Henry IV, Duke of Saxony
|Duke of Saxony
Margrave of Meissen
Lord of Friesland
|Duke of Saxony; Margrave of Meissen|
|Reign||17 April 1539 – 18 August 1541|
16 March 1473|
|Died||18 August 1541
|Spouse||Catherine of Mecklenburg|
|Issue||Sybille, Duchess of Saxe-Lauenburg
Emilie, Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Sidonie, Duchess of Brunswick-Kalenberg
Maurice, Elector of Saxony
Augustus, Elector of Saxony
|House||House of Wettin
|Father||Albert III, Duke of Saxony|
|Mother||Sidonie of Poděbrady|
Heinrich was the second son of Albert, Duke of Saxony, and his wife Sidonie Podiebrad, princess of Bohemia. When Albert died in 1500, his eldest son Georg succeeded to the Duchy of Saxony, and Heinrich became Lord of Friesland.
Saxon rule of Friesland was disturbed by constant revolts. Consequently, Heinrich, who was of a rather inert disposition, gave up his title there. In 1505 Heinrich ceded Friesland to Georg, in return for an annuity and the districts of Wolkenstein and Freiberg, where Heinrich made his residence.
In 1517, Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation in Germany, and a few years later Heinrich converted to Lutheranism. Georg remained a devout Catholic. Both of Georg's sons predeceased him without issue.
When Georg's second son died in 1539, Heinrich (a Protestant) became heir presumptive to the Duchy under the Act of Settlement of 1499. To prevent a Protestant succession, Georg tried to override his father's will, disinherit Heinrich, and bequeath the Duchy to Ferdinand, brother of Charles V. But Georg died only two months later, and Heinrich succeeded to the Duchy.
He was then 66 years old, and reigned for only two years. Heinrich made Lutheranism the state religion of the Duchy of Saxony.
Marriage and children
- Sybille (b. Freiberg, 2 May 1515 – d. Buxtehude, 18 July 1592), married on 8 February 1540 to Duke Francis I of Saxe-Lauenburg.
- Emilie (b. Freiberg, 27 July 1516 – d. Ansbach, 9 March 1591), married on 25 August 1533 to Georg, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach.
- Sidonie (b. Meissen, 8 March 1518 – d. Kloster Weissenfels, 4 January 1575), married on 17 May 1545 to Eric II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Calenberg).
- Maurice (b. Freiberg, 21 March 1521 – d. of wounds received in action at Sievershausen, 11 July 1553), later Elector of Saxony.
- Severinus (b. Freiberg?, 28 August 1522 – d. Innsbruck, 10 October 1533).
- Augustus (b. Freiberg, 31 July 1526 – d. Dresden, 11 February 1586).
- (German) Article in the ABD
Henry IV, Duke of SaxonyBorn: 16 March 1473 Died: 18 August 1541
|Duke of Saxony