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Francis IV of Modena with the Austrian Golden Fleece.

Francis IV Joseph Charles Ambrose Stanislaus (Italian: Francesco IV Giuseppe Carlo Ambrogio Stanislao d'Absburgo-Este; 6 October 1779 – 21 January 1846) was Duke of Modena, Reggio, and Mirandola (from 1815), Duke of Massa and Prince of Carrara (from 1829), Archduke of Austria-Este, Royal Prince of Hungary and Bohemia, Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He was a grandson of Maria Theresa of Austria, head of the House of Habsburg, and was heir to the Modena branch of the House of Este through his mother. He thus became the first member of the House of Habsburg-Este to rule the Este inheritance in Northern Italy.

Francis was born in Milan. His father was Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este, Duke of Breisgau, his mother Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este, Duchess of Massa and Princess of Carrara, Lady of Lunigiana.

Francis is distinguished for his bloody and tyrannic rule by which he repressed all the democratic movements appearing during his reign. The atrocities of the Ducal policies are illustrated in the book Ciro Menotti e i suoi compagni written by the Garibaldine officer Taddeo Gaddi in 1880, in particular the hanging of Menotti for an attempted insurrection against the Duke (1831).


In 1812 Francis married the Princess Maria Beatrice of Savoy, who was the daughter of King Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia and his sister Archduchess Maria Teresa of Austria-Este. The couple had four children:

See also

Francis IV, Duke of Modena
Cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Born: 6 October 1779 Died: 21 January 1846
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Archduke of Austria-Este
1806 – 1846
Succeeded by
Francis V
Preceded by
Ercole III, then Cispadane Republic
Duke of Modena
1814 – 1846


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