Johann Adam von Bicken

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Johann Adam von Bicken

Johann Adam von Bicken (1564–1604) was the Archbishop-Elector of Mainz from 1601 to 1604.


Johann Adam von Bicken was born in Hainchen Castle on May 27, 1564, the son of Philipp von Bicken and his wife Anna Brendelin von Homburg (sister of Daniel Brendel of Homburg). As a boy, he studied the seven liberal arts in Würzburg and Mainz. He then spent 1582 to 1584 studying in Pont-à-Mousson, before moving on to Bourges, Toulon, and Italy. He was fluent in French and Italian as well as his native German.

Johann von Bicken was destined for a career in the church from an early age. Before he was ten years old, his uncle, Daniel Brendel of Homburg arranged for him to become a canon of the cathedral chapter of Mainz Cathedral. During the reign of Wolfgang von Dalberg, Archbishop of Mainz, Johann held several administrative posts, and was present at the Regensburg Reichstag of 1597. He was elected Domscholaster in 1595.

The cathedral chapter of Mainz Cathedral elected Johann Adam von Bicken as the new Archbishop of Mainz on May 15, 1601. Pope Clement VIII confirmed his election on August 27, 1601.

Johann Adam's time as Archbishop of Mainz is notable for advancing the confessionalization of the Archbishopric of Mainz. He dismissed a number of Lutheran officials and required a profession of Roman Catholic faith from officials at the 1602 Feast of the Assumption (August 15, 1602).

A large number of witch trials were held during his time as Archbishop.

Johann Adam von Bicken died in Aschaffenburg on January 11, 1604. He is buried in Mainz Cathedral.


  • This page is based on this page on German Wikipedia.
  • Anton Ph. Brück, "Bicken, Johann Adam von", in Neue Deutsche Biographie, Volume 10 (Berlin, 1974), p. 497.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Wolfgang von Dalberg
Archbishop of Mainz
1601 – 1604
Succeeded by
Johann Schweikhard von Kronberg