John Wenceslau Wratislaw von Mitrowitz

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Johann Wenzel Wratislaw von Mitrowitz

Count Johann Wenzel Wratislaw von Mitrowitz (Czech: Ján Václav Vratislav z Mitrovic, ca. 1670 – 21 December 1712) was the High Chancellor of Bohemia (German: Oberster Böhmischer Kanzler).[1]

Biography[edit]

Count Johann Wenzel Wratislaw von Mitrowitz was born into a noble family of Bohemia. In his early years he was a lawyer and travelled through Europe. With the support of his uncle Count Franz Ulrich Kinsky he became a member of the chancery of the Austrian court in 1695. At the beginning of the 18th century he worked as a diplomat in London and The Hague, where he participated in the formation of the alliance against France, and on 7 September 1701 was one of the signatories of the Treaty of The Hague, after establishing himself during the preceding negotiations as a realist, who saw that it was impractical for Austria to take over the whole legacy of Spain. At this time he became the friend of Prince Eugene of Savoy, to whom he gave advice in foreign affairs. Before the Battle of Blenheim he supported Eugene by sending Marlborough to join him in South Germany him and thereafter helping to coordinate their activities. After the fall of Bavaria however it was not Wratislaw who was appointed governor, although that was what Eugene proposed, but Count Löwenstein, a court favourite in Vienna.

When Emperor Leopold I died in 1705 Wratislaw was appointed Chancellor of Bohemia and Joseph I's adviser in foreign affairs. His life was made more difficult however by Joseph's tutor, Karl Theodor von Salm, who saw him as a rival and took pains to put obstacles in his path. Subsequently Wratislaw advised Eugene against accepting the high command on the Spanish front, on the basis that although it was possible to rule Austria and Italy jointly, it was impossible to rule Austria and Spain jointly, and that therefore any military action there, even if successful, made little sense.

After Joseph's death on 17 April 1711 Wratislaw, as a minister, became a member of the council advising his widow as Regent, Eleonore-Magdalena, which brought about the withdrawal of Joseph's brother Karl from Catalonia. When Karl was crowned as Emperor Charles VI he confirmed Wratislaw in his offices, who remained from then on in Vienna, where, badly overweight, he died on 21 December 1712 of dropsy.

Sources[edit]

  • Herre, Franz, nd: Eugen von Savoyen Europas heimlicher Herrscher (German)