Adolf II of the Mark (Liège)

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Adolf II von der Mark (* August 1288 ; † November 3, 1344 in Clermont-sur-Meuse, today Clermont-sous-Huy , part of the municipality of Engis ) was Prince-Bishop of Liège from 1313 until his death . In the genealogical census of the von der Mark noble family , he is referred to as Adolf VIII von der Mark .


Childhood and youth

Adolf was born in 1288 as the second child of Count Eberhard I von der Mark and his first wife Irmgard von Berg . Since his older brother Engelbert II von der Mark would inherit the county of Mark as the first-born , Adolf was already earmarked for a spiritual career. Already at a young age he had numerous sinecures , for example, in Munster and the provost of Cologne pin Saint Severin , a handsome income. Around 1300 he also became provost of the Martinsstift in Worms .

From about 1310 Adolf was of the Mark canon in Cologne, before he in 1313 at the University of Orléans enrolled and studied.

Prince-Bishop of Liege

After the death of Liège Bishop Theobald von Bar , the cathedral chapter there initially elected Provost Arnold von Blankenheim as governor of the bishopric , but the Liège nobility did not recognize the election and instead appointed Count Arnold von Loon as governor. In the context of these disputes between the cathedral chapter and the nobles and the Liege patricians , Pope Clement V appointed Adolf Prince-Bishop of Liege on April 4, 1313 at the instigation of the French King Philip the Fair . Since the imperial throne was vacant at that time , the Pope also granted investiture for the bishopric. In order to be able to take up the high office, Adolf von der Mark was ordained a deacon on April 14 of the same year by Wilhelm Madagot, the Cardinal Bishop of Palestrina , and then a priest on June 9 . He received the episcopal ordination a day later by Béranger Frédol the Elder , Cardinal Bishop of Frascati .

Already on July 22, 1313 Adolf took possession of his diocese through procurators , but he did not arrive personally there until December 26 of the same year. After he had ceremoniously entered Liège, accompanied by numerous nobles, he pursued an absolutist policy based on the example of Philip the Fair and enforced his authoritarian views by military means. In doing so, he plunged the Liège region into years of conflict between himself as the sovereign and his subjects, which forced him to flee to Brabant in May 1315 .

On June 18, 1316 he finally had to consent to the Peace of Fexhe, which severely restricted his power as sovereign. With this contract, the residents of the prince-bishopric were guaranteed the right to participate in the administration of justice and a say in legislation. From now on the bishop could only dispose of such matters with the consent of the three estates (the cathedral chapter, the nobles and the free townspeople). The peace treaty is now considered the first state constitution in Liège.

Since Adolf and his officials did not adhere to the contractual agreements, however, he was excluded from the jurisdiction of the entire prince-bishopric on August 10, 1324 - as provided for by the Peace of Fexhe. 16 representatives from the three estates, together with four episcopal officials, wrote the Lettre des Vingts (German: Decree of the Twenty ), which was supposed to reform the administration of the country and make regulations to prevent the Liège ruler from abusing his authority. However, Adolf refused to approve this decree in November 1324, and he had to flee from Liège again on December 20, 1324; this time to Huy . In return, he pronounced the interdict on Liège on February 14th , having previously excommunicated all of the city's dignitaries .

This was followed by months of military conflict between the episcopal army, which was supported by the nobles of the Hespengau and troops of the Counts of Jülich , Geldern and Berg , and militias of the Liège residents, reinforced by soldiers from the most important cities of the Liège bishopric. In 1326 Pope John XXII sent the Abbot of Saint-Nicaise in Reims to mediate between the warring parties, but the attempt was unsuccessful. It was not until October 4, 1328, with the Peace of Wihogne, that a permanent peace agreement was reached, so that Adolf von der Mark could return to the capital of his territories on April 26, 1332 after more than seven years of absence.

After the death of the Archbishop of Cologne Heinrich von Virneburg on January 6, 1332, the Cologne cathedral chapter postulated Adolf as Heinrich's successor. This procedure was also adopted by the French King Philip VI. supported, but the Pope had long before reserved the right to fill the Cologne Arch Chair, and Johannes XXII. appointed on January 27, 1332 not Adolf, but Walram von Jülich as the new Archbishop of Cologne.

During his time as Prince-Bishop, he tried to reform the official office , for which he issued several edicts in 1337 . Otherwise Adolf left the administration of his district to the auxiliary bishops , vicars general , archdeacons and officials.

At the beginning of the Hundred Years War , the Märker fought at the head of the French troops and was one of France's negotiators in the Esplechin peace negotiations in 1340 . In order to support the Liège people for his fight against the Brabant Duke Johann III, who was on the English side . In June 1343, Adolf gave his consent to the establishment of the so-called Tribunal des XXII , an independent court which had to judge the misconduct of the episcopal officials and could pass resolutions without the consent of the sovereign. Thus the sovereign rights of the bishop were curtailed once more. Shortly before his death, Adolf dissolved this tribunal on February 25, 1344, but it was finally established under Bishop Johann von Arkel (1364-1378).

Adolf von der Mark died on November 3, 1344 in his castle in Clermont-sur-Meuse and was buried in the Liège Saint-Lambertus Cathedral , whose new choir he had consecrated in 1319. His nephew Engelbert von der Mark succeeded him in the office of Bishop of Liège. His uncle left him with heavy debts.


  • J. Bastin: La politique extérieure d'Adolphe de la Marck . In: Leodium. Publication périodique de la Société d'Art et d'Histoire du Diocèse de Liège . No. 25, 1932, pp. 35-48.
  • J. Bastin: La politique intérieure d'Adolphe de la Marck . In: Leodium. Publication périodique de la Société d'Art et d'Histoire du Diocèse de Liège . No. 25, 1932, pp. 7-21.
  • Joseph Daris: Histoire du diocèse et de la principauté de Liège . Volume 2. Demarteau, Liège 1890.
  • Jean Lejeune: Liège et son pays. Naissance d'une patrie (13e - 14e siècles) . Faculté de Philosophie et Lettres de l'Université de Liège, Liège 1948.
  • Alfred Minke: Adolf von der Mark (1288-1344). 1313-1344 Bishop of Liège. In: Erwin Gatz (ed.), With the assistance of Clemens Brodkorb: The Bishops of the Holy Roman Empire 1198 to 1448. A biographical encyclopedia. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-428-10303-3 , pp. 373-375.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c A. Minke: Adolf von der Mark (1288-1344). 2001, p. 373.
  2. a b ( Memento from July 4, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  3. a b c d A. Minke: Adolf von der Mark (1288-1344). 2001, p. 374.
  4. ^ Fritz Quicke: Revue belge de philologie et d'histoire . Vol. 12, 1933, pp. 921-922.
  5. ^ Jean-Louis Kupper: Liège . In: Lexicon of the Middle Ages (LexMA). Volume 6, Artemis & Winkler, Munich / Zurich 1993, ISBN 3-7608-8906-9 , Sp. 25-27.
  6. ^ Camille de Borman: Les Echevins de la souveraine justice de Liège. Volume 1. L. Grandmont-Donders, Liège 1892, pp. 130-131 ( online ).
  7. ^ Wilhelm Janssen: Walram von Jülich (1304-1349). In: Bernhard Poll (Ed.): Rheinische Lebensbilder . Volume 4. Rheinland-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1970, p. 39.
  8. ^ A. Minke: Adolf von der Mark (1288-1344). 2001, p. 375.
predecessor Office successor
Theobald von Bar Bishop of Liège
Engelbert von der Mark