JOHN, BAPTIST FABIAN SEBASTIAN, Archduke of Austria, a distinguished Austrian prince and general. was born Jan. 20,1782, and was the sixth son of the emperor Leopold II. His mother was the infanta Maria Louisa, daughter of Charles Ill. of Spain. lle early gave proof of considerable talent for military affairs; and in 1800 lie received the command of the defeated Austrian army, formerly under Kray. This military career was not brilliant. He was defeated at Hohenlinden in 1800, and at Austerlitz in 1805. In the war of 1809 he advanced with an Austrian army into Italy, defeated the viceroy Etigne at Sadie, and made his way as far as the Adige when the reverses of the Austrian forces at Landshut, EckmOld, and Hatiskon compelled him to retire. His love of natural science, for which he manifested an early predilection, con tinued undiminished amidst all the vicissitudes of his life; and Austria is indchted to him for many valuable scientific institutions and enterprises. Living in political retirement, he showed a warm interest in every improvement and public work, and became exceed ingly popular; so that when the German national congress assembled after the commo tions of 1848, he was called by a great majority of voices, on June 29 of that year, to be vicar or regent of the Germanic empire. The fall of Metternich had also, in the
mean time, released him from his political isolation in Austria; and the emperor Ferdi nand had placed him at the head of affairs there, and intrusted to him the opening of a constitutional assembly in Vienna. In his high office as regent the archduke acted on strictly constitutional principles; but the progress of events being unfavorable to the Austrian interests, he iesigned his office Dec. 20.1849, and returned to Gratz, where he lived, as formerly, in retirement till his death, May 10,1859.
His marriage was one of an unusually romantic kind. Late on a .Tan, evening in 1827, he had occasion to require the services of the postmaster of Aessee, a mountain village in the vicinity of Gratz. The postmaster was from home; lin!, his (laughter, Anna Plochel, volunteered to drive him over the hill to his destinaihm. Tile conversa tion and spirit of this maiden seem to have charmed the a•eluluke, and within three weeks he married her. The titles of countess of 7aferan and baroness of Brandhof were subsequently conferred upon this lady. See INIORGANATIC MARRIAGE.