09.07.

1737: Death of the Last Male Medici

1737: Death of the Last Male Medici
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 9 July 1737
  • Gian Gastone Medici succeeded the Tuscan throne at the age of 53. Since he had no descendants, the question of who will inherit his grand duchy of Tuscany arose.

On this day, in 1737, Gian Gastone Medici, the last male descendant of the famous Medici dynasty died.

This dynasty ruled Firenze since the late Middle Ages, and was once one of the most powerful banking families in the world. The Medici bore the title of grand dukes of Tuscany (Italian: Granduca di Toscana) back from 1569. Gian Gastone Medici was the last Grand Duke of Tuscany from the Medici family.

Gian Gastone Medici married the German princess Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg when he was 26. It is very interesting that the two of them lived in the Czech Republic for a while, staying in her chateaus of Ploskovice and Zákupy (German: Reichstadt, after which Napoleon’s son later received the title of Duke of Reichstadt).

While he was living with his wife in Czech, Gian Gastone Medici had not yet succeeded the Tuscan throne. It seems that he did not handle life in the Czech lands well because he repeatedly tried to leave. In general, he and his wife had a troublesome marriage and were childless.

Gian Gastone Medici succeeded the Tuscan throne at the age of 53. Since he had no descendants, the question of who will inherit his grand duchy of Tuscany arose. Great European powers have decided to grant Tuscany to the family of Lorraine.

The Duke Francis of Lorraine succeeded to the title Grand Duke of Tuscany after the death of Gian Gastone on this day in 1737. Interestingly, Francis Stephen married the famous Maria Theresa, heiress to Habsburg lands (at that time her father was still alive) only a year before. She, thus, became the Grand Duchess of Tuscany and was later inherited by her younger son Leopold.

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