Frederick II, Elector Palatine
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|Frederick II, Elector Palatine|
Portrait by Hans Besser, 1545.
|Reign||1544 – 1556|
9 December 1482|
Winzingen Castle near Neustadt an der Weinstraße
|Died||26 February 1556
|Spouse||Dorothea of Denmark|
|House||House of Wittelsbach|
|Father||Philip, Elector Palatine|
|Mother||Margarete of Bavaria-Landshut|
Frederick was born at Winzingen Castle near Neustadt an der Weinstraße as the fourth son of Philip, Elector Palatine and Margarete of Bavaria-Landshut. In 1535, he married in Heidelberg to Dorothea of Denmark. They had no issue. (Twenty years before, in his early thirties, he had declared his love suit to the Habsburg Princess Eleonore, but this was discovered by her brother Charles, duke of Burgundy, king of Spain, and future Holy Roman Emperor, and Count Frederick was banished from the court.)
Frederick was for a time involved in coup plans in Denmark-Norway. His wife Dorothea was a daughter of Christian II of Denmark, the former King of Denmark and Norway who was deposed after a Danish noble rebellion in 1523. The exiled Christian II was contacted by Olav Engelbrektsson, Catholic Archbishop of Norway and head of the Council of the Realm, in 1529. Christian II was a Protestant, but was also the brother-in-law of Emperor Charles V and therefore vowed to help the Catholic cause in Norway. After Frederick's marriage to Dorothea, Frederick soon sent a letter to Olav Engelbrektsson (via emissaries in Brussels) where he promised military support from himself and Charles V. In the winter of 1536, Olav Engelbrektsson sent squads of supporters to villages in Eastern Norway; among other things the squads read the letter out to people, signalling that a new ruler could be on his way. However, few peasants joined the would-be rebellion, and it soon failed as no actual support from Frederick or Charles came. In the winter of 1537, then, Frederick did send two ships from the Habsburg Netherlands. However, this was to no avail as the King of Denmark mounted a naval offensive to secure Norway around the same time. Olav Engelbrektsson fled the country, bishops Hoskuld Hoskuldsson and Mogens Lauritssøn were arrested, other supporters were punished and the Catholic Church in Norway and the Council of the Realm were abolished.
In March 1544 Frederick succeeded his brother Louis V as Prince-elector of the Palatinate. He introduced the Protestant Reformation and was therefore outlawed by Emperor Charles V until Frederick submitted. He was succeeded by his former ward Otto Henry. He died in February 1556 in Alzey.
|Ancestors of Frederick II, Elector Palatine|
- Brandi, Karl. The Emperor Charles V: The Growth and Destiny of a Man and of a World-Empire. Translated by C. V. Wedgewood. Oxford: Alden, 1939. (orig. German, 1935), 78-79.
- Ersland, Geir Atle; Sandvik, Hilde (1999). Norsk historie 1300-1625. Volume two of Norsk historie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Samlaget. pp. 148–149. ISBN 82-521-5182-5.
- Ersland and Sandvik, 1999: pp. 145-146
- Ersland and Sandvik, 1999: p. 150
- Fuchs, Peter (1961). "Friedrich II. der Weise". Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German). 5. pp. 528–530.
Media related to Frederick II of the Palatinate at Wikimedia Commons
Frederick II, Elector PalatineBorn: 9 December 1482 Died: 26 February 1556