The Succession Laws of Modena

See the arms and flags of Modena.



Modena, a town in northern Italy, was part of the Holy Roman Empire in the early Middle Ages, and among the estates of the counts of Tuscany of the Canossa family. When the last of the line, countess Mathilda, left her estates to the Pope in 1115, Modena like other cities was able to gain some independence under a municipal government. It fell under the domination of the Este family of nearby Ferrara from 1288 to 1306, and again from 1336. Emperor Frederic III gave Ercole d'Este the title of duke of Modena and Reggio by a diploma of May 18, 1452 (Lünig, Codex Italiae Diplomaticus, 1725; 1:1639). In 1598, the Este family lost Ferrara and transferred their seat to Modena.

Dukes of Modena (1453-1797/1803)

  • Ercole I (1431-1505) ~ Eleonore of Naples
  • Alfonso I (1476-1534) ~(2) Lucrezia Borgia (1480-1519)
  • Ercole II (1508-1559) ~ Renée of France (1510-75)
  • Alfonso II (1533-1597)
  • Cesare (grandson of Ercole I by his 3d wife Laura Dianti) (1552-1628); ~ 1586 Virginia de Medici (1568-1615)
  • Alfonso III (1591-1644) ~ 1608 Isabella of Savoy (1591-1626)
  • Francesco I (1610-1658) ~(1) 1631 Maria Farnese (1615-1646) ~(3) 1654 Lucrezia Barberini (1630-1699)
  • Alfonso IV (1634-1662) ~ 1655 Laura Martinozzi (1639-1687)
  • Francesco II (1660-1694)
  • Rinaldo III (1655-1737), son of Francesco I ~ 1696 Charlotte of Braunschweig-Lüneburg (1671-1710)
  • Francesco III Maria (1698-1780) ~(1) 1720 Charlotte d'Orleans (1700-1761)
  • Ercole III Rinaldo (1727-1803) ~(1) 1741 Maria Theresa Cybo (1725-1790)

The Succession of Modena in 1753

By the mid-18th century, the family was dying out.  The ruling duke, Francesco III, had only one son by his marriage to Charlotte-Aglaé d'Orléans (1700-61), and they were the only males left in the house of Este. Ercole had married in 1741 Maria Teresa Cybo (1725-90), daughter and heiress of Alderano (Cybo (d. 1731), last duke of Massa and Carrara,  and Ricciarda Gonzaga.  So far Ercole had a daughter Maria Beatrice Ricciarda (born 1750). A son Rinaldo Francesco died in infancy in 1753.   In 1744, upon reaching majority, Maria Teresa automatically became duchess of Massa and Carrara and received the imperial investiture for those fiefs, which could pass in female line (in fact, Maria Teresa Cybo had two younger sisters who could inherit in default of her issue).  The duchies of Modena, Reggio and Mirandola, however (the Este patrimony) could only pass in male line, and the Emperor's consent was required for any other arrangement.

An arrangement was reached with the Empress Maria Teresia of Austria. A convention was signed on May 11, 1753, and ratified by the Empress, the duke of Modena, and George II of Great Britain as head of the whole house of Guelf (of which Este was a junior branch). The full text is given below in the original Latin, with a contemporary translation of the first 8 articles in French.

Analysis of the 1753 Convention

Article 1 explains the reasons for the convention, and announces that the duke wants to choose for himself an heir in case of complete extinction of the male line of Este; that heir is archduke Peter-Leopold or the younger brother of his destined to marry his grand-daughter Maria Beatrice.  Art. 2 makes him heir even in case of extinction of all female descendents before the marriage is concluded, or if they die without children. By article 3, the duke promises to secure his son's consent.  By article 4, Maria Theresia and Francis I agree, and promise by article 5 to send their son to Milan to as soon as possible.  Article 6 declares that Modena must never be united to the hereditary lands of Austria but be ruled as a separate state, and its ruler must reside in Modena and upholds its laws.  Article 7 reiterates that the archduke is to inherit Modena in any case, whether or not he marries Maria Beatrice and they have children: the designation of heir is for him and his male descendants from any legitimate marriage, and more generally for any Austrian archduke as long as he does not rule any other land, the general purpose of the parties being a perpetual entail of Modena in favor of the house of Austria in conformity with article 6.  Article 8 states that, as a consequence, any archduke called to reign would have to cede his rights to Modena to a younger son or, if he has none, to the closest archduke.  In article 9, the emperor promises to issue letters of eventual investiture consistent with the terms of the convention and have them ratified by the Imperial Diet.  Article 10 deals with the possible claims of other Cybo female descendents and their lines, arranging for the emperor to compensate them in exchange for their reights.  Articles 12-14 deal with making the archduke governor of Milan before he accedes to Modena.  Articl 15 imposes on him the obligation to assume the name of Este.

The Investiture of 1771

When archduke Karl died in 1761, Peter-Leopold became 2nd son of the duke of Tuscany, and therefore heir presumptive to that duchy.  This meant that the Este inheritance had to pass to the next archduke.  A convention was signed to that effect on 7 June 1763, substituting archduke Ferdinand (1754-1806) to Peter-Leopold (who went on to become emperor Leopold II).  Ferdinand married Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este on 15 Oct 1771.  At that time, the Emperor formally asked the Imperial Diet (Reichstag) in Regensburg to give its advice on the terms of an "eventual investiture of the imperial fiefs currently owned by the house of Este" in favor of archduke Ferdinand.  The Reichstag consented and the consent was ratified by the Emperor on 30 January 1771; the same day, a formal patent of investiture was issued.  The documents are given below.

The texts are rather more ambiguous than the convention itself.  The German documents consist of:

  1. a commission dated 13 dec 1770 to the Emperor's representative at the Diet to submit to the Diet the terms of eventual investiture of the imperial fiefs in the Este patrimony
  2. the Diet's opinion approving the terms on 18 Jan 1771
  3. a ratification of the Diet's approval by the Emperor on 30 Jan 1771
The terms of the eventual investiture, to become effective upon extinction of the male line of Este, are to Ihro des Erzherzogen Ferdinand von Oefterreich Königl.. Hoheit und seiner Nachkommenschaft, und bey Abgang derselben seinen übrigen Collateralerben: "to HRH the archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his issue, and in case of extinction to all his collateral heirs."

The Latin text of the investiture document itself, dated 30 Jan 1771, is more explicit: Nos Josephus II ... Archiducem Austriae Ferdinandum hujusque descendentes legitimos in infinitum, hiisque deficientibus, reliquos Ejusdem Haeredes collecterales in infinitum ad normam et modum Privilegiorum Caesareorum Augustae Domui Austricae jam olim concessorum, ac dein super sanctionem Pragmaticam in eadem stabilitam Sacri Romani Imp. Consensu firmatorum ... investimus: "We Joseph II invest the archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his legitimate descendents in perpetuity, and in case of their extinction, his remaining collateral heirs in perpetuity according to the imperial privileges granted to the august House of Austria and affirmed by the consent of the Holy Roman Empire to the Pragmatic Sanction ordained in the same house".

In case of extinction of Ferdinand's heirs, his collateral heirs in the house of Austria, as defined by the Pragmatic Sanction, were called to succeed. No mention seems to have been made of the other clauses of the convention (such as separating Austria and Modena).

Modena was invaded by French troops in 1796; duke Ercole III fled on 7 May 1796, and a ceasefire was signed between the Modenese and French armies on 12 May 1796. In Modena, the duke was overthrown and Modena joined a nascent "Cispadane Republic" (along with Bologna, Ferrara and Reggio), which later merged with the Cisalpine Republic of Northern Italy (July 1797). The Treaty of Campo-Formio of 17 Oct 1797, in its article 18, formally recognized the cession of Modena to the Cisalpine Republic, but guaranteed to the duke of Modena the Austrian district of Brisgau. Modena was occupied again by the Austrians in June 1799, but evacuated a year later and the Republic was restored on 25 June 1800 after the battle of Marengo.  The Cisalpine Republic became the kingdom of Italy in 1805, ruled by Napoleon. Part of the former Este inheritance (Reggio, Rovigo) was used to form grand fiefs (see Napoleonic titles).

Restoration in 1814

On 7 February 1814, Austrian troops occupied Modena.  Ferdinand's eldest son Francesco (1779-1846) arrived in Modena on 19 July 1814.  The final Act of the Congress of Vienna of 1815 returned Modena, Reggio and Mirandola to him, and returned Massa and Carrara to his mother Maria Beatrice Ricciarda.  This was logical, since Francesco IV held Modena not by inheritance through his mother, but by inheritance of his father.  The article also stated: "Les droits de succession et réversion établis dans les branches des Archiducs d'Autriche relativement au Duché de Modène, de Reggio et Mirandole, ainsi que des Principautés de Massa et Carrara, seront conservés" (The succession rights and reversion rights instituted among the lines of the archdukes of Austria with respect to the duchies of Modena, Reggio and Mirandola, as well as the principalities of Massa and Carrara, shall be maintained).  The effect of this article was to keep in force the convention of 1753 and the terms of the investiture of 1771.

Rulers of Modena, 1803/1814-1859

  • Ferdinand (I) (1754-1806) ~ Maria Beatrice d'Este (1750-1829)
  • Francesco IV (1779-1846) ~ Maria Beatrice of Savoy (1792-1840)
  • Francesco V Ferdinand (1819-1875) ~ Adelgunde of Bavaria (1823-1914)
Modena was briefly occupied by Murat's troops in April 1815.  From February to March 1831, a provisional government was in place while the duke was in exile.  Again, from March to August 1848, the duke left Modena which was ruled by a provisional government, and was even united to Piedmont for a period of a month.  The duke was restored on 10 August 1848.

When war broke out between Austria and Sardinia in April 1859, Francesco V declared for Austria, but a combination of riots and Sardinian invasion forced him from power. On 11 June 1859, Francesco V left Modena for Mantua, after having instituted a regency. It lasted 2 days and was replaced by a municipal assembly that voted for annexation by Sardinia, which sent a commissary. The preliminaries of Villafranca between France and Austria called for a restoration of the duke, and the Sardinian commissary ceded power on August 8, but an elected assembly voted the destitution of the house of Austria-Este and the perpetual exclusion of princes of the house of Habsburg-Lorraine on August 20. The next day the assembly voted for annexation by Sardinia. A plebiscite endorsed the annexation which took effect by decree of March 18, 1860. Francesco V issued a protest on 22 March 1860 against the annexation (British & Foreign State Papers, vol. 57, p. 1030; see the text in Hertslet).

The Succession of Modena, 1875

By 1863, all of the male children of Ferdinand and Maria Beatrice Ricciarda had died; only Francesco IV left issue.  Francesco IV had left two sons, Francesco V (whose only daughter died in infancy) and Ferdinand (d. 1849), whose only child was a daughter, Maria Teresa (1849-1919).  The exiled duke Francesco V was thus the last male of his line, and had no surviving children, a niece, and two sisters: Maria Teresa (1817-86) childless of her marriage to the comte de Chambord, and Maria Beatrice (1824-1906) who married the count of Montizon and was the mother of the future duke of Madrid and duke of San Jaime, Carlist pretenders in Spain. In the 1860s, the question of the succession to Modena arose again, this time with differences of opinion between the duke and the Austrian government.

For the Austrians, the problem was simple: at the death of Francesco V the Este claim would pass, by virtue of the convention of 1753, to a junior line of the house of Austria: initially, archduke Ferdinand Maximilian (1832-67), younger brother of emperor Franz Josef I; and, after Maximilian's accession as emperor of Mexico and death, the next brother Karl Ludwig (1833-96) or his son Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914). Francesco V, however, felt that the Congress of Vienna had restored Modena as a fully sovereign state and not a fief of the defunct Holy Roman Empire, and that its rulers were free to dispose of the succession upon extinction of the line. Moreover, the investiture of 1771 gave Modena to the heirs of archduke Ferdinand, without any restriction to the male line, upon extinction of the male line of Este. He felt justified, therefore, to make his niece Maria Teresa heir of the Austria-Este claim: at least she descended directly from the antique house of Este, which would not be true of Franz Josef's brothers. For a while, a marriage between Maria Teresa and an archduke had been considered, but finally, in 1868, she prince Ludwig of Bavaria (1845-1921), later king Ludwig III.

In the end, Francesco V drew a will in 1875 that appointed as universal heir the 12-year old archduke Franz Ferdinand, eldest son of Emperor Franz Josef's eldest surviving brother Karl Ludwig. (See an excerpt of the will).  The will imposed a number of conditions on him and his successors, namely to change his name to "Austria-Este", to adopt the arms of Este, to learn Italian, to avoid marriages with non-Catholic princesses.  Should Franz Ferdinand decline, his brothers Otto and Ferdinand would be called, and if they also declined, the inheritance would be shared by the duke of Madrid and the duke of San Jaime (with the same conditions!).  Anyone refusing in the future to accept these terms would be immediately by-passed in favor of the next heir.  How the inheritance was to pass among future heirs is not described in the secondary source I used.

Accordingly, Franz Ferdinand was styled at the Austrian court Erzherzog von Österreich-Este (see, e.g., Hof- und Staats-Handbuch der Österreichisch-Ungarischen Monarchie for the year 1889, when Rudolf was still alive). Under the terms of the 1753 convention, Modena and Austria could not be united on the same head. This required that the Este inheritance pass to the next available heir, should the archduke holding the title become Austrian emperor. After the suicide of the emperor's only son Rudolf in 1889, and the death of the emperor's brother Karl Ludwig in 1896, Franz Ferdinand became heir presumptive, but he never received any official title as heir. In the end, he never reigned, since he was assassinated in 1914, before the death of Franz Josef, leaving a male issue by a morganatic marriage (the dukes of Hohenberg: they would probably be excluded under the terms of Francesco V's will, but not necessarily under those of the duchy of Modena). Franz Ferdinand's brother Otto (1865-1906) had left two sons, the eldest Karl (1887-1922) inherited the Este claim and was styled Erzherzog von Österreich-Este.
The official announcement in the Wiener Zeitung of 22 Dec 1914, p. 1, ran as follows (in Politische Chronik der Österreichisch-ungarischen monarchie, 1914, p. 709):
Seine k. und k. Apostolische Majestät haben mit Allerhöchst unterzeichneter Urkunde vom 31. October 1914 allergnädigst zu genehmigen geruht, daß gemäß der letztwilligen Anordnungen weiland Seiner königlichen Hoheit des durchlauchtigsten Erzherzogs Franz von Österreich-Este, Herzogs von Modena, und Seine k. und k. Hoheit der durchlauchtigste Erzherzogs Carl Franz Josef für sich und seine ihm im Besitze der ihm laut letztwilliger Anordnung Seiner k. und k. Hoheit des durchlauchtigsten Erzherzogs Franz Ferdinand vom 3. Juni 1907 hinterlassenen Vermögensbestandteile nachfolgenden Nachkommen aus ebenbürtiger Ehe den Namen und das Wappen der Familie Este mit dem eigenem Namen und Wappen vereinige. His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty has been pleased to approve by a patent of Oct. 31, 1914, that in accordance with the testament of HRH the late archduke Franz of Austria-Este, duke of Modena, HI&RH the archduke Carl Franz Josef join the name and arms of Este to his own name and arms, for himself and for those of his issue out of equal marriage who will succeed him in the possession of the properties left to him by the testament of HI&RH the late archduke Franz Ferdinand dated 3 June 1907.

On the death of Emperor Franz Josef I in 1916, he became Karl I, at which point the Este claim passed to his younger son Robert (1915-96), who took the name von Österreich-Este: (see Hof- und Staats-Handbuch...).
The official announcement in the Wiener Zeitung of 5 May 1917 ran as follows (in Politische Chronik der Österreichisch-ungarischen monarchie, 1917, p. 277):
Seine k. und k. Apostolische Majestät haben mit Allerhöchst unterfertigter Urkunde vom 16. April d. I. und in gemäßheit der bezüglichen Bestimmungen der letztwilligen Anordnungen weiland Seiner königlichen Hoheit des durchlauchtigsten Erzherzogs Franz von Österreich-Este, Herzogs von Modena, und weiland Seiner k. und k. Hoheit des durchlauchtigsten Erzherzogs Franz Ferdinand von Österreich-Este den Namen und das Wappen Este auf Allerhöchstderen Sohn, Seine k. und k. Hoheit den durchlauchtigsten Erzherzog Robert Karl, zu übertragen geruht, so daß Seine k. und k. Hoheit und Höchstdessen auf Grund der Primogenitur-Erbfolge nächstberufenen Nachkommen aus ebenbürtiger Ehe den Namen Österreich-Este führen und das estensiche mit dem eigenen Wappen vereinigen werden. His Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty has been pleased, by patent of April 16 last, to transfer the name and arms of Este to his son HI&RH the archduke Robert Karl, in accordance with the testament of HRH the late archduke Franz of Austria-Este, duke of Modena, and HI&RH the late archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este, so that HI&RH and those of his issue from equal marriage called after him by primogeniture shall bear the name Austria-Este and join the arms of Este with their own.

Robert he left three sons and two daughters by his marriage to Margherita of Savoy. The eldest son, the present "duke of Modena", is Lorenz, archduke of Austria-Este (b. 1955), married to princess Astrid of Belgium, and thus son-in-law of king Albert II of Belgium.

Convention of 11 May 1753

(Source: Consolidated Treaty Series, vol. 40, p. 61).

This convention was written in Latin.  It was ratified on 3 June by Maria Theresia, by Emperor Francis I (as grand-duke of Tuscany) on 13 June, and by the king of Great Britain (as head of the house of Guelf) on 14 June.

In nomine sacrosanctae et individuae trinitatis dei patris, filii et spiritus sancti, amen.

Notum testatumque vigore praesentium facimus omnibus quorum interest aut quomodocunque interesse potest. Cum Ser.mus Mutinensis dux pro paterno suo erga subditos populos affectu, non minus de eorum quiete ac prosperitate quam de antiquissimae stirpis suae decore et incremento, uti par est, enixe sollicitus, post praematura Serinissimi secundogeniti filii sui fata nihil prius nihilque antiquius habuerit quam unum alterumve scopum, quo fieri potest meliore modo, firmare, ea super re Serenissimum ac Potentissimum principem Dominum Georgium Secundum Magnae Britanniae, Franciae et Hyberniae regem, electorem Brunsvicensem et Luneburgensem, utpote Estensis domus caput, consuluit, cuius suasu hortatuque et interveniente eiusdem regis conciliatoria opera contractus matrimonialis hodierna die subscriptus, signatus et conclusus fuit. Quoniam vero provida haecce dispositio pro asserendo utroque
supramemorato scopo haud sufficiens visa fuit; hinc eaedem partes contrahentes, quae contractum istum inierunt aut eidem intervenerunt, nimirum Serenissimus et Potentissimus princeps Dnus Franciscus Romanorurn imperator, Germaniae et Hierosolymae rex, Lotharingiae et Barri Magnusque Hetruriae dux, tum ac princeps Dna Maria Theresia Romanorum imperatrix, Germaniae, Hungariae, Bohemiaeque regina, archidux Austriae, neque minus Ser.mus ac Pot.mus princeps Dnus Georgius Secundus Magnae Britanniae, Franciae et Hyberniae rex, elector Brunsvicensis et Luneburgensis, qua praedicti matrimonii suasor et conciliator ac denique Ser.mus Mutinensis dux de ulterioribus eum in finem mediis inter se secreta consilia conferre constituerunt; quapropter pro opere hocce peragendo altefatae Sacrae Ceae Mtes viros, Illmum et Excmum Dmum Rudolphum losephum sacri Romani imperii comitem Colloredo de Waldsee, vicecomitem in Meltz et marchionem sanctae Sophiae, dominum dynastiarum Oppotschnae, Staaz, Siebenhürten et Fölling, supremum in regno Bohemiae dapiférum haereditarium, aurei velleris equitem, Sacrarum C.aeum M.tum consiliarium actualem intimum, conferentiarurn ministrum, nec non Sacrae C.eae M.tis et sacri Romani imperii procancellarium; ac Ill.mum et Exel.mum D.num Corficium sacri Romani imperii comitem ab Ulfeld, consiliarium status actualem intimum, primum conferentiarum ministrum, nec non aulae et status cancellarium, supremum supellectili argenteae regni Bohemiae haereditarium praefectum dominum dynastiarum Ienikau, Hostaschow, Prödliz, Ottaslowiz et in feudo Zültsch, aurei velleris equitem; Sacra R.ia Britannica M.tas qualitate supradicta D.num Robertum Keith armigerum, suum in aulà C.ea ac C.eo R.ia nunc temporis ministrum; et Ser.mus Mutinae dux Ill.mum D.num Antonium comitem de Montecuccoli, equitem Hierosolymitanum, praetoriae cohortis praefectum et eiusdem in aula C.ea et C.eo R.ia ablegatum extraordinarium, et Dnum abbatem Antonium Grossatesta, eiusdem in aula regia Britannica administrum selegeruntt plenisque facultatibus muniverunt, habitisque insuper colloquiis et permutatis prius plenipotentiarum tabulis de sequentibus articulis conventum est.

1. Cum merito pertimescendum sit ne, si forsan Estensis in Italia stirps legitima mascula citius aut tardius extinguatur, novae exin turbae in Italia exoriantur, iis praecavendis Ser.mus Mutinensis dux eiusmodi successorem seligere et quantum penes ipsum est jam nunc pro eo, qui modo memoratus est, casu in haeredem, nominare constituit, sub quo vetusta Estensis gentis gloria non revivisceret modo, sed novo decore ornaretur. Quem in finem non alius princeps idoneus eidem magis visus est quam unus ex postgenitis Ser.mis Austriae archiducibus, utpote qui et ipsi ex Estensi domo, quae in Germania floret, oriundi sunt, et quorum unus eum ipsum in finem in Ser.mae neptis suae sponsum destinatus est. Quapropter in casum, uti dicturn est, extinguendae citius aut tardius Estensis in Italia stirpis legitimae masculae, et non aliter, vigore praesentis articuli ac proinde vigore solemnis et irrevocabilis pacti conventi, idem. Ser.mus dux Ser.mum Austriae archiducern Petrum Leopoldum aut illum ex postgenitis eiusdem fratribus, qui juxta conclusum hodierna die contractum matrimonialem Ser.mae neptis suae sponsus erit, quo fieri potest, meliore ac validiore modo haeredem nominat omnium ditionum ac bonorum suorum, tam feudalium, quam allodialium tempore evenientis successionis existentium, absque eo tamen, ut hacce haeredis universalis designatione quoad allodialia bona quidquam decedat juribus, quae in ea Ser.mi saepefati ducis filiabus, neptibus et sororibus competunt aut competere possunt; quippe quae, ne in jura tertii ullatenus impingatur, quovis meliore modo reservata censeri debent. Ser.mus autem ita denominatus haeres Sers.mum Mutinensium ducem, qua caput familiae, conveniente modo nunquam non respiciet.

II. Quoniam vero evenire posset, ut non modo tota stirps Estensis in Italia mascula sed insuper quoque omnes ex praesentibus Ser.mis Mutinensibus principibus haereditariis descendentes foeminae, seu ante consummatum, de quo hodierna die conventum est, matrimonium, seu etiam posthaec prole nulla relicta decederent, ad hunc quoque casum, providam curam suam extendens saepememoratus Ser.mus dux ex postgenitis Ser.mis Austriae archiducibus illum, qui eveniente casu natu major erit, pari solemni et irrevocabili modo ex nunc pro tunc haeredem suum ac successorem universalem sub eadern tamen, quae praecedente articulo sancita est lege ac reservatione designat ac nominat.

III. Porro Ser.mus Mutinensis dux promittit curae sibi fore, ut non minus praesens secreta conventio quam contractus matrimonialis Ser.mi filii sui principis haereditarii consensu ante ratihabitionum permutationem corroboretur.

IV. Praefatam successoris et haeredis nominationem altefatae Sacrae C.eae M.tes pro unoquoque ex postgenitis filiis suis, quem illa citius aut tardius concernere poterit, quo fieri potest, solemniore ac validiore modo accipiunt suoque in antecessum consensu confirmant.

V. Quo autem designatus ita successor eveniente casu ditionibus, quae ad eundem devolvuntur, cum uberiore subditorum fructu et solatio praesse queat, altefatis Sacris C.eis M.tibus summae jam in praesens curae erit, ut Ser.mus sponsus rite de iis omnibus, quae eum in finem inserviunt, instruatur, eundem, ubi maturioris erit aetatis, ea de causa Mediolanum missurae.

VI. Conventum porro inter partes contrahentes est, ditiones ad Mutinensem successionem spectantes cum regnis et ditionibus, quae ad augustarn domum Austriacam spectant, nunquam conjungi multoque minus in speciern provinciae ab Austriaca successione dependentis redigi posse, sed separatum semper corpus statuum constituere debere, tenerique earundem possessorem ibidem domicilium suum figere, ac eodem modo uti praedecessores sui residere, neque minus sartas tectas servare internas ditionum leges et constitutiones. Conventumque insuper est, non eam esse contrahentium mentem, ut hac successoris designatione quicquam decedat libero exercitio auctoritatis et potestatis, quae duci et Ser.mis eius successoribus masculis competunt, vel etiam arbitrii huic auctoritati, et potestati quovis modo annexi.

VII. Praemoriente sponsa nepte ante Ser.mum sponsum Petrum Leopoldum aut postgenitum fratrem in locum eius, si ante consummatum matrimonium moreretur, subintrantem, absque eo ut soror ulla sit superstes, nihilominus firma manet supradicta successoris designatio vigore pacti solemnis et irrevocabilis familiae, uti supra dictum est, stabilita non solum favore Ser.mi sponsi eiusque descendentium masculorum ex quocunque demum legitimo matrimonio procreatorum, sed et quorumcumque archiducum Austriae, illis solummodo exceptis, qui regnis et ditionibus haereditariis praeerunt, cum mens contrahentium sit, extinctae Estensi familiae masculae generatim, substituere Ser.mam Austriacam domum, in quantum id absque laesione normae praecedente articulo sancitae fieri potest.

VIII. Quodsi proinde illi, qui supradicta ratione ad Mutinensem successionem vocatus est, etiam postquam eande adierit, successio Austriaca obtingeret, eum in casum succesionis in Mutinenses ditiones jus ipso facto vel in secund genitum filium suum, si plures haberet, vel in alium Austria archiducem ex antiquiore linea gradu proximum, transferri teneretur, sed ubi talis haud extiterit, cessabit tota, que in praesenti secreta conventione continetur, dispositio.

IX. Quo autem, quae praecedentibus articulis de successionis jure stabilita sunt, eo firmius subsistant, partes contrahentes disertim declararunt, a mente sua quam longissime alienum esse caesareis et imperii juribus ullum vel minimum praejudicium afferre, cum sint potius de iis sartis tectis servandis et cum supradicto scopo conciliandis quam maxime sollicitae. Quem in finem Sacra Cea Mas, qua caput imperii eventualis investiturae literas, huic ipsi dispositioni consona quantocyus adumbrare curabit, et tam, conjunctim quam se paratim cum reliquis partibus contrahentibus operam omne eo impendet, quo literae istae electoralis collegii vel etiam totius imperii consensu corroborentur atque sic exteris principibus omnis contradicendi ansa et praetextus adimatur.

X. Praeterea cum. saepefatus Ser.mus Mutinensis dum enixe institerit, ut perennis unio et indissolubilitas omnium quae ad ipsum et Ser.mam nurum suam actu spectant, ditionum pro quovis dabili casu asseratur, Sacraque C.ea & R.ia Hungariae et Bohemiae M.tas, in quantum absque laesione juris tertii id fieri potest, huic desiderio deferre cupiat; hin est, quod altefata M.tas Sua favore successionis per praesentem secretam conventionem postgenitis filiis suis assignatae pro se suisque in actu ab eadem possessa regna et ditione successoribus renuntiat praetensionibus, quae extincta Estensi stirpe in Italia mascula sibi in Mirandolae et Concordiae principatus tum Novellarae comitatum competunt. Praeterea M.tas Sua una cum dilectissimo conjuge suo Sacra C.ea M.tas operam omnem eo impendere promittunt, quo cum, consensu libero principum postgenitarum hodie viventium ex Cybensi domo aut, si hae forent praemortuae, illarum descendentium ad Massae ducatum et principatum Carrariae vocatorum aut vocatarum perennis quoque modo memorati ducatus et principatus unio cum reliquis ditionibus Mutinensibus, quovis possibili legati modo stabiliri queat, ea tamen sub expressa conditione, et non aliter, ut hac de causa aut sub ullo excogitabili alio praetextu nihil quicquam constitutae doti duarum florenorum Rhenensium myriadum detrahatur, et stabilienda perennis unio nullatenus in praejudicium Ser.mae sponsae aut Ser.mi sponsi eorumque descendentium vergat, cum Ser.mae sponsae, ubi eiusdem mater prole mascula haud relicta decesserit, potius ante omnes ex Estensi stirpe, non tamen ex eiusdem sponsae matre oriundos legitimos masculos jus in Massae ducatum et principatum Carrariae competat; quod ipsum jus hisce pro eadem tum mediante eadem pro sponso eorumque descendentibus hisce quam solemnissime reservatur.

XI. Et sicuti omnium eorum, quae in praesente secreta conventione continentur, primaria basis est arctissima et indissolubilis unio inter augustam domum Austriacam et Ser.mam Estensem in Italia domum earumque status, ditiones ac subditos, ita conventum porro est, subditos hosce in alterius contrahentis ditionibus iisdem juribus et immunitatibus, quibus indigenae ibidem gaudent, mutuo gaudere debere.

XII. Pro confirmanda magis perenni et indissolubili praecedente articulo memorata unione Sacra C.ea R.iaque M.tas Mutinensium duci praefecturam suarum in Italia copiarum deferre eique administrationem gubernii Lombardiae Austriacae loco Ser.mi archiducis sponsi, cui id destinatur, concedere promittit, tam diu cum eodem auctoritatis titulo ac jure, quo Ser.mus archidux sponsus id suscipiet, exercendum, donec praefatus archidux majorennem aetatem, id est decimum octavum annum, attigerit; quo casu tamen Ser.mus dux emolumento huic gubernio annexo quamdiu vixerit gaudebit. Vicissim vero Sacrae C.eae R.iaeque M.ti eiusque successoribus Ser.mus Mutinae dux facultatem in munita loca sua praesidiarium militem in eo, de quo partes contrahentes communi consensu convenient, numero cum proprio miscendum, praestito prius consueto juramento, defert. Conventumque insuper est, quod is suum quoque militem C.eo in munitis Insubriae locis miscere possit, quodque utriusque partis miles sumptibus eius, cui servit, sit alendus, tum quod haec mutua militis commiscendi facultas, quemadmodum non nisi a die susceptae praefecturae armorum et administrationis gubernii Lombardiae Austriacae exerceri potest, ita pariter cessare uno eodemque tempore debeat, quo tam praefata praefectura quam administratio cessabunt.

XIII. Quodsi tamen belli tempore princeps eminentioris dignitatis exercitui praeesset, sub eius ductu secundo loco militare haud detrectabit Ser.mus dux.

XIV. Si autem antequam Ser.mus archidux sponsus majorennem aetatem attigerit, Ser.mus Mutinae dux e vivis decederet, Sacra Cea Riaque M.tas pro uberius testando suo erga Estensem stirpem affectu, quem in filio pariter etiam post adeptam majorennitatem condecente ratione perennem fore dubium non est, Mutinensi principi haereditario, qui jam in vivis est, tam copiarum suarum in Italia praefecturam quam administrationem gubernii Lombardiae Austriacae conferre promittit, eodem modo et tam diu sub iisdem legibus exercendam, prouti articulo praecedente duodecimo dispositum est.

XV. Quo mediante praesente provida dispositione vetusta gentis Estensis gloria in nova prosapia non reviviscat modo, sed majora capiat incrementa, consentiunt altefatae Sacrae Ceae Mtes, ut ab eo archiduce, qui in possessione Mutinensium ditionum erit, cognomen Estensis assumatur.

XVI. Sicuti Sacra Ria Britannica M.tas tam qua rex quam qua elector supramemorati matrimonii suasor conciliatorque fuit, ita quoque omnibus consiliis et bonis officiis eo operam navabit, quo quae ad huiusce matrimonii scopum pertinent, plenum sortiantur exitum et effectum, et speciatim in utraque praefata qualitate, quo fieri potest, meliore modo eo allaborabit, quo tenor articuli huius conventionis noni, qui jura imperii concernit, eiusdem imperii aut saltem collegii electoralis consensu quam validissime, et quo citius eo melius, corroboretur.

XVII. Praesens conventio secreta maneto usque dum contrahentibus unanimiter aliter visum fuerit. Quodsi tamen, durante hoc temporis intervallo, Sacrae C.eaee M.ti qua capiti imperii e re visum fuerit, a Mutinensi duce separatum instrumentum, continens ea de quibus quoad eventualem successionem in Mutinenses ditiones hodierna die conventum est, expetere, praefatus Ser.mus dux tale separatum instrumentum pro facilius obtinendo seu collegii electoralis seu totius imperii consensu indilatim extradere promittit. Interea autem praesens conventio intra sex septimanarum spatium, aut citius si fieri poterit, ratihabenda erit, et ratihabitionum tabulas Viennae permutare partes contrahentes statuerunt. In quorum omnium fidem majusque robur nos infrascripti ministri plena ad id tractandum et peragendum facultate muniti praesens conventionis instrumentum propria manu subscripsimus ac consuetis sigillis nostris munivimus. Acta haec sunt Viennae Austriae die 11.a Maji, anno domini millesimo septingentesimo quinquagesimo tertio.

L. S. R. comes Colloredo.

L. S. Ro. Keith.                                                             L. S. C. comes ab Ulfeld.

L. S. comes Montecuccoli                                               L. S. abbas Grossatesta
sub spe rati.                                                                    sub spe rati.

French Translation (art. 1-8)

I.  Comme on peut craindre avec raison que si la branche légitime masculine de la maison d'Este, en Italie, s'éteignait plus tôt ou plus tard, il n'en résultât de nouveaux troubles en Italie, pour les prévenir, le sérénissime duc de Modène a résolu de se choisir un successeur, autant qu'il est en lui, et de se nommer un héritier dès à présent, pour le cas dont il a été parlé, qui fût tel que non seulement il pût faire revivre l'ancienne gloire de la maison d'Este, mais y ajouter encore un nouveau lustre. Aucun prince n'a paru plus propre à remplir ces vues qu'un des sérénissimes archiducs puînés d'Autriche, comme étant issus eux-mêmes de la maison d'Este florissante en Allemagne, et dont un est destiné, dans ce même but, à devenir l'époux de sa sérénissime petite-fille.

C'est pourquoi dans le cas, comme il a été dit, où la branche légitime masculine de la maison d'Este viendrait tôt ou tard à s'éteindre en Italie et non autrement, en vertu du présent article et par cela même en vertu du traité solennel et irrévocablement convenu, le même sérénissime duc nomme héritier, dans la meilleure et plus sûre forme possible, de tous les pays qui sont sous sa domination et de tous ses biens tant féodaux que allodiaux, existants au moment de la succession, le sérénissime archiduc d'Autriche, Pierre-Léopold, ou celui de ses frères puînés qui, selon le contrat de mariage fait aujourd'hui, sera l'époux de la sérénissime petite-fille, et cela cependant de manière que, par cette désignation d'héritier universel quant aux biens allodiaux, il ne soit point dérogé aux droits qui compètent ou peuvent compéter sur lesdits biens aux filles, petites-filles et soeurs du duc susnommé, lesquels droits doivent être censés réservés en la meilleure forme, pour qu'il ne soit porté aucune atteinte aux droits d'un tiers.  Le sérénissime héritier, ainsi nommé, ne manquera jamais de son côté aux égards qu'il devra au sérénissime due de Modène comme chef de famille.

II.  Mais comme il peut arriver que, non-seulement toute la ligne masculine d'Este en Italie soit éteinte, mais de plus que toutes les femmes descendantes des sérénissimes princes héréditaires de Modène viennent à mourir, avant que le mariage convenu aujourd'hui soit consommé, ou aussi qu'elles meurent sans laisser d'enfants, le sérénissime duc susnommé, désigne et nomme, d'une manière également solennelle et irrévocable, dès à présent pour lors, son héritier et successeur universel, sous la même condition cependant et réserve qui est exprimée dans l'article précédent, celui des sérénissimes archiducs puînés d'Autriche, qui, ce cas arrivant, se trouverait être l'aîné.

III.  Le sérénissime duc de Modène promet qu'il aura soin que la présente convention secrète soit, ainsi que le contrat de mariage, confirmée par le consentement de son sérénissime fils, le prince héréditaire, avant l'échange des ratifications.

IV.  Leurs Sacrées Majestés Impériales acceptent, de la manière la plus solennelle et la plus forte, la susdite nomination de successeur et d'héritier pour celui de leurs fils puînés qu'elle pourrait tôt ou tard concerner, et la confirment d'avance par leur consentement.

V. Afin que le successeur ainsi désigné puisse, le cas arrivant, gouverner avec plus de fruit et de consolation pour ses sujets, les pays qui passeront sous sa domination, Leurs Sacrées Majestés Impériales auront soin, dès à présent, que le sérénissime époux soit bien instruit de tout ce qui peut contribuer à ce but; et lorsqu'il sera parvenu à un âge plus mûr, elles l'enverront à Milan pour cet effet.

VI.  Il est convenu, au reste, que les pays appartenant à la succession de Modène ne pourront jamais être réunis avec les royaumes et les pays qui appartiennent à l'auguste maison d'Autriche, beaucoup moins être réduits en province dépendante de la succession autrichienne, mais qu'ils devront toujours former un corps d'État séparé, et que leur possesseur sera tenu d'y établir son domicile et d'y résider de la même manière que ses prédécesseurs, comme aussi de maintenir et conserver les lois et constitutions internes de ces pays. Il a été convenu, de plus, que les contractants n'entendent point que, par cette désignation d'un successeur, il soit aucunement dérogé au libre exercice de l'autorité et du pouvoir qui compétent au sérénissime duc et à ses sérénissimes successeurs mâles, et à sa volonté souveraine attachée en toute manière à cette autorité et à ce pouvoir.

VII.  La sérénissime épouse, petite-fille du due de Modène, venant à mourir avant le sérénissime époux Pierre Léopold, ou son frère puîné prenant sa place, s'il mourait avant la consommation du mariage, sans qu'elle laissât aucune soeur, la désignation du successeur ci-dessus exprimé n'en subsisterait pas moins, en vertu du pacte solennel et irrévocable de famille, comme il a été ci-dessus établi, non-seulement en faveur du sérénissime époux et de ses descendants mâles, de quelque légitime mariage qu'ils soient nés, mais aussi en faveur de tous les archiducs d'Autriche quelconques, excepté seulement ceux qui posséderont des royaumes et États héréditaires ; l'intention des contractants étant en général de substituer la sérénissime maison d'Autriche à la branche masculine d'Este, éteinte, autant que cela pourra se faire sans violer la règle prescrite par l'article précédent.

VIII.  Que si, en conséquence, celui qui est appelé, comme il est dit ci-dessus, à la succession de Modène, après en avoir pris possession, se trouvait appelé à la succession autrichienne, dans ce cas le droit de successionaux États de Modène serait par le fait transporté ou à son second fils, s'il en avait plusieurs, ou à un autre archiduc d'Autriche d'une branche plus éloignée, le plus près en degré; mais lorsqu'il n'en existerait plus de tel, toute la disposition renfermée dans la présente convention secrète sera annulée.

Acts concerning the Eventual Investiture to the imperial fiefs of the house of Este, 1771

(Source: G. F. de Martens, Recueil des Traités, vol. 1, pp. 715-20).

Actes de l'empire Germanique confirmant l'investiture éventuelle accordée à l'Archiduc Ferdinand d'Autriche a l'égard des fiefs d'Empire de la maison de Modène après l'extinction de la descendance mâle de la Maison d'Este.

(Faber N. E. Staatscanzley T. 32. P. 3. et se trouve dans: Neueste Staatsacta unter Joseph II. T.VI. p. 150 et de là dans WENCK
C. J. G. T. 111. p. 810; comme aussi dans: Neustes Reichstags-Diarium.)

Kayserlich-Allergnädigstes Commissions-Decret an eine hochlöbliche allgemeine ReichsVersammlung zu Regensburg d. d. 13. Decemb.1770. die Sr. des Herrn Erzherzogs  Ferdinand von 0esterreich Königl. Hoheit zu ertheilende Eventual-Investitur, auf die von  dem Herzogl. Modenischen Hause besitzende  Reichs-Lehn betreffend.

Von der Römisch-Kayserlichen Majestät Josephi des Andern, unsers allergnädisgten Herrn Herrn wegen, lassen der Höchstansehnliche Kayserl. Principal-Commissarius Herr Alexander Ferdinand, des Heil. Röm. Reichs Fürst zu Thurn und Taxis, etc. etc. derer Churfürsten Fürsten und Ständen anwesenden vortrefflichen Räthen, Bothschaftern und Gesandeten unverhalten:
Es hätten bey Ihro Röm. Kayserl. Maj. der Kayserin Königin Maj. mit dem Herrn Herzoge Franz Maria zu Modena sich dahin bittlich verwendet, daß Ihro des Erzherzogen Ferdinand von Oefterreich Königl.. Hoheit und seiner Nachkommenschaft, und bey Abgang derselben seinen übrigen Collateralerben, nach gänzlicher Erlöschung des Herzogl. Modenesischen Mannestamms die Eventual-Investitur auf die von dem Herzogl. Modenesischen Hause besitzende Reichs-Lehen ertheilet werden möchte.
Nachdem nun Allerhöchstgedacht Ihro Kayrerl. Maj. außer allem Zweifel setzen, es werde mit Allerhöchstderoselben das gesammte Reich selbst genugsam anerkennen, wie groß das durchlauchtigste Erzhaus Oesterreich um das Heil. Röm. Reich sich von den ältesten Zeiten her verdient gemacht, auch fernerhin demrelben nützlich zu seyn, die fortwährende Gelegenheit habe, und sich dazu stetshin bereit zu erzeigen die besondere Angelegenheit sich mache; daß mithin in oberwähntes Ansuchen willfährig einzugehen, von Kayserl. Allerhöchsten Orts wegen hein bedenken getragen werden möge: also wollen auch Ihre. Kayserl, Maj. sothane Allerhöchste Gesinnung an Churfürsten, Fürften und Stände zur Wissenschaft nicht allein gelangen lassen, sondern auch, wie, nach Inhalt Ihro Röm. Königl. Wahlcapitulation in gegenwärtiger Sache die weitere Einwilligung mitzutheilen gefällig seyn werde, das Gutachten in Gnaden erwarten.

Uebrigens verbleiben des höchstansehnlichen Kayserl. Principal-Commissarii Hochfürstl. Gnaden, den anwesenden vortrefflichen Räthen, Bothschaftern und Gefandten mit freundlich auch geneigtem und gnädigem Willen wohl zugethan. Signatum Regensburg,den 13.Decemb. 1770.

Fürft von Thurn und Taxis

Dem Hochlöblich-Chur-Maynzischen Reichs-Directorio anzuhändigen.

An Ihro Röm. Kayserl. Maj. allerunterthänigstes Reichs-Gutachten, de dato Regensburg den 18ten Jänner 1771, die Sr. des Herrn Erzherzogs Ferdinand von 0esterreich Königl. Hoheit zu ertheilende Eventual-Inveftitur mit denen von dem Herzogl. Modenesischen Hause befitzenden Reichs-Lehen betreffend.

Ihro Römisch-Kayserl. Maj., Unsers allergnädigsten Herrn, zu gegenwärtiger Reichs-Versammlung bevollmächtigten höchstansehnlichen Principal-Commissarii, Herr Alexander Ferdinand, Fürften von Thurn und Taxis etc. etc. Hochfürftl. Gnaden, bleibt hiermit im Nahmen Churfürsten, Fürften und Ständen des Reiche gebührend unverhalten.

Als man in allen dreyen Reichs-Collegiis das unter dem 14ten vorigen Monats und Jahrs durch die Dictatur bekannt gemachte Kayserliche Commissions-Decret in ordentlichen Vortrag und Umfrage gestellet: so ist hierauf, in Rücksicht auf die mannigfältige und große Verdienste, welche sich das Durchlauchtigste Haus Oesterreich von Zeiten herum das Heil. Röm. Reich erworben, und zur Bethätigung der tiefsten Verehrung für Ihro Kayserl. Maj. allerhöchste Person und Dero zeitherige glorreichste Regierung, wie auch in dem ehrerbietigsten Betracht, daß das in dem Commissions-Decret enthaltene Ansuchen vorzüglich von Ihro Maj. der Kayserin Königin geschehen, dafür gehalten und beschlossen wordern, daß die Bewilligung wegen der Eventual-Investitur Sr. des Herrn Erzherzoge Ferdinand von Oesterreich Königl. Hoheit mit denen von dem Herzoglich-Modenesischen Hause besitzenden Reichs-Lehen verlangter massen und dergestalten durch ein Reichs-Gutachten (wie hiermit geschiehet) zu ertheilen seyn, daß sothane Lehen, nach gänzlicher Erlöschung des Herzogl. Modenesischen Mannsstammes, höchstgedacht Sr. Hoheit und Dero Nachkommenschaft, bey deren Abgang aber ihren übrigen Collateral-Erben zukommen sollen.

Womit des Kayserl. Herrn Principal-Commissarii Hochfürstl. Gnaden, der Churfürsten, Fürsten, und Stände des Reichs anwesende Räthe, Bothschafter und Gesandte sich besten Fleißes und geziemend empfehlen.

Signatum Regensburg, den 18.Jänner 1771.

( L. S.)

Chutfürstl. Maynzische Canzley.

Kayserlich-Allergnädigstes Commissions-Ratifications-Decret, an eine hochlöbliche allgemeine Reichs-Versammlung zu Regensburg, de dato den 30ten Jänner 1771, die Sr. des Herrn Erzherzogs Ferdinand von Oesterreich Königl. Hoheit ertheilte Eventual-Investitur mit denen, von dem Herzoglich-Modenesischen Haus besitzenden Reichs-Lehen betreffend.

Von der Römisch-Kayserlichen Majestät Josephi des Andern, unsers allergnädisgten Herrn Herrn wegen, lassen der Höchstansehnliche Kayserl. Principal-Commissarius Herr Alexander Ferdinand, des Heil. Röm. Reichs Fürst zu Thurn und Taxis, etc. etc. derer Churfürsten Fürsten und Ständen anwesenden vortrefflichen Räthen, Bothschaftern und Gesandeten unverhalten:

Ihro Röm. Kayserl. Maj. hätten aus dem von Denenselben unterm 18ten dieses erstatteten Gutachten vergnüglich vernommen, wie Sie auf das den 13ten vorigen Monats und Jahrs erlassene, den 14ten ejusdem dictirte Commissions-Decret und darin eröffnete Kayserl. Allerhöchste Gesinnung, des Durchlauchtigsten Erzherzoge Ferdinand von Oesterreich Königl. Hoheit, seiner Nachkommenschaft, und bey Abgang derselben, seinen übrigen Collateral-Erben, die Eventual-Investitur auf die von dem Herzoglich-Modenesischen Hause besitzende Reichs-Lehen, nach gänzlicher Erlöschung des Herzoglich-Modenesischen Manns-Stamms, zu verleihen, mit einer wohlgefälligen und auf Allerhöchst Sie sowohl, als auch auf der Kayserin Königin Apostol. Maj. und das durchlauchtigste Erzhaus bezeigten Rücksicht, zu vorgedachter Eventual-Investitur für Seine des Herrn Erzherzoge Königl. Hoheit und Dero Nachkommenschäft, bey deren Abgang aber, ihre übrige Collateral-Erben die von Ihro Kayserl. Maj., nach Inhalt Ihro Königl. Wahl-Capitulation geforderte Einwilligung gegeben haben.

Ihro Kayserl. Maj. könnten nicht umhin, nicht allein sothanes Reichs-Gutachten seines ganzen Inhalts und kraft Ihro Allerhöchster, voraus allergnädigst eröffneter Gesinnung hiemit zu begnehmigen und zu bastätigen, sondern auch anbey vor die Allerhöchst Ihro und Ihrem Durchlauchtigsten Erzhause von Churfürsten, Fürsten und Ständen, so wie von Dero vortrefflichen anwesenden Räthen, Bothschaftern und Gesandten erwiesene erkenntliche Rückficht und geneigte Willfährigkeit Ihro Kayserl. Danknehmigkeit zu bezeigen, wornach Allerhöchstdieselbe die obberührter Massen bewilligte Kayserliche Eventual-Investitur dem Herkommen gemäß verleihen und ausfertigen lassen werden.

Es verbleiben übrigens des höchstansehnlichen Kayserlichen Principal-Commissarii Hochfürstl.Gnaden, den anwesenden vortrefflichen Räthen, Bothschaftern und Gesandten mit freundlich- auch geneigtem und gnädigem Willen wohl zugethan. Signatum Regensburg den 30. Jänn. 1771.

Fürst  von Thurn und Taxis.

Dem Hochlöblich-Chur-Maynzischen Reichs-Directorio anzuhändigen.

The Act of Investiture, 30 Jan 1771

(Source: Teodoro Bayard de Volo, Vita di Francesco V. duca di Modena, Modena, Tip. dell'Imm. Concezione, 1878-85 (4 vols.) vol. 4, p. 575; omissions are those of the source).


Notum testatumque vigore praesentim faciamus Cum Serenis. ac Potentis. Princeps Domina Maria Theresia Romanorum Imperatrix Augustissima Genitrix Nostra, nec non Serenis. Princeps Franciscus III Dux Mutinae, Regii ... et...  Consanguineus et Princeps Noster Charissimus nobis expetierint ut si praefatus Serenis. Dux Ejusque unicus Filius Serenis. Princeps Hercules absque Descendentibus Masculis ex legitimo, Matrimonio natis decesserint, Nos supra feuda universa quae Domus Ducalis Estensis a Noble et Sacro Romano Imperio tenet, Serenis. Ungariae et Boh. Principi Archiduci Ferdinando Fratre Nostro Ejusque descendentibus legitimis, sique hi deficierent Ejusdem reliquis Haeredibus Collacteralibus, literas eventualis Investiturae conferre velimus. Cumque Sacri Romani Imperii Statue rite in Comitii Ratisbonae congregati super factam iisdem desuper Nomine Nostro partecipationem die 18 mensis Januarii unanimibus votis penitus et plane illuc adstipulati sint et nos communio hase ipsius Imperii  vota die trigesima ejusdem mensis Consensu Nostro roboraverimus;

Pro inde ... supra dictum Regium Ungariae et Boh. Principem, Archiducem Austriae Ferdinandum hujusque descendentes legitimos in infinitum, hiisque deficientibus, reliquos Ejusdem Haeredes collecterales in infinitum ad normam et modum Privilegiorum Caesareorum Augustae Domui Austricae jam olim concessorum, ac dein super sanctionem Pragmaticam in eadem stabilitam Sacri Romani Imp. Consensu firmatorum, pro casu quo Posteritas mascula supradicta Domus Ducalis Estensis ex legittimo matrimonio nata aut nascitura extincta foret, tenore praesentium hocce Decretum et Diplomate Nostro Imperiali  vim eventualis investiturae habente de universis praedictae Domus feudis, modo ita investimus ... salvis tamen nostris et Sacri Romani  imperii Juribus, se illa sub conditione ut in casu existentis realiter aperturae et quoties deinceps hic casus evenerit actualem Investituram a Nobis Nostrisque Successoribus memoratus Archidux Ferdinandus caeterique ut supra, Descendentes aut Collacterales secundum normam Archiducali Domui Nostrae competentem recipere teneatur teneaturque.

Maudamus proinde...

Final Act of the Congress of Vienna, 9 June 1815

Article 98

S.A.R. l'Archiduc François d'Este, Ses héritiers et successeurs posséderont en toute propriété et souveraineté les Duchés de Modène, de Reggio et de Mirandole dans la même étendue qu'ils étaient à l'époque du traité de Campo-Formio.

S.A.R. l'Archiduchesse Marie-Béatrice d'Este, Ses héritiers et successeurs posséderont en toute propriété et souveraineté le Duché de Massa et la Principauté de Carrara, ainsi que les fiefs impériaux dans la Lunigiana. Ces derniers pourront servir à des échanges ou des arrangements de gré à gré avec S.A.I. le Grand-Duc de Toscane, selon la convenance réciproque.

Les droits de succession et réversion établis dans les branches des Archiducs d'Autriche relativement au Duché de Modène, de Reggio et Mirandole, ainsi que des Principautés de Massa et Carrara, seront conservés.

Testament of Francisco V, duke of Modena (1875)

(Source: Teodor Bayard de Volo, Vita de Francesco V. duca di Modena; Modena, Tip. dell'Imm. Concezione, 1878-85 (4 vols.) vol. 3 (1881), pp. 647-8. Reprint 1983, Modena, Aedes muratoriana.)

Art. III.
... In questa per me si trista circostanza, nomio a mio Erede universale il Nipote di sua Maestà l'Imperatore attualmente regnante Francesco Giuseppe I, valeadire l'Arciduca Francesco figlio primogenito dell'Arciduca Carlo Lodovico d'Austria e della defunta Arciduchessa Annunziata n. Principessa delle Due Sicilie, con che detto Erede, per potere essere tale, accetti di assumere ed assuma effettivamente per sè e suoi discendenti ed eredi in perpetuo, con atto avente Forza ed effetto legale, il Cognome d'Austria Este. Ove il suddetto Arciduca Francesco (lo che Dio non voglia;) mi premorisse, o non volesse accettare la  eredità e le condizioni che gli impongo del Cognome d'Austria-Este e di quanto altro viene disposto da me, in tali casi gli sostituisco per ordine di età i suoi fratelli. Non accettando nessuno di essi, nomino allora a miei Eredi in parti eguali i miei due Nipoti ex sorore Don Carlos di Borbone Duca di Madrid e Don Alfonso di Borbone di lui fratello, alle condizioni generali del Cognome d'Este anche per loro discendenza  ed alle altre...

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