List of ministers plenipotentiary of the Austrian Netherlands

In the eighteenth century, it became the norm for the Archduke of Austria, who was lord of the Netherlands by inheritance, to appoint a diplomat with the rank of minister plenipotentiary to represent his interests at the court of the governor-general of the Netherlands in Brussels. The minister plenipotentiary served as an intermediary between the courts of Vienna and Brussels and as a check on the development of any independent policy in the latter. The post of governor was gradually reduced to a primarily ceremonial function—especially during the tenure of the first Cobenzl—and the minister plenipotentiary became the de facto supreme authority in the Netherlands.[1]


  1. Officially "Great Master of the Court" and then governor-general ad interim from 1741 until 1744.
  2. The Austrian Netherlands were under French occupation in 1792–93.
  1. Janssens 2006, p. 247.


  • Janssens, P. (2006) [1999]. "The Spanish and Austrian Netherlands, 1579–1780". In Blom, J. C. H.; Lamberts, E. (eds.). History of the Low Countries. Berghahn Books. pp. 221–74.
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