Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers

Louis Gonzaga
jure uxoris Duke of Nevers

Louis de Nevers and his spouse
Spouse(s) Henriette of Cleves


Catherine, Duchess of Longueville
Marie Henriette, Duchess of Mayenne
Frederic Gonzaga
Francois Gonzaga
Charles I, Duke of Mantua
Noble family House of Gonzaga
Father Frederick II Gonzaga
Mother Margaret Palaeologina
Born (1539-09-18)18 September 1539
Died 23 October 1595(1595-10-23) (aged 56)

Louis Gonzaga, Duke of Nevers (Italian: Ludovico or Luigi di Gonzaga-Nevers; 18 September 1539 – 23 October 1595) was an Italian-French dignitary and diplomat in France. He was the third child of Frederick II Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua, and Margaret Palaeologina.

Life account

Born in Mantua, at the age 10 he was sent to Paris to inherit the assets left by his grandmother, Anne d'Alençon, widow of Marquess William IX of Montferrat. He entered Henry II of France's army and fought in the battle of St. Quentin (1557), where he was taken prisoner by the Spanish.

On 4 March 1565 he married Henriette of Cleves, heiress to the Duchies of Nevers and Rethel (titles which Louis carried thenceforth), and granddaughter of Charles de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme through her mother Marguerite of Bourbon-La Marche. Their son Charles became duke of Mantua in 1627, establishing the Gonzaga-Nevers line.

Louis died at Nesle in 1595.

He is considered by many historians as one of the courtiers most responsible for the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre in 1572.[1] In conspiracy theories, such as the one promoted in The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail, Louis been alleged to be the fifteenth Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.


He and his wife, Henriette of Cleves, had five children:



  1. Mack P. Holt; The Duke of Anjou and the Politique Struggle During the Wars of Religion, Cambridge University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-521-89278-3, ISBN 978-0-521-89278-0 p. 20
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