Frederick III of Saarwerden (German: Friedrich III von Saarwerden) (1348 - 1414) was the Archbishop of Cologne from 1370 until 1414 and the Count of Saarwerden from 1397 until 1414.

Early lifeEdit

Frederick III was a son of Count John II of Saarwerden. From an early age it was decided he would have a career in the church. In 1368 he studied in the Cathedral school in Bologna. Following the death of the Archbishop Engelbert III of the Marck of Cologne, Frederick postulated the position of the Archbishop on 23 October 1368. The Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV of Luxembourg and the cathedral chapter were opposed as the minimum age for a bishop was thirty years old. The standoff also involved the Archbishop of Trier Cuno II of Falkenstein who held control of the archdiocese and also wanted the archbishopric. Emperor Charles IV then asked Pope Urban V to promote the Bishop of Strasbourg John III of Luxembourg-Ligny to the Archbishopric of Cologne.

Pope Urban V however had created a solution on the 7 November: Kuno of Falkenstein would receive the Archbishopric of Cologne, John of Luxembourg-Ligny would receive the Archbishopric of Trier, and Frederick III of Saarwerden would be made the Bishop of Strasbourg. The plan received the support of many important cardinals and John and Frederick readily agreed to it, but Kuno was opposed. Thus the Emperor Charles IV supported John to take Cologne and Frederick III to take Strasbourg but Kuno refused to grant the archdiocese. The absence of an archbishop in Cologne led the Pope to appoint Kuno the General Vicar of Cologne in the controversy on 30 June 1369. On 27 March 1370 the Pope finally forced Kuno to abandon the archdiocese of Cologne, Frederick III again postulated the archbishopric, and this time he was unanimously voted the archbishop of Cologne and received the support of Kuno.

Archbishop of CologneEdit

Frederick III travelled to Avignon to receive Papal confirmation, and he received it on 13 November 1370 only after he had paid a significant bribe to the Pope. In April 1371 he arrived in Cologne and took the reins of government in June from Kuno. In 1372 he revoked many of the rights of the city of Cologne. In 1374 the Emperor Charles IV offered to give Cologne 30,000 guldens if he supported his son Wenceslaus to the throne. Frederick was excommunicated on 5 September 1375 as he was defaulting on his loans to the pope, and papal delegates revealed the situation to the townsfolk of Cologne on the 24th of October. The Pope soon relieved the city of all obligations of Frederick.

In 1376 he was concerned about the marriage of his sister Waldburga to Count Frederick I of Moers. On the 1st of June he offered to give the papacy the 30,000 guldens from Charles IV for the erasure of debts, a contract agreed the following year but Frederick did not pay. He crowned Wenceslaus the King of Germany on 6 July in Aachen as per the agreement with Charles IV. In 1379 Frederick supported Pope Urban VI against Pope Clement VII and his excommunication was lifted. Frederick founded the University of Cologne in 1388. He allied with the Archbishopric of Trier and the Electorate of the Palatinate against the Emperor Wenceslaus in 1390. When his brother Count Henry II died in 1397 he also became the Count of Saarwerden. In 1400 Wenceslaus finally retired and he elected the Count Palatine Rupert III King of Germany in 1400, and crowned him in Cologne Cathedral.

In 1409 he was a proponent of the Council of Pisa but did not attend due to old age, instead sending his nephew Theodoric of Moers. When Rupert died in 1410 he and the other electors unanimously elected Sigismund of Luxembourg the King and Emperor. Frederick died on 9 April 1414 in Bonn and was buried in Cologne Cathedral. He was succeeded in the Archbishopric by his nephew Theodoric, and in the County of Saarwerden by his brother-in-law Count Frederick III of Moers.

Preceded by:

Frederick III of Saarwerden

Succeeded by:

Engelbert III of the Marck Archbishop of Cologne
1370 - 1414
Theodoric II of Moers
Henry III Count of Saarwerden
1397 - 1414
Frederick III