Second War of the Geldrian Succession

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Second War of the Geldrian Succession
date 1423 to 1444
place Duchy of Guelders
output Win Egmonds

In the Second War of the Geldr Succession from 1423 to 1444, the inheritance for the Duchy of Geldern was disputed. After the death of the last duke in the double duchy of Jülich-Geldern , there was no legitimate male heir. While Duke Adolf von Jülich-Berg was able to take over rule as the successor to the Duchy of Jülich without major problems , such a solution in the Duchy of Geldern was not possible without armed conflicts.


When the childless Duke Rainald von Jülich-Geldern died in 1423, there was no male heir from the main line of the Jülich-Heimbach noble house. Immediately after the Duke's death, members from the branch lines of the Jülich family, the noble house "von Berg-Ravensberg", as well as from another branch line "von Jülich-Arkel" / "von Egmond" raised claims for successors.

Since the estates in Geldern had been made extensive concessions in the name of his son Arnold von Egmond in the name of his son Arnold von Egmond for the participation in the administration of the duchy, Arnold was elected the new duke on July 8, 1423 in Nijmegen.


Adolf von Berg-Ravensberg was the reigning duke in the Duchy of Berg-Ravensberg in 1423 and came from a branch of the Jülich noble family. Adolf was the grandson of Gerhard von Jülich , who had inherited the county of Ravensberg in 1346 and the county of Berg in 1348 through his wife Margarete von Ravensberg-Berg . Gerhard came from the noble house Jülich-Heimbach and was the founder of the new noble house "Berg-Ravensberg". Since Adolf's claims to Jülich were quickly recognized, he became the first "Duke of Jülich-Berg" from 1423 to unite the two duchies.

Arnold of Egmond

The inheritance claims of the second party, which was also related to the noble house “Jülich”, related to the sister of the last reigning Duke of Jülich-Geldern Rainald von Jülich-Geldern Johanna von Jülich. She had married Johann von Arkel and their daughter Maria was married to Johann von Egmond . The latter was the father of Arnold von Egmond, born in 1410 . Since Arnold was only 13 years old when he was elected, his father Johann von Egmond was the guardian of the Duchy of Geldern for several years.


Even after Arnold von Egmond was elected Duke of Geldern by the duchy in 1423, arguments began with the Duke of Jülich-Berg. Nevertheless, on August 15, 1424, "Arnold von Egmond" received an imperial loan from the German King Sigismund Geldern including the County of Zutphen. Condition of this granting of the fief was the payment of 14,000 guilders. However, this sum was not paid on time. For this reason, the imperial loan from Arnold von Egmond was withdrawn and given to Duke Adolf von Jülich-Berg on May 24, 1425 . Arnold von Egmond was not ready to accept this change and to renounce the Duchy of Geldern. Even the subsequent imposition of an imperial ban by the German king did nothing to change Arnold's refusal. Since Adolf von Jülich-Berg also did not want to renounce his claims confirmed by the king, the "Second War of the Geldrian Succession" occurred, the first phase of which lasted until 1435.

In the acts of war that had begun before the Reichslehen was granted to “Jülich-Berg”, the Geldrian towns of Grefrath and Viersen were conquered and destroyed in 1424 . In the following years, neither opponent could achieve any decisive advantages and a four-year armistice was concluded in 1429. After its end, Duke of Egmond now had the support of Duke Adolf II of Kleve , and Adolf von Jülich-Berg continued that of the German Emperor and, in addition, that of Count Gerhard von der Mark , in 1433 warlike actions began again. Even these did not lead to any advantage for either party. 1435 was mediated by the Duke Philip III. of Burgundy concluded a new armistice by October 1436. The negotiations after its end were still in progress when Duke Adolf von Jülich-Berg died on July 14, 1437.

The conflict over Geldern did not end with the death of Adolf von Jülich-Berg. Adolf's successor, his son Duke Gerhard von Jülich-Berg , continued to claim the Duchy of Geldern. At the beginning of the 1440s there were renewed acts of war. When Duke Arnold von Egmond and his troops invaded Jülich-Berg in 1444, he was defeated in the Battle of Linnich . In the ensuing peace treaty, ownership of Geldern and Jülich-Berg was guaranteed to the respective dukes. Despite his victory, Duke Gerhard decided not to enforce his inheritance claim for the Duchy of Geldern. In return, Arnold's brother, Wilhelm von Egmond , also renounced the hereditary ownership claims of the noble house "von Egmond" to the Duchy of Jülich. This ended the second phase of the armed dispute over money. The formal line was drawn in 1473 when Burgundy paid 80,000 guilders for Jülich-Berg's inheritance claims. However, after 1492 Karl von Egmond again raised claims to the inheritance of the Duchy of Jülich. In the Treaty of Herkenbosch on June 20, 1499 with Duke Wilhelm IV of Jülich-Berg , this new dispute was also ended.


Adolf von Egmond; Engraving by
Sébastien Pinssio

Formally, the inheritance claims from the noble house Jülich-Berg-Ravensberg to the Duchy of Geldern were settled no later than 1473 with the purchase of the claims by Charles the Bold of Burgundy. However, especially by the leanings of Arnold as well as Adolf von Egmond on the Duchy of Burgundy via Philip III. of Burgundy and then later Charles the Bold both the King of France and the Emperor were temporarily drawn into these disputes. Since the estates in Geldern were still able to enforce a participation in political decisions in the Duchy, the basis for future disputes about the political development and territorial affiliation of the Duchy of Geldern had been created.

After Duke Arnold von Egmond, who was prematurely and forcibly replaced as reigning duke by his son Adolf von Egmond from 1465 , the Duchy of Geldern was constantly involved in further disputes. From 1473 the takeover took place with the conquest of the duchy by the Burgundian ruler Karl the Bold. He was now Duke of Geldern, but transferred the administration to a governor . After the death of Charles the Bold on January 5, 1477, Adolf von Egmond tried again to take over Geldern. After his rapid death on June 27, 1477, other governors took over the administration in Geldern, who worked for the Habsburgs ( Emperor Friedrich III and Maximilian I ) from the 1480s .

From 1492 the son of Adolf von Egmond was able to end the period of governor in the Duchy of Geldern as Duke Karl von Egmond with the help of the estates in Geldern . But even until his death, Karl von Egmond was constantly involved in feuds with the Habsburgs, who wanted to increase their power in this part of the empire by taking over the duchies of Burgundy and Geldern. This endeavor was favored by the early death of Charles the Bold, who gave the Habsburgs the possibility of appropriating Geldern through the inheritance of Burgundy. This ultimately led to the later Third War of the Geldr Succession and ultimately to the dissolution of the independent Duchy of Geldern, which was to take place in the middle of the 16th century.

See also


  • Johannes Stinner, Karl-Heinz Tekath (ed.): Gelre - Geldern - Gelderland. History and culture of the Duchy of Geldern. Geldern 2001 (= publications of the historical association for Geldern and the surrounding area No. 100 ).

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e Otto Redlich, in: ADB / Arnold von Egmond , 1898, Volume 43, pp. 99-100. Online version [1]
  2. ^ Heinrich Ferber, in: Brief History of the Duchy of Geldern , 1863, p. [20] 14. Online version.
  3. a b c d Karl Leopold Strauven, in: ADB / Adolf von Jülich-Berg , 1875, Volume 1, pp. 96–98. Online version [2]
  4. ^ Heinrich Neu, in: NDB / Gerhard von Jülich-Berg , 1964, Volume 6, p. 267. Online version [3]
  5. Ralf G. Jahn, in: Chronik der Grafschaft und des Herzogtums Geldern , 2001, edited by Johannes Stinner and Karl-Heinz Tekath, part 1, p. 505.
  6. "" at: / Charles the Bold , online version on Google