Liegnitz feudal dispute

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The Liegnitz feudal dispute developed after the death of Duke Ludwig II. Since he did not leave any male descendants, his duchy of Liegnitz was to fall as a settled fiefdom to the crown of Bohemia . The cause of the feudal dispute was a mutual inheritance agreement between Duke Ludwig II and the three sons of his stepbrother Heinrich IX. for which the consent of the Bohemian sovereign had not been obtained. The inheritance disputes were only settled in 1469 through a renewed grant of fief.


Already in 1420 after the death of her father Heinrich IX. concluded his sons Ruprecht II , Wenceslaus III. von Ohlau († 1423) and Ludwig III. signed a contract of inheritance with her uncle Ludwig II, who in addition to Brieg had also owned the Duchy of Liegnitz since 1419 , which the contracting parties confirmed in 1424 through mutual contingent homage. The contract was intended to secure property for the other family branch. After the contracting parties had neither the contract nor the eventual homage confirmed by their sovereign, the Bohemian King Sigismund , protracted inheritance disputes arose after Ludwig II's death in 1436. Since Ludwig II left no male descendants, the king intended to collect the Duchy of Liegnitz as a settled fiefdom.

Since the two older brothers Ruprecht II and Wenzel III. were no longer alive when their uncle Ludwig II died in 1436, their youngest brother Ludwig III tried. enforce the inheritance claim by all means. His right was rejected as unfounded by King Sigismund shortly before his death. At the same time, Sigismund campaigned for Ludwig II's legacy of Liegnitz-Brieg to go undiminished to his widow Elisabeth von Brandenburg . Although Ludwig III. had already called on Brieg and Liegnitz to pay homage in 1436, he was asked by Sigismund's successor King Albrecht on July 12, 1438 to let the matter rest until legal clarification. At the same time he confirmed his previous privileges over Ohlau, Haynau , Lüben and Nimptsch .

According to Ludwig III. Death in 1441, his sons Johann I and Heinrich X tried their father's fight for the inheritance of Duke Ludwig II. After Johann I married Ludwig II's fifteen-year-old daughter Hedwig in 1445, who gave birth to their son Friedrich I a year later , at least the continuation of the Liegnitz tribe was assured.

After the death of Ludwig II's widow, Duchess Elisabeth von Brandenburg, on October 31, 1449, who administered the property he left behind as personal belongings , the city council of Liegnitz used the imminent change of ruler and the legally unresolved situation of the ducal house to enforce its intentions. The council, under the leadership of Mayor Ambrosius Bitschen, intended to subordinate the city directly to the Crown of Bohemia in order to achieve the status of a royal city , following the example of Wroclaw , and thus to escape the ducal impairments. Subsequently, both the knighthood and the cities of Liegnitz and Goldberg refused to pay immediate homage to the ducal brothers Johann I and Heinrich X. In November 1449, King Friedrich III reported. as guardian of the royal child Ladislaus Postumus, his claim to the reversion of the Duchy of Liegnitz. Also as the guardian of Ladislaus Postumus, the later Emperor Friedrich III. the city of Liegnitz in 1450 to his brother-in-law Friedrich II of Saxony . While he and the future emperor as well as the patricians and the Bohemian estates were campaigning for the reversion of Bohemia, the Bohemians were outraged by the future emperor that he had passed Liegnitz on immediately. For the investiture of the ducal brothers Johann I and Henry X. all Silesian prince spoke out and Liegnitzer guilds and related with the Liegnitzern Hohenzollern . In 1451 the city paid homage to the Saxons .

After Duke Heinrich X died in 1452, his brother Johann I, whose wife Hedwig and her son Friedrich I had been expelled from the city, fought for his rights with arms near Waldau, northwest of Liegnitz, but was defeated by his opponents. In addition to a fine, he had to formally waive his rights on September 19, 1452. Since he still did not give up his hope, he continued to seek contact with the Liegnitz guilds and joined the Capistran movement, which turned against Bohemia. His efforts were unsuccessful as he died a year later.

After Ladislaus Postumus was crowned King of Bohemia in 1453, the city of Liegnitz paid homage to him, while the Silesian princes and the Bohemian estates stood up for the ducal family. However, since the city council was disappointed in its expectations due to the general development and was also not satisfied with the governor Boček von Kunstadt appointed by the king , Margrave Albrecht Achilles , a brother of the late Duchess Elisabeth, was appointed mediator. On May 7, 1454, he submitted a proposal to which King Ladislaus and his governor Georg von Podiebrad also agreed. It included the following points: The son of the deceased Duke Johann I, Friedrich I, is engaged to Georg von Podiebrad's four-year-old daughter Sidonie , Liegnitz and Goldberg pay homage to Georg von Podiebrad personally, while the rest of the Liegnitzer Lands only serve as guardian of the child Duke Friedrich I. Pay homage. The city of Liegnitz undertakes to pay homage to the Dowager Duchess Hedwig and her son Friedrich I until legal clarification has been reached. At the same time, Georg von Podiebrad released the part of Brieg pledged to Opole , which he gave to Johann I's widow Hedwig.

Even before the mediation proposal was accepted, the Liegnitz guilds revolted against the city council. Mayor Bitschen was captured and executed. The governor chased out Kunstadt and the Dowager Duchess Hedwig and her son, who was recognized as hereditary lord, were brought back to the city. Among the winners was the royal governor Georg von Podiebrad, who was able to strengthen his influence in Silesia and whose daughter Sidonie was to become the future Duchess of Liegnitz. After Georg was elected King of Bohemia in 1459, the city of Liegnitz paid homage to him, the duchess widow Hedwig and her underage son Friedrich I, whose engagement to Georg's daughter Sidonie did not materialize.

The Liegnitz feudal dispute was only settled by Georg von Podiebrad's opposing king Matthias Corvinus , who in 1469 conquered Silesia as well as Moravia . In the same year he officially awarded the Duchy of Liegnitz to Duke Friedrich I. It remained with his descendants until the death of Duke Georg Wilhelm I , with whom the Liegnitz branch of the Silesian Piasts became extinct. After that it fell to Bohemia and gained the status of an hereditary principality.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Sidonie was married in 1459 to the then ten-year-old Saxon Duke Albrecht . Friedrich I only married his daughter Ludmilla after Georg von Podebrad's death in 1474 .