Leopold of Lorraine,
surnamed The Good (11 September, 1679 – 27 March, 1729),
was Duke of Lorraine and Bar from 1690 to
Lepold Joseph Charles Dominique Agapet Hyacinthe was as the son of
Charles V of Lorraine, and his wife Eleonora Maria Josefa of
, a half sister of Leopold I, Holy Roman
At the time of Leopold's birth, Lorraine and Bar had been occupied
by Louis XIV of France
his parents to move into exile to Austria, where they lived under
the protection of the Emperor. Therefore, Leopold was born in the palace of
Innsbruck and received his first name in honour of the
Lepold grew up in Innsbruck, while his father would
be engaged in defending Vienna against the Turks.
In 1690, his father died and eleven-year-old Leopold inherited the
still occupied Duchies. His mother, trying to fulfil her husband's
last wishes of returning her children to their patrimony, she
appealed to the Reichstag in Regensburg to restore her son to
Lorraine. Lepold was sent to Vienna to receive a
military education under the supervision of the Emperor.
Vienna, he grew up with his cousins, the Archdukes Joseph
, both future
Emperors. Leopold was also created a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece
father before him, he entered the Imperial Army and, aged eighteen,
took part in the Siege of Timişoara in 1694. Three years later, he received the command of
the Army of the Rhine.
Duke of Lorraine
In 1697, the Nine Years' War
that year with to the signing of the Treaty of Ryswick
on 30 October
The treaty restored the Duchies of Lorraine and Bar to the House of Lorraine
, much to the joy of
Leopold's mother, who however died four days later in Vienna.
August, 1698, Duke Lepold made an triumphant entry into his capital
He reconstructed and repopulated his
war-stricken duchy, encouraging immigration. At the end of his
reign the duchy was safe and prosperous.
Leopold's wife, Elisabeth Charlotte of Orléans.
In his foreign policy, Leopold tried to further good relations with
France and to appease his powerful neighbour. On 13 October 1698 at
the Palace of
Fontainebleau, Leopold married Elisabeth Charlotte of
Orleans, the niece of Louis XIV, who had offered a dowry of
900,000 Livres to the penniless
Elisabeth Charlotte turned out to be a caring mother
and gave birth to thirteen children, of which five survived into
adulthood. Three of them died within a week in May 1711
due to a Smallpox outbreak at the Château de
Lunéville, the country seat of the Dukes of
Despite Leopold's diplomatic attempts, his capital Nancy, was
occupied by foreign troops during the War of the Spanish Succession
(1700-1713). Fearing for his family, Leopold relocated the
court to the Château de Lunéville, which Leopold rebuilt the castle as the
"Versailles of Lorraine".
It was here that his first child
Leopold in 1700.
In 1703, the Duke introduced the Code Léopold
the government of the Duchy. He tried to install his eldest daughter,
Elisabeth Charlotte, as Abbess of Remiremont but failed due to the oppostion of Pope Clement XI.
Leopold's marital life was troubled in 1706, when he took
Anne-Marguerite de Lignéville, Princess of Beauvau-Craon as his
mistress, and enriched her family. Elisabeth Charlotte however,
following her mother's advice, remained silent.
Leopold and his wife visited Paris to attend the marriage of
Elisabeth Charlotte's sister Marie Louise
Elisabeth to the Duke of Berry, and were among the guest of the
lavish banquet at the Palais du Luxembourg.
During the visit, Leopold, as a
, received the
style of Royal Highness
Leopold bought the County of Ligny-en-Barrois from his cousin, Charles Henry of
During his reign a new security system was
put in place all around Lorraine.
Coin from the reign of Léopold,
The reverse of the coin, 1720
In 1721, Leopold arranged for his son and heir, Leopold Clement, to
receive an education at Vienna. He also intended to forge relations
with Archduchess Maria
, the heiress of Emperor Charles VI. However, Leopold
Clement died shortly afterwards at Lunéville and in his stead, the
younger son Francis
went to Vienna, where he married Maria Theresa. Francis
would become Emperor and his descendants, the House of Habsburg-Lorraine
, would rule Austria
Lepold had claimed the Duchy of Montferrat as the closest relative of his cousin,
Charles IV Gonzaga, erstwhile Duke of Mantua, who had been deposed and then died without male
However, the Emperor had already promised Montferrat
to the Dukes of Savoy but wishing to compensated the House of
Lorraine, he gave the Duchy of
In 1725, Leopold tried to marry off his daughter Anne Charlotte
young King Louis XV, but Louis Henry, Duke of Bourbon
then prime minister, prevented a union with the a descendant of the
rivalling House of Orléans
Then, Elisabeth Charlotte tried to arrange her daughter's marriage
to her first cousin, the recently widowed Louis, Duke of
, but Louis refused. All proposals of marriage being
either ignored or declined, Anne Charlotte later became Abbess of
the monasteries Remiremont and Essen.
In March 1729, Leopold caught a fever while walking at the Château
at Ménil near Lunéville. He returned to Lunéville where he died on
27 March, aged 49.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and styles
- 11 September 1679 – 18 April 1690 His Highness Prince Léopold of Lorraine,
Hereditary Prince of Lorraine
- 18 April 1690 - 1718 His Highness the Duke of Lorraine
- 18 April 1690 – 30 October 1697 Titular Duke
of Lorraine and Bar
- 1718 - 27 March 1729 His Royal Highness the Duke of Lorraine