Rudolph von Wrbna

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Count Rudolph von Wrbna -Freudenthal ; Rudolf Johann von Würben and Freudenthal (* July 23, 1761 in Vienna ; † January 30, 1823 there ) was an Austrian civil servant.


Coat of arms of those of Wrbna

Rudolph von Wrbna came from an old Silesian- Bohemian- Moravian noble family and was the eldest son of Count Eugen Wenzel von Wrbna (born June 3, 1728 in Prague ; † May 23, 1789 in Hořovice ), Obersthofmarschall and his wife Maria Theresa (* 15 September 1733 in Vienna; † July 3, 1802 ibid), daughter of the privy councilor Baron Ladislaus von Kollonitz von Kollograd (1705–1780). His ancestors Stephan and his son Andreas von Wrbna fell on April 9, 1241 when they fought with Henry the Pious in the battle of Liegnitz against the invaded Mongols .

He studied philosophy and law at the University of Vienna . Because he dealt with mineralogy and was able to build up an extensive collection over time, which was later cataloged by Paul Partsch , he studied mining at the Bergakademie Schemnitz after completing his studies in Vienna . He participated in all the work in the mine and the smelter , in the smithy and in hydraulic engineering and entered into competition with the workers, which he paid if they won. After finishing his studies in mining he went on a trip through Lower Hungary and Inner Austria to visit various mines there.

In 1785 he entered the civil service as court secretary at the mining court and in 1787 he was a recruiter. In 1790 he was appointed court adviser to the court chamber for minting and mining. During this time he was selected by Emperor Joseph II , along with several other young men, to accompany the heir to the throne Archduke Franz on his rides.

In 1801 he became vice-president of the mining farm and in 1802 president of the canal farm construction commission. At that time, a fire broke out in the Idrija mercury mine and threatened to destroy the mine. Rudolph von Wrbna advised and supported the court advisor Joseph Leithner (1743–1822), who was sent there, so that the fire could be quickly extinguished and one of the richest state sources saved.

In order to be able to monitor and manage his estates better, he had taken leave of absence, but was reassigned to the service by the emperor in 1805 and appointed state court commissioner (a person in charge of special courtly matters).

After the occupation of Vienna by the French, he stood in the way of General Manager Pierre Daru at the risk of the forced evacuation of the Austrian military hospital , and he also prevented the looting of museums and libraries. He also vigorously opposed the French authorities when they wanted to claim stolen objects worth one million guilders as state property and saved them.

On January 12, 1806 he was awarded by the Emperor Franz II. A personal letter, in which he expressed his thanks uttered and him as the successor to Franz de Paula Karl von Colloredo to Lord Chamberlain appointed and granted the authority to important budget shops and him with the St. Stephan Order excellent. The emperor also appointed him personal advisor and companion on his travels, who was responsible for his safety.

When war with France loomed again in 1809, he asked the emperor to declare his 17-year-old son Eugene to come of age, and on July 8, 1809, he ceded all of his assets to his son so that he could enter the imperial service independently.

When new paper money, the redemption coupons , was issued in 1811 as a result of a financial plan , the emperor appointed him President of the redemption and repayment deputation set up for the occasion, on whose work most of the state credit was based. He was also head of the Court Chamber for Minting and Mining, which became the Ministry for State Culture and Mining in 1848.

Because most of the Austrian armories were in enemy hands, Rudolph von Wrbna traveled to Neusohl to accelerate the construction of a rifle factory there, which then began production under the direction of the artillery chief Franz Tihavsky. After the peace negotiations, Rudolf von Wrbna took over the office of court commissioner again and was head of the secret cabinet.

At the suggestion of some Bohemian noblemen, he created a Bohemian bodyguard , the Bohemian Noble Guard , for the emperor, to which he belonged as a commander and his son Eugene.

He was involved in the founding of the Patriotic-Economic Society , the Polytechnical Institute , the Painting School, the Society of Patriotic Art Friends , the Music Conservatory , the Hydrotechnical Society for the Unification and Making the Rivers of Bohemia Navigable and the Bohemian National Museum .

He supported and promoted Franz Reichetzer (1770–?), Professor at the Bergakademie in Schemnitz, with the publication of his work Instructions for Geognosy, especially for Mountain Studies, according to Werner .

In 1822 Rudolph von Wrbna accompanied the emperor to the Verona Congress , which took place in Verona from October 20 to December 14, 1822. On the return journey through the Suganertal , over the Brenner to Innsbruck and Salzburg, Rudolph von Wrbna fell ill and died in Vienna in January 1823. Immediately before his death, he received a visit from the emperor who, when he heard of his death, exclaimed: I have lost my best friend .

Rudolph von Wrbna married on July 28, 1785 in the Augustinerkirche in Vienna Marie Theresia Aloisia (born February 3, 1763; † July 25, 1803 in Penzing ), daughter of the diplomat Dominik Andreas von Kaunitz-Rietberg-Questenberg ; they had six children together:

  • Eugen von Wrbna (born September 4, 1786 in Vienna; † March 24, 1848 ibid), head stable master , married to Mária Borbála (1793–1858), daughter of Count Károly Miklós Erdödy de Monyorókerék et Monoszló (1770–1833);
  • Dominik von Wrbna (born May 24, 1788 in Vienna; † March 24, 1848), major;
  • Therese von Wrbna (born September 13, 1789; † December 12, 1874), married to Franz de Paula Joseph Kinsky von Wchinitz and Tettau (1784–1823);
  • Ladislaus von Wrbna (born July 5, 1796, † December 1849), Lieutenant Field Marshal ;
  • Franziska von Wrbna (born December 2, 1799 in Vienna; † July 6, 1863 in the Schwaz district ), married to Karl von Liechtenstein (1790–1865); Grandson of Field Marshal Karl Borromeo von Liechtenstein ;
  • Rudolf von Wrbna (born April 4, 1802 in Vienna; † February 12, 1874 there), married to Konstancie Chorinská z Ledské.

Before the marriage, Rudolph von Wrbna was given the management of the goods by his father on a trial basis, whereupon Rudolph von Wrbna was able to revive the iron casting works in Komorau on his rule in Hořovice by improving the administration and through his experience in mining grew considerably.

After his death he was consecrated in the Augustinian Church in Vienna and transferred to the family crypt in Hořovice.


Orders and awards

Fonts (selection)


Web links

Rudolph von Wrbna in German Biography .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Karl Eduard Vehse : History of the Austrian court and nobility and the Austrian diplomacy . S. 123. Hoffmann and Campe, 1852 ( [accessed on March 29, 2019]).
  2. ^ Peter Csendes , Ferdinand Opll : Vienna: History of a city . S. 111. Böhlau Verlag Wien, 2001, ISBN 978-3-205-99268-4 ( [accessed on March 29, 2019]).
  3. Prochazka novel : Militaria Bohemica. Retrieved March 29, 2019 .
  4. Portrait of Count Rudolf von Wrbna and Freudenthal with the Order of the Golden Fleece and the Royal Hungarian Order of St. Stephen. Retrieved March 29, 2019 .