John, Elector of Saxony

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Lucas Cranach the Elder - Portrait of Johann the Steadfast 1509.jpg
Johann of Saxony by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1509.
Elector of Saxony
Reign 5 May 1525 – 16 August 1532
Predecessor Frederick III
Successor Johann Frederick I
Born (1468-06-30)30 June 1468
Meissen, Electorate of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire
Died 16 August 1532(1532-08-16) (aged 64)
Schweinitz, Electorate of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire
Burial Schlosskirche, Wittenberg
Spouse Sophie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Margaret of Anhalt-Köthen
Issue Johann Frederick I, Elector of Saxony
Maria, Duchess of Pomerania
John Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Coburg, Margaret Buser, Freifrau of Liestal
House House of Wettin
Father Ernest, Elector of Saxony
Mother Elisabeth of Bavaria
Religion Lutheranism

Johann, Elector of Saxony (30 June 1468 – 16 August 1532),[1] known as Johann the Steadfast or Johann the Constant, was Elector of Saxony from 1525 until 1532. He was a member of the House of Wettin.


Born in Meissen, He was the fifth of the seven children of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and Elisabeth of Bavaria.

From 1486 onwards he was the heir presumptive of his childless brother Frederick the Wise; when he died in 1525, Johann inherited the title of Elector. As his nickname "The Steadfast" indicates, he resolutely continued the policies of his brother toward protecting the progress of the Protestant Reformation. In 1527 the Lutheran Church was established as the state church in Ernestine Saxony, with the Elector as Chief Bishop. He was a leader of the Schmalkaldic League of Protestant states formed in 1530 to protect the Reformation.

Guldengroschen of Saxony, c. 1508-1525. The obverse shows Johann's older brother, Frederick, while on the reverse, Johann is portrayed face to face with George, Duke of Saxony.

He died in Schweinitz. After his death he was, like his brother Frederick, buried in the famous Castle Church in Wittenberg with a grave by Hans Vischer. He was succeeded by his eldest son Johann Frederick.

Marriage and children[edit]

In Torgau on 1 March 1500 Johann married firstly Sophie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, daughter of Magnus II, Duke of Mecklenburg. They had one son:

  1. Johann Frederick I, Elector of Saxony (b. Torgau, 30 June 1503 – d. Weimar, 3 March 1554).

In Torgau on 13 November 1513 Johann married secondly Margaret of Anhalt-Köthen. They had four children:

  1. Maria (b. Weimar, 15 December 1515 – d. Wolgast, 7 January 1583), married on 27 February 1536 to Duke Philip I of Pomerania-Wolgast
  2. Margaret (b. Zwickau, 25 April 1518 – d. Liestal, Switzerland, 10 March 1545), married on 10 June 1536 to Hans Buser, Freiherr of Liestal.
  3. John (b. and d. Weimar, 26 September 1519)
  4. John Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Coburg (b. Coburg, 10 May 1521 – d. Coburg, 8 February 1553).



  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "John, Elector of Saxony". Encyclopædia Britannica. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 446. 

External links[edit]

John, Elector of Saxony
Born: 30 June 1468 Died: 16 August 1532
Preceded by
Frederick III
Elector of Saxony
Succeeded by
John Frederick