Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, German Empress and Archduchess of Austria
1717 – 1780 A.D.
Maria Theresa, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, German Empress, and Archduchess of Austria, born in Vienna, was the oldest daughter of the Emperor Charles VI.
In 1736 she married Stephen, Duke of Lorraine, who was named joint regent with her after her accession to the throne of Hungary, Austria and Bohemia in 1740. Her reign was filled with many struggles against opposing parties, notably the Seven Years’ War between Austria and Prussia.
After peace was restored in 1763 the empress instituted many reforms in army, justice, and education; opened to trade the ports of Trieste and Fiume, expelled the Jesuits, and abolished legal torture. she was a woman of noble character, strikingly beautiful in her youth. She was the other of sixteen children, among them the Emperors Joseph II and Leopold II, and the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, Queen of France.
Although a zealous Roman Catholic, she maintained the rights of the crown against the papal power and endeavored to correct some of the worst abuses in the Church. She prohibited the presence of priests at the making of wills, abolished the rights of asylum in churches and convents, and suppressed the Inquisition in Milan.
Reference: Famous Women; An Outline of Feminine Achievement Through the Ages With Life Stories of Five Hundred Noted Women By Joseph Adelman. Copyright, 1926 by Ellis M. Lonow Company.