Bianca Maria Sforza – widow at age 10 (!)

I usually like to write about historical women because I believe their lives were just as interesting as men, but less people have written about them and now I found a new one to write about. Meet Bianca Maria Sforza. On the painting she looks like an adorable toddler. It will shock you to hear that that was probably already MARRIED there. Her parents decided to marry her to her first cousin Philibert I when she was just 21 months old on 6 January 1474.

Filibert I

Filibert I

Philibert must’ve been about 9 than. The couple didn’t produce any children, because Philibert died already in 1482, which means Bianca Maria Sforza was a widow at age 10.

Bianca Maria’s dad was murdered in a church when she was only 5 years old and her mom Bona of Savoy was struggling to stay in power after that because of Bianca Maria’s uncle Ludovico Maria Sforza tried to take over as a regent. He succeeded in this in 1482 by basically kidnapping Bianca Maria’s brother Gian Galeazzo Sforza. Bona backed off after that and Bianca Maria’s uncle was free to rule. After her husband died Bianca Maria returned to Milan to her uncle and lived there with her uncle as her guardian. He had little interest in her education so she would just focus on her own interests, mainly needle working.

John Corvinus 1486.

John Corvinus 1486.

3 years later they decided it was time again for Bianca Maria to get engaged again this time with John Corvinus, (illegitimate) son of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary. Bianca Maria married him on 25 november 1487 by proxy and received several Hungarian counties according to their wedding contract but John Corvinus stepmom Beatrice of Naples decided that she was against the marriage and a real wedding never materialized. She was 15 at the time of this second failed marriage.

Fortunately it took her uncle a while to decide who she should marry next. In 1492 he considered James IV of Scotland, but this plan was quickly disbanded. In 1494 she would finally marry again at the age of 22 which is a much more suitable age for marriage. Who it was I will reveal in another post :).

Buona sera, mio amico! Hilde

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One thought on “Bianca Maria Sforza – widow at age 10 (!)

  1. Pingback: Maximilian I picked worst wedding gift | hemmahoshilde

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