Francesco III Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua

Francesco III Gonzaga (10 March 1533 – 22 February 1550) was Duke of Mantua and Marquess of Montferrat from 1540 until his death. He was the eldest son of Federico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and his wife Margaret Paleologina.[1]

Francesco III Gonzaga
Francesco III Gonzaga.jpg
Duke of Mantua (as Francesco III)
Duke of Montferrat (as Francesco I)
PredecessorFederico II Gonzaga
SuccessorGuglielmo I Gonzaga
Born10 March 1533
Mantua, Duchy of Mantua
Died22 February 1550(1550-02-22) (aged 16)
Mantua, Duchy of Mantua
SpouseCatherine of Austria
(m. 1549–50; his death)
HouseHouse of Gonzaga
FatherFederico II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua
MotherMargaret Paleologina


On 22 October 1549, he married Catherine of Habsburg, a daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I.[1] The marriage lasted only four months as Francesco died of pneumonia on 21 February 1550, after falling into one of Mantua lakes during a hunt. Widowed Catherine returned home to Innsbruck. Habsburgs claimed that the marriage was not consummated to increase Catherine's chances for a better second marriage.




  1. ^ a b Parrott 1997, p. 22.


  • Parrott, David (1997). "The Mantuan Succession, 1627–31: A Sovereignty Dispute in Early Modern Europe". The English Historical Review. Oxford Academic. CXII, Issue 445, February (445): 20–65. doi:10.1093/ehr/CXII.445.20.

Regnal titles
Preceded by Duke of Mantua
Succeeded by
Marquess of Montferrat
(as Francesco I)