Military Wiki
Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur
Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur (1558-1602)
Personal details
Born (1558-09-09)9 September 1558
Died 19 February 1602(1602-02-19) (aged 43)
Spouse(s) Marie de Luxembourg

Philippe Emmanuel de Lorraine, Duke of Mercœur (9 September 1558, Nomeny, Meurthe-et-Moselle – 19 February 1602, Nürnberg), the eldest surviving son of Nicholas, Duke of Mercœur and Jeanne de Savoie-Nemours, was a French soldier and prominent member of the Catholic League.

He was made a knight of the Order of Saint Esprit in 1578. His wife was Marie de Luxemburg, the Duchess of Penthièvre.

Rebellion in Brittany

In 1582 he was made governor of Brittany by Henry III of France, who had married his half-sister. In 1588 Mercœur put himself at the head of the League in Brittany, and had himself proclaimed protector of the Roman Catholic Church in the province. His wife's family, the House of Penthièvre, were descendants of the House of Dreux as Dukes of Brittany. The House of Penthièvre had lost the dukedom of Brittany to the House of Montfort in the Breton War of Succession in the 16th century. They had subsequently attempted to overthrow the Montfortist Dukes, with no success. Invoking the alleged hereditary rights of his wife, Mercœur endeavoured to make himself independent in that province, and organized a government at Nantes, calling his son "prince and duke of Brittany". He formed an alliance with Spain and continued to press for his independence from France when Henry IV became King of France. Henry IV of France sent against him led by the duc de Montpensier. With the aid of the Spaniards he defeated the French at the Battle of Craon in 1592. However, the royal troops were reinforced by English contingents, and soon recovered the advantage. The king marched against Mercœur in person, and received his submission at Angers on 20 March 1598. Henry IV assured his control of Brittany through the marriage of his illegitimate son to Mercœur's daughter Francoise.

Later Years

Mercœur subsequently went to Hungary, where he entered the service of the emperor Rudolph II. He fought against the Turks, taking Székesfehérvár in 1601.


Philippe married Marie de Luxembourg (1562–1623), Duchesse de Penthièvre and daughter of Sébastien, Duke of Penthièvre, on 12 July 1579 in Paris.

He had two children with Marie:

  1. Philippe Louis de Lorraine (21 May 1589 – 21 December 1590)
  2. Françoise de Lorraine, Duchesse de Mercœur et de Penthièvre (November 1592 – 8 September 1669, Paris)

Françoise married César de Bourbon, duc de Vendôme, an illegitimate son of Henry IV of France at Fontainebleau on 16 July 1608.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Encyclopædia Britannica Cambridge University Press 

Recent bibliography

St François de Sales. Oraison funèbre de Philippe-Emmanuel de Lorraine, duc de Mercœur et de Penthièvre. Introduction de Pierre-Olivier Combelles. Editions Saint-Rémi (Cadillac), 2006.[1]

Philippe Emmanuel, Duke of Mercœur
House of Lorraine
Born: September 9 1558 Died: February 19, 1602
French nobility
Preceded by
Duke of Mercœur
Succeeded by
Marquis of Nomeny
Succeeded by
Marie suo jure
Preceded by
Marie de Luxemburg, Duchess of Penthièvre
Duc de Penthièvre jure uxoris
with Marie de Luxemburg, duchesse de Penthièvre

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).