Ferdinand Guilliman de Nassau, Marquis de Liege (July 17th 1693-21st December, 1752) was a Grandelumierian nobleman, statesman and military commander. He is a member of House Nassau and served as Lord Chancellor of Defence for Regent Sophie until, Ferdinand, would die of infection on the 21st of December, 1752, at Chateau de Saint-Etienne.
Reign of Louis XI - Seigneur de Nassau
Born in 1693 at the Chateauneuf Saint-Francois to his parents, Duke Theodose Etienne and Duchess Philippine Victoire of Nassau. Born the third child of five, he is the younger brother of Etienne Henri de Nassau. On his 13th birthday, he was sent away to a military college by his father, where he learnt the skills necessary to serve as an officer in the Imperial Army.
At the age of 18, he finally became an official officer in the Imperial Army, entering at the rank of Lieutenant. Being an intelligent and well educated in the arts of war, he climbed through the ranks quickly, becoming a general by the time he was 30.
At the age of thirty four, Ferdinand would acquire a group of failing businesses, purchasing them at a point where they were almost worthless, on the edge of having to sell all assets, and using some of the little money he had at the time to bring them back to prosperity, this would include bakeries, lumber mills, furniture factories, and cotton farms, his income would greatly increase from this risky move.
He served in the war of the Palatine with Louis XI, gaining himself the nickname of 'Defender of the North' amongst members of the Imperial Army who served under him, after surviving almost unbeatable forces assaulting his forces in a battle during the war.In 1735 Ferdinand would be wrecked by the news of his wife being shot, whilst on the road travelling, made worse by the fact she was travelling by his request, he mourned for weeks. At times it is said he did not speak except when being spoken to, or greeting, His Majesty, Louis XI de Grandelumiere.
Regency of Sophie - Marquis de La Sarre
During the Regency of Sophie in the latter half, Ferdinand served as the Chancellor of Defence until his faked death. He was awarded the Marquisate of La Sarre during his service.
Ferdinand was said to of fallen very ill during this time, truly this was a large act to fake his death, but several times he would 'collapse' during court, or when with his children in private. This would all come to a climax on the 20th of July 1744, where he would become 'gravely ill' at Chateauneuf du Lillemont, where his son-in-law, daughter, Regent Sophie Antoinette, and Her Majesty, Elisabeth Justine would soon arrive. Ferdinand would spend hours falling in and out of consciousness, his room being locked to prevent any potential illness spreading, however after some time Her Majesty would demand to see her close friend. It is said that she spent hours at his bedside, hoping and praying for him to recover, the Regent accompanying her in doing so. When he woke up for the last time, he did not speak of himself, or what would happen to him or his possessions after he died, instead speaking of Her Majesty and her greatness, and giving advice to the Regent. To everyone's amazement, the elderly man forced himself out of the bed, denying any aid offered, and slowly making his way into the orange gardens, where he would simply collapse to the ground. When his family, Her Majesty, and the Regent, found him, he gave out gifts to them, reminding them all of how much love he had for them, before he would peacefully fall into 'death'.
Upon his death, his body was prepared for burial, however before it could be moved to the Cathedral of Saint-Benedict it went missing.
Reign of Louis XI - Marquis de Liege
It has been reported that a man very similar to Ferdinand led a band of mercenaries in foreign empires and lands, and Auguste Dubois reported that he has been informed of Ferdinand re-entering Grandelumiere. This was confirmed, by him arriving at court on the 26th October.
When he arrived at court, the first person he encountered would be Her Majesty, Elisabeth Justine, a witness would claim that the moment she recognised him, she slapped him and left the room. His Highness, Louis Auguste would then join Her Majesty in questioning Ferdinand, it is said that they spent two hours inside the Marquise de Overstrichts chambers doing so. However it seems after this questioning, relations between Ferdinand and Her Majesty were near to the closeness they had before his faked death.
Ferdinand played a major role in the Battle of Raeren, organising His Majesty's Imperial Army's defence with the aid of Alexandre Constantin de Bretagne, one of his most trusted subordinates, and under the watchful eye of The Sun-Emperor himself. Ferdinand would receive the Order of Saint-Michael the Archangel after this battle, stating multiple times during and after the ceremony how much of an honour it is serving under The Sun Emperor.
Ferdinand would have a series of collapses on the night of his death at Saint-Etienne, the first, when leaving a lounge to go to pray, the second, once again on the journey to pray, though this time he would further injure, his already infected ankle. He would be found by Frederic Johann, along with a Sergent of the Imperial Army, whom would aid him to a bed. Few would be round him for his death, though this was how he wished it to be. He would go into delirium soon after, asking where Elisabeth, the late Empress, was. Insisting that he needed air, he would, with the aid of a servant, leave the bed, and make a slow walk to the front of the chateau, where he would spend his final moments with Marie Anelle, a close friend of his, in the open air. His final words would be;
''I'm coming home, Anne.''His body would be covered, and moved swiftly to his personal property in Liege, where it would be prepared for burial, he would be buried a week later, at the Nassau Family Crypt, alongside his wife and son, inscribed on his tomb would be
''Husband, Father, Ever-Faithful to those he served, and to those who served him.''
- Jean-Joseph de Nassau
- Marie Charlotte de Bourgogne
- Louise Antoinette d'Aquitaine
Titles, Styles and Honours
- 17th July 1693 - 16th December 1743 His Lordship, Seigneur de Nassau
- 16th December 1743 - 20th July 1744 His Lordship, Marquis de La Sarre
- 26th October 1744 - 21st December, 1752 His Lordship, Marquis de Liege
Awarded the Order of Saint Michael in 1744; For military service in the Battle of Raeren