Duchy of Oels

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The Duchy of Oels was created in 1312 by dividing the Duchy of Glogau . Duke Konrad I handed it over to the Crown of Bohemia as a fief in 1329 , which came to the Habsburgs in 1526 . The duchy was ruled by the Glogau branch of the Silesian Piasts until 1492 , and from 1495 to 1647 by the Munsterberg branch of the Lords of Podiebrad . In 1649 it came to the House of Württemberg through marriage , from which it fell to the Welfs in 1792 . After the First Silesian War it belonged to Prussia from 1742 . The place of residence was the city of the same name Oels ( today Oleśnica in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship in Poland ).

Territory of the Duchy of Oels around 1720

Under the Silesian Piasts (1312–1492)

After the death of Duke Heinrich III. The Duchy of Oels was created by Glogau for his son Konrad I. Politically, he turned to Bohemia and paid homage to King John of Luxembourg in 1329 . As a result, the area was subordinated to the Crown of Bohemia , which was confirmed by the Treaty of Trenčín in 1335 . In 1335 Konrad I acquired from Wroclaw Bishop Nanker Militsch and its surroundings and in 1339 from Liegnitz Duke Boleslaw III. Bernstadt . In 1355 he inherited the Duchy of Cosel from his brother-in-law, Duke Boleslaus from Cosel-Beuthen . A long-term inheritance dispute was waged over his duchy of Beuthen , which was only settled after the death of Conrad I. After that, his son of the same name, Konrad II, was awarded half of Bytom as a maternal inheritance in 1369 . A year later, Konrad II acquired Bolko III from Duke of Münsterberg . part of Gliwice and 1379 Kanth and the surrounding area. Due to over-indebtedness, Duke Heinrich VIII of Glogau sold him “Sperling” half of Steinau in 1394 , the second half of which also went to Conrad II in 1397.

After the death of Duke Konrad II in 1403, his only son Konrad III inherited . the possession. In 1413 he left the sons of Konrad IV. "Senior" († 1447), Konrad V. "Kanthner" († 1439), Konrad VI. "Dechant" († 1427), Conrad VII. "The old whites" and Conrad VIII. "The young ones " († 1444/47). First, Konrad IV. "Senior", for whom the Duchy of Bernstadt was spun off, took over the guardianship of his younger brothers. Even after the formal division of the paternal inheritance in 1416, the five brothers managed some of their territories together. Since Konrad IV. "Senior", Konrad VI. "Dechant" and Konrad VIII. "The boy", however, belonged to the clergy, the brothers Konrad VII. "The old white" and Konrad V. "Kanthner" actually exercised the rule and were therefore beneficiaries of the inherited possessions. In 1437 they agreed on a total loan, which was confirmed by the Bohemian sovereign. This was supposed to prevent the relapse upon the death of the childless Duke Conrad VII "the old white man". Two years later, Konrad V. "Kanthner" died, who had the sons of Konrad IX. "The blacks" and Konrad X. "the young whites" left behind. Her uncle Conrad VII "the old white man" took over her guardianship.

After the childless Duke Conrad VII intended to transfer his territorial shares to the Dukes of Sagan , although this project was in contradiction to the total lending agreed in 1437, he was in 1450 by Conrad IX. "The black" and his brother Konrad X. "the young white" captured and forced to resign from the government. The two brothers then managed the Oels property together until the death of Conrad VII in 1452. In the subsequent division, Konrad IX received. the city of Oels and the Upper Silesian areas of Beuthen and Cosel, while his brother Konrad X received the Duchy of Oels ( excluding the city of Oels ) and the area of Steinau and Wohlau . In 1459 the brothers paid homage to the Bohemian King George of Podebrady . After the invasion of the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus in Silesia, they paid homage to him in 1469.

After the death of Duke Konrad IX. In 1471 his brother Konrad X inherited the property. In order to forestall expropriation by the opposing king Matthias Corvinus, he sold his entire Upper Silesian property to Duke Heinrich the Elder from Münsterberg . Ä. He immediately passed Hultschin and Krawarn on to his eldest brother Boček . In 1474 Matthias succeeded in establishing himself in Central Silesia by accepting the eventual homage in the Oels towns of Wohlau and Militsch . At the same time he certified the elector Margaretha of Saxony the promised entitlement to the lands of Konrad X. Uncle Konrad VII. "The old white man". Thereupon the indebted Konrad X intended to sell the areas of Oels still in his possession directly to Margaretha's sons Albrecht and Ernst . King Matthias prevented the negotiations by taking over Konrad's debts and, in return, Konrad's lands. Konrad, who had to undertake not to sell anything more, promised a lifelong usufruct of his lands. However, after Konrad X. occupied the city of Steinau in 1489 without a royal permit, Matthias Corvinus Konrads X. transferred territories to his son Johann Corvinus , but died only a year later. Subsequently, Konrad X received the Duchy of Oels back from the Bohemian sovereign Vladislav II. With his death in 1492, the Oels line of the Glogau branch of the Silesian Piasts became extinct. His possessions fell back to the crown of Bohemia as a settled fiefdom.

In 1492/94 the free civil lords of Militsch , Wartenberg and Trachenberg were spun off from the Oels area.

Under the Münsterberg branch of the Lords of Podebrady (1495–1647)

In 1492 it came between the Bohemian King Vladislav II and the Duke of Munsterberg and Count von Glatz Heinrich the Elder. Ä. , a son of George of Podebrady , on disputes over the Bohemian lords of Podebrady and Kostomlat . The king claimed this after the death of Heinrich's brother of the same name, Heinrich the Elder. J. for himself, although in his will she was for Heinrich the Elder. Ä. were intended. In 1495 Heinrich had to do without Podiebrad and received the Duchy of Oels as a hereditary fiefdom in a contract concluded on April 28, 1495 in Bautzen , which also applied to Heinrich's sons. After Heinrich's death in 1498, his sons Albrecht I († 1511), Georg I († 1501) and Karl I ruled together. The latter ruled alone from 1511 to 1536 after the death of his brothers. With Karl's grandson, Duke Karl Friedrich I , the Münsterberg branch of the Lords of Podebrady went out in 1647 .

Under the Württemberg people (1649–1792)

Oels Castle, inner courtyard

In 1649 the duchy came to the son-in-law of the last Oelser Podiebrad, Duke Silvius Nimrod of Württemberg-Weiltingen , who passed the Moravian rule of Jaispitz to Emperor Ferdinand III. who was also King of Bohemia, had to resign. However, Nimrod did not receive full sovereignty, but with the treaty of January 16, 1649 only the enfeoffment as media principality . After the First Silesian War , the feudal rule over the Duchy fell to Prussia in 1742 . Subsequently, the princes lost all political importance and from then on were only landowners.

In 1744 Karl Friedrich II. From Württemberg gave Oels to his nephew Karl Christian Erdmann . After his death in 1792, his son-in-law, Friedrich August , Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg and Prince of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, was enfeoffed with oils. With that, Oels came to a branch of the Guelph family .

Under the Guelphs (1792-1884)

After Friedrich August died childless, Oels fell to his nephew, Prince Friedrich Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Lüneburg . As a result of the Prussian administrative reform carried out in 1807, the Duke of Oels was only titular duke. In 1809 the Duke took part in the uprising of the Black Company . After their suppression he fled to England. In 1813 he regained control of Braunschweig, which had been taken from him by Napoleon's incursion. From now on, Oels remained in personal union with the Duchy of Braunschweig for 70 years .

Under the Hohenzollern (1884–1945)

After Duke Wilhelm von Braunschweig died in 1884 , not without children, but without heirs, the Duchy of Oels was dissolved. The private property was bequeathed to the Saxon royal family in his will by Wilhelm II , the fiefdom reverted to Prussia and was subsequently a fiefdom from the throne, owned by the respective Prussian crown prince. Until the expropriation in 1945, the last German Crown Prince Wilhelm of Prussia (1882–1951) owned the ducal palace and the manor of Oels .

The dukes of Oels

Silesian Piasts

Munsterberger branch of the Bohemian Podebrady

The house of Württemberg-Weiltingen

  • 1649–1664 Silvius I. Nimrod , son-in-law of Karl Friedrich I.
  • 1664–1668 Karl Ferdinand († 1669), son of Silvius Nimrod, in Oels and Bernstadt
  • 1668–1697 Silvius II. Friedrich († 1697), son of Silvius Nimrod
  • 1697–1704 Christian Ulrich I , son of Silvius Nimrod, in Oels and Juliusburg, 1668–1697 in Bernstadt
    • Julius Siegmund († 1684), son of Silvius Nimrod, 1668–1684 in Juliusburg
    • Karl († 1745), son of Julius Siegmund, 1684–1697 in Juliusburg, 1697–1745 in Bernstadt
  • 1704–1744 Karl Friedrich II. († 1761), son of Christian Ulrichs I, in Oels and Juliusburg
  • 1744–1792 Karl Christian Erdmann , † 1792, son of Christian Ulrich II., In Oels and Juliusburg, 1744–1792 in Wilhelminenort, 1745–1792 in Bernstadt

The House of the Welfs (Braunschweig-Lüneburg)

1884 dissolution of the duchy


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