Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany

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Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany (6 May 1769 – 18 June 1824) was Grand Duke of Tuscany, (1790–1801; 1814–1824). He was also the Prince-elector and Grand Duke of Salzburg (1803–1806) and Grand Duke of Würzburg (1806–1814).



Ferdinand was born in Florence, Tuscany, into the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He was the son of Leopold, then Grand-Duke of Tuscany, and his wife Infanta Maria Luisa of Spain.

When his father was elected Emperor in 1790, Ferdinand succeeded him as Grand Duke of Tuscany ceded by his father on 22 July 1790. He was driven out by the French in 1799 but still ruled in Tuscany until 1801, when in the Treaty of Aranjuez (1801), he was forced by Napoleon to make way for the Kingdom of Etruria, created as compensation for the Bourbon Dukes of Parma, being dispossessed by the Peace of Lunéville in that same year.

Ferdinand was compensated by being given the Dukedom and Electorate of Salzburg, the secularized lands of the Archbishop of Salzburg, as Duke of Salzburg. He was also made a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, both on 26 December 1802, a role which expired with the Empire's dissolution in 1806.

On 25 December 1805, Ferdinand had to give up Salzburg as well, which by the Treaty of Pressburg was annexed by his older brother, Emperor Francis II. Ferdinand was made Duke of Würzburg, a new state created for him from the old Bishopric of Würzburg, remaining an Elector. With the dissolution of the Empire in 1806 he took the new title of Grand Duke of Würzburg.

On 30 May 1814, after Napoleon's fall, Ferdinand was restored as Grand-Duke of Tuscany. However, in 1815, the Duchy of Lucca was carved out of Tuscany, again as temporary compensation for the Bourbons of Parma. (Lucca would be reintegrated into Tuscany in 1847.)

Ferdinand died in 1824 in Florence and was succeeded by his son Leopold.

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