Margaret of Parma

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Margaret of Parma,

1522–86, Spanish regent of the Netherlands; illegitimate daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. She was married (1536) to Alessandro de' Medici (d. 1537) and (1538) to Ottavio Farnese, duke of Parma. Appointed Spanish governor of the Netherlands (1559), she was restricted in her authority by a council of state headed by Cardinal GranvelleGranvelle, Antoine Perrenot de
, 1517–86, statesman in the service of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and of King Philip II of Spain; cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church.
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. Charged with the difficult task of carrying out the religious policy of her half-brother Philip IIPhilip II,
1527–98, king of Spain (1556–98), king of Naples and Sicily (1554–98), and, as Philip I, king of Portugal (1580–98). Philip's Reign
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 of Spain, she urged and finally secured the recall of the unpopular prelate. She subsequently showed favor to the national party, but after the outbreak of violence she turned against the popular leaders (Egmont, Hoorn, and William the Silent). In 1567 the duke of AlbaAlba or Alva, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, duque de
, b. 1507 or 1508, d. 1582, Spanish general and administrator.
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 arrived at Brussels to suppress the opposition by force. Margaret warned Philip II against harsh measures and resigned as regent, being unable to agree with Alba. She was a woman of great ability and firmness, and her resignation was generally regretted. Margaret's son was the noted general Alessandro Farnese, duke of Parma and Piacenza.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Margaret of Parma


Born 1522 in Oudenaarde, in present-day Belgium; died Jan. 18, 1586, in Ortona, Italy. Regent for the Spanish king Philip II in the Netherlands from 1559 to 1567. The illegitimate daughter of Emperor Charles V, Margaret was married to the duke of Parma and Piacenza, Ottavio Farnese.

The Netherlands under Margaret of Parma were ruled de facto (until 1564) by Cardinal Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle. To head off the growing bourgeois revolution (the iconoclastic uprising of 1566), she made an agreement with the opposing nobility. With the arrival of the Duke of Alba in the Netherlands, Margaret relinquished her power and moved to Italy.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
WHEN did Margaret of Parma become Governor of the |Habsburg Netherlands?
Until 1559 the King had ruled from Brussels, but ibn that year he departed for Spain leaving his half sister, Margaret of Parma, as his regent.
Although the perpetrators of the Iconoclastic Fury numbered less than a thousand, Margaret of Parma assured the king that 'almost half the population over here practice or sympathise with heresy' and that the number of people in arms 'now exceeds 200,000'.
He had dispatched Alba from Spain with full powers as captain-general of the royal army but ordered him to share civil authority with Margaret of Parma. Despite the fact that at the height of the Iconoclastic Fury the previous year Margaret had pleaded with the King to send troops, she now bitterly opposed Alba's advance and bombarded both Philip and the Duke with requests to halt his march.
Ever since Charles V left the Netherlands to claim his Spanish inheritance in 1517, junior members of the dynasty had served as regents: his aunt, Margaret of Austria, his sister Mary of Hungary, his nephew Emanuel-Philibert of Savoy, his daughter Margaret of Parma. Philip was reluctant to break this tradition, but he had limited choices.
Catherine was one of a number of powerful women ruling, or helping to rule Europe in the 16th century, a group which included Mary Tudor, Elizabeth I, Mary, Queen of Scots and her mother Marie de Guise, regent of Scotland, Margaret of Austria, Margaret of Parma and Juana 'la Loca', ruler of Spain; a group branded as a 'monstrous regiment' by John Knox.