Duke of Ferrara and of Modena

Emperor Frederick III elevated the Italian family of Este, Lords of Ferrara, to Dukes of Modena and Reggio in 1452, and Dukes of Ferrara in 1471. In 1597, they lost the succession to the Duchy of Ferrara itself to the Papal States. They continued to rule the Duchy of Modena and Reggio in the Emilia until 1796, when it became part of Napoleon Bonaparte's Cispadane Republic. In 1814 the duchy was restored under the Habsburg grandson of the last Este Duke, continuing until annexed by Piedmont-Sardinia in 1859.

Duke of Modena
Flag of the Duchy of Modena.svg
Flag of the Duchy of Modena under the Habsburg–Este family
Francesco V d'austria este Duca Modena young.jpg
StyleImperial and Royal Highness
First monarchBorso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara
Last monarchFrancis V, Duke of Modena
Pretender(s)Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este

From the Lordship of Este to the Duchy of Ferrara-Modena-ReggioEdit

House of EsteEdit

The line of "Marquesses of Este"("Marchesi d'Este") rises in 1039 with Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan. The name "Este" is related to the city where the family came from, Este. The family was founded by Adalbert the Margrave. who might have been the true first Margrave of Milan of this family. In 1209 Azzo VI is named the first "Marquess of Ferrara", and the title passed to his descendants, and Este Marquisate's was delegated to a cadet branch of the family. Later, were also created the Marquisates of Modena and Reggio.

Partitions of Modena-Ferrara-Reggio under Este ruleEdit

The Duchy of Modena (in the dark purple) and of Ferrara (in the light purple) in the context of late 15th century Italy.
Marquisate of Este
(acquired Ferrara 1187, recovered 1209)
(acquired Modena 1288; Reggio 1289, recovered 1405 )
       Marquisate of Ferrara
       Marquisate of Modena
Marquisate of Ferrara
       Reggio under Papal States' rule
Ferrara and Reggio under Papal States' rule
Marquisate of Ferrara
Reggio under Papal States' rule
Marquisate of Modena-Ferrara-Reggio
Duchy of Modena-Ferrara-Reggio
(Ferrara was lost to Papal States in 1597)
Duchy of Modena-Reggio
(1597-1796, 1814-1859)

Table of rulersEdit

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Adalbert I the Margrave ? c.940-951 951 Este Unknown
at least two children
Founder of the dynasty.
Oberto I Before 951 951-975 15 October 975 Este Willa of Spoleto
seven children
Also Margrave of Milan. A son of his was the founder of the Malaspina family.
Oberto II Before 975 975-1014 c.1014 Este Unknown
six children
Co-ruled with his brother Adalberto.
Adalbert (II) Before 975 975-1002 1002 Este Unknown
three children
Co-ruled with his brother Oberto.
Albert Azzo I
(or Albert II Azzo I)
Before 1014 1014-1029[1] 1029 Este Adelaide
one child
Son of Oberto II.
Albert Azzo II
(or Albert III Azzo I)
  997 or 10 July 1009 1029-1097 20 August 1097 Este Kunigunde of Altdorf
one child

Garsenda of Maine
two children
Only son of Albert Azzo I.
Folco I   1070 1097-1128 1128 Este Unknown
six children
Azzo III Before 1128 1122-1137 c.1137 Este Unknown Possible nephew of Folco. Co-ruler with his uncle and then with his cousins, sons of Folco I.
Azzo IV ? 1128-1145 c.1145 Este Unknown Sons of Folco I, ruled jointly and with their cousin Azzo III. Obizzo ruled with his son Azzo V from 1139, and ended up ruling alone at the end of his life, as his son predeceased him. He was succeeded by his grandson Azzo VI. Obizzo was also first lord of Ferrara. After his death this land was lost, only recovered by his grandson Azzo VI in 1209.
Boniface ? 1128-1163 c.1163 Este Unknown
two children
Folco II ? 1128-1178 c.1178 Este Unknown
Alberto IV ? 1128-1184 c.1184 Este Unknown
two children
Obizzo I c.1100 1128-1193 25 December 1193 Este Unknown
one child

Sophia of Lendinara
five children
1187-1193 Ferrara
Azzo V c.1125 c.1139?-1193 1193 Este Marchesella Adelardi of Ferrara
two children
Azzo VI   c.1170 1193-1209 November 1212 Este Sofia Aldobrandini
two children

Sophia (Eleonora) of Savoy
before 1192
one child

Alice of Châtillon
22 February 1204
two children
Son of Azzo V. In 1209 was made the first Marquess of Ferrara.
1209-1212 Este and Ferrara
Aldobrandino I   c.1190 1212-1215 10 October 1215 Este and Ferrara Unknown
Before 1215
three children
Son of Azzo VI and Sofia. Left no descendants, he was succeeded by his brother.
Azzo VII Novello   c.1205 1212-1222 16 February 1264 Este and Ferrara Giovanna of Puglia
five children

Mabilia Pallavicini
no/two children
Son of Azzo VI and Alice. He was deposed by Salinguerra Torelli in 1222 in Ferrara, but recovered the city in 1240.
1222-1240 Este
1240-1264 Este and Ferrara
Salinguerra II Torelli
1164 1212-1240 1244 Ferrara Retrudis

Sofia Ezzelini

Sibilla da Montefiore

eight children
Co-ruling with Aldobrandino I and Azzo VII since 1212; deposed Azzo VII in 1222; deposed in 1240 by the deposed Azzo VII, who recovered the land.
Obizzo II   1247 or 1252 1264-1288/9 20 January or 13 February[2] 1293 Este and Ferrara Jacopina (Fieschi) of Lavagna
three children

Constance (della Scala) of Verona
two children
Grandson of Azzo VII, as bastard son of Azzo's son, Rinaldo. Between 1288 ad 1289 he achieved the joining of the communes of Modena and Reggio to the Este's lands. After his death the lands were partitioned between his sons.
1288/9-1293 Este, Ferrara, Modena, Reggio
Francesco I c. or after 1289 1293-1312 23 August 1312 Este Orsina Orsini
four children
Son of Obizzo II.
Azzo VIII   After 1263 1293-1306 31 January 1308 Ferrara and Reggio Giovanna Orsini
September 1282
three children

Beatrice of Sicily
April 1305
no children
Son of Obizzo II. In 1306 lost Reggio Papal States.
1306-1308 Ferrara
Reggio occupied by the Papal States (1306-1405)
Aldobrandino II   ? 1293-1326 26 July 1326 Modena Alda Rangoni
four children
Co-ruled with his sons and nephews, following a pro-Este revolt in Ferrara.
Modenese Republic (1326-1336)
Fresco   c.1280 1308 1312 Ferrara Pellegrina Caccianemici
one child
Bastard son of Azzo VIII.
Ferrara occupied by the Papal States (1308-1317)
Rinaldo ? 1317-1335 31 December 1335 Ferrara Lucrezia di Barbiano
one child
Following a pro-Este revolt in Ferrara, the sons of Aldobrandino II (Rinaldo, Niccolò, Obizzo) and Francesco I (Bertoldo and Azzo) ascended together. Some of them accumulated the rule of Ferrara with other government of other parts of Este's lands: Bertoldo and Azzo also ruled in Este since 1312; Obizzo and Niccolò recovered Modena in 1336.
Niccolò I   ? 1317-1336 1 May 1344 Ferrara Beatrice of Mantua
21 April 1335
no children.
1336-1344 Ferrara and Modena
Obizzo III   14 July 1294 1317-1336 20 March 1352 Ferrara Jacopa Pepoli
May 1317
no children

Filippa Ariosti
(lover until 1347)
27 November 1347
ten children
(legitimated 1347)
1336-1352 Ferrara and Modena
Bertoldo I Before 1312 1312-1317 1343 Este Caterina da Camino
at least one child
1317-1343 Este and Ferrara
Azzo IX Before 1312 1312-1317 24 June 1318 Este Ricciarda da Camino
no children
1317-1318 Este and Ferrara
Francesco II c.1325 1343-1384 1384 Este Caterina (Visconti) of Milan

Taddea Barbiano

four children
Son of Bertoldo.
Aldobrandino III   1335 1352-1361 1361 Ferrara Beatrice da Camino
two children
Niccolò II the Lame   17 May 1338 1352-1361 26 March 1388 Modena Verde (della Scala) of Verona
February 1363
one child
1361-1388 Ferrara
Azzo X 1344 1384-1415 1415 Este Unknown
at least one child
Son of Francesco II
Alberto V   27 February 1347 1361-1388 30 July 1393 Ferrara Giovanna da Roberti
no children

Isotta Albaresani
(lover until 1393)
one child
(legitimated 1393)
Bastard son of Obizzo III. In 1388 reunited Modena and Ferrara under his rule.
1388-1393 Ferrara and Modena
Niccolò III   9 November 1383 1393-1441 6 December 1441 Ferrara and Modena
(until 1405)

Ferrara, Modena and Reggio (from 1405)
Gigliola da Carrara
no children

Laura (Parisina) Malatesta
three children

Ricciarda of Saluzzo
1429 or 1431
two children
Recovered Reggio in 1405.
Taddeo 1390 1415-1448 21 June 1448 Este Margherita Pio
two children

Son of Azzo X. Left no descendants.
The Marquisate of Este was definitely annexed to Modena-Ferrara-Reggio
Leonello   21 September 1407 1441-1450 1 October 1450 Ferrara, Modena and Reggio Margaret of Mantua
one child

Maria of Naples
no children
Bastard son of Niccolò III.
Borso   1413 1450-1471 20 August 1471 Ferrara, Modena and Reggio Unmarried Bastard son of Niccolo III. Duke of Modena and Reggio from 1452, Duke of Ferrara from 1471)[3].
Ercole I   26 October 1431 1471-1505 15 June 1505 Modena-Ferrara-Reggio Eleanor of Naples
July 1473
six children
Legitimate son of Niccolò III.
Alfonso I   21 July 1476 1505-1534 31 October 1534 Modena-Ferrara-Reggio Anna Maria of Milan
23 January 1491
no children

Lucrezia Borgia
1 September 1501
seven children
Ercole II   5 April 1508 1534-1559 3 October 1559 Modena-Ferrara-Reggio Renée of France
28 June 1528
five children
Alfonso II   22 November 1533 1559-1597 27 October 1597 Modena-Ferrara-Reggio Lucrezia de' Medici
3 July 1558
no children

Barbara of Austria
5 December 1565
no children
br>Margherita Gonzagaa
24 February 1579
no children
Left no descendants. He was succeeded by his cousin Cesare.

Este Dukes of Modena and ReggioEdit

Habsburg – Este Dukes of Modena and Reggio, 1814–1859Edit

(from 1815 also Duke of Mirandola and from 1829 Duke of Massa and Prince of Carrara)

Name Portrait Birth Marriages Death
Francesco IV
14 July 1814–
21 January 1846
  6 October 1779
son of Ferdinand, Duke of Breisgau and Maria Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Massa
Maria Beatrice of Savoy
20 June 1812
Cagliari Cathedral
four children
21 January 1846
aged 66
Francesco V
21 January 1846–
11 June 1859
  1 June 1819
son of Francis IV and Maria Beatrice of Savoy
Princess Adelgunde of Bavaria
20 March 1842
Kreuzkirche (Munich)
one daughter
20 November 1875
aged 56

Habsburg – Este Dukes of Modena and Reggio, post monarchyEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Luciano Chiappini, Gli Estensi, p. 19, Varese, 1988.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-20. Retrieved 2017-01-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Tuohy, Thomas (2002). Herculean Ferrara : Ercole d'Este, 1471-1505, and the invention of a Ducal capital (1st pbk. ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, published with the assistance of the Istituto di Studi Rinascimentali, Ferrara. p. 211. ISBN 978-0521522632.