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Duke of Lorraine
Personal details
Born (1643-04-03)3 April 1643
Vienna, Austria
Died 18 April 1690(1690-04-18) (aged 47)
Wels, Austria
Spouse(s) Marie Jeanne of Savoy
Eleanor of Austria

Charles V, Karl V. Leopold, (Charles Léopold Nicolas Sixte; 3 April 1643 – 18 April 1690), son of Nicolas François, Duke of Lorraine, and Claude Françoise de Lorraine. Karl Leopold was born in Vienna and became the brother in law of Emperor Leopold and son in law of emperor Ferdinand III. He was a second cousin once removed of his contemporary Louis XIV through the king's grandmother Marie de' Medici.From a long established family of Lothringen, who had to take refuge from the forces of France. However, he managed to become the titular Duke of Lorraine in 1675 at a time when Lorraine was occupied by France. Since 1663 he had been in imperial Habsburg service and had a very notable military career. In 1675 he became imperial generalissimo.


The uncle of Charles V Duke of Lorraine was Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine. He was without a male heir, so, to avoid the title from going out of the family, gave up his title to his brother Nicolas François, Duke of Lorraine. The province of Lorraine was lost in 1633 to invading French Forces during the Thirty Years War. Charles IV was for a time imprisoned, and later had to officially give up the title of Lorraine to the Bourbon Dynasty. 1

Early life

Charles V Duke of Lorraine was born on April 3, 1643 to Nicolas Frances in Vienna. He was not given very good circumstances; he was supposed to receive the title of Duke, but was not able to claim this land because it was occupied by the French. Since his prospects were not good he officially joined the court of Vienna in 1662.2Throughout his life he would become a distinguished soldier in service to the Habsburgs.

Military career

The Duke was able to first distinguish himself at the Battle of Saint Gotthard in 1664. He was under the service of Montecuccoli, the Imperial Generalissimo at the time. When they were flanked by the enemy, Charles V was able to repel them and help win the battle.3He continued to be involved in the wars the Habsburgs fought with the French and Turks. He received a head wound at the Battle of Seneffe in 1674. Charles V was present at the Siege of Philippsburg in 1676. 4 During this time he also survived a bout of small pox5 and, in 1678 he survived falling off a bridge at Philippsburg. At the Treaty of Nijmegen in 1679 it was confirmed that he was Duke of Lorraine but he was still not allowed to be ruler of the province.6

Siege of Vienna

Charles V, Duke of Lorraine was promoted to Generalissimo of the Habsburg army in 1683 right before the siege of Vienna. Charles knew he had no chance of directly engaging the forces of the Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha. Charles only had about 36,000 men at his disposal at the time of siege.7 In addition, while he was marching to Vienna, 6000 of his Hungarian soldiers defected.8 Charles chose to position his men several miles north of Vienna. He then proceeded to aid the city by raiding the Turkish army encampments, and giving supplies and other provisions to the city from time to time. The battle was fierce. Thanks to the work of Pope Innocent XI, the Habsburgs were able to receive aid from what would come to be called the Holy League. 9 This combined force with the leader John III Sobieski and Charles V was able to defeat the besieging Turkish army at the Battle of Kahlenburg out side Vienna on September 12, 1683. This victory resulted in a landslide of victories for the Habsburgs under the leadership of Charles.

The Great Turkish War

In the subsequent years Charles was able to gain a number of significant victories against the Turks. With the Siege of Neuhausel in 1685 Charles was able to take all of upper Hungary. At this battle his army completely destroyed a 3,000 man garrison of Turkish soldiers.10 After this huge victory Charles besieged the city of Buda for two months, claiming victory in 1686. The final, crushing blow was the second Battle of Mohacs in 1687. Charles, in five years, made gains that had been a centuries worth of conquest by the Ottomans. 11 His success enabled him to turn his attention towards Transylvania where, in 1689, he effectively made the kingdom a protectorate of the Habsburgs, and convinced the king to agree to supply his troops with much needed resources.12

War of The Holy League

Charles was not able to see that a peace treaty was struck with the Turks because the Habsburgs ordered him to move his forces to the River Rhine, where Louis XIV had begun to assert aggression. However, after a brief period of limited success against the French, he fell ill and suddenly died on April 8, 1690.13The death was seen by many to be tragic. According to Voltaire Louis XIV paid tribute to him with the words, "I have lost the greatest, wisest and most generous of my enemies."

Marriages and Political Aspirations

Charles V, Duke of Lorraine, since he was essentially stripped of all his own hereditary lands, had to work at gaining property for himself. He was supposed to marry Marie Jeanne of Savoy, however he was influenced to back out of this first marriage. His brother Ferdinand Philip of Lorraine died in 1659 and Charles inherited the Duchy of Bar from him. In 1669, he attempted to get elected as King of Poland, but was defeated in the election by Michael Korybut Wisniowiecki.14In 1678, he married Eleanor of Austria, the widow of Wisniowiecki.15She was the daughter of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor. From this marriage he gained the Gonzaga and Mantua. He again tried to get the crown of Poland but lost in the election to John Sobeski.16The marriage to Elenora proved to be very prosperous for his family when later on his grandson, Francis I, became Holy Roman Emperor.


  • Leopold, Duke of Lorraine (1679–1729) married Élisabeth Charlotte d'Orléans, princess of France and had issue;
  • Charles Joseph de Lorraine (1680–1715) never married; died of smallpox;
  • Éléonore de Lorraine (1682–1682) died in infancy;
  • Charles Ferdinand de Lorraine (1683–1685) died in infancy;
  • General Joseph Innocent Emanuel de Lorraine (1685–1705)
  • François Antoine Joseph de Lorraine (1689–1715). Abbot in Malmedy, Abbot in Stablo.



1.Memoirs of Charles V. late Duke of Lorrain· With relation to the present state of affairs in Europe, p. 1-25
2.ibid,p. 21
3.ibid,p. 28-29
4.ibid,p. 32
5.Labrune, Jean de, p. 109
6.Memoirs of Charles V. late Duke of Lorrain· With relation to the present state of affairs in Europe, p. 38-39
7.Ingrao, Charles,p. 76
8.Memoirs of Charles V. late Duke of Lorrain· With relation to the present state of affairs in Europe, p. 45
9.Ingrao, Charles,p. 75-77
10.Memoirs of Charles V. late Duke of Lorrain· With relation to the present state of affairs in Europe, p. 51-54
11.Ingrao, Charles,p. 79
12.Memoirs of Charles V. late Duke of Lorrain· With relation to the present state of affairs in Europe, p. 58-59
13.Ibid,p. 68-71
14.Labrune, Jean dep. 124
15.Ibid,p. 161-163
16.Ibid,p. 138

Bibliography and Further Reading

Primary Sources

For all of these sources go to Early English Books Online, [1]

  • Memoirs of Charles V. late Duke of Lorrain· With relation to the present state of affairs in Europe.[2]
  • On the ever to be lamented death of the most magnamimous and illustrious prince, Charles Leopold Duke of Lorraine, general of the imperial army who died suddenly, April the eighth 1690, an English broad side from 1690.[3]
  • 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.[4]
  • Labrune, Jean de,The life of that most illustrious prince, Charles V, late Duke of Lorrain and Bar, generalissimo of the imperial armies rendred into English from the copy lately printed at Vienna, written by a person of quality, and a great officer in the imperial army.[5]


  • Ingrao, Charles.The Habsburg Monarchy 1618–1815:Cambridge:Cambridge Press,2000.(ISBN 978-0521780346)

External links

The 1911 Classic Encyclopedia, [6]

MedLibrary [7]

Schilb antiquarian [8] [9]

See also

Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles IV
Duke of Lorraine
Succeeded by

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