Hans Meinhard von Schönberg

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Count Hans Meinhard von Schönberg (born August 28, 1582 in Bacharach ; † August 3, 1616 in Heidelberg ) was electoral Palatinate and Brandenburg field bishop and court master of Elector Friedrich V of the Palatinate .


Hans Meinhard von Schönberg was born in Bacharach in 1582 , where his father, Meinhard von Schönberg , was field marshal of Count Palatine Casimir and at the same time a bailiff .

Hans Meinhard is first mentioned in public life in 1609, when Elector Friedrich IV of the Palatinate sent him after his envoy to Austria, who was commissioned to alienate the rulers of the imperial states more and more from the House of Habsburg . Schönberg seems to have done his job well, because soon afterwards Brandenburg and Pfalz-Neuburg sent him to the Netherlands to get the States General to actively intervene in the Jülich succession dispute and to borrow guns from them. Letters of thanks from his clients prove that he also did this job well.

Soon afterwards Schoenberg took part in negotiations with the French ambassador Bongars in Düsseldorf and was given command of the regiment given to the princes by the Dutch. From February 5, 1610 he was called “Colonel of the Unirten Electors and Princes” . In an instruction of June 24, 1610 he is called "Gubernator (di Gouverneur) of Düsseldorf", which he was since October 1, 1609, and "Obrister". In both positions he received high salaries, but also had to entertain his numerous staff with them.

He was involved in the preparation of the assertion of the princes involved on the Jülich inheritance and played a decisive role in the success of the siege of Jülich as "Colonel over the artillery, fortification and a regiment of infantry" . On September 2, 1610, the city's commander, Rauschenberg , had to hand it over to the besiegers. Schönberg renounced his share of the spoils of war and rewarded the achievements of his officers with medals, which he had struck for this purpose. He also helped his warlords by lending them considerable sums of money.

On February 22, 1611 he entered the service of Elector Johann Sigismund von Brandenburg , who entrusted him with the establishment and supreme command of an artillery corps to be set up in his Rhenish possessions. The corps garrison was Wesel . In the spring of 1611, the elector sent him to Archduke Matthias in Bohemia to widen the rift between him and his brother Emperor Rudolf II (brotherly dispute). Then he went back to The Hague on behalf of the Union. Thereafter, Elector Johann Sigismund wanted to take him to Prussia , but apparently his obligations to the Electoral Palatinate did not allow him, because at the same time he supervised the construction of the fortress in Mannheim and on November 1, 1611 he became court master (i.e. educator) of the elector and future elector Friedrich ordered.

In addition, Schönberg took on multiple diplomatic missions in the interests of the Union and individual princes in Brussels , in the Hague and in England in 1612 for the purpose of ratifying the marriage contract between the Prince Elector and Elisabeth Stuart . On that occasion he became Council of Britain and received an annual pension of £ 400.

On this trip he met Anna Sutton-Dudley, the daughter of the 5th Baron Dudley, whom he married on March 22, 1615 in London. In December of the same year his only child from this marriage, the future general and marshal of France, Friedrich von Schomberg , was born in Heidelberg . His wife Anna died a little later.

Many of the princes with whom he had to do with Schoenberg advanced money, whereas they prescribed him customs duties, lands and treasures. With the Margrave Georg Wilhelm von Brandenburg, the administrator in Kleve and Jülich, he often got into disputes over his claims. The elector finally pawned his entire artillery against a demand of 23,572 thalers. In 1615 Schönberg assisted Duke Friedrich Ulrich von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel with his advice during the siege of the city of Braunschweig . The Duke had requested him from the Elector for this purpose "as a sensitive and discreet war officer" and paid him a fee of 15,000 thalers for his services.

Hans Meinhard von Schönberg died in Heidelberg, his usual place of residence, on August 3, 1616.