Frederick I, Margrave of Baden

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Conradin and Frederick hearing their death sentence, J.H.W. Tischbein, 1784

Frederick I of Baden (1249 – October 29, 1268) was Margrave of Baden and Verona, as well as claimant Duke of Austria from October 4, 1250 until his death. As a fellow campaigner of Conradin of Hohenstaufen, he likewise was beheaded at Naples at the behest of Charles of Anjou.

Life[edit]

He was born in Austrian Alland, the only son of Margrave Herman VI of Baden and Gertrude of Babenberg, niece and heiress of late Duke Frederick II of Austria.

As Duke Frederick II of Austria had been killed at the 1246 Battle of the Leitha River, the ducal line of the Babenberg dynasty had become extinct. Margrave Herman VI of Baden through his marriage had raised inheritance claims to the Austrian and Styrian possessions. However, after the death of Emperor Frederick II, no strong Imperial authority existed to assert his title. Though he was backed by Pope Innocent IV and anti-king William of Holland, he could not prevail against the mighty Přemyslid king Wenceslaus I of Bohemia and his son Ottokar II, who upon Herman's death in 1250 occupied the Babenberg lands.

Young Frederick could succeed his father in Baden, with his uncle Rudolf I as regent, and through his mother Gertrude was also claimant to the Austrian and Styrian duchies. When Ottokar II married Gertrude's aunt, Margaret of Babenberg and moved into Austria, he had to flee, at first to Styria and later to the Sponheim court in Carinthia. From about 1266, he grew up at the residence of Duke Louis II of Bavaria together with his friend Conradin of Swabia, the son of King Conrad IV of Germany and heir to the Imperial Hohenstaufen dynasty. From him Frederick expected support in enforcing his claims to power.

In 1267 he made the fatal decision to accompany Conradin on his Italian expedition, after Charles of Anjou had been crowned King of Sicily by Pope Clement IV and killed Conradin's uncle Manfred in the 1266 Battle of Benevento. Conradin moved into Rome on 24 July 1268, but Charles defeated the Hohenstaufen troops at the Battle of Tagliacozzo on 23 August, whereafter Conradin and Frederick fled and passed into captivity on 8 September at Torre Astura, south of Anzio. Handed over by the Frangipani to Charles of Anjou, both remained in degrading imprisonment at the Castel dell'Ovo in Naples until publicly beheaded in the Piazza del Mercato on 29 October 1268.

Frederick's and Conradin's mortal remains were at first hastily buried, but later transferred to the church of Santa Maria del Carmine, at the behest of Conradin's mother Elisabeth of Wittelsbach.

References[edit]

Preceded by
Herman VI
Margrave of Baden
1250–1268
with Rudolf I
Succeeded by
Rudolf I
Duke of Austria
Duke of Styria
(claimant)

1250–1268
Succeeded by
Ottokar II of Bohemia