Regent of Milan, 1476-80 dep
Already an orphan, Bona was sent to France to be educated and disposed
of according to the will and choice of her brother-in-law Louis XI. He
gave her hand in marriage to the son of his ally, Francesco Maria Sforza,
Duke of Milan, a match which was opposed by her family. As regent of Milan,
she was unpopular and her behaviour considered immoral and undignified,
with her conduct leading to disastrous results for the Sforza family.
She had fallen in love with the merchant Antonio Tassino who had then
entered the ducal service, waiting specially on the Duchess, and who eventually
gained complete control over her. She confided to him all state secrets
and trusted him blindly, despite warnings from her upright and wise minister,
Simonetta, who had previously been instrumental in the expulsion of Bona's
brother-in-law Lodovico Sforza. In an act of vengeance, Tassino sought
help from Lodovico who returned to Milan and had Simonetta arrested and
executed. He deposed Bona, banished Tassino, and assumed the regency of
Milan himself, but in fact became the absolute ruler. Tassino had fled
to Venice, and Bona wished to join him, even publicly renouncing any role
in the regency, but she was detained by Lodovico until her son's death
in 1494. She was then made to retire in France. She was deprived of her
rightful income, and her later years were plagued with financial struggles.
Place of marriage: Pavia
Place of death: Fossano
1. A. Commire, ed. Dictionary of Women Worldwide, vol. 1. Farmington
Hills, MI: Thomson/Gale, 2007.
2. A. Wiel. The Romance of the House of Savoy. New York; London:
G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1898.