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Francesco Mochi, Ranuccio II Farnese (1615).

Ranuccio II Farnese (17 September 1630 — 11 December 1694) was the sixth Duke of Parma and Piacenza from 1646 until his death nearly 50 years later.

Biography

He was born the eldest son of Odoardo Farnese, fifth Duke of Parma, and Margherita de Medici. After his father's death, he spent two years under the regency of his uncle, Francesco Maria Farnese, and his mother.

Ranuccio II was married three times:

In Torino on 29 April 1660 Ranuccio married firstly Marguerite Yolande of Savoy (b. 15 November 1635 - d. 29 April 1663), a daughter of Victor Amadeus I, Duke of Savoy and Christine Marie of France. They had two children:

  • a daughter (b. and d. Parma, 14 December 1661).
  • a son (b. Parma, 27 April 1663 - d. Parma, 28 April 1663).

In Modena on 18 February 1664 Ranuccio married secondly Isabella d'Este of Modena (b. 3 October 1635 - d. 17 August 1666), a daughter of Francesco I d'Este and his cousin. They had three children:

  • Margherita Maria (b. Parma, 24 November 1664 - d. Colorno, 17 June 1718), married on 14 July 1695 to Francesco II d'Este, Duke of Modena.
  • Teresa (b. Parma, 10 October 1665 - d. Parma, 9 November 1702), Benedictine nun in Sant’ Alessandro Monastery of Parma (1678).
  • Oddoardo II (b. Colorno, 12 August 1666 - d. Parma, 6 September 1693), heir to the Duchy of Parma und Piacenza, but who died before his father.

In Modena on 1 October 1668 he married Maria d'Este of Modena, (b. 8 December 1644 - d. 20 August 1684), his second wife's sister. They had nine children:

  • Isabella Francesca Maria Lucia (b. Parma, 14 December 1668 - d. Piacenza, 9 July 1718), Benedictine nun in Santa Maria di Campagna Monastery of Piacenza.
  • Vittoria Maria Francesca (b. Parma, 24 December 1669 - d. Parma, 15 September 1671).
  • a son (b. Parma, 24 June 1671 - d. Parma, 28 June 1671).
  • Vittoria (b. and d. Parma, 19 November 1672).
  • Caterina (b. and d. Parma, 19 November 1672), twin of Vittoria.
  • a son (b. and d. Parma, 26 December 1674).
  • Eleonora (b, Parma, 1 September 1675 - d. Parma, 3 November 1675).
  • Francesco Maria (b. Parma, 19 May 1678 - d. Piacenza, 26 February 1727), his successor.
  • Antonio Francesco (b. Parma, 29 November 1679 - d. Parma, 20 January 1731), who succeeded his brother.
Ranuccio II Farnese.

Reign

During Odoardo's reign the declining Duchy had been involved in the Wars of Castro, connected to a Farnese fief in the Papal States, north of Rome, which the powerful Pope Urban VIII's family, the Barberini, was eager to acquire.

In 1649, Urban's successor, Innocent X, accused Ranuccio II of murdering Cardinal Cristoforo Giarda, who was on his way to the city of Castro (of which he had been named bishop) at the time of his death. In retaliation, forces loyal to the Pope besieged the Farnese city for two months, and then razed it to the ground. In August of that same year the Parmense troops had been crushed not far from Bologna, and Ranuccio remained with no means to gain back its fief, despite his attempts to buy it back through money.

In the last days of his reign, the Duchy suffered heavily from the presence of Imperial troops, who were fighting in the dispute between Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and France.

References

Ranuccio II Farnese, Duke of Parma
Born: 17 September 1630 Died: 11 December 1694
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Odoardo
Duke of Parma
1646 – 1694
Succeeded by
Francesco
Duke of Piacenza
1646 – 1694
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