Family of ancient origin that ruled Lorraine, a region of eastern France, from 1048 to 1736. The marriage of Christina (1565-1636), daughter of Charles III (1543-1608), Duke of Lorraine, to Ferdinand I de' Medici (1589), paved the way for the family's later accession to the Tuscan throne. After the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici (1737), who left no direct heirs, Tuscany passed to Francis Stephen of Lorraine (1708-1765). He married Maria Theresa of Austria (1736) and in 1745 became Emperor and founder of the Hapsburg-Lorraine dynasty. Francis Stephen ruled Tuscany from Vienna, curbing the region's authority. When he died (1765), the Grand Dukedom went to the second-born Peter Leopold (1747-1792), who conducted an enlightened policy. In 1790, having become Emperor in turn, Peter Leopold left the Grand Dukedom to his son Ferdinand III (1769-1824), who was driven from Tuscany by the French occupation (1799-1814) and regained possession after the Congress of Vienna (1815). Ferdinand III was succeeded at his death in 1824 by his son Leopold II (1797-1870), who reigned until 1859. The events leading up to Italian unification forced him to abdicate.