Henry IV, Duke of Saxony

Henry IV, Duke of Saxony

Henry IV the Pious, Duke of Saxony ( _de. Heinrich der Fromme) (b. Dresden, 16 March 1473 – d. Dresden, 18 August 1541) was a Duke of Saxony from the House of Wettin.


Heinrich was the second son of Albert, Duke of Saxony and his wife Sidonie Podiebrad, princess of Bohemia. When Albert died in 1500, his eldest son Georg succeeded to the Duchy of Saxony, and Heinrich became Lord of Friesland.

Saxon rule of Friesland was disturbed by constant revolts. Consequently Heinrich, who was of a rather inert disposition, gave up his title there. In 1505 Heinrich ceded Friesland to Georg, in return for an annuity and the districts of Wolkenstein and Freiberg, where Heinrich made his residence.

In 1517, Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation in Germany, and a few years later Heinrich converted to Lutheranism. Georg remained a devout Catholic. Both of Georg's sons predeceased him without issue.

When Georg's second son died in 1539, Heinrich (a Protestant) became heir presumptive to the Duchy under the Act of Settlement of 1499. To prevent a Protestant succession, Georg tried to override his father's will, disinherit Heinrich, and bequeath the Duchy to Ferdinand, brother of Charles V. But Georg died only two months later, and Heinrich succeeded to the Duchy.

He was then 66 years old, and reigned for only two years. Heinrich made Lutheranism the state religion of the Duchy of Saxony.


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1= 1. Henry IV, Duke of Saxony
2= 2. Albert, Duke of Saxony
3= 3. Sidonie Podiebrad
4= 4. Frederick II, Elector of Saxony
5= 5. Margarete of Austria
6= 6. George of Kunštát and Podiebrad, King of Bohemia
7= 7. Kunigunde of Sternberg
8= 8. Frederick I, Elector of Saxony
9= 9. Catherine of Brunswick
10= 10. Ernest, Duke of Austria
11= 11. Cymburgis of Masovia
12= 12. Victorin I of Kunštát and Podiebrad
13= 13. Anna of Wartenberg
14= 14. Smil of Sternberg
15= 15. Barbara Flaschka von Richenburg
16= 16. Frederick III, Landgrave of Thuringia
17= 17. Katherina of Henneberg
18= 18. Henry the Mild, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
19= 19. Sophie of Pomerania
20= 20. Leopold III, Duke of Austria
21= 21. Viridis Visconti
22= 22. Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia
23= 23. Alexandra of Lithuania
24= 24. Boczek V of Kunštát and Podiebrad
25= 25. Anna Lipa of Duba
28= 28. Udalrich of Sternberg
29= 29. Margarethe of Seeberg

Marriage and Children

In Freiberg, on 6 July 1512, Heinrich married Katharina, daughter of Duke Magnus II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. They had six children:
#Sybille (b. Freiberg, 2 May 1515 - d. Buxtehude, 18 July 1592), married on 8 February 1540 to Duke Franz I of Saxe-Lauenburg.
#Emilie (b. Freiberg, 27 July 1516 - d. Ansbach, 9 March 1591), married on 25 August 1533 to Georg, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach.
#Sidonie (b. Meissen, 8 March 1518 - d. Kloster Weissenfels, 4 January 1575), married on 17 May1545 to Duke Erich II of Brunswick-Kalenberg.
#Maurice (b. Freiberg, 21 March 1521 - d. of wounds received in action at Sievershausen, 11 July 1553), later Elector of Saxony.
#Severinus (b. Freiberg?, 28 August 1522 - d. Innsbruck, 10 October 1533).
#Augustus (b. Freiberg, 31 July 1526 - d. Dresden, 11 February 1586).

External links

* [http://mdz.bib-bvb.de/digbib/lexika/adb/images/adb011/@ebt-link?target=idmatch(entityref,adb0110603) Article in the ABD]

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