1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Margaret of Austria (1480-1530)

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MARGARET OF AUSTRIA (1480–1530), duchess of Savoy and regent of the Netherlands from 1507 to 1530, daughter of the archduke Maximilian of Austria, afterwards the emperor Maximilian I., was born at Brussels on the 10th of January 1480. At two years of age she was betrothed to the dauphin Charles, son of Louis XI. of France, and was brought up at the French court. In 1489, however, Charles, now king as Charles VIII., to prevent Maximilian taking as his second wife the duchess Anne of Brittany, threw over Margaret and married the Breton heiress himself. Her ambitious father now sought for Margaret another throne, and in April 1497 she was married at Burgos to the Infant John, heir to the throne of Castile and Aragon. She was left a widow, however, a few months later. In 1501 Margaret became the wife of Philibert II., duke of Savoy, who only survived until 1504. The sudden death of her brother the archduke, Philip the Handsome (Sept 25, 1506), opened out to her a new career. In 1507 she was appointed by her father regent of the Netherlands and guardian of her nephew Charles, afterwards the emperor Charles V. Charles came of age in 1515, but he entrusted Margaret with the regency, as the vast extent of his dominions permitted him but seldom to visit the Netherlands, and she continued to hold the post until her death in 1530. She was a wise and prudent ruler, of masculine temper and intrepidity, and very capable in affairs.

See E. Münch, Margaretha von Österreich (Leipzig, 1883); Th. Juste, Charles-Quint et Marguérite d’Autriche (Brussels, 1858); A. Le Glay, Maximilien I. et Marguérite d’Autriche (with correspondence, Paris, 1839); De Quinsonas, Matériaux pour servir à l’histoire de Marguérite d’Autriche (Paris, 1855), and E. E. Tremayne, The First Governors of the Netherlands: Margaret of Austria (1908).