Eric II, Duke of Pomerania

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Eric II
ErichII.Pommern.JPG
Eric II, Duke of Pomerania
Spouse(s) Sophia of Pomerania-Stolp
Noble family House of Pomerania
Father Wartislaw IX, Duke of Pomerania
Mother Sophia of Saxe-Lauenburg
Born between 1418 and 1425
Died 5 July 1474(1474-07-05)
Wolgast

Eric II or Erich II (between 1418 and 1425 – 5 July 1474) was a member of the House of Pomerania (also known as the House of Griffins) and was the ruling Duke of Duke of Pomerania-Wolgast from 1457 to 1474. He was the son of Wartislaw IX of Pomerania-Wolgast and Sophia, daughter of Eric IV of Saxe-Lauenburg.

Life[edit]

In 1451, Wartislaw IX arranged his son's marriage to Sophia, daughter of Bogislaw IX of Pomerania-Stolp and heiress of Eric I of Pomerania-Stolp, who had also been king of the Kalmar Union. The marriage of these distant relatives granted Eric II access to Eric I's lands in Farther Pomerania. Also, Eric I arranged the Lauenburg-Bütow Land at the Pomerelian border to be granted by the Polish king to Eric II on January 3, 1455, as a reward for aiding Poland in her struggles with the Teutonic Knights.

In 1456, Eric took over Maszewo Land in Farther Pomerania, despite Wassow being not included in his share of Pomerania. This led to conflicts with Otto III, Duke of Pomerania-Stettin and even Eric I. Even though the Pomeranian cities were able to mediate negotiations between the dukes which led to a compromise on January 16, 1457, at Rügenwalde, Eric lost the support of the other Pomeranian dukes with this action.

In August 1457, Eric was hunting in the forests near Horst, belonging not to his lands, but to the Hanseatic city of Greifswald. In further disrespect of the city's rights he ordered local peasants to aid him. Greifswald's mayor Heinrich Rubenow led the burghers of Greifswald and Stralsund in an attempt to arrest Eric. Although the burghers captured his guards, Eric managed to escape. Yet, by now he was not only opposed by his co-ruling Pomeranian dukes, but also by the Pomeranian cities.

After the death of his father, Wartislaw IX, later in 1457, Eric received Pomerania-Wolgast together with his younger brother, Wartislaw X. They split the duchy with Wartislaw X receiving the principality of Rügen (with Rügen, Barth, Tribsees and Grimmen) while Eric received the eastern parts. Upon Eric I's death, in 1459 Eric II gained Pomerania-Stolp and Pomerania-Rügenwalde due to the claims of his wife. Despite being a partitioned duchy in reality, Pomerania was granted to the dukes as one fief to be co-ruled, which meant that several issues had to be acted upon in common. Because Eric did not respect Wartislaw X's rights as a co-ruler, Wartislaw sought for an alliance with the Margraviate of Brandenburg on September 6, 1459, in Angermünde. He pawned the area north of the Brandenburgian Uckermark to Hohenzollern margrave Frederick II and in return became assured of military protection against his brother.

burial site of Eric II in Eldena Abbey (Greifswald, Western Pomerania)

In 1464, Eric's cousin Otto III of Pomerania-Stettin died of the Black Death, leaving both Eric and Wartislaw as well as Brandenburg's Frederick II with claims for inheritance. In 1466 Eric II and Wartislaw X were granted liens by the elector of Brandenburg at Soldin. However the contract was not fulfilled and it came to military intervention. Aware that he would not withstand Brandenburg without allies, Eric sought to settle the conflict by allying with Poland and in 1470 invaded the Brandenburg Neumark. The Brandenburgers had their longtime claims to Pomerania re-verified by emperor Frederick III. The emperor ordered Erich II and Wartislaw X to recognize the suzerainty of Brandenburg. Mecklenburgs Duke Henry took a mediator role and the Mecklenburgian army moved eastward following the Tollense River, a Brandenburgian army advanced to the North from the Uckermark following the Randow River. The campaigns were ended by the Peace of Prenzlau of May 31, 1472 and the Pomeranian dukes gave the pledge of allegiance to the elector. Brandenburg was again granted the right of inheritance of Pomerania upon the extinction of the House of Pomerania.

Eric died in 1474 of a plague-like disease. He was buried in Eldena Abbey near Greifswald and was succeeded by his son Bogislaw X.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Eric II married Sophia of Pomerania-Stolp. With his wife, he had nine children:

  1. Bogislaw X (1454–1523)
  2. Casimir (ca. 1455–1474)
  3. Wartislaw (after 1465–1475)
  4. Barnim (after 1465–1474)
  5. Elisabeth (d. 1516), prioress of Verchen Nunnery
  6. Sophie (1460–1504), ∞ Duke Magnus II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and -Güstrow (1441–1503)
  7. Margaret (d. 1526), ∞ Duke Balthasar of Mecklenburg (1451–1507), administrator of the prince-bishoprics of Hildesheim and Schwerin
  8. Catherine (ca. 1465–1526), ∞ Duke Henry IV of Brunswick and Lunenburg (1463–1514), Prince of Wolfenbüttel
  9. Mary (d. 1512), abbess of Wollin Nunnery

Ancestors[edit]

Eric II, Duke of Pomerania
Born: before 1425 Died: July 5 1474
Preceded by
Wartislaw IX of Pomerania-Wolgast
Duke of Pomerania
1454-1474
Succeeded by
Bogislaw X
Preceded by
Otto III of Pomerania-Stettin
Preceded by
Eric I of Pomerania-Stolp

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]