Franz I Stephan of Lorraine
Duke of Lorraine (1729–1736); Grand Duke of Tuscany (from 1737); official co-ruler with his wife Maria Theresa in the Habsburg Monarchy (from 1740); Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (from 1745)

Born in Nancy on 8 December 1708
Died in Innsbruck on 18 August 1765

Franz Stephan married Maria Theresa in 1736, thus founding the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. In 1740, following the sudden death of Charles VI, he became co-regent of the Habsburg patrimonial lands. The title of Holy Roman Emperor passed to a Wittelsbach who died in1745, leaving Franz Stephan to be elected emperor as Franz I. Thanks to his financial expertise he left a huge personal fortune that was used to establish the Familienversorgungsfonds (‘family support fund’), which existed until 1919.

 

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