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Lothar Francis of Schönborn

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Kurfürst Lothar Franz von Schönborn

Lothar Francis of Schönborn (German: Lothar Franz von Schönborn) (4 October 1655 - 30 January 1729) was the Archbishop of Mainz from 1694 until 1729, and the Bishop of Bamberg from 1693 until 1729.

Lothar Francis was born in Steinheim am Main in 1655 to Count Philip Erwin of Schönborn. He was a nephew of John Philip of Schönborn, Archbishop of Mainz from 1647 until 1673, and a grand nephew of George Frederick of Greiffenclau, Archbishop of Mainz from 1629 until 1629. Furthermore he was an uncle to the influential Schönborn-Buchheim branch which included John Philip Francis, Frederick Charles, Hugh Damian and Francis George.

In 1694 Lothar Francis was elected the Archbishop of Mainz despite an opposing recommendation from the Emperor. During his reign, he increased taxation of the cathedral chapter and eroded some of its rights. In 1707 he was instrumental in the conversion of the Protestant Elizabeth Christina of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel to Catholicism. In 1711 he ensured the election of Charles VI of Austria as the Holy Roman Emperor, and was rewarded by Charles for his loyalty with 100,000 guldens with which he began the construction of Weissenstein in Pommersfelden.

In 1710 Lothar Francis became embroiled in a dispute with the cathedral chapter over his desire to have one of his nephews named coadjutor and successor. The chapter instead proposed Francis Louis of Palatinate-Neuburg, and with papal support implemented his appointment. Lothar Francis' reign was marked by an attempt to restore the waning fortunes of the Prince-Archbishopric. After leading it through the destructive Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession, during both of which the archbishopric was devastated, he reformed the administration, taxation and law which led to a more centralised state.

Lothar Francis died in Mainz on 30 January 1729. Despite greatly centralising the prince-archbishopric and increasing his personal authority at the expense of the cathedral chapter, it is disputed amongst historians as to how much an absolutist ruler Lothar Francis was.



Preceded by:

Lothar Francis of Schönborn

Succeeded by:

Anselm Francis of Ingelhelm Archbishop of Mainz
1694 - 1729
Francis Louis of Palatinate-Neuburg
Marquard Sebastian Schenk of Stauffenberg Bishop of Bamberg
1693 - 1729
Frederick Charles of Schönborn-Buchheim

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