Conrad of Vechta

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Conrad of Vechta (Czech Konrád z Vechty; German Konrad von Vechta) (born ca. 1370, possibly in Bremen; died 24 December 1431 in Roudnice nad Labem) was Bishop of Verden (1400–1402/1407), Bishop of Olomouc (1408–1413), Archbishop of Prague (1413–1421), and Master of the Mint (1401–1403) and Chancellor (1405–1412) of the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Before episcopate[edit]

It is not certain whether Conrad was a member of the patrician family named von Vechta, living as successful merchants in Bremen, where family members also held positions in the city government, or if Conrad was born in Vechta and therefore epithetised von Vechta in German.[1] However, his brother Konstantin von Vechta held a canonicate at Bremen Cathedral as cathedral provost (Dompropst), presiding the cathedral chapter.[1] This rather substantiates a patrician background, because Bremian canonicates were usually provided for members of patrician families of Bremen or of noble families of the Bremian knightage.[1] Conrad was definitely no member of the comital family of Vechta, which used to be called after its castle Counts of Ravensberg.[2]

Conrad strove for a clerical career. He sided already early with Wenceslaus, King of the Romans, ruling the Holy Roman Empire since 1376, on whose instigation Conrad was provided with a number of prebends. As many North Germans used to study in Prague, Conrad's siding with Wenceslaus, who was simultaneously ruling as King of Bohemia since 1378, may indicate that Conrad had done so too. In 1395 Wenceslaus failed to get Conrad invested as bishop of Verden, whereas Dietrich of Nieheim prevailed.[2] Conrad had earlier been provost of Lüne Nunnery and was then promoted to canon of the Collegiate Church of St. Blaise in Brunswick.[3]

Provided bishop of Verden[edit]

In 1400 Pope Boniface IX, on Wenceslaus' instigation, deposed Conrad's provided predecessor Conrad of Soltau, who had so far only been provided bishop of Verden in 1399, but not invested, and provided instead Conrad of Vechta not before 1 May, however, also lacking investiture.[3] Conrad titled himself bishop elect of Verden until 1407.[4] Lacking the elective mandate of the cathedral chapter in Verden upon Aller, it did not recognise his episcopate.[5] However, the pope soon changed his mind again, when the other prince-electors had deposed Wenceslaus as ruler of the Empire in 1400 and replaced him by King Rupert, who in May 1401 had accepted the deposed Conrad of Soltau, a native of the Prince-Bishopric of Verden, as legitimate and invested him with the princely regalia as prince-bishop.[3] Boniface IX thus also confirmed Conrad of Soltau as canonical bishop of Verden in autumn 1402.[4]

Later offices[edit]

In 1410 Konstantin von Vechta followed Conrad to Prague, succeeding him as provost of Mělník's Ss. Peter and Paul Church, which was combined with a canonicate at St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague.[1]

On 28 July 1419 Conrad crowned Sigismund of Luxembourg as King of Bohemia. Conrad took the side of the Hussites during the Hussite Wars, despite remaining a Catholic prelate, and was deposed as archbishop by the Roman Curia.

Art patronage[edit]

Conrad was the probable original owner of a richly illuminated manuscript Bible, now known as the Antwerp Bible from its survival in the Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp.[6]


  • Václav Bartunek (1980), "Konrad von Vechta", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 12, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 551–552 
  • Zdeňka Hledíková, Štěpán Kohout and Thomas Vogtherr, "Konrad von Vechta", in Erwin Gatz, Die Bischöfe des Heiligen Römischen Reiches: 5 vols., in: Die Bischöfe des Heiligen Römischen Reiches, Erwin Gatz under collaboration of Clemens Brodkorb (eds.), Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2001, vol. 2: '1198 bis 1448', pp. 594–596; ISBN 3-428-08422-5.
  • Walter Schlesinger (1882), "Konrad von Vechta", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 16, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 608–609 
  • Thomas Vogtherr, "Bistum und Hochstift Verden bis 1502", in: Geschichte des Landes zwischen Elbe und Weser: 3 vols., Hans-Eckhard Dannenberg and Heinz-Joachim Schulze (eds.), Stade: Landschaftsverband der ehem. Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden, 1995 and 2008, vol. I 'Vor- und Frühgeschichte' (1995; ISBN 3-9801919-7-4), vol. II 'Mittelalter (einschl. Kunstgeschichte)' (1995; ISBN 3-9801919-8-2), vol. III 'Neuzeit' (2008; ISBN 3-9801919-9-0), (=Schriftenreihe des Landschaftsverbandes der ehem. Herzogtümer Bremen und Verden; vols. 7–9), vol. II: pp. 279–320.

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Václav Bartunek, "Konrad von Vechta", in: see references for bibliographical details, vol. 12, pp. 551seq., here p. 551.
  2. ^ a b Walter Schlesinger, "Konrad von Vechta", in: see references for bibliographical details, vol. 16, pp. 608seq., here p. 608.
  3. ^ a b c Thomas Vogtherr, "Bistum und Hochstift Verden bis 1502", in: see references for bibliographical details, vol. II: pp. 279–320, here p. 302. ISBN 3-9801919-8-2.
  4. ^ a b Thomas Vogtherr, "Bistum und Hochstift Verden bis 1502", in: see references for bibliographical details, vol. II: pp. 279–320, here p. 303. ISBN 3-9801919-8-2.
  5. ^ Cf. Karl Ernst Hermann Krause, addendum to Ludwig Schlesinger's article "Konrad von Vechta", in: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. 16 (1882), pp. 608seq., the addendum published under the "Zusätze und Berichtigungen" (addenda and corrections), in: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, vol. 18, pp. 794–796, here p. 795.
  6. ^ "Wenceslas Bible" in The Grove Encyclopedia of Medieval Art and Architecture, vol. 2, edited by Colum Hourihane (Oxford University Press, 2012), pp. 366-367
Conrad of Vechta
Born: ca. 1370 possibly in Bremen Died: 24 December 1431 in Roudnice nad Labem
Catholic Church titles
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Dietrich of Nieheim
provided bishop of Verden
as Conrad II
never formally invested prince-bishop, rivalled as such by Conrad III since May 1401

Succeeded by
Conrad of Soltau
as Conrad III
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Vladislav Lacek z Kravař
Bishop of Olomouc/Olmütz
as Conrad II

Title next held by
John of Bucca, the Iron
with Václav Králík (Wenceslaus Gerard) z Buřenic as intermittent administrator
Title last held by
Sigismund Albicus
Archbishop of Prague
as Conrad I
joined Hussite movement in 1421, papally deposed in 1424

Title next held by
Antonín Brus z Mohelnice
with John of Bucca, the Iron as intermittent administrator
took de facto function in Hussite church Hussite archbishop of Prague
Title next held by
John of Rokycan
already as vicar general since 1431