Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand (1609/1610 in Escorial near Madrid, Spain - 9 November 1641 in Brussels) (also known as Don Fernando de Austria and as Ferdinand von Österreich) was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, Infante of Spain, Archduke of Austria, Archbishop of Toledo (1619-41), and military commander during the Thirty Years' War.
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in 1632
The Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand (or Don Fernando) successfully re-conquered most of the Low Countries with the League of Ostend in 1633. He settled into a long winter's siege of Amsterdam for the remainder of the year. While in Amsterdam, he took advice from his dowager aunt, the Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia, and diplomat/painter Peter Paul Rubens. While besieging Amsterdam, he came into contact with various citizens of the USE and gradually began to contemplate a truce with the Prince of Orange which would have allowed Fernando to become a monarch of the territories he already controlled in the Low Countries. This plan would have come at the expense of his older brother, Philip IV of Spain.
In 1634, after the events of the "Bavarian Crisis", Isabella rewrote her will to allow Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand to inherit her claim. He in turn declared himself "King in the Netherlands". Moreover, Don Fernando received permission from Pope Urban VIII to recant the childhood vows that had him slated for holy orders, and Fernando married his Austrian Habsburg cousin, the Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria.
In 1635, he along with Maria Anna and Isabella sent a portion of Irish Wild Geese to sail with the USE flotilla headed to the Caribbean.
King Ferdinand ordered the creation of Dutch Planes to increase trade with other nations (and to double as an Air Force to bomb any aggressor, most notably his brother, the Spanish King).
|Political offices (OTL)|
|Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands
Francisco de Mello, Marquis of Terceira
|Regnal titles (1632)|
|King in the Netherlands