leopold III, Duke of Austria
17= 17. Viridis Visconti
18= 18. Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia
19= 19. Alexandra of Lithuania
20= 20. John I of Portugal
21= 21. Philippa of Lancaster
22= 22. Ferdinand I of Aragon
23= 23. Eleanor of Alburquerque
24= 24. John II, Duke of Burgundy
25= 25. Margaret of Bavaria
26= 26. John I of Portugal (= 20)
27= 27. Philippa of Lancaster (= 21)
28= 28. John I, Duke of Bourbon
29= 29. Marie, Duchess of Auvergne
30= 30. John II, Duke of Burgundy (= 24)
31= 31. Margaret of Bavaria (= 25)



*"Margarete - Maximilian I. Musik um 1500," Capilla Flamenca with La Caccia, Schola Cantorum Cantate Domino Aalst, Schola Gregoriana Lovaniensis, 1998, ORF Shop CD 265 (2 CDs).
*"Dulcis Melancholia, Biographie musicale de Marguerite d'Autriche," Capilla Flamenca, 2005 (MEW 0525).
*"Dame de Deuil. Musical Offerings for Marguerite of Austria," La Morra, 2005 (KTC 4011).


Commonscat|Margaret of Austria

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