Nicole, Duchess of Lorraine

Nicole de Lorraine[1] (3 October 1608 – 2 February 1657) was Duchess of Lorraine and Bar from 1 August 1624 to 21 November 1625, and Duchess consort in 1625–1634. She was born in Nancy, the daughter of Henry II, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, and Margerita Gonzaga. She died in Paris.

Duchess of Lorraine
Duchess consort of Lorraine
Nicole de Lorraine, Duchess of Lorraine by Moncornet.jpg
Born(1608-10-03)3 October 1608
Nancy, Lorraine
Died2 February 1657(1657-02-02) (aged 48)
Paris, France
(m. 1621)
Full name
Nicole de Lorraine
FatherHenry II, Duke of Lorraine
MotherMargerita Gonzaga


Her father had no son and wanted to leave the Duchy of Lorraine to Nicole, but a supposed testament by René II of Lorraine specified that the duchy could not bypass the male lineage. After negotiations with the male heirs, she married Charles IV, Duke of Lorraine, the eldest son of Francis, Count of Vaudémont on 23 May 1621. They had no children.

Duchess of LorraineEdit

His situation was complicated by the death of Henry II, 31 July 1624. She thereby became duchess of Lorraine. In November 1625, Francis, Count of Vaudémont, based on the "testament" of Rene II, claimed the duchy. The States-General of Lorraine felt it a legitimate request and Francis became Duke on 21 November 1625. Five days later, he abdicated in favor of his son, who became Duke Charles IV of Lorraine. The latter had managed to remove his wife's power and become Duke in his own right.

Duchess consortEdit

Married by dynastic interest, the gap between Nicole and her husband grew with the events of 1625. Wishing to leave his wife, Charles tried in 1631 to have his marriage annulled by passing the death penalty - without proof - for witchcraft on Melchior of the Valley, the priest who had performed their marriage ceremony. But that injustice was not corroborated by The Church and Charles IV remained officially married to Nicole.

In 1635, Charles took the opportunity to get rid of his wife's authority, the false pretext that he had not been free to choose at the time of his marriage but did not persuade the papacy to annul the marriage.

Nicole spent the last years of her life in Paris, where she died.



  1. ^ Bibliothèque historique de la France, chez Didot, Debure, Nyon, Moutard, Paris, 1778, p. 363: [1]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Henry II
Duchess of Lorraine
Succeeded by
Francis II
French nobility
Preceded by
Christina of Salm
Duchess consort of Lorraine
Succeeded by
Claude Françoise de Lorraine