Catherine of Cleves (fl. 1550s)

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Catherine of Cleves (fl. 1550s)

Duchess of Guise. Name variations: Catherine de Cleves. Flourished in the 1550s; married Henry I of Lorraine le Balafré, 3rd duke of Guise (r. 1550–1588); children: fourteen, including Charles of Lorraine (1554–1611), 4th duke of Guise; Claude, duke of Chevreuse (who married Marie de Rohan-Montbazon , duchesse de Chevreuse); Louis, 3rd cardinal of Guise (d. 1621).

One of three daughters of Nevers ("three princesses who cannot be lauded enough either for their beauty or their virtues," wrote St.Beuve), Catherine of Cleves had 14 children. Her husband, Henry of Lorraine, 3rd duke of Guise, fought against the Huguenots and took an active part in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. To Catherine of Cleves' long-held sorrow, he was assassinated by the Royal Guard at Blois in December 1588. Her brother-in-law, Louis, 2nd cardinal Guise, was assassinated the following day.