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Herman V of Wied

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Herman V of Wied (German: Hermann V von Wied) (1477 - 1552) was the Archbishop of Cologne from 1515 until 1547, and was the Bishop of Paderborn (as Herman II) from 1532 until 1547.

Herman was the fourth son of Count Frederick I of Wied. His mother Agnes of Virneburg died in 1478. In 1483 at six years of age he was sent to the cathedral chapter in Cologne for education. Two of his brothers, Adam and Theodoric, were already members of the cathedral in Cologne and Trier, and when Adam died in 1483 he assumed his poisition. In 1487 his father died, leaving him an orphan at 10 years old. On 8 December 1493 he entered into Cologne Cathedral in the legal faculty.

Herman was elected the Archbishop of Cologne on 14 March 1515 and received papal confirmation from Pope Leo X on 26 June that year. However it was three years before Herman could take full office as Leo insisted on Herman gaining priest and bishop consecration. In 1519 he elected Archduke Charles of Austria the Holy Roman Emperor against Kings Francis I of France and Henry VIII of England, receiving a 40,000 gulden bribe from Jacob Fugger. On 23 October 1520 he crowned Charles in Aachen.

Herman was initially critical of the Reformation and engaged in public book-burning of the works of Martin Luther. In 1521 he participated in the Diet of Worms, and was a signatory of the Edict of Worms in which Luther was declared a heretic and an outlaw. Herman soon, however, began to be influenced by Luther's works. In 1531 he elected Ferdinand I of Austria the King of Germany, a choice particularly impressed by the evangelical electors. In 1532 he was elected the Bishop of Paderborn after Protestant riots forced the previous bishop to retire, and he used troops from the County of Wied to put down the rebellion.

In 1536 he summoned a provincial synod which was attended by the clergy of the archdiocese as well as the suffragan bishops of Minden, Osnabrück, Münster and Utrecht. At the provincial synod he made several decrees for reform which he hoped would placate the struggles, but in 1540 he converted to Protestantism after the reforms were defeated. In 1542 he summoned Martin Bucer to lecture and spread the reformation of the archdiocese, but in 1543 found himself forced to resist his teachings.

Herman gained support around the archdiocese, and in 1543 he summoned Philip Melanchthon and other prominent Protestant theologians to Cologne. In 1544 the cathedral chapter publically begged the Pope and Emperor Charles V to order Herman to stop. The League of Schmalkalden, an alliance of the reformed states, hailed Herman and announced they would defend him from attack. On 18 July 1545 Pope Paul III issued a decree ordering him to cease reforming, but an envoy successfully justified Herman before the emperor and he ignored the papal decree. On 2 January 1546 the decree was personally issued to Herman by a papal legate, and he was later excommunicated on 16 April. The Pope appointed Adolph of Schaumburg the administrator of the archdiocese, and Adolph began a campaign to limit the reformation.

Herman then publically announced that the Pope had no authority in Cologne and therefore his attempts were futile. However he was dealt a blow by the defeat of Duke William the Rich of Cleves by the hand of the emperor, and the stubborn resistance of his efforts by the people of the city of Cologne. Hostilities were about to commence with a large populace declaring their intention to fight for Herman, but fearing the bloodshed and damage a war would cause he resigned from the Archbishopric of Cologne and the Bishopric of Paderborn on 25 February 1547.

Life After the ArchbishopricEdit

Herman retired to the family castle in Wied. He died there on 15 August 1552 after receiving his Lutheran communion rites and was buried with his parents.



Preceded by:

Herman of Wied

Succeeded by:

Philip II of Daun-Oberstein Archbishop of Cologne
1515 - 1547
Adolph III of Schaumburg
Eric of Brunswick-Lüneburg Bishop of Paderborn
1532 - 1547
Rembert of Kertzenbroich

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