Johann Wittenborg (1321–1363) was a merchant and mayor of the free port of Lübeck in what is now north Germany. He was admiral of the Hanseatic fleet at the Battle of Helsingborg and was tried and beheaded after losing this battle.
As Mayor of Lübeck and the free port's representative in the Hanseatic League, Wittenborg was made supreme commander over the Hanseatic fleet in the war with King Waldemar IV of Denmark in 1362. The fleet met the Danish fleet off Helsinborg in the Øresund strait and lost 12 ships in the ensuing action, at least partly because Wittenborg had put too many of his sailors ashore to fight the Danes on land. On his return to Lübeck Wittenborg was relieved of his duties and imprisoned.
Brought before the Hanseatic Council in January 1363, he was condemned to death for the Øresund defeat and "other reasons". He was beheaded in Lübeck market place in August or September 1363 and buried with the Dominicans of the Lübeck Castle Monastery.
He had married Elizabeth, daughter of the Lübeck Governor Arnold von Bardewik, and had six or seven children.
- Emil Ferdinand Fehling: Lübeckische Ratslinie, 1925 Nr. 366
- Philippe Dollinger: Die Hanse, S. 223 ff, ISBN 3-520-37102-2
- A. Bruns (Hrsg.): Lübecker Lebensläufe, 1993, ISBN 3-529-02729-4
- Paul Hasse (1898), "Wittenborg, Johann", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 43, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 609–610
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