Frederick II, Elector Palatine
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Frederick II, Elector Palatine
Frederick II, Elector Palatine
Hans Besser 006.jpg
Portrait by Hans Besser, 1545.
Elector Palatine
Reign1544 - 1556
PredecessorLouis V
SuccessorOtto Henry
Born9 December 1482
Winzingen Castle near Neustadt an der Weinstraße
Died26 February 1556(1556-02-26) (aged 73)
(m. 1535)
FatherPhilip, Elector Palatine
MotherMargarete of Bavaria-Landshut
ReligionLutheran (from 1530s)
Roman Catholic (until 1530s)

Frederick II, Count Palatine of the Rhine (9 December 1482 - 26 February 1556), also Frederick the Wise, a member of the Wittelsbach dynasty, was Prince-elector of the Palatinate from 1544 to 1556.


Frederick was born at Winzingen Castle near Neustadt an der Weinstraße as the fourth son of Philip, Elector Palatine and Margarete of Bavaria-Landshut. He was the Duke Count Palatine and served as counselor and general for Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, commanding expeditions against the Turks in 1529 and 1532, and assisting the Emperor at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530.[1][2] In 1535, he married in Heidelberg to Dorothea of Denmark. They had no issue. Eighteen years before, in 1517, he had declared his love suit to the Habsburg Princess Eleonore, but this was discovered by her brother Charles V, then duke of Burgundy and king of Spain, resulting in Count Frederick being temporarily banished from court until he returned after announcing to Charles his Imperial election in 1519.[3]

He was custodian of the young dukes of Palatinate-Neuburg Otto Henry and Philip and then served as general for the Habsburg Ferdinand I.

Frederick was for a time involved in coup plans in Denmark-Norway. His wife Dorothea was a daughter of Christian II of Denmark,[4] 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.[5] 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, but other sources say that many farmers and bourgeoisie in Eastern Norway rose up in rebellion for the Archbishop, but it soon failed as no actual support from Frederick or Charles came.[4][6] 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.[7]

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.



  1. ^ Bietenholz, Peter G.; Deutscher, Thomas Brian (January 2003). Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation. ISBN 9780802085771.
  2. ^ Karl Eduard Förstemann, ed., Urkundenbuch zu der Geschichte des Reichstages zu Augsburg im Jahre 1530, vol. 1 (Halle, 1833), p. 304 [repr. (Osnabrück, 1966)]. Also in: Kohler, ed., Quellen, p. 160.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ a b 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.
  5. ^ Ersland and Sandvik, 1999: pp. 145-146
  6. ^ Rian, Øystein. "Olav Engelbrektsson". In Helle, Knut (ed.). Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 2018.
  7. ^ Ersland and Sandvik, 1999: p. 150

External links

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Frederick II, Elector Palatine
Born: 9 December 1482 Died: 26 February 1556
German royalty
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Louis V
Elector Palatine
Succeeded by
Otto Henry

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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