Ludwig von Erlichshausen

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Ludwig von Erlichshausen
Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights
Ludwig von Erlichshausen.jpg
Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights
PredecessorKonrad von Erlichshausen
SuccessorHeinrich Reffle von Richtenberg
Died4 April 1467
Königsberg, State of the Teutonic Order
HouseHouse of Hohenlohe

Ludwig von Erlichshausen (1410–1467) was the 31st Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights, serving from 1449/1450 to 1467.

As did his uncle and predecessor Konrad von Erlichshausen, Ludwig came from Ellrichshausen in Swabia, now part of Satteldorf in Baden-Württemberg.

Ludwig was aide to Grand Master Paul von Rusdorf 1436-40, Komtur of Schönsee (Wąbrzeźno) near Thorn (Toruń) (1442–47), and Komtur of Mewe (Gniew) (1446–50). After the death of his more compromising uncle in 1449, Ludwig became Grand Master in 1450, despite being of limited ability and bad temper.

His uncompromising stance towards the Prussian Confederation made the Prussian cities ask the Polish king for support, which led to the outbreak of the Thirteen Years' War in 1454 between the Order and Poland, supported by the Prussian Confederation.

As the Order was short on cash since the expensive First Peace of Thorn (1411), Ludwig had to hand over the Order's headquarter Marienburg Castle in Malbork to his mercenaries in lieu of pay during the war. In turn, they sold it to the Polish king who entered the castle in June 1457. The Order had to move its capital to Königsberg. In 1454/1455, the Neumark was first pawned, then sold to the Electorate of Brandenburg by the Treaties of Cölln and Mewe.

Their former capital of Marienburg was not the only loss, however, as the Order had to cede other areas in the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466: Pomerelia, Culmerland, Warmia, and a part of Pomesania including Marienwerder (Kwidzyn).

Ludwig died at Königsberg.


  • Friedrich Borchert: "Die Hochmeister des Deutschen Ordens in Preußen." In: Preußische Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 October 2001.
  • Ludwig von Erlichshausen's first year in office is given as 1449 on the Teutonic Order's German site and 1450 on its Austrian site.

Grand Master of the Teutonic Order
Preceded by
Konrad von Erlichshausen
1449 or 1450–1467
Succeeded by
Heinrich Reuß von Plauen