Rudolf I of Bohemia

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Rudolf I
King of Bohemia and Poland
Duke of Austria and Styria
Rudolph III Habsburg.jpg
King of Bohemia and Poland
Reign 1306 – 3/4 July 1307
Predecessor Henry of Carinthia
Successor Henry of Carinthia
Duke of Austria and Styria
Reign 1298 – 3/4 July 1307
Predecessor Albert I
Successor Albert I
Spouse Blanche of France
Elisabeth Richeza
Father Albert I of Germany
Mother Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol
Born c. 1281
Died July 3/4, 1307 (aged 26)
Horažďovice, Bohemia
Burial St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague

Rudolf I of Habsburg (Czech: Rudolf I. Habsburský; c. 1281 – 3/4 July 1307) was Duke of Austria and Styria (as Rudolph III) from 1298 and King of Bohemia and titular King of Poland from 1306 until his death. He was the eldest son of German king Albert I of Habsburg and Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol.

Life[edit]

Upon the election of his father as King of the Romans, Rudolph was vested as a co-ruler with the Austrian and Styrian hereditary lands of the Habsburg dynasty. On May 25, 1300, King Albert I arranged his marriage with Blanche, daughter of King Philip III of France by his second wife Marie of Brabant. The intended union with the French House of Capet however failed as the couple's son and daughter died young and Blanche herself died in 1305.

Another opportunity for a Habsburg gain in power opened when in 1306 the last Bohemian ruler of the Přemyslid dynasty, King Wenceslaus III was killed and Albert I as rex Romanorum was able to seize Bohemia as a reverted Imperial fief. Rudolph was presented as a claimant to the Bohemian throne, however contested by his uncle Henry of Gorizia-Tyrol, Duke of Carinthia and husband of Wenceslaus' sister Anne. To further legitimate the Habsburg claims to the Bohemian and the Polish throne, Albert had Rudolph married to Elisabeth Richeza of Poland from the Piast dynasty, widow of the predeceased King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia. In 1306 he occupied Prague and expelled Henry of Carinthia to place his son on the Bohemian throne.

Mocked as král kaše ("king porridge"), Rudolph was rejected by several Bohemian nobles, who continued to hold out for Henry. The king besieged the rebel fortress of Horažďovice in Bohemia, but fell ill of dysentery and died there in 1307, leaving no children. The first grab of the Habsburgs for the Crown of Saint Wenceslas failed, as the nobles restored Henry as king in return for a charter of privileges, who in turn had to renounce the throne in favour of Count John of Luxembourg three years later. Instead Rudolph's enfeoffment intensified the inner Habsburg inheritance conflict, culminating in the assassination of King Albert I by his nephew John Parricida in 1308.

Rudolph is buried at the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague.

Ancestry[edit]

See also[edit]

Rudolf I of Bohemia
Born: c. 1281 Died: 3 or 4 July 1307
Preceded by
Henry of Carinthia
King of Bohemia
1306–1307
Succeeded by
Henry of Carinthia
Preceded by
Albert I
Duke of Austria and Styria
with Albert I

1298–1307
Succeeded by
Albert I