Today in History - January 12th. 1483 - Henry III of Nassau-Breda

Count Henry III of Nassau-Dillenburg-Dietz was born on January 12th. 1483
in Siegen (now located in Germany).

His parents were John V of Nassau-Dillenburg and Elisabeth of Hesse-Marburg.
Count Henry III of Nassau-Dillenburg was the elder brother of William I,
Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (father of William the silent).

Henry III, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, Source picture: Wikipedia


Count Engelbert II of Nassau invited his nephew, Henry III, to visit him in the
Burgundian Netherlands. This took place in 1499.  Later Henry III traveled 
together with Philip the Handsome to Castile.

On August 3rd. 1503 Henry III married the first time. His wife became 
Louise-Françoise of Savoy. She died in 1511.

In 1504 Henry III inherited his uncle's possessions in The Netherlands inter
alia the wealthy Breda.  Also in 1504, Henry III was chosen as Knight in the 
Order of the Golden Fleece.

In 1506 he became a close confidant of the young Charles V as well as his
Chamberlain. Later Henry III had some more important functions at the
imperial court. He also served in the military, where Henry was a commander.

Unlike his younger brother, Henry III stayed a staunch Catholic. He didn't
approve the choice of his brother William, but he supported him
throughout his life.

Henry III was very interested in the Renaissance, especially in arts. 
He traveled a lot to Spain and Italy and gave the order to rebuild his castle
in Breda to the Italian architect, Tomasso Vincidor da Bologna.

In May 1515 Henry married for the second time. His wife was:
Claudia of Châlon. They would have one son: René of Châlon.
She died in 1521.

On June 26th. 1524 he married for the third time, then with a Spanish lady
Mencia de Mendoza y Fonseca. This marriage was encouraged by
emperor Charles V, who wanted to make a Spanish nobleman from
 Henry III , although the Spanish nobility never liked Henry III. They
found him a German parvenu. 

He died on September 14th. 1538 in Breda (The Netherlands).
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