Gian Gastone I de' Medici, granduca di Toscana
b.24 May 1671
d.9 Jul 1737 Firenze, Firenze, Toscana, Italy
m. 19 Apr 1661
Facts and Events
Gian Gastone de' Medici (Giovanni Battista Gastone; 24 May 1671 – 9 July 1737) was the seventh and last Medicean Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was the second son of Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and Marguerite Louise d'Orléans, Princess of France. His sister, Anna Maria Luisa de' Medici, the Electress Palatine, married him to Anna Maria Franziska of Saxe-Lauenburg, a wealthy widow, in 1697. Unfortunately, Gian Gastone despised his new wife, and she, him. The union produced no offspring. As Grand Prince Ferdinando, Gian Gastone's elder brother, predeceased Cosimo III, Gian Gastone succeeded his father as Grand Duke in 1723.
His reign was marked by the reversal of his predecessor's conservative policy; he abolished taxes for poorer people, repealed penal laws which restricted Jews and discontinued public executions. The Medici were wanting in male heirs; his father, Cosimo III, wanted the Electress Palatine to succeed Gian Gastone. However, Spain, Great Britain, Austria and the Dutch Republic disregarded Cosimo's plan and appointed Don Carlos of Spain—whose mother, Elisabeth Farnese, was a great-granddaughter of Margherita de' Medici—Gian Gastone's heir. Don Carlos later transferred his claim to Francis III of Lorraine pursuant to a preliminary peace that was finalized in 1738. Francis duly succeeded at Gian Gastone's demise, on 9 July 1737, ending almost 300 years of Medici rule over Florence. For the latter part of his reign, Gian Gastone chose to remain confined in his bed, tended by his entourage, the Ruspanti.