Heinrich Franz came from the House of Mansfeld, and was the second son of Bruno von Mansfeld and Maria Magdalena von Törring. Imperial Field marshal Philipp von Mansfeld was his uncle.
He entered the Habsburg service at a young age. After a short military service, he was almost always in court or on diplomatic service. From 1680 to 1682 he was Envoy to the French court and from 1683 to 1690 to the Spanish court. Despite his very limited military experience, he was continuously promoted to higher military ranks and even became a Field marshal in 1689.
From 1684 to 1701 he was Obersthofmarschall at the Imperial court in Vienna and in 1701 he was appointed President of the Hofkriegsrat (Court War Council). In this position he repeatedly clashed with Prince Eugene of Savoy. In 1703 Mansfeld, who was unpopular with most Army generals, was relieved of this post and replaced by Eugene of Savoy. Until his death he remained as Chief Chamberlain at the Viennese court.
In 1690, he accompanied Princess Maria Anna of Pfalz-Neuburg as bride of King Charles II of Spain to her wedding in Valladolid. For this, the Spanish King awarded him the Neapolitan principality of Fondi, the title of Spanish Grandee and the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece. The dignity of Imperial Prince granted to him, was confirmed in 1696 and 1709 and made public by Emperor Joseph I in 1711.
From 1697, he had Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt build a pleasure palace with a garden, which still unfinished, the Schwarzenberg family acquired after his death. This palace, now known as the Schwarzenberg Palace, became an important Viennese architectural monument.
Marriage and children
- Maria Anna Eleonora (1680-1724), married first to Wilhelm Florentin zu Salm (1670-1707), and then to Achaz Adam von Auersperg. Had issue.
- Maria Eleonore (1682-1747), married in 1703 her cousin Carl Franz von Mansfeld (1678-1717), had issue.