Ferdinand of Bavaria of Cologne

Ferdinand of Bavaria (German: Ferdinand von Bayern) (1577 - 1650) was the Archbishop of Cologne from 1612 until 1650, the Bishop of Hildesheim from 1612 until 1650, the Bishop of Liège from 1612 until 1650, the Bishop of Münster (as Ferdinand I) from 1612 until 1650, the Bishop of Paderborn (as Ferdinand I) from 1618 until 1650, and the Provost of Berchtesgaden from 1595 until 1650.

Ferdinand of Bavaria was a son of Duke William V of Bavaria. His parents decided early that he would have church life, and they sent him to the Jesuit school at Ingolstadt for education in early 1587. He quickly became a canon in: Mainz, Cologne, Würzburg, Trier, Salzburg, and Passau. In 1595 he became the Provost of Berchtesgaden and the coadjutor of his uncle Ernest of Bavaria. His uncle retired from most duties associated with his office leaving Ferdinand to run the many lands he ruled. When Ernest died in 1612, Ferdinand was elected the Archbishop of Cologne and the Bishops of Liège, Hildesheim, Münster, and from 1618 Paderborn. Ferdinand never received priest or bishop consecration in his lifetime though.

Ferdinand worked hard throughout his reign to promote Catholicism in his lands through reforms and adoption of the Council of Trent's objectives, and improve the position of the Wittelsbachs in Germany. In 1612 he attempted to get his brother Duke Maximilian I of Bavaria elected the Holy Roman Emperor, although Maximilian rejected the crown.

In 1618 the Thirty Years' War broke out. Ferdinand had initial success in supporting the Catholic leaders and keeping his dioceses safe from war with Spanish aid, although after Sweden entered the war the lands were devastated. By the end of the war, Swedish, Spanish, French and Imperial armies had all fought in and raided the bishoprics. In 1642 he appointed his nephew Maximilian Henry coadjutor and he retired from most of the temporal affairs of the dioceses. Ferdinand died on 13 September 1650 in Arnsberg and was buried in Cologne Cathedral.

Preceded by:

Ferdinand of Bavaria

Succeeded by:

Ernest of Bavaria Archbishop of Cologne
1612 - 1650
Maximilian Henry of Bavaria
Ernest of Bavaria Bishop of Hildesheim
1612 - 1650
Maximilian Henry of Bavaria
Ernest of Bavaria Bishop of Liège
1612 - 1650
Maximilian Henry of Bavaria
Ernest of Bavaria Bishop of Münster
1612 - 1650
Bernard Christopher of Galen
Theodore of Fürstenberg Bishop of Paderborn
1618 - 1650
Theodore Adolph of the Recke
Jacob II Putrich Provost of Berchtesgaden
1595 - 1650
Maximilian Henry of Bavaria

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