Elizabeth of Bohemia (1292–1330)

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For other people named Elisabeth of Bohemia, see Elisabeth of Bohemia (disambiguation).
Elizabeth of Bohemia
Eliska.jpg
Queen consort of Bohemia
Tenure 1310–1330
Coronation 7 February 1311
Spouse John of Luxembourg
Issue Margaret, Duchess of Bavaria
Bonne, Duchess of Normandy
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
John Henry, Margrave of Moravia
Anna, Duchess of Austria
House House of Přemyslid
Father Wenceslaus II of Bohemia
Mother Judith of Habsburg
Born 20 January 1292
Died 28 September 1330 (aged 38)
Bohemia

Elizabeth of Bohemia (Czech: Eliška Přemyslovna) (20 January 1292 – 28 September 1330) was a princess of the Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty who became queen consort of Bohemia as the first wife of King John the Blind (John of Luxembourg). She was the mother of King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV.

Childhood[edit]

She was the daughter of Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Judith of Habsburg. When Elizabeth was five years old, her mother died. Of the ten children only four of them lived to adulthood; Wenceslaus, Anne, Elizabeth and Margaret. Elizabeth and her siblings also had a half-sister called Agnes. Six years after the death of her mother, her father Wenceslaus re-married. He chose to marry a Polish princess called Elizabeth Richeza of Poland from the Piast dynasty. Elizabeth's father then gained the Crown of Poland.

Many notable events occurred during Elizabeth's youth; a devastating fire at Prague Castle in 1303, the death of her father and the assassination of her brother Wenceslaus. Elizabeth was orphaned by the age of thirteen and lived with her sister, Anne. Her other sister, Margaret was married at the age of seven to Bolesław III the Generous, after he had come to the court of Bohemia with his mother, Elisabeth of Greater Poland.

Elizabeth went to live with her aunt Kunigunde in a nunnery near Prague Castle. Elizabeth was influenced by her aunt, since she had no mother from whom she would normally learn.

Her sister-in-law, Viola of Teschen as well as her stepmother, Elizabeth Richeza came to live with Anna and Elizabeth until the relationship between the sisters became bad.

The fight for the throne[edit]

In 1306, after the murder of Elizabeth's brother Wenceslaus, Elizabeth's brother-in-law Henry became King of Bohemia. Elizabeth was now the only single princess in the family, she was fourteen years of age so was a good age to marry and she became one of the key players in the power disputes for the Kingdom of Bohemia.

The quarrels of the Bohemian throne between Henry of Bohemia and Rudolph of Habsburg resulted in Rudolph taking Bohemia and marrying Queen Elizabeth Richeza. Elizabeth went to live in Prague Castle with her brother's widow, Viola Elisabeth of Cieszyn. But in 1307 the throne returned to her brother-in-law and sister, because of Rudolph's death. They wanted Elizabeth to marry the lord of Bergova (Otto of Löbdaburg) for political reasons. Elizabeth refused to marry Otto and so Elizabeth and Anne fell out with each other.

An opposition group was formed against Henry and Anne, with Elizabeth as the figurehead.

Marriage to John of Luxembourg[edit]

Wedding of John of Luxembourg and Elizabeth in Speyer in 1310
Elisabeth (centre) with her mother-in-law Margaret (left) and daughter-in-law Anna (right)

Elizabeth married the son of Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor, John of Luxembourg. She knew Anna and Henry's weaknesses and this marriage was one of them. The wedding took place on September 1310, after John was forced to invade Bohemia. Henry and Anne fled to Carinthia where Anne died in 1313. The coronation of John and Elizabeth took place on 7 February 1311.

The marriage was at first a disaster, Elizabeth needed to give birth to a son to prevent the inheritance of the descendants of her sisters, Margaret and Agnes. Elizabeth did not have a son until six years into the marriage, when she gave birth to Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor.

For a time the marriage was much better since the succession was safely secured.

After a while Elizabeth grew jealous of John, who had listened to her but had different political opinions than her. Then in 1319 a rumored plot was uncovered which had planned to dispose of John and replace him with their eldest son Charles. John had the culprits punished.

John decided to prevent his wife from interfering in the education of their children. John later took the three eldest children: Margaret, Bonne, and Charles from Elizabeth's custody. Queen Elizabeth then lived at Mělník Castle and young Charles was imprisoned by his own father and in 1323 was sent to France. He never saw his mother again.

Elisabeth fleeing Prague in disguise

Later years[edit]

Elizabeth was in total isolation and abandoned by all, she left Bohemia and went to live in exile in Bavaria. Some of the proceedings were considered an act of open hostility towards John, and his nobles. In exile Elizabeth gave birth to her last children; twin daughters Anne and Elizabeth. John did not send Elizabeth funding during her exile. Elizabeth returned to Bohemia in 1325, with her only one of her daughters Anne, since Elizabeth had died months before. When she returned, John found Elizabeth to be ill but she still lived for another five years. Her final years were influenced by her lack of finances, which made her unable to maintain a court.[1] She eventually died of tuberculosis in 1330, at the age of thirty-eight.[2][3]

This was later written:

"When the King heard the news he was distraught for the loss of his wife and manifested his feelings using mourning clothes, after all, they were married for twenty years, and yet remained completely himself apart from a brief time in Bohemia, he never really disscussed the matter"

Children[edit]

Elizabeth and John were parents to seven children

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Women in power, scroll down to 1307-10 Opposition Leader Eliška Přemyslova in Bohemia 1310-25 Politically Influential Queen of Bohemia (Czech Republic)
  2. ^ Ancestry in Genealogics
  3. ^ Translation from Czech Wikipedia
Elizabeth of Bohemia (1292–1330)
Born: 20 January 1292 Died: 28 September 1330
Preceded by
Anne of Bohemia
Queen consort of Bohemia
1310–1330
Succeeded by
Beatrice of Bourbon