Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria

Archduke Maximilian Francis Of Austria

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Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria

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Archduke Maximilian Francis of Austria (8 December 1756, Vienna – 26 July 1801) was an Archbishop of Cologne, the last child of the Habsburg ruler Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. His siblings included two Holy Roman Emperors (Joseph II and Leopold II), as well as Queen Marie Antoinette of France and Queen Maria Carolina of Two Sicilies. He was the last Elector of Cologne and an early patron of Ludwig van Beethoven.

Maximilian Francis was born at the Hofburg Imperial Palace, Austria. In 1780 he succeeded his uncle Prince Charles Alexander of Lorraine as Hochmeister (Grand Master) of the Teutonic Knights.

In 1784 he became Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, living in the archbishopric's seat at Bonn. He remained in that office until his death, meaning that he participated as Elector in the election of his brother Leopold II in 1790 and later that of his nephew Francis II in 1792.

Maximilian Francis succeeded to the title of Elector of Cologne and the related Bishopric of M√ľnster and maintained his noble court in Bonn. A keen patron of music, Maximilian Francis maintained a court orchestra where Ludwig van Beethoven's father was a tenor in the court chapel and played an important role in the early career of Ludwig van Beethoven. The young Beethoven was an employee in his court's musical establishment, where his grandfather, also named Ludwig van Beethoven, had been Kapellmeister.

The court organist was Christian Gottlob Neefe, who became an...
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