Historical Figure
Archduke Ferdinand
History's Archduke Ferdinand
Biographical Information
Title: Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria
Reign: 25 July 1564 – 24 January 1595
Predecessor: Ferdinand I
Successor: Matthias
Born: 14 June 1529
Death: 24 January 1595
Age: 65
Religion: Roman Catholic
House: House of Habsburg
Gender: Male Male
Originally From: Linz, Austria
Parents: Ferdinand I (Father)

Anna of Hungary (Mother)

Wife: Philippine Welser

Anne Juliana Gonzaga

Children: Margrave Andrew of Burgau

Charles, Margrave of Burgau
Anna, Holy Roman Empress

TV Character Information
First appearance: Dead of Night
Portrays: Archduke Ferdinand
Portrayed by: Steve Byers

Archduke Ferdinand was ruler of Further Austria. The son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, he was married to Philippine Welser in his first marriage. In his second marriage to Anna Juliana Gonzaga, he was the father of Anna of Tyrol, the future Holy Roman Empress.


Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was the second son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. He was a younger brother of Emperor Maximilian II. At the behest of his father, he was put in charge of the administration of Bohemia in 1547. He also led the campaign against the Turks in Hungary in 1556.

In 1557 he was secretly married to Philippine Welser, daughter of a patrician from Augsburg, with whom he had several children. The marriage was only accepted by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1559 under the condition of secrecy. The children were to receive the name "of Austria" but would only be entitled to inherit if the House of Habsburg became totally extinct in the male line. The sons born of this marriage received the title Margrave of Burgau.

After his father's death in 1564, Ferdinand became the ruler of Tirol and other Further Austrian possessions under his father's will. However, he remained governor of Bohemia in Prague until 1567 according to the wishes of his brother Maximilian II.

In his own lands, Ferdinand made sure that the Catholic Counterreformation would prevail. The cultured humanist from the House of Habsburg was instrumental in promoting the Renaissance in central European. He also was an avid collector of art. He accommodated his world-famous collections in a museum built specifically for that purpose, making Ambras Castle Innsbruck the oldest museum in the world. The collection was started during his time in Bohemia and subsequently moved it to Tyrol. Today these collections are at Ambras Castle Innsbruck and in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

After the death of Philippine in 1580, he married Anne Catherine.

Archduke Ferdinand died on 24 January 1595. Since his sons from the first marriage were not entitled to the inheritance, and the second produced only surviving daughters, Tirol was reunified with the other Habsburg lines. His daughter from the Mantuan marriage became the Empress Anna, consort of Emperor Mathias, who received his Further Austrian inheritance.


  • There were four Archduke Ferdinand in the 1500's, but one is already dead, and the other two aren't born.
  • Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria was born in 1529, and as it is 1565, it would make him 36 years old to Queen Elizabeth's 32.
  • Archduke of Further Austria was actually still married to his first wife, who doesn't' die for another 15 years in 1580. However, their last child were twins and were born in 1563.

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