Francesco III d'Este, Duke of Modena

Francesco III d'Este (Francesco Maria; 2 July 1698 – 22 February 1780) was Duke of Modena and Reggio from 1737 until his death.

Francesco III d'Este
Francesco III d'Este in Armatura.jpg
Duke of Modena and Reggio
Reign26 October 1737 – 22 February 1780
PredecessorRinaldo d'Este
SuccessorErcole III d'Este
Born(1698-07-02)2 July 1698
Ducal Palace, Duchy of Modena and Reggio
Died22 February 1780(1780-02-22) (aged 81)
Palazzo Estense, Duchy of Modena and Reggio
(m. 1721; died 1761)
Teresa Castelbarco
(m. 1761; died 1768)
Renata Teresa d'Harrach
(m. 1769)
Maria Teresa, Duchess of Penthièvre
Ercole III, Duke of Modena
Princess Matilde d'Este
Maria Fortunata, Princess of Conti
Benedetto Filippo, Abbot of Anchin
Francesco Maria d'Este
FatherRinaldo d'Este, Duke of Modena
MotherCharlotte of Brunswick-Lüneburg
ReligionRoman Catholicism


He was born in Modena, the son of Rinaldo d'Este, Duke of Modena, and Duchess Charlotte of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

During his reign, the duchy was bankrupted by the Wars of the Spanish, Polish, and Austrian Successions. As a result, Francesco was forced to sell the most precious artworks of the Estense Gallery. He was a careful administrator but most of the duchy's financial policy was in the hands of the Austrian plenipotentiary, Beltrame Cristiani.

Among his measures, the urban renovation of Modena and the construction of the Via Vandelli, connecting the city to Tuscany.

Francesco also was the interim Governor of the Duchy of Milan between 1754 and 1771.

He died in 1780 in his villa at Varese. His son Prince Ercole succeeded him.

Family and childrenEdit

In 1721, he married Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans (1700–1761), a daughter of Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Orléans and Françoise Marie de Bourbon (illegitimate daughter of Louis XIV and Madame de Montespan) and had ten children.

He acted as proxy groom for his sister Henrietta Maria d'Este in 1728 who was marrying Antonio Farnese, Duke of Parma.

After his first wife's death, he remarried twice more morganatically to Teresa Castelbarco (1704-1768) and Renata Teresa d'Harrach (1721-1788). His granddaughter Maria Beatrice d'Este, Duchess of Massa was the last of the Este of Modena.


  1. Alfonso d'Este (18 November 1723 – 16 June 1725) died in infancy.
  2. Francesco Constantino d'Este (22 November 1724 – 16 June 1725) died in infancy.
  3. Maria Teresa Felicitas d'Este (6 October 1726 – 30 April 1754) married Louis Jean Marie de Bourbon, Duke of Penthièvre and had issue.
  4. Ercole III d'Este, Duke of Modena (22 November 1727 – 14 October 1803) married Maria Teresa Cybo-Malaspina, Duchess of Massa and had issue.
  5. Matilde d'Este (7 February 1729 – 14 November 1803) died unmarried.
  6. Beatrice d'Este (14 July 1730 – 12 July 1731) died in infancy.
  7. Beatrice d'Este (24 November 1731 – 3 April 1736) died in infancy.
  8. Maria Fortunata d'Este (24 November 1731 – 21 September 1803) married Louis François de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, no issue.
  9. Benedetto Filippo d'Este (30 September 1736 – 16 September 1751) died unmarried.
  10. Maria Elisabetta Ernestina d'Este (12 February 1741 – 4 August 1774) married Carlo Salomone, Count of Serravalle and had issue. Direct ancestors of Sergio E. M. Salomone Montes de Oca, current Count of Serravalle, Vintebbio and Bornate.



  1. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 85.

External linksEdit

Francesco III d'Este, Duke of Modena
Born: 2 July 1698 Died: 22 February 1780
Regnal titles
Preceded by Duke of Modena and Reggio
Succeeded by
Government offices
Preceded by Governor of the Duchy of Milan
Succeeded by