Ruprecht of the Palatinate (Freising)

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Ruprecht von der Pfalz on a painting in the Fürstengang Freising
The coat of arms of Ruprecht von der Pfalz in the prince's corridor in Freising

Rup (p) right from the Palatinate (also Ruprecht the virtuous ; * May 14, 1481 in Heidelberg ; † August 20, 1504 in Landshut ), came from the Palatinate line of the Wittelsbach family . His parents were Philip the Sincere , Elector Palatinate and Margarete von Bayern-Landshut .


Ruprecht, born in Heidelberg, grew up in the Palatinate as one of 14 siblings - including eight brothers. His father planned a church position for him, his third son, in order to be able to provide for him according to his status. Philipp made sure that Ruprecht became canon in Würzburg in 1491 at the age of nine, was appointed bishop coadjutor of Freising at the age of ten on February 1, 1492 and shortly afterwards got a cathedral chapter position in Freising . Pope Innocent VIII did not confirm this, but it had no consequences. In 1493 he became provost of St. Maria ad gradus in Mainz. When the Bishop's chair in Freising became vacant due to the death of Bishop Sixtus von Tannberg in 1495, Philip proposed his son as bishop. On August 1, 1495, the cathedral chapter had the choice between a candidate from the Duchy of Bavaria-Munich and Ruprecht, who was supported by Duke Georg the Rich of Bavaria-Landshut and his father. The choice fell unanimously on Ruprecht. Pope Alexander VI did not refuse his consent and on February 8, 1496 appointed the fifteen year old administrator of the church in Freising. Ruprecht officially took over the administration of the bishopric as prince elector without having received an ecclesiastical consecration as he was still too young.

In 1496, Duke George the Rich changed his will in favor of his daughter Elisabeth , which did not correspond to the Wittelsbach house contracts. So he drew the opposition of his cousin Duke Albrecht of Bavaria-Munich and most of the imperial princes. In order to strengthen Elisabeth's position, he looked for a husband for her.

Ruprecht, to whom the role of bishop was not worth striving for, was planned by Duke Georg as bridegroom for his daughter. On January 19, 1498, Ruprecht declared to the cathedral chapter that he wanted to resign as prince elect, and on December 3, 1498, Pope Alexander VI agreed. a. At the same time, the succession in Freising was arranged so that his brother Philipp could take over the office.

On February 10, 1499, Ruprecht and Elisabeth of Bavaria married. The twins Georg and Ruprecht (November 1500 - August 1504), Ottheinrich (April 10, 1502 - February 12, 1559) and Philipp (November 12, 1503 - July 4, 1548) sprang from this marriage .

Since Duke Georg could still not be sure that Elisabeth would keep her inheritance, he appointed Ruprecht to be his governor in autumn 1503 and handed over the important castles of Landshut and Burghausen to him . On top of that he adopted Ruprecht. Georg died on December 1st, 1503, and his will was promptly not recognized. Albrecht demanded his inheritance, but Ruprecht refused.

On February 5, 1504, there was a session of the Imperial Chamber Court in Augsburg, in which King Maximilian Albrecht enfeoffed the Duchy of Lower Bavaria. Ruprecht did not accept this and triggered the Landshut War of Succession , whereupon the king put it into the imperial ban on May 5th . On June 13th, the first major battle between Albrechts and Ruprecht's troops broke out in Landshut. Albrecht won the battle and Ruprecht had to retreat to the city, where he died of dysentery on August 20th . His two first sons Georg and Ruprecht died of the disease shortly before him; his wife shortly afterwards on September 15, 1504. Ruprecht, his wife and the twins were buried in the Cistercian monastery Seligenthal in Landshut.

The war of succession for Ruprecht's family was only lost after King Maximilian's military intervention. With the Cologne arbitration award of 1505, the Duchy of Palatinate-Neuburg was created for Ruprecht's surviving sons, Ottheinrich and Philipp .

family tree

Ludwig III.
Elector Palatinate
Mechthild of Savoy
Amadeus VIII
Count of Savoy
Mary of Burgundy
Heinrich the Rich
Duke of Bavaria-Landshut
Maddalena Visconti
Friedrich II.
Elector of Saxony
Margaretha of Austria
Ludwig IV.
Elector Palatinate
Margaret of Savoy
Ludwig the Rich
Duke of Bavaria-Landshut
Amalia of Saxony
Philip the Sincere
Elector of the Palatinate
Margarete of Bavaria-Landshut
Ruprecht of the Palatinate

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A. Baumgärtner, Meichelbeck's Geschichte der Stadt Freising and its bishops, 1854
  2. Allgemeine deutsche Biographie Volume 29 (1889) p. 726 f
  3. Hubert Strzewitzek: The family relationships of the Freising bishops in the Middle Ages. Munich 1938. p. 212
  4. ^ Rall, H. u M .: The Wittelsbacher. From Otto I. to Elisabeth I., Verlag Styria Graz / Vienna / Cologne 1986, p. 223


predecessor Office successor
Sixtus von Tannberg Bishop of Freising
Philip of the Palatinate