About Henriette de Clèves
Henriette of Cleves
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Henriette of Cleves, Duchess of Nevers and Duchess of Rethel (31 October 1542- 24 June 1601), was a French noblewoman and heiress of the Cleves-Nevers family. She is also known as Henriette de La Marck. She became the 4th Duchess of Nevers suo jureand the Countess of Rethel suo jure, upon the childless death of her brother James of Cleves, Duke of Nevers, Count of Rethel in 1564. She was the wife of Louis I Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers, 1st Duke of Rethel, Prince of Mantua. Following her marriage she became the Duchess of Rethel and Princess of Mantua. Henriette's portrait was painted, on an unknown date, by the renowned French Renaissance artist, Francois Clouet.
Henriette was born in La Chapelle-d'Angillon, in the department of Cher, France, the eldest daughter and second child of Francis I of Cleves, 1st Duke of Nevers, Count of Rethel, and Marguerite of Bourbon-La Marche. The Dauphin Henry (the future King Henri II of France) acted as godfather at her baptism.
Her paternal grandparents were Charles II of Cleves, Count of Nevers and Marie of Albret, Countess of Rethel. Her maternal grandparents were Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendome and Françoise of Alençon. She had three brothers, Francis II of Cleves, 2nd Duke of Nevers, Count of Rethel, James of Cleves, 3rd Duke of Nevers, Count of Rethel, and Henri of Cleves, who died young. She also had two sisters, Catherine of Cleves and Marie of Cleves.
In 1564, upon the childless death of her brother, James, Henriette became the suo jure 4th Duchess of Nevers, and Countess of Rethel. Her eldest brother Francis had died in 1562, without leaving heirs.
Henriette had been left with enormous debts from her late father and brothers, but she managed to bring the financial situation back in order and became one of the chief creditors in the kingdom.
Marriage and children
On 4 March 1565 in Moulins, Bourbonnais at the age of twenty-two, Henriette married Louis I Gonzaga, Prince of Mantua, and her second cousin by virtue of their grandmothers having been sisters. Her husband assumed the titles of Duke of Nevers and 1st Duke of Rethel by right of his wife; Henriette thus acquired the new title of Duchess of Rethel. She also became Princess of Mantua upon her marriage.
Louis and Henriette together had five chldren:
Catherine Gonzaga (21 January 1568- 1 December 1629), married Henry I, Duke of Longueville, by whom she had issue.
Marie Henriette Gonzaga (3 September 1571- 3 August 1601), married Henry of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne. Died childless.
Frederic Gonzaga (11 March 1573- 22 April 1574)
Francois Gonzaga (17 September 1576- 13 June 1580)
Charles I, Duke of Mantua (6 May 1580- 20 September 1637), succeeded as Duke of Nevers, Rethel, Mantua and Montferrat. He married Catherine Mayenne, daughter of Charles of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne and Henriette of Savoy, Marquise of Villars, by whom he had six children, including Charles II Gonzaga and Anna Gonzaga.
She became the mistress of Hannibal Coconna, a Piedmontese adventurer who was beheaded in 1574, alongside his co-conspirator, Joseph Boniface de La Mole, for participating in a conspiracy supported by the Duke of Alencon, which involved the use of sorcery against the life of King Charles IX who was gravely ill. It was alleged that she and Queen Marguerite of Navarre secretly, in the middle of the night, removed the heads which were placed on public display, and had them embalmed and buried in consecrated ground.
Henriette died on 24 June 1601 at the Hotel de Nevers in Paris. She was buried in Nevers Cathedral. Her husband had died at Nesle in 1595 after a lifetime of loyal service on behalf of the French Crown.
Among her numerous descendants were included Eleanor Gonzaga, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, King Louis XVI of France and the latter's consort Marie Antoinette.
Depictions in art
Henriette's portrait was painted by the celebrated French miniaturist and painter Francois Clouet on an unknown date. He was renowned in France for his detailed portraits of the French Royal Family and nobility.
^ thePeerage.com person page 4301
^ France Heads and Substates and Heads of the Kingdom, www.guide2womenleaders.com/France-substates-heads.htm
^ Mark Strage, Women of Power, pp. 187- 188
Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
He and his wife Henriette of Cléves had five children:
Catherine Gonzaga (21 January 1568 - 1 December 1629. Married Henry I, Duke of Longueville.
Maria Henrietta Gonzaga (3 September 1571 - 3 August 1614). Married Henry of Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne.
Frederick Gonzaga (11 March 1573 - 22 April 1574).
Francis Gonzaga (17 September 1576 - 13 June 1580).
Charles I, Duke of Mantua (6 May 1580 - 20 September 1637)
Henriette de Clèves's Timeline
October 31, 1542
March 4, 1565
Moulins, Bourbonnais, France
May 6, 1580
Paris, Île-de-France, France
June 24, 1601
at the Hotel de Nevers in Paris, France