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Joseph Clemens of Bavaria

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Joseph Clemens of Bavaria (German: Josef Clemens von Bayern) (1671 - 1723) was the Archbishop of Cologne from 1688 until 1723, the Bishop of Regensburg from 1685 until 1716, the Bishop of Freising from 1685 until 1694, the Bishop of Liège from 1694 until 1723, the Bishop of Hildesheim from 1702 until 1723, and the Provost of Berchtesgaden from 1688 until 1723.

Joseph Clemens was the third son of Duke Ferdinand of Bavaria. He was selected, against his will, to a life in the church and was educated accordingly. He became the coadjutor of Regensburg in 1683, the coadjutor of Freising in 1684, and the coadjutor of Berchtesgaden in 1685. When his uncle the Bishop Albert Sigismund died in 1685 he was elected the Bishops of Freising and Regensburg despite being underage, and he was confirmed by Pope Innocent XI. In 1688, only 17 years old, he was elected the Archbishop of Cologne and Provost of Berchtesgaden with the energetic support of the Pope and Emperor Leopold I, although the capter had supported William Egon of Fürstenberg.

In the War of the Palatine Succession (also called the Nine Years' War) (1688 - 1697) the French devastated the Archbishopric of Cologne and began a campaign of terror and destruction. When the Elector of Brandenburg Frederick III recaptured Bonn from the French in 1693 he thoroughly destroyed the city for little reason. In 1694 Joseph Clemens was elected the Bishop of Liège, and he resigned the Bishoprics of Freising and Regensburg, although in the latter he was quickly reelected. Briefly before the start of the War of the Spanish Succession (1701 - 1714) he signed an alliance with the French.

Bonn was captured by Imperial troops in 1702 and Joseph Clemens fled into exile in Namur, the same year he was elected the Bishop of Hildesheim. In 1704 he moved to Lille. He received his bishops consecration in Cambria in 1706, and that year he was placed under the Imperial Ban and lost his right to participate in Imperial elections and the Reichstag. In 1709 he moved to Valenciennes. The Peace of Baden saw the ban lifted and Joseph Clemens returned to Bonn with Konstanze de Grousselier. With her he had two children: Jean Baptiste Victor de Grosberg-Bavière (1706 - 1768) and Antoine Levin de Grosberg-Bavière (1710 - 1757). With Anna Franziska de Louchier he had another son, Emanuel de Bavière.

Joseph Clemens died in Bonn on 12 November 1723 and was buried in Cologne Cathedral.



Preceded by:

Theodoric I of Hengebach

Succeeded by:

Maximilian Henry of Bavaria Archbishop of Cologne
1688 - 1723
Clemens Augustus I of Bavaria
Albert Sigismund of Bavaria Bishop of Regensburg
1685 - 1716
Clemens Augustus I of Bavaria
Albert Sigismund of Bavaria Bishop of Freising
1685 - 1694
John Francis Ecker of Kapfing-Lichteneck
John Louis of Elderen Bishop of Liège
1694 - 1723
George Louis van Berghes
Maximilian Henry of Bavaria Bishop of Hildesheim
1702 - 1723
Clemens Augustus I of Bavaria
Maximilian Henry of Bavaria Provost of Berchtesgaden
1688 - 1723
Julius Henry of Rehlingen-Radau

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