Today’s installment concludes Hapsburg Dynasty Founded,
our selection from History of the House of Austria. by William Coxe published in 1807. For works benefiting from the latest research see the “More information” section at the bottom of these pages.
If you have journeyed through all of the installments of this series, just one more to go and you will have completed a selection from the great works of six thousand words. Congratulations!
Previously in Hapsburg Dynasty Founded.
The plunder of the camp was immense, and Rudolph, apprehensive lest the disputes of the booty and the hope of new spoils should occasion a contest between his followers and the Hungarians, dismissed his warlike but barbarous allies with acknowledgments for their services, and pursued the war with his own forces. He took possession of Moravia without opposition, and advanced into Bohemia as far as Colin.
The recent wars, the total defeat of the army, and the death of Ottocar had rendered that country a scene of rapine and desolation. Wenceslaus, his only son, was scarcely eight years of age; and the Queen Cunegunda, a foreign princess, was without influence or power; the turbulent nobles, who had scarcely submitted to the vigorous administration of Ottocar, being without check or control, gave full scope to their licentious spirit; the people were unruly and rebellious, and not a single person in the kingdom possessed sufficient authority to assume and direct the reins of government. In this dreadful situation Cunegunda appealed to the compassion of Rudolph, and offered to place her infant son and the kingdom under his protection. In the midst of these transactions Otho, Margrave of Brandenburg and nephew of Ottocar, marched into Bohemia at the head of a considerable army, took charge of the royal treasures, secured the person of Wenceslaus, and advanced against the King of the Romans.
Rudolph, weakened by the departure of the Hungarians and thwarted by the princes of the empire, was too prudent to trust his fortune to the chance of war; he listened therefore to overtures of peace, and an accommodation was effected by arbitration. He was to retain possession of the Austrian provinces, and to hold Moravia for five years, as an indemnification for the expenses of the war; Wenceslaus was acknowledged King of Bohemia, and during his minority the regency was assigned to Otho; Rudolph, second son of the Emperor, was to espouse the Bohemian princess Agnes; and his two daughters, Judith and Hedwige, were affianced to the King of Bohemia and to Otho the Less, brother of the Margrave. In consequence of this agreement Rudolph withdrew from Bohemia, and in 1280 returned to Vienna in triumph. Being delivered from the most powerful of his enemies, and relieved from all further apprehensions by the weak and distracted state of Bohemia, he directed his principal aim to secure the Austrian territories for his own family. With this view he compelled Henry of Bavaria, under the pretext of punishing his recent connection with Ottocar, to cede Austria above the Ems, and to accept in return the districts of Scharding, Neuburg, and Freistadt as the dowry of his wife.
But, though master of all the Austrian territories, he experienced great difficulties in transferring them to his family. Some claimants of the Bamberg line still existed: Agnes, daughter of Gertrude and wife of Ulric of Heunburg, and the two sons of Constantia by Albert of Misnia. Those provinces were likewise coveted by Louis, Count Palatine of the Rhine, and by his brother Henry of Bavaria, as having belonged to their ancestors, and by Meinhard of Tyrol, from whom he had derived such essential assistance, in virtue of his marriage with Elizabeth, widow of the emperor Conrad and sister of the Dukes of Bavaria. The Misnian princes, however, having received a compensation from Ottocar, withheld their pretensions, and Rudolph purchased the acquiescence of Agnes and her husband by a sum of money and a small cession of territory. He likewise eluded the demands of the Bavarian princes and of Meinhard by referring them to the decision of the German diet, In the meantime he conciliated, by acts of kindness and liberality, his new subjects, and obtained from the states of the duchy a declaration that all the lands possessed by Frederick the Warlike belonged to the Emperor, or to whomsoever he should grant them as fiefs, saving the rights of those who within a given time should prosecute their claims. He then entrusted his son Albert with the administration, convoked, on August 9, 1281, a diet at Nuremberg, at which he presided in person, and obtained a decree annulling all the acts and deeds of Richard of Cornwall and his predecessors, since the deposition of Frederick II, except such as had been approved by a majority of the electors. In consequence of this decree another was passed specifically invalidating the investiture of the Austrian provinces, which in 1262 was obtained from Richard of Cornwall by Ottocar.
Carinthia having been unjustly occupied by Ottocar, in contradiction to the rights of Philip, Archbishop of Salzburg, brother of Ulric, the last duke, the claims of Philip were acknowledged by Rudolph, and he took his seat at the Diet of Augsburg as Duke of Carinthia. On the conquest of that duchy he petitioned for the investiture, but Rudolph delayed complying with his request under various pretences, and, Philip dying without issue in 1279, the duchy escheated to the empire as a vacant fief.
Rudolph, being at length in peaceable possession of these territories, gradually obtained the consent of the electors, and at the Diet of Augsburg, in December, 1282, conferred jointly on his two sons, Albert and Rudolph, Austria, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola. But at their desire he afterward resumed Carinthia, and bestowed it on Meinhard of Tyrol, to whom he had secretly promised a reward for his services, and in 1286 obtained the consent of the electors to this donation. By the request of the states of Austria (1283), he declared that duchy and Styria an inalienable and indivisible domain to be held on the same terms, and with the same rights and privileges, as possessed by the ancient dukes, Leopold and Frederick the Warlike, and vested the sole administration in Albert, assigning a specific revenue to Rudolph and his heirs, if he did not obtain another sovereignty within the space of four years.
This ends our series of passages on Hapsburg Dynasty Founded by William Coxe from his book History of the House of Austria. published in 1807. This blog features short and lengthy pieces on all aspects of our shared past. Here are selections from the great historians who may be forgotten (and whose work have fallen into public domain) as well as links to the most up-to-date developments in the field of history and of course, original material from yours truly, Jack Le Moine. – A little bit of everything historical is here.
We want to take this site to the next level but we need money to do that. Please contribute directly by signing up at https://www.patreon.com/history