Ferrante II Gonzaga

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Ferrante II Gonzaga

Ferrante II Gonzaga (* 1563 ; † August 5, 1630 in Guastalla ) was a count and since 1621 Duke of Guastalla . He also served the Spanish and Austrian Habsburgs. He was one of the pretenders to the Duchy of Mantua during the War of Mantuan Succession .


He was the son of Cesare I Gonzaga , Count of Guastalla and Duke of Amalfi . He himself entered government at the age of sixteen. In addition to the fiefs in imperial Italy , this also included the family's possessions in southern Italy. Not least for financial reasons, he took positions at the imperial court in Vienna.

Ferrante II had been married to Vittoria Doria (1569–1618), a daughter of Giovanni Andrea Doria , since 1585 , with whom he had three children:

The marriage further developed the relationship between the two families. A year after the marriage he was a member of the retinue of Maria of Spain , the widow of Emperor Maximilian II , when she returned to Spain.

He made numerous trips to the southern Italian fiefdoms of his line, demonstrating that he regarded them as part of his rule. He was present in Ferrara in 1598 when Pope Clement VIII was the marriage of Philip III. of Spain concluded with Margaret of Austria . Afterwards he belonged to the court of the now queen. He accompanied her on the trip to Spain. There he was accepted into the Order of the Golden Fleece . In 1605, the king commissioned him to deliver the regalia to the dukes of Modena and Mirandola. In his domain he contributed to the beautification of the appearance of Guastalla. From 1624 he was the Imperial General Commissioner or Plenitotentiary for Imperial Italy.

On July 2, 1621, his county of Guastalla was elevated to a duchy by the emperor. Ferrante laid claim to the inheritance after the death of the Duke of Mantua Francesco IV Gonzaga , like Carlo I Gonzaga . While his rival was supported by France during the War of the Mantuari Succession , Ferrante II received support from Spain and from Emperor Ferdinand II. He could not achieve his goal and after his death it was agreed in the Peace of Cherasco that his inheritance should replace Reggiolo and Luzzara should receive.

Ferrante II died of the plague that peaked in northern Italy in 1630.


  • Eugenio Bartoli: "To be like a Freiburg from Italy". The Duchy of Guastalla between the two Habsburg souls. In: Zeitblicke. 6, No. 1, 2007, [10. May 2007] Online version .

Individual evidence

  1. Florian Runschke: The General Commissariat in Italy from 1624-1632. Mission, work and acceptance of the first two incumbents . In: Sources and research from Italian archives and libraries 99, 2019, p. 214 ( online ).
  2. ^ Gernot Peter Obersteiner: Das Reichshoffiskalat 1596 to 1806. Building blocks for its history from Vienna archives. In: Anette Baumann, Peter Oestmann , Stephan Wendehorst, Siegrid Westphal (eds.): Reichspersonal. Officials for emperor and empire (= sources and research on the highest jurisdiction in the old empire. 46). Böhlau, Cologne et al. 2003, ISBN 3-412-18303-2 , pp. 89–164, here p. 138.
predecessor Office successor
Cesare I. Count of Guastalla
from 1621 Duke

Cesare II