- John, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
John, nicknamed the Alchemist ( _de. Johann der Alchimist; 1406 –
16 November 1464), was a Margraveof Brandenburg-Kulmbach and served as the peace-loving Margrave of Brandenburgafter the abdication of his father, Frederick I, the first member of the House of Hohenzollernto rule Brandenburg.
John was the eldest son of
Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg(1371-1440) and Elisabeth of Bavaria-Landshut (1383-1442), daughter of Frederick, Duke of Bavaria, and his second wife Magdalena Visconti of Milan.
Barbara of Saxe-Wittenberg(1405-1465), daughter of Rudolf III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg, John hoped to eventually succeed to Saxe-Wittenbergonce its line of Ascaniandukes died out. When this happened in November 1422, however, Emperor Sigismund was on poorer terms with the Hohenzollerns and was only willing to compensate John with a money payment.
John began participating in governmental affairs in Brandenburg in 1424. Frustrated by disputes with the feudal nobility, Frederick I retired to his castle at
Cadolzburgin Franconiain 1425, granting the regency of Brandenburg to John at a " Landtag" in Rathenowon January 13 1426, while retaining the electoral dignity for himself.
John was poorly received by the populace of Brandenburg, as his administration was incompetent, leading to unrest in the countryside. Rather than governing, John was more interested in artificially creating
goldthrough alchemy, thereby receiving the cognomen "the Alchemist". Realizing the danger Brandenburg was in, Frederick I granted John Franconian lands in Brandenburg-Kulmbach on June 7 1437, territory rich with mines for the Alchemist to indulge his hobby in. The governance of Brandenburg passed to Frederick I's second-oldest son, Frederick II.
After his younger brother Albert Achilles defeated a
Hussitearmy in 1431, John and Albert went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalemto atone for their sins. Their retinue began its journey in Nurembergon March 2 1431, reached their destination in the Holy Landon May 30, stayed until June 6, and returned to Nuremberg on September 25. Despite his pacific nature, John knighted Albert Achilles in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
After the death of Frederick I in 1440, John inherited all of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, including the castle of
Plassenburgin Kulmbach. In his later years, he allowed Christopher of Bavariato administer his possessions in the Upper Palatinateuntil Christopher's death in 1448. John ruled as Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach until abdicating in 1457, which allowed him to dedicate himself toward studying alchemy and the environs of Franconia. He died in Castle Scharfeneck near Baiersdorfin 1464.
Family and children
John of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and Barbara of Saxe-Wittenberg had four children:
# Rudolf, born and died in 1424
# Barbara (1423 –
7 November 1481), married:
12 November 1433to Marquis Louis III of Mantoue;
# Elisabeth (1425 – after
13 January 1465), married:
27 August 1440to Duke Joachim, Duke of Pomerania;
5 March 1454to Duke Wratislaw X, Duke of Pomerania.
# Dorothea (1431 –
10 November, 1495), married:
12 September 1445to King Christopher III of Denmark;
28 October 1449to King Christian I of Denmark.
* [http://mdz.bib-bvb.de/digbib/lexika/adb/images/adb014/@ebt-link?target=idmatch(entityref,adb0140155) Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie"] de icon
* [http://www.marlesreuth.de/johann4_markgraf_brandenburg_alchimist_1406.html Marlesreuth.de] de icon
* [http://www.bnbt.de/~tr1035/bt/wer/mgalbrechtachilles.htm Wer ist wer in Bayreuth?] de icon
*Eulenberg, Herbert. "The Hohenzollerns". Translated by
M.M. Bozman. The Century Co. New York, 1929.
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