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Richard of Greiffenklau zu Vollrads (c. 1467 - 13 March 1531) was the Archbishop of Trier from 1511 until 1531.

Richard was the fourth son of Lord John of Greiffenklau. Early in his childhood he was sent into a church life, and he began a five year training course culminating in his appointment in the Trier cathedral in 1487. In 1488 he started education in Paris, and after he finished he was made a canon of Mainz and a cantor in Trier. Richard was elected the Archbishop of Trier in 1511, and he received the pallium and Papal confirmation from Pope Julius II the following year. In 1515 he implemented reforms, and ordered the Jews out of the archbishopric. At the imperial election in 1519 he received bribes from King Francis I of France, but the Habsburg Charles V of Austria was still elected.

At the Diet of Worms in 1521 King Charles V offered Martin Luther protection in Trier if he recanted his opinions of the Reformation, but Luther refused. Trier remained unaffected by the Reformation. In 1522 the powerful knight Francis of Sickingen and his many Rhenish allies attempted to conquer the Prince Archbishopric, but Trier remained loyal to Richard and he received aid from Hesse and the Electorate of the Palatinate. Sickingen was forced to retreat in the war, and after he was placed under the Imperial Ban he sacked Kaiserslautern. Richard allied again with Hesse and the Palatinate, and also the Swabian League in 1523. They marched on Landstuhl where he was, and destroyed its fortifications in one of the first uses of artillery. Sickingen the day after the walls fell.

Richard moved to Burg Ehrenbreitstein, where he collected the largest collection of cannons and ammunition of the times. Richard attended the Reichstag at Speyer in 1529, but the following year was represented by his chosen successor, John III of Metzenhausen. Richard died in Wittlich in 1531, and was buried in Trier cathedral.



Preceded by:

Richard of Greiffenklau zu Vollrads

Succeeded by:

Jacob II of Baden Archbishop of Trier
1511 - 1531
John III of Metzenhausen

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