Balthasar Merklin

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Balthasar Merklin (von Waldkirch) (* around 1479 in Waldkirch ; † 28 May 1531 in Trier ) was imperial councilor, imperial vice chancellor and bishop of Hildesheim and Constance .


Merklin came from a humble background. Nevertheless, he studied in Schlettstadt , Trier , Paris and Bologna and obtained a doctorate in both rights . He took a number of benefices early on . Among them was that of a provost of Waldkirch in the former St. Margarethen monastery since 1508 . Since 1507 he belonged to the firm of Maximilian I. After his death he was the only one of the previous councilors at the service of Charles V accepted. He was responsible for German affairs. Between 1522 and 1528 he carried out this business from Spain. He came into contact with the humanist and politician Alfonso de Valdés . A mutual friend was Erasmus from Rotterdam . Merklin was quite competent and up to his office, but was unpopular because of his pride and greed for money.

In 1527 the emperor made him imperial vice chancellor. He was also appointed bishop in Hildesheim . In the same year he was ordained coadjutor of the diocese of Constance and in 1530 in both dioceses as bishop. In both dioceses, however, he was not very effective.

In 1528 he traveled through the German states on behalf of Charles V in order to win over the imperial estates for support against France, Ferdinand I's election as king and the fight against Protestantism. These efforts were relatively unsuccessful. In the following years he was to be found near the emperor. He was present at the Reichstag in Speyer in 1529, the imperial coronation in Bologna and the Reichstag in Augsburg in 1530. Because of his uncompromising attitude towards Protestantism, he fell out of favor and suddenly died on a trip in Trier.

After Merklin's death, his predecessor Hugo von Hohenlandenberg held the office of Bishop of Konstanz on a provisional basis before Johann von Lupfen was elected as his successor in 1532.


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Commons : Balthasar Merklin  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
predecessor Office successor
Hugo von Hohenlandenberg Bishop of Constance
Johann von Lupfen
John IV of Saxe-Lauenburg Bishop of Hildesheim
Otto III. from Schauenburg