Leopold, Duke of Lorraine

duke of Lorraine, Bar and of Teschen

Léopold, I Duke of Lorraine (11 September 1679 – 27 March 1729) nicknamed the Good, was the ruling Duke of Lorraine and Bar from 1690 to his death. He was named in honour of his uncle Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I. He was also responsible for the creation of the Château de Lunéville which was used as the ducal residence during his lifetime.

Léopold I
Duke of Lorraine, Bar and of Teschen
Born(1679-09-11)11 September 1679
Palace of Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria
Died27 March 1729(1729-03-27) (aged 49)
Château de Lunéville, Lorraine, France
Église Saint-François-des-Cordeliers, Nancy, France
SpouseÉlisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans
IssueLouis, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine
Léopold Clément, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
Elisabeth Therese, Queen of Sardinia
Charles Alexander of Lorraine
Anne Charlotte, Abbess of Essen
Full name
Léopold Joseph Louis de Lorraine
HouseHouse of Lorraine
FatherCharles V, Duke of Lorraine
MotherEleanor of Austria
SignatureLéopold I's signature

The eldest son of Eleanor of Austria and Charles V of Lorraine, He was from a long established House of Lorraine which had ruled over the small sovereign Duchy of Lorraine since 1473.

Life as duke


He was in exile and Lorraine was occupied by France until 30 October 1697, when it was returned to Leopold; it was again occupied by France from 1702 to 1714, although the duke remained in place. Following Leopold's death, his wife would act as regenbt for their son Francis until he gained his majority.



Leopold married Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans, a niece of Louis XIV of France. The match was designed to improve relations between Lorraine and its larger and more powerful neighbour. (Lorraine having been for many years in the possession of France) Leopold and Élisabeth Charlotte was finally married on 13 October 1698 at the Palace of Fontainebleau, Élisabeth Charlotte was given a large dowry. The couple eventually had 14 children in total, even though Leopold would often see his mistress the wife of Marc de Beauvau known as the "Princess of Craon".

The family of Léopold I of Lorraine in circa 1710 attributed to Jacques Van Schuppen.
  1. Léopold, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine (26 August 1699 – 2 April 1700) died in infancy.
  2. Princess Élisabeth Charlotte of Lorraine (21 October 1700 – 4 May 1711) died of smallpox.
  3. Princess Louise Christine of Lorraine (13 November 1701 – 18 November 1701) died in infancy.
  4. Princess Marie Gabrièle Charlotte of Lorraine (30 December 1702 – 11 May 1711) died of smallpox.
  5. Louis, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine (28 January 1704 – 10 May 1711) died of smallpox.
  6. Princess Joséphine Gabrièle of Lorraine (16 February 1705 – 25 March 1708) died in infancy.
  7. Princess Gabrièle Louise of Lorraine (4 March 1706 – 13 June 1710) died in infancy.
  8. Léopold Clément, Hereditary Prince of Lorraine (25 April 1707 – 4 June 1723) died unmarried.
  9. Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor (8 December 1708 – 18 August 1765) married Maria Theresa of Austria and had issue.
  10. Eléonore of Lorraine (4 June 1710 – 28 July 1710) died in infancy.
  11. Princess Elisabeth Therese of Lorraine (15 October 1711 – 3 July 1741) married King Charles Emmanuel III of Sardinia and had issue.
  12. Prince Charles Alexandre of Lorraine (12 December 1712 – 4 July 1780) married Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria and had issue.
  13. Princess Anne Charlotte of Lorraine (17 May 1714 - 7 November 1773) died unmarried.
  14. Stillborn daughter (28 November 1718).

Later life


Having worked hard to restore the duchy throughout his reign as a result of it being destroyed by the various wars throughout Leopold's life.

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.