Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria

Maria Maddalena of Austria (Maria Magdalena; 7 October 1589 – 1 November 1631) was Grand Duchess of Tuscany from the accession of her husband, Cosimo II, in 1609 until his death in 1621. With him, she had eight children, including a duchess of Parma, a grand duke of Tuscany, and an archduchess of Further Austria. Born in Graz, she was the youngest daughter of Charles II, Archduke of Inner Austria, and his wife Maria Anna of Bavaria. During the minority of her son, Grand Duke Ferdinando, she and her mother-in-law acted as regents from 1621 to 1628. She died on 1 November 1631 in Passau.

Maria Maddalena of Austria
Grand Duchess consort of Tuscany
Tenure17 February 1609 28 February 1621
Born(1589-10-07)7 October 1589
Graz, Austria
Died1 November 1631(1631-11-01) (aged 42)
Passau, Holy Roman Empire
SpouseCosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
IssueMaria Cristina
Ferdinando II, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cardinal Gian Carlo
Margherita, Duchess of Parma
Mattias, Governor of Siena
Prince Francesco
Anna, Archduchess of Austria
Leopold, Governor of Siena
Full name
Maria Magdalena
FatherCharles II, Archduke of Austria
MotherMaria Anna of Bavaria


In 1608, Maria Maddalena was married to Cosimo de' Medici, Grand Prince of Tuscany. Cosimo's father, Grand Duke Ferdinando I of Tuscany, arranged the marriage in order to assuage Spain's (where Maria Maddalena's sister was the incumbent queen) animosity towards Tuscany, which had been inflamed due to a string of Franco-Tuscan marriages.[1]


She and Cosimo enjoyed a contented marriage. Together they had eight children. Cosimo II died in 1621, leaving their ten-year-old son Ferdinando as grand duke. Maria Maddalena and her mother-in-law, Christina of Lorraine, acted as regents until the boy came of age. Their collective regency is known as the Turtici. Maria Maddalena's temperament was analogous to Christina's. Together, they aligned Tuscany with the Papacy; re-doubled the Tuscan clergy; and allowed the trial of Galileo Galilei to occur.[2] Upon the death of the last Duke of Urbino, instead of claiming the duchy for Ferdinando, who was married to the Duke's granddaughter, and heiress, Vittoria della Rovere, they permitted it to be annexed by Pope Urban VIII. In 1626, they banned any Tuscan subject from being educated outside the Grand Duchy, a law later resurrected by Maria Maddalena's grandson, Cosimo III.[3] Harold Acton ascribes the decline of Tuscany to their regency.[3] The Dowager Grand Duchesses sent Ferdinando on a tour of Europe in 1627.[4]

The Grand Duchess died aged 42 after a visit to her brother Leopold in Innsbruck on the way back to Passau, Germany. Her son had been in power for a year.


  1. Maria Cristina de' Medici (August 24, 1609 August 9, 1632), she was deformed or mentally disabled [5]
  2. Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (July 14, 1610 May 23, 1670) married Vittoria della Rovere.
  3. Gian Carlo de' Medici (July 24, 1611 January 23, 1663) made Cardinal in 1644.
  4. Margherita de' Medici (May 31, 1612 February 6, 1679) married Odoardo Farnese, Duke of Parma.
  5. Mattias de' Medici (May 9, 1613 October 14, 1667) appointed Governor of Siena.
  6. Francesco de' Medici (October 16, 1614 July 25, 1634).
  7. Anna de' Medici (July 21, 1616 September 11, 1676) married Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria (1628–1662)
  8. Leopoldo de' Medici (November 6, 1617 November 10, 1675), made Cardinal in 1667.



  1. Hale, p 151
  2. Acton, p 111
  3. Acton, p 192
  4. Strathern, p 375
  5. "Medici Archive". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  6. Philip I, King of Castile at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  7. Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  8. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  9. Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1860). "Habsburg, Karl II. von Steiermark" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). 6. p. 352 via Wikisource.
  10. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Joanna" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  11. Casimir IV, King of Poland at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  12. Obermayer-Marnach, Eva (1953), "Anna Jagjello", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 1, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, p. 299; (full text online)
  13. Revue de l'Agenais (in French). 4. Société des sciences, lettres et arts d'Agen. 1877. p. 497.
  14. Riezler, Sigmund Ritter von (1897), "Wilhelm IV.", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 42, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 705–717
  15. Goetz, Walter (1953), "Albrecht V.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 1, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 158–160; (full text online)
  16. Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria von Bayern" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). 7. p. 20 via Wikisource.
  17. Brüning, Rainer (2001), "Philipp I.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 20, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, p. 372; (full text online)
  18. Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1860). "Habsburg, Anna von Oesterreich (1528–1587)" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). 6. p. 151 via Wikisource.


  • Acton, Harold: The Last Medici, Macmillan, London, 1980, ISBN 0-333-29315-0
  • Strathern, Paul: The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Vintage books, London, 2003, ISBN 978-0-09-952297-3
  • Hale, J.R.: Florence and the Medici, Orion books, London, 1977, ISBN 1-84212-456-0
Archduchess Maria Maddalena of Austria
Born: 7 October 1589 Died: 1 November 1631
Italian royalty
Preceded by
Christina of Lorraine
Grand Ducal consort of Tuscany
Title next held by
Vittoria della Rovere
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