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Albert I of Austria

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Albert I of Austria (1255 - 1308) was the King of Germany from 1298 until 1308, and the Duke of Austria and Styria from 1282 until 1308.

Early lifeEdit

Albert I was the first son and second child of King Rudolph I of Habsburg. He was married to Elizabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol in 1274. In 1282 he and his younger brother Rudolph II were entrusted with the Duchies of Austria and Styria, however the following year by the Treaty of Rheinfelden (1 June 1283) Rudolph was deprived of his rule. Albert thenceforth ruled both duchies solely, and with success. When his father died in 1291 the German princes, fearing the power of the Habsburgs, elected Adolph of Nassau King instead of Albert. When his Swabian vassals rose, Albert was forced to recognised Adolph as king.

King of GermanyEdit

Albert did not abandon his aspirations for the Kingship, and after several princes became dissatisfied with Adolph in 1298 they elected him king in opposition. The two Kings mustered their armies and engaged near Worms at the Battle of Göllheim. Adolph was defeated and killed. Albert was reelected king on 27 July 1298 in Frankfurt after making grand promises to the electors, and he was crowned in Aachen on August 24. Pope Boniface VIII refused to recognise his election.

As a king Albert proved intelligent, strong and he held a firm sense of justice (provided his own interests were not involved). He favoured the cities in the Kingdom and he allied with other princes to enforce his decrees, in stark contrast to his father who did little in the ruling of Germany. He protected the serfs and Jews. He was also interested in playing an integral part of European affairs.

Albert became embroiled in a dispute with the Kings of France over the Burgundian frontier, but the refusal of the Pope to recognise him led him from armed conflict to compromise. Thus in 1299 a treaty was made between Albert and King Philip IV whereby Albert's son Rudolph was to marry Philip's daughter Blanche. Finally in 1303 he managed to obtain papal recognition after promising that only the Pope could crown a Holy Roman Emperor and that none of his sons would be crowned the King of Germany without papal consent.

He failed to obtain Holland and Zealand after the death of Count John I in 1299, which instead passed to Hainault, although he managed to obtain Bohemia for his son Rudolph after the death of King Wenceslaus III. He also renewed the claim Adolph of Nassau had made on Thuringia, and he interfered in a succession dispute in Hungary. His attack on Thuringia was defeated at Lucka in 1307, and his position in Eastern Europe was weakened following the death of Rudolph that year. He abolished the tolls on the River Rhine and defeated a subsequent coalition of the Rhenish Archbishops with the aid of the Count Palatine and the cities.

Albert was travelling to Swabia to crush a rebellion when on 1 May 1308 at Windisch on the Reuss River John Parricida, the son of his brother Rudolph, and three conspirators killed him after he refused to grant John his inheritance.

ChildrenEdit

With Elizabeth of Gorizia-TyrolEdit

  1. Anne (1275/80 - 19 March 1327)
  2. Agnes (18 May 1281 - 10 June 1364)
  3. Rudolph (1282 - 4 July 1287)
  4. Frederick (1289 - 13 January 1330)
  5. Leopold (4 August 1290 – 28 February 1326)
  6. Elizabeth (129. - 19 May 1353)
  7. Katherine (1295 - 18 January 1323
  8. Jutta (129. - 1329)
  9. Albert (12 December 1298 – 20 July 1358)
  10. Henry (1299 - 3 February 1327)
  11. Meinhard (died in infancy)
  12. Otto (23 July 1301 – 26 February 1339)



Preceded by:

Albert I of Austria

Succeeded by:

Adolph of Nassau King of Germany
1298 - 1308
Henry VII of Luxembourg
Rudolph I Duke of Austria
1282 - 1308
with Rudolph II
1282 - 1283
and Rudolph III
1298 - 1307
Frederick I & Leopold I
Rudolph I Duke of Styria
1282 - 1308
with Rudolph II
1282 - 1283
Frederick I & Leopold I

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