Margaret of Austria

Margaret of Austria, 1480–1530, Hapsburg princess, regent of the Netherlands; daughter of Emperor Maximilian I. She was betrothed (1483) to the dauphin of France, later King Charles VIII, and was transferred to the guardianship of Louis XI of France (see Arras, Treaty of, 2). After Charles renounced the treaty and married Anne of Brittany, Margaret was returned (1493) to her father. She was married in 1497 to John of Spain (d. 1497), son of Ferdinand and Isabella, and in 1501 to Philibert of Savoy (d. 1504). Made (1507) regent of the Netherlands and guardian of her nephew Charles (later Holy Roman Emperor Charles V), Margaret acted as intermediary between her father and his subjects in the Netherlands, negotiated a treaty of commerce with England favorable to the Flemish cloth interests, and played a role in the formation of the League of Cambrai (1508; see Cambrai, League of). After his majority (1515), Charles rebelled against her influence, but soon recognized her as one of his wisest advisers. After 1517 she was again regent intermittently until her death. She negotiated the Ladies' Peace with Louise of Savoy (1529; see Cambrai, Treaty of).

See biography by J. de Iongh (tr. 1953).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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