Johann II of Brunn

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Tomb of Johann II von Brunn in the Würzburg Cathedral
Coat of arms Johann II. Von Brunn after Lorenz Fries : Chronicle of the Bishops of Würzburg, 1574–1582

Johann II von Brunn († January 9, 1440 at the Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg ) was Prince-Bishop of Würzburg from 1411 until his death in 1440.

Johann II in the family context

Johann II von Brunn came from the north of Alsace . There is still no more detailed information about the lower nobility of the von Brunn family , the ancestral seat was probably near Niederbronn-les-Bains . In 1378 a Wilhelm von Born (or Burne) was recorded on the nearby Wasenburg , which could possibly mean Johann's father, Wilhelm von Brunn († 1401). His mother was born von Stauffenberg .

He owed his appointment as Bishop of Würzburg not least to his uncle Lamprecht von Brunn , Prince-Bishop of Bamberg (1374–1398). His career grew less from his family's standing than from his personal efforts and skills. However, an election also had a political background: By choosing a bishop from a distant lower aristocratic family, an attempt was made to reduce the influence of the neighboring count families in the diocese. Especially in Speyer and Bamberg, Lamprecht von Brunn provided various family members with important positions.

Johann II as bishop

Debt of the diocese

Johann II was said to have a lavish lifestyle, and also that he - beyond a reasonable amount - was fond of the charms of women. The debt burden and the number of pledges, such as B. since 1419 Auersburg Castle , put the diocese to the test. In the brief reign of his successor Sigismund von Sachsen this development got worse and only Gottfried IV Schenk von Limpurg began with an economic and religious consolidation.

The financial differences due to the poor payment behavior of the bishop towards the von Hirschhorn family even led to a feud in 1431 in which the bishop was imprisoned near Elsendorf and was only released again by Hans von Hirschhorn when the cathedral chapter, through the mediation of the Eichstätt Prince-Bishop Albrecht II . von Hohenrechberg , vouched for an early payment. The bishop was held captive at the Egloffstein Castle Reicheneck near Hersbruck .

Due to the crisis-ridden situation, Johann II was advised to resign from his office in 1432 and a coadjutor was appointed. There had previously been acts of war in Würzburg and episcopal troops had encountered associations of the cathedral chapter and the city of Würzburg. He retired to his Zabelstein Castle . But in 1434 he managed to return to office and dignity. However, the situation did not improve and shortly before his death he was under pressure again to give way to a deputy nurse. He is buried in the Würzburg Cathedral.

Hussite incursions

He faithfully supported King Sigismund in the fight against the Hussites . He was with Friedrich III. von Aufseß personally represented in the attempt to relieve Karlstein fortress . He did not succeed in providing the fixed contingents for the Diocese of Würzburg; however, he took part with 300 men on horseback. His withdrawing troops caused considerable devastation while retreating through the Upper Palatinate. On January 15, 1427, a new alliance against the Hussites was formed in Bamberg, which, in addition to the dioceses of Würzburg, Bamberg and Brandenburg, included numerous Frankish counts and knight families. At the Reichstag in Frankfurt, which the bishop attended, new alliance contingents were determined. The next move against the Hussites, which the bishop personally joined again, ended in a retreat of the German army. In 1428, Margrave Friedrich I of Brandenburg asked him for assistance in Weiden. In 1430 he came to the aid of the Margrave of Meißen . The following Reichstag in Nuremberg was under the impression of the Hussite invasion of the Vogtland and the Franconian area .


Politically, he tried to expand his influence in the Fulda monastery from 1413 , which he did not succeed. His attempt in 1422 to be appointed Bishop of Bamberg at the same time was also in vain. Only much later, in the 17th century, were the two dioceses regularly led in personal union.

Feuds grew out of the bishop's desire to expand his sphere of influence. For example, opening rights were claimed by military means. The knighthood was particularly affected. In 1418 Johann II von Brunn moved against Georg von Seckendorff . In 1419 he allied himself with Fulda, Hersfeld and Hessen against the Ganerbe von der Tann. In 1430 he joined forces with the Counts of Henneberg against those of Buchenau and von Schlitz. In 1437 he allied himself with Saxony against von Hutten . At the end of 1437 he conquered Jagstheim Castle and 1438 Reußenburg . In the Wertheim feud of 1437, the Schweinberg Castle of Würzburg was captured and razed by the Wertheimers and their numerous allies.

Construction activities

Construction work under his direction took place in the parish church of St. Kilian in Haßfurt . In 1431 he also laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Knight's Chapel in Haßfurt, the oldest pilgrimage church in the Würzburg diocese. He acted as an intermediary in the division of Speckfeld Castle between the Counts of Castell and the Limpurg taverns .

Jews in Würzburg

In 1412, the Jews in the Würzburg monastery received, as in their predecessor, a license limited to three years, and in 1414 Johann von Brunn even issued an eight-year certificate. He also ordered the cathedral chapter to ensure fair treatment of the Jews. In 1421 Johann II extended the charter for Jews for another five years until 1426 and also decreed tax exemption from all burdens except for the Jewish tax . However, in 1422 he teamed up with the Bishop of Bamberg and the Brandenburg margraves and threatened the Jewish residents of his territory with the confiscation of their property if they did not agree to a debt relief from accrued interest . In the period that followed, the Jewish settlement in Würzburg gradually declined. With Count Johann von Wertheim and with the city of Schweinfurt , he concluded contracts in 1426 and 1427 that Jews could only be punished after a judge's verdict. His successor Gottfried IV also pledged himself to legal protection for Jews in 1444.

In 1422, the freedom of trade, pledging and moving of residence he had granted to Jews ended. Four Franconian princes, the Margraves Friedrich VI. von Brandenburg (1398–1440) and Johann III. von Brandenburg (1398–1420), the bishop of Würzburg, Johann II. von Brunn, and the bishop of Bamberg, Albrecht von Wertheim (1398–1421), signed a contract that was to be carried out on April 25, 1422 and agreed to no longer admit Jews in their countries.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. History of Wasenbourg Castle (French)
  2. New German Biography: Johann II. Von Brunn ( Memento of the original from February 1, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. a b M. Wiener: Regesten on the history of the Jews in Germany during the Middle Ages , Hanover 1862, pp. 182, 186, 189, 197. Digitized
  5. ^ Arno Herzig: Jewish history in Germany. From the beginning to the present. CH Beck, 2002, ISBN 978-3-40-647637-2 , p. 56
  6. Werner Dettelbacher: The Jewish doctor Sara and her work in Würzburg (1419). In: Würzburger medical history reports 17, 1998, pp. 101-103; here: p. 102
  7. Ludwig Heffner: The Jews in Franconia. An impartial contribution to the moral and legal history of Franconia (with 19 document enclosures). Nuremberg 1855, p. 20.
  8. Jörg R. Müller: Networks of relations between Ashkenazi Jews during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. Hahnsche Buchhandlung, 2008, ISBN 978-3-77-525629-2 , p. 38
predecessor Office successor
Johann I of Egloffstein Bishop of Würzburg
Sigismund of Saxony