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Margaret of Austria

Margaret of Austria, 1480–1530, Hapsburg princess, regent of the Netherlands; daughter of Emperor Maximilian I. She was betrothed (1483) to the dauphin of France, later King Charles VIII, and was transferred to the guardianship of Louis XI of France (see Arras, Treaty of, 2). After Charles renounced the treaty and married Anne of Brittany, Margaret was returned (1493) to her father. She was married in 1497 to John of Spain (d. 1497), son of Ferdinand and Isabella, and in 1501 to Philibert of Savoy (d. 1504). Made (1507) regent of the Netherlands and guardian of her nephew Charles (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles V), 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; see Cambrai, League of). After his majority (1515), Charles rebelled against her influence, but soon recognized her as one of his wisest advisers. After 1517 she was again regent intermittently until her death. She negotiated the Ladies' Peace with Louise of Savoy (1529; see Cambrai, Treaty of).

See biography by J. de Iongh (tr. 1953).

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Margaret of Austria (1480–1530)

Margaret of Austria (14801530)

The daughter of Emperor Maximilian I and Mary of Burgundy, Margaret of Austria became known as a wise and just ruler of the Spanish Netherlands, then part of the Holy Roman Empire. She was born in Brussels and betrothed at the age of three to Prince Charles, later King Charles VIII. She moved to the royal court of France but returned to her family when Charles repudiated her and married Anne of Brittany. In 1497 she married Prince Juan of Asturias, the heir of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, but the marriage ended with Juan's death six months after the wedding ceremony. In 1501 she married Philibert II, the Duke of Savoy, who died in 1504. She became regent of the Netherlands in 1507, and played an important role in the troubled and rebellious lands that were under the nominal rule of her father, the emperor. A talented musician and composer, she welcomed many of Europe's leading musicians to her court. In 1529, representing her young nephew Charles V, she settled the Treaty of Cambrai with Louise Savoy, mother of Francis I. This Ladies' Peace confirmed Habsburg control of contested territory in northern Italy.

See Also: Charles V

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