Joseph Franz of Austria

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Archduke Joseph Franz Leopold of Austria (9 April 1799—30 June 1807) was the second son and seventh child of Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, daughter of Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies and his wife Maria Carolina of Austria. He was their fourth child to die.

Archduke Joseph Franz was born at the Hofburg Imperial Palace, where all of his older and younger siblings were born.

He was the seventh child born to his parents: Marie Louise was born in 1791, and later became Empress consort of the French, as wife of Napoleon I Bonaparte; Ferdinand was born in 1793 and later became Emperor of Austria, but was dethroned due to the fact that he was severely (meantally and physically) disabled; Marie Caroline was born in 1794, but died less than a year later in 1795; Caroline Ludovika was born in 1795, but died two years later in 1797; Marie Leopoldina was born in 1797 and became the first Empress consort of Brazil, as the wife of Pedro I of Brazil; and, finally, Clementina was born in 1798 and became Princess of Salerno, as the wife of Leopold, Prince of Salerno.

He also had five younger siblings: Marie Caroline was born in 1801 and later became Crown Princess of Saxony, as the wife of Frederick Augustus, Crown Prince of Saxony; Francis Charles was born in 1802 and fathered Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico; Maria Anna was born in 1804 and she, too, was severely disabled, both physically (she is said to have suffered from a hideous facial deformity) and mentally (she was mentally retarded), and died unmarried; Johann Nepomuk was born in 1805 and outlived Joseph Franz by two years, he himself dying aged 4; and Amalie Theresa was born in 1807, but only lived for one day. Joseph's mother Maria Theresa died after giving birth to Amalie.

He was given the title of Archduke of Austria, which was automatically passed on to the children of Holy Roman Emperors. He was a lively child and one of the favourite children of his mother and possibly even his father. Due to his parents' close blood connections (they were first cousins once removed), his older brother Ferdinand was born severely disabled, suffering from epilepsy, hydrocephalus, neurological and movement problems, and a speech impediment. Joseph was their fifth child to survive infancy.

On 30 June 1807, just one month after the passing of his mother, the 8 year-old Archduke died at the Hofburg Palace of either yellow fever or smallpox, though yellow fever seems to be the most acceptable, as the outbreak was in the United States in 1803 and most of the American plagues extended to Europe in a matter of 2–4 years.

Joseph Franz was buried at the Capuchin Church in Vienna, more specifically in the Imperial Crypt (his heart is buried in the Herzgruft chamber), the burial place of his siblings Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, Ferdinand I of Austria, Archduchess Marie Caroline of Austria, Archduchess Caroline Ludovika of Austria, Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria, Archduke Johann Nepomuk of Austria, Archduchess Amalie Theresa of Austria, and (possibly) Archduke Franz Karl of Austria. His parents, Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Theresa of Naples and Sicily, and his great-grandmother, Maria Theresa of Austria, are also buried there.


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        Relation nameRelation typeBirth DateDeath dateDescription
        1Francis IIFrancis IIFather12.02.176802.03.1835
        2Ferdinand I of AustriaFerdinand I of AustriaBrother19.04.179329.06.1875
        3Franz Karl of AustriaFranz Karl of AustriaBrother17.12.180208.03.1878
        Johann Nepomuk of AustriaBrother30.08.180519.02.1809
        Amalie Theresa of AustriaSister06.04.180707.04.1807
        6Marie LouiseMarie LouiseSister12.12.179117.12.1847
        7Maria Anna of AustriaMaria Anna of AustriaSister08.06.180428.12.1858
        Marie CarolineSister08.06.179416.03.1795
        Ludovika Elisabeth of AustriaSister18.02.179024.07.1791
        Caroline LudovikaSister04.12.179530.06.1799
        11Maria LeopoldinaMaria LeopoldinaSister22.01.179711.12.1826
        12Marie Caroline of AustriaMarie Caroline of AustriaSister08.04.180122.05.1832
        13Clementina of AustriaClementina of AustriaSister01.03.179803.09.1881
        14Archduke CharlesArchduke CharlesUncle05.09.177130.04.1847
        15Ferdinand III Ferdinando Giuseppe Giovanni BaptistaFerdinand III Ferdinando Giuseppe Giovanni BaptistaUncle06.05.176918.06.1824
        16Marija Terēze BurboneMarija Terēze BurboneAunt18.12.177819.10.1851
        17Maria Theresa of AustriaMaria Theresa of AustriaAunt14.01.176707.11.1827
        18Francis Jozefs I HabsburgsFrancis Jozefs I HabsburgsNephew18.08.183021.11.1916
        19Leopold IILeopold IIGrandfather05.05.174701.03.1792
        20Maria Luisa of SpainMaria Luisa of SpainGrandmother24.11.174515.05.1792
        21Francis IFrancis IGreat grandfather08.12.170818.08.1765
        22Maria TheresaMaria TheresaGreat grandmother13.05.171729.11.1780

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