William, Duke of Austria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from William, Duke of Inner Austria)
Jump to: navigation, search
William, Duke of Austria
Wilhelm H.jpg
Seal of William of Austria
Spouse(s) Joanna II of Naples
Noble family House of Habsburg
Father Leopold III, Duke of Austria
Mother Viridis Visconti
Born c. 1370
Died 15 July 1406(1406-07-15)
Buried Ducal Crypt in the Stephansdom in Vienna

William the Courteous (c. 1370 – 15 July 1406)[1] was a member and head of the Leopoldinian Line, ruler of Carinthia, Styria and Carniola.

Born in Vienna, he was the oldest son of Duke Leopold the Just and his wife, Viridis Visconti, and ruled in Carinthia, Styria and Carniola.

His engagement with Hedwig of Hungary, youngest daughter of the neighboring king, was one of the first attempts of the House of Habsburg to extend their sphere of influence in Eastern Central Europe by marrying heiresses, a practice that gave rise to the phrase Bella gerant alii: tu felix Austria nube (Let others make war: thou happy Austria, marry). William's interests lay in having Hungarian lands, which Hedwig's father, King Louis I of Hungary, intended to leave to her.

Fate reversed part of these plans, however: Hedwig was chosen as queen regnant of Poland, a country far north of Austria, and was confirmed in that position in 1384. The 14-year-old William was repudiated, because, from the Polish point of view, there were more fitting marriage prospects for their 11-year-old queen. After the engagement was dissolved, William married Hedwig's relative, another Angevin and also heiress presumptive, Joanna of Naples. However, the marriage did not produce any offspring and William did not live to see his wife succeed her brother as Queen Joanna II.

In 1394, after death of his first cousin, Duke Albert the Patient, he tried to obtain control over the lands of the Albertinian Line's territories during the minority of Albert the Magnanimous. However, he never achieved that.

William died in 1406 in Vienna. He is buried in the Dukes' Catacomb in Vienna's Cathedral of Saint Stephan.



  1. ^ "Early Habsburg". European Heraldry. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
William, Duke of Austria
Born: c. 1370 Died: 15 July 1406
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Leopold the Just
Duke of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola
Succeeded by
Ernest the Iron
Count of Tyrol
Succeeded by
Frederick of the Empty Pockets