Rule Wiesentheid

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
Rule Wiesentheid
coat of arms
Coat of arms Dernbach (1681–1704) Coat of arms Schönborn (1704–1806)

Alternative names County of Wiesentheid
Consist 1681-1806
Ruler / government Count
Today's region / s DE-BY
Parliament 1 curious vote
Reich register 3 men on foot, 12 guilders (1681), 8 guilders (1805)
Reichskreis Franconian Empire
Capitals / residences Wiesentheid
Dynasties Dernbach (until 1704), Schönborn (until 1806)
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
Language / n German
surface 27.53 km² (1804)
Residents 1,597 (1804)
currency gulden
Incorporated into 1806 to the Kingdom of Bavaria

The rule Wiesentheid (also Grafschaft Wiesentheid ) was an imperial rule in the Franconian Empire . It existed from 1681 until its dissolution in 1806. Most recently, it comprised around 1,600 residents, who were spread over three closed towns and several types of condominium . Two noble families , the Counts of Dernbach and the Counts of Schönborn , ruled the area over the years.


Foundation and establishment (until 1697)

The Wiesentheid rule goes back to the commitment of the Würzburg and Bamberg prince-bishop Peter Philipp von Dernbach . During the Dutch War , Dernbach supported Emperor Leopold I against the attacking French. He took part in the siege of Philippsburg in 1676 and recaptured the important fortress for the Holy Roman Empire. Leopold I then planned to thank the prelate for his services and raised Dernbach, together with his nephews Johann Otto and Philipp Wilhelm, to the rank of imperial count .

In addition, it was planned to give the von Dernbach family sovereign power. Prince-Bishop Peter Philipp began from 1677 to 1680 to acquire the missing shares in the village of Wiesentheid for his family. In addition, Johann Otto, who had married the widow of the last fox from Dornheim zu Wiesentheid , established the merged property of both families as the basis for the county to be founded. In addition, individual subjects were bought from other landlords.

On December 2, 1680, Emperor Leopold informed the district office of the Franconian Imperial Circle of his intention to elevate the previously knightly goods to imperial status. The official inclusion of the Wiesentheid rule took place at the district assembly in Würzburg in August 1681. However, it was not until 1688 that the rule was removed from the knightly canton of Steigerwald . The rule Wiesentheid received a Kuriatstimme on permanent Reichstag in Regensburg and had a small number of soldiers for the Reichsmatrikel make.

In order to establish the young rule, the first ruling count, Johann Otto von Dernbach, had a government chancellery built for Wiesentheid as early as 1681. In addition, in 1682 the new residence , Wiesentheid, received market rights . In addition, Johann Otto introduced a court order, and in 1685 Wiesentheid received a market order. After three marriages, which, however, did not result in a male heir, Count Johann Otto von Dernbach died on May 29, 1697. His third wife, Maria Eleonore, was intended to be the heir.

Occupation and Reclamation (until 1704)

When Johann Otto's illness was already well advanced in 1696, he had his third wife proclaimed ruling countess. In the Testament of the year 1697 this intention was reiterated. However, the Würzburg bishop Johann Gottfried von Guttenberg did not recognize the new ruler and, after the death of Count Wiesentheid, occupied the palace and the count's office in particular .

Thereupon the Bamberg prince-bishop Lothar Franz von Schönborn appealed to Emperor Leopold to restore the newly established rule. On July 21, 1697, the emperor appointed Christian Ernst zu Brandenburg-Bayreuth as imperial commissioner . A sub-delegate appointed, probably Andreas Presson , was supposed to persuade the various parties to reach a compromise. However, the sub-delegate left on January 12, 1698 without being able to announce an agreement.

New negotiations were scheduled at the imperial court in Vienna . Before the Reichshofrat they negotiated again about the whereabouts of the Wiesentheid rule. But only after the death of the Würzburg bishop von Guttenberg and the election of his successor, Johann Philipp von Greiffenclau zu Vollraths , a breakthrough came in 1699. On February 12, 1701, a treaty was signed: the rulers lost some territories to the bishopric, but their imperial status could be.

From then on, Maria Eleonore von Dernbach, the widow of the first count, ruled. On November 14, 1701, she married the politician and diplomat Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn, who from then on took control of the county with her. On July 26, 1704, Maria Eleonore officially transferred the rule to her husband.

The Counts of Schönborn (until 1806)

Wiesentheid Castle , owned by Count Schönborn since 1701 , expanded into a residence by Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn

As an important achievement, Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn brought central jurisdiction back to Wiesentheid in 1714 ; during the occupation by Würzburg it had been claimed by the Hochstiftisches Amt Kitzingen . In the same year Rudolf Franz Erwein also acquired fiefs from the Counts of Castell, Johann Friedrich of Castell-Rüdenhausen and Karl Friedrich Gottlieb of Castell-Remlingen . In addition, he issued many ordinances for his rule.

Rudolf Franz Erwein died on September 22, 1754 and his son Joseph Franz Bonaventura took over the rule of the Wiesentheider territories. He had already gained experience as a Vizedom in Aschaffenburg in Mainz . During his reign the Seven Years War raged and the pastor of Wiesentheider was continued as a hostage in 1759. Joseph Franz Bonaventura initiated some enlightenment ordinances; school regulations can be traced back to him, and in 1770 he introduced improvements in the health system.

The third ruling count from the Schönborn family was the son of Joseph Franz, Hugo Damian Erwein. He established many foundations in the rulership and promoted road construction. In 1779 a comprehensive police order was created.

In 1806 the short history of the direct imperial rule Wiesentheid came to an end through the Rhine Confederation Act . On September 18, 1806, Bavarian troops occupied the Wiesentheid residence, and on September 30 of the same year power was transferred to the kingdom .

From then on, the Counts of Schönborn were only registered lords in the Kingdom of Bavaria , but retained some of the former rights until the revolutionary year 1848, such as the lower jurisdiction in the form of a patrimonial court .


The areas that belonged to the Wiesentheid lordship were subject to some changes over the centuries. After the compromise with the Würzburg prince-bishops, the county lost several villages. Under Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn some fiefs were acquired for the county.

  • 1681: Atzhausen , Breitensee (until 1686), Geesdorf , Järkendorf , Kirchschönbach , Mühlbach (until 1686), Wiesentheid + Wald Obersambach, Schwarzenau , Abtswind (condominiums)
  • 1690: Atzhausen, Geesdorf, Järkendorf (until 1701), Wiesentheid + Wald Obersambach, Schwarzenau (until 1697), Abtswind (until 1701)
  • 1805: Atzhausen, Geesdorf, Wiesentheid + Forest Obersambach


A total of five sovereigns ruled over the imperial rule of Wiesentheid. First, Emperor Leopold I transferred the newly established rule to Johann Otto von Dernbach. After his death it was transferred to his third wife Maria Eleonore in a will. This handover led to the Würzburg occupation. Only after the marriage of the countess with Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn and the transfer of rule to him did calm return. After that, three generations ruled the Schönborn family.

Surname Reign Life dates image
Johann Otto von Dernbach 1681-1697 * 1658, Imperial Chamberlain, Privy Councilor , Würzburg Erbobermarschall, † May 29, 1697 in Graz
Maria Eleonore von Dernbach , b. from Hatzfeld 1697-1704 * February 16, 1680, 1st marriage before April 3, 1695, 2nd marriage on November 14, 1701, † April 26, 1718 in Wiesentheid Countess Maria Eleonore von Dernbach
Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn 1704-1754 * October 23, 1677 probably in Mainz , imperial secret council, commissioner in Frankfurt am Main , † September 22, 1754 in Gaibach Count Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn
Joseph Franz Bonaventure von Schönborn-Wiesentheid 1754-1772 * June 8, 1708 in Mainz, Imperial Privy Councilor, Reichshofrat , Mainz Vizedom in Aschaffenburg, † January 25, 1772 Count Joseph Franz Bonaventura von Schönborn-Wiesentheid
Hugo Damian Erwein from Schönborn-Wiesentheid 1772-1806 * October 27, 1738 in Aschaffenburg , kuk chamberlain, imperial secret council, 1806 retreat to Vienna , † March 29, 1817 in Vienna Hugo Damian Erwein from Schönborn-Wiesentheid

Directors of the Government Chancellery

The Count's government chancellery was headed by four directors. The office was located in Wiesentheid Castle and was established in 1681. Two directors can be noted under Johann Otto von Dernbach, the second, Johann Wilhelm Brenzer, continued his work under Maria Eleonore von Dernbach and the first Count von Schönborn. Overall, long terms of office are characteristic of office directors. The cabinet directors consisted of two, later five, lawyers.

Surname Term of office Remarks
Caspar Langavel 1688-1692 Office director under Johann Otto von Dernbach
Johann Wilhelm Brenzer 1693-1721 Office director under Johann Otto von Dernbach, Maria Eleonore von Dernbach and Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn, Jur. Lic., Also Councilor of the Bamberg Monastery
Johann Wilhelm Röthlein 1721-1767 Office director under Rudolf Franz Erwein von Schönborn, * 1686, † February 20, 1767 in Wiesentheid
Valentin Jörg 1767-1806 Office director under Rudolf Franz Erwein, Joseph Franz Bonaventura and Hugo Damian Erwein von Schönborn


  • Max Domarus: Territory of Wiesentheid. Documents on the history of imperial rule (county) 1681–1806 . Munich 1956.
  • Hans Rall: chronological tables on the history of Bavaria and the territories linked to or absorbed in Bavaria . Munich 1974.
  • Ludwig Reinhold: About the Steigerwald as it was and how it is . Gerolzhofen 1877.

Individual evidence

  1. Max Domarus: Territorium Wiesentheid , p. 19.
  2. Max Domarus: Territorium Wiesentheid , p. 51.
  3. Max Domarus: Territorium Wiesentheid , p. 77.
  4. ^ Max Domarus: Territorium Wiesentheid , p. 86.
  5. Max Domarus: Territorium Wiesentheid , p. 128.