Francis II at age 25

Meaning: “Frenchman”
Gender: Male (Occasionally used for girls, though it is usually spelled Frances)
Pronunciation: FRAN-ses
Origin: English
Other forms of the name: Frances, Francisco, Franciscus, François, Francisque

Frances has seen a revival for girls, but what about Francis for boys? I personally like it, it has the nicknames Frank or Frankie which make it a bit more masculine for those who prefer less feminine names for their boys.

Francis comes from the Latin names Franciscus which meant, “Frenchman”. There are many namesakes to choose from, like F. Scott Fitzgerald (the “F” stood for Francis), director Francis Ford Coppola, Francis “Frank” Sinatra, and St. Francis of Assisi who was actually Giovanni.

Francis II was a King of Germany and a Holy Roman Emperor of Austria, among other countries. He was born Franz Joseph Karl in 1768 to Leopold II, another Emperor, and his wife Maria Luisa of Spain, in Florence, Italy where his father was Grand Duke. Eventually he was sent to the Imperial Court in Vienna where he was educated by his uncle, Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor. His education there was rough as his uncle thought of him as know more than a soft spoiled boy, but still Francis looked up his uncle. After that he was sent to a military regiment in Hungary. His uncle died in 1790 his father became Emperor, though he was stressed during his reign and became ill, passing away in 1792.

Francis became Emperor a little past his twenty-fourth birthday. He did not have a good relationship with France (his aunt was Marie Antoinette, though he barely knew her). Napoleon was always a threat to him until he led Austria into the French Revolutionary Wars. He was eventually defeated by Napoleon and he abdicated the throne so he was only Emperor instead of Holy Roman Emperor. He attacked France again but this time he was forced to be an ally to Napoleon and even ended up marrying his daughter, Marie Louise, to Napoleon. For the fourth time Austria turned against France with the help of others and this time they won. He was devoted to his family and once told his son Ferdinand, “Preserve unity in the family and regard it as one of the highest goods.” Forty-three years and a day after his father’s death he died of a fever surrounded by his family.