Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers

Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers (Italian: Ludovico or Luigi di Gonzaga-Nevers; 18 September 1539 – 23 October 1595) was an Italian-French dignitary and diplomat in France. He was the third child of Frederick II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Margaret Palaeologina.[1]

Louis Gonzaga
jure uxoris Duke of Nevers
Louis de Nevers and his spouse
Born18 September 1539
Died23 October 1595(1595-10-23) (aged 56)
Noble familyHouse of Gonzaga
Spouse(s)Henriette of Cleves
Catherine, Duchess of Longueville
Marie Henriette, Duchess of Mayenne
Frederic Gonzaga
Francois Gonzaga
Charles I, Duke of Mantua
FatherFrederick II Gonzaga
MotherMargaret Palaeologina

Life account

Born in Mantua, at the age 10 he was sent to Paris to inherit the assets left by his grandmother, Anne d'Alençon, widow of Marquess William IX of Montferrat. He entered Henry II of France's army and fought in the battle of St. Quentin (1557), where he was taken prisoner by the Spanish.[2]

On 4 March 1565 he married Henriette of Cleves, heiress to the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel.[lower-alpha 1][3] Their son Charles became duke of Mantua in 1627, establishing the Gonzaga-Nevers line.

He is considered by many historians as one of the courtiers most responsible for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572.[4]

Louis died at Nesle in 1595.


He and his wife, Henriette of Cleves, had five children:



  1. titles which Louis carried henceforth


  1. Ward, Prothero & Leathes 1911, p. 75.
  2. Oman 1937, p. 263-264.
  3. Boltanski 2006, p. 501.
  4. Holt 2002, p. 20.


  • Boltanski, Ariane (2006). Les ducs de Nevers et l'État royal: genèse d'un compromis (ca 1550 - ca 1600) (in French). Librairie Droz.
  • Holt, Mack P. (2002). The Duke of Anjou and the Politique Struggle During the Wars of Religion. Cambridge University Press.
  • Oman, Charles (1937). A History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century. Metheun.
  • Ward, A.W.; Prothero, G.W.; Leathes, Stanley, eds. (1911). The Cambridge Modern History. XIII. The Macmillan Company.
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