Maximilian III Austria

Maximilian (1558 - 1618) was the Grandmaster of the Teutonic Order from 1590 until 1618, and the governor of the Tyrol from 1612 until 1618.

Maximilian was born in Wiener Neustadt on 12 October 1558 as the third son of the Emperor Maximilian II. From 1585 Maximilian was an administrator of Prussia. Two years later he was a candidate for the Polish throne after the death of Stefan Batory, but this was disputed by the other claimant Sigismund III Vasa. Maximilian attempted to win the crown by force by bringing in his army and starting the War of the Polish Succession, but he was defeated at the Battle of Byczyna and imprisoned. Maximilian was only released after Pope Sixtus V intervened, and he renounced his rights to the crown in 1589. That his brother the Emperor Rudolph II, failed to act in the affair contributed greatly to Rudolph's bad reputation.

Maximilian became the Grandmaster of the Teutonic Knights in 1590. From 1593 until 1595 he was the governor of Inner Austria. Maximilian was an important proponent of the Counter-Reformation. He opposed the conciliatory policies of his brother, the Emperor Matthias, and was instrumental in the imprisonment of the Archbishop of Prague, Melchior Klesl. In 1612 Maximilian became the governor of the Tyrol, and he worked to ensure that his intransigently Catholic cousin Ferdinand succeeded Matthias in Austria and as Holy Roman Emperor. Maximilian is most famous for the creation of the archducal hat which was used as late as 1835. He died in Vienna on 2 November 1618.

Preceded by:

Maximilian II

Succeeded by:

Henry VIII of Bobenhausen Grandmaster of the Teutonic Order
1590 - 1618
Charles I of Austria
Matthias Governor of the Tyrol
1612 - 1618

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