Charles V, Duke of Lorraine

Charles V, Duke of Lorraine and Bar (French: Charles Léopold Nicolas Sixte; German: Karl V Leopold; 1643 to 1690) succeeded his uncle Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine as titular Duke of Lorraine and Bar in 1675; both duchies were occupied by France from 1634 to 1661 and 1670 to 1697.

Charles, Duke of Lorraine and Bar
Charles V, Duke of Lorraine and Bar
Born(1643-04-03)3 April 1643
Died18 April 1690(1690-04-18) (aged 47)
Wels, Austria
Allegiance Duchy of Lorraine
 Holy Roman Empire
Service/branchImperial Army
Years of service1660-1690
RankGeneralfeldmarschall 1676
Battles/warsSaint Gotthard 1664
Franco-Dutch War 1672-1678
Seneffe 1674 Philippsburg 1676 Ortenbach 1678
Great Turkish War 1683-1697
Vienna 1683 Siege of Buda 1686 Mohács 1687
Nine Years War 1688-1697
AwardsOrder of the Golden Fleece 1678

Born in exile in Vienna, Charles spent his military career in the service of the Habsburg Monarchy; he played an important role in the 1683-1696 Turkish War that reasserted Habsburg power in South-East Europe and ended his life as an Imperial Field Marshall.

He is the direct male ancestor of all rulers of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty, including all Emperors of Austria.


Charles was born on April 3, 1643 in Vienna, second son of Nicholas, younger brother of Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, and his wife Claude Françoise of Lorraine. In 1634, his father replaced his uncle as Duke; shortly afterwards, France occupied the Duchy of Lorraine and Nicholas went into exile, resigning in favour of his elder brother. The French withdrew in 1661, but invaded again in 1670 and only returned in 1697.

Charles became heir to the Duchy on the death of his elder brother Ferdinand Philippe (1639–1659). In 1678, he married Eleanor of Austria (1653-1697), widow of Michael I, King of Poland; he stood for election twice as King of Poland but was unsuccessful.[2]

They had four children who survived infancy; his heir Leopold, Duke of Lorraine (1679–1729), Charles Joseph (1680–1715), Joseph Emanuel (1685–1705) and François Antoine (1689–1715). His grandson, Francis I (1708-1765), became Holy Roman Emperor in 1745.

His older cousin Charles Henri, Prince of Vaudémont (1649-1723) was also a talented military commander; he was excluded from the succession as his father's second marriage was not recognised by the Catholic Church.


Charles was engaged to Marie Jeanne of Savoy but after his uncle was restored as Duke of Lorraine in 1661, he abandoned this marriage and returned to the Imperial court at Vienna.[3] He took up a career in the Imperial Army, his first major action being Saint Gotthard in 1664, where he served under the Imperial commander, Montecuccoli.[4]

When France re-occupied Lorraine in 1670, both Charles and his uncle fought in the Imperial Army during the 1672-1678 Franco-Dutch War. He was wounded at the Battle of Seneffe in 1674 and replaced his uncle in the Rhineland after his death in 1675, taking part in the recapture of Philippsburg in 1676.[5] In recognition of this, he was promoted Generalfeldmarschall in 1676 but was unable to build on these gains, largely due to poor logistics; in the last stages of the war, he was out manoeuvred by de Créquy and suffered minor defeats at Rheinfeld and Ortenbach.[6]

The Treaty of Nijmegen in 1679 confirmed his title as Duke of Lorraine but France retained the territory and in 1681, they also annexed Strasbourg, capital of Alsace.[7] Charles' prospects of regaining his Duchy seemed increasingly remote and when the Great Turkish War began in 1683, he was appointed Commander of the Imperial army. He was outnumbered and the Ottomans were also supported by anti-Habsburg Hungarians known as Kurucs, as well as non-Catholic minorities who opposed Leopold's anti-Protestant policies.[8]

Charles positioned his men outside Vienna, shielding them from the plague epidemic then prevailing in the city, unlike the Ottomans, many of whom died of it. His forces focused on raiding Ottoman camps and protecting resupply convoys to the city, while Pope Innocent XI assembled an alliance to support the Habsburgs. Known as the Holy League and led by John III Sobieski, this combined with Charles's troops to defeat the besieging army at the Battle of Vienna on 12 September 1683.[9]

In the next few years, the Habsburg army under Charles recaptured large parts of Hungary; the most significant victories being the Siege of Buda in 1686 and the Second Battle of Mohács in 1687. However, when the Nine Years War broke out in 1688, he returned to command Imperial forces in the Rhineland, where he died on 8 April 1690.[10] He was buried in Braunschweig and succeeded by his son Leopold, who was restored as Duke of Lorraine after the 1697 Treaty of Ryswick.



  1. "Charles V, duke of Lorraine". Retrieved 23 January 2019.
  2. Stoye, John (2007). The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross & Crescent. Pegasus Books. p. 30. ISBN 978-1933648637.
  3. Orr, Clarissa Campbell (ed), Oresko, Robert (author) (2004). Queenship in Europe 1660–1815: The Role of the Consort. CUP. p. 21. ISBN 978-0521814225.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  4. Ingrao, Charles (2000). The Habsburg Monarchy 1618–1815. Cambridge University Press. pp. 28–29. ISBN 978-0521780346.
  5. Ingrao, Charles p. 36
  6. De Périni, Hardÿ (1896). Batailles françaises, Volume V. Ernest Flammarion, Paris. pp. 224–225.
  7. Ingrao, Charles pp. 28-29
  8. Tucker, Spencer (2010). Battles That Changed History: An Encyclopedia of World Conflict. ABC-CLIO. p. 215. ISBN 9781598844290.
  9. Ingrao, Charles pp. 75-76
  10. Ingrao, Charles p. 71


  • De Périni, Hardÿ (1896). Batailles françaises, Volume V. Ernest Flammarion, Paris.;
  • Ingrao, Charles (2000). The Habsburg Monarchy 1618–1815. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521780346.;
  • Stoye, John (2007). The Siege of Vienna: The Last Great Trial Between Cross & Crescent. Pegasus Books. ISBN 978-1933648637.;
  • Tucker, Spencer (2010). Battles That Changed History: An Encyclopedia of World Conflict. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9781598844290.
  • Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Charles V. or IV." . Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 934.
  • Charles V. Duke of Lorraine, Political and military observations, remarks and maxims, of Charles V. late duke of Lorrain, general of the Emperor's forces From a manuscript left by him, and never printed before.
  • Schilb antiquarian
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles IV
Duke of Lorraine
Succeeded by
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.