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Lordship of Schlitz

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Lordship of Schlitz
Herrschaft Schlitz
Arms-Schlitz
1116 - 1806

Capital
Circle
Bench
Schlitz
Upper Rhenish
Counts of the Wetterau
Established 1116
Immediate 1656
Mediatised to Hesse-Darmstadt 1806

The Lordship of Schlitz was a minor territory in the east of modern Hesse, Germany, located around the municipality of Schlitz (located north-northwest of Fulda). The Lordship was ruled by the House of Schlitz genannt von Görtz (named as such from 1408). It was created in 1116 as a mediate territory belonging to the Abbey of Fulda. The Lords of Schlitz campaigned heavily for greater independence, which led to violent reprisals from the abbey (Most notable was Abbot Berthold von Leipholz who destroyed the castle of Niederschlitz in 1265). The Lords of Schlitz introduced the Reformation to the territory in 1546, and obtained the Lordship of Pfarrstellen in 1563. They successfully resisted the Counter Reformation in 1604.

The Thirty Years' War caused severe troubles for the Lordship. Schlitz was repeatedly plundered and starved, and in 1635 the Plague swept through the Lordship. Only a third of the population survived the war. Following the war, large construction efforts reversed the damage and the Lordship prospered. In 1656 the Lords of Schlitz finally gained independence from Fulda. The Lords were raised to Imperial Barons in 1677, and in 1726 were raised to Imperial Counts. The weaving industry in Schlitz was greatly improved in 1717. The Seven Years' War however brought poverty and ruin, but after its close in 1763 Schlitz again flourished. The Lordship of Schlitz was raised to the Bench of Counts of the Wetterau in 1804. The peace was interrupted suddenly by the Napoleonic Wars. Schlitz was mediatised to Hesse-Darmstadt in 1806. The weaving industry suffered greatly under Hessian rule, and through the decline of weaving and harsh customs laws Schlitz soon became an impoverished area. The territory was included in the District of Aisfeld in 1820. In 1852 the Counts of Schlitz genannt von Görtz voluntarily retired from the territory and it was included in the District of Lauterbach.

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