William, Duke of Austria

William, Duke of Austria

Seal of William of Austria
Spouse(s) Joanna II of Naples
Noble family House of Habsburg
Father Leopold III, Duke of Austria
Mother Viridis Visconti
Born c.1370
Died 15 July 1406(1406-07-15)
Buried Ducal Crypt in the Stephansdom in Vienna

William of Austria (c.1370 – 15 July 1406),[1] also known as William the Courteous was a scion of the House of Habsburg, Duke of Carinthia, Styria and Carniola.


Born in Vienna, he was the oldest son of Duke Leopold the Just and his wife, Viridis Visconti.

At the age of 14, he was betrothed to Hedwig (Jadwiga), youngest daughter of King Louis I of Hungary, who was also king of Poland. This was one of the first attempts of the Habsburgs to extend their dominion by marrying heiresses, as Louis intended his elder daughter Mary and her fiancé Sigismund of Luxembourg to inherit Poland, while Jadwiga inherited Hungary.

When Louis died in 1382, Mary succeeded in Hungary. The Poles then rejected Mary and Sigismund, and instead chose Jadwiga as queen regnant. They also repudiated the betrothal to William.

In 1386, his father Leopold died, and William succeeded as head of the Leopoldian Line and ruler of the three duchies.

In 1401, William married another presumptive heiress, Joanna of Naples. She was Jadwiga's cousin, and also of Angevin descent. The marriage did not produce any offspring and William did not live to see his wife succeed her brother as Queen Joanna II.

In 1404, his first cousin Duke Albert the Patient died, leaving the lands of the Albertinian line of the Habsburgs to his seven-year-old son Albert the Magnanimous. William tried to take the Albertinian territories from the child Albert, but did not succeed before his death.


William died in 1406 in Vienna. He is buried in the Dukes' Catacomb in Vienna's Cathedral of Saint Stephan.



  1. "Early Habsburg". European Heraldry. Retrieved 26 April 2011.

Media related to William of Austria at Wikimedia Commons

William, Duke of Austria
Born: c.1370 Died: 15 July 1406
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Leopold the Just
Duke of Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola
Succeeded by
Ernest the Iron
Count of Tyrol
Succeeded by
Frederick of the Empty Pockets
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