Henry VI the Good
|Duke of Wroc?aw|
|Born||18 March 1294|
|Died||24 November 1335|
|Noble family||Silesian Piasts|
|Spouse(s)||Anna of Austria|
|Father||Henry V the Fat|
|Mother||Elisabeth of Greater Poland|
Henry's father died in 1296, when Henry was two years old. Because he and his brothers, Boles?aw III and W?adys?aw (who was born after their father's death), were minors the regency of their lands was taken over by their mother, the Dowager Duchess Elisabeth (d. 1304) and their paternal uncle Bolko I (d. 1301). Between 1301-02 the official guardianship of Henry V's sons was carried out by Henry of Wierzbna, Bishop of Wroc?aw. Finally the authority over the Duchy of Wroc?aw-Legnica was personally assumed by the King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Poland, which brought Boles?aw III into his court in Prague. Is unknown what happened with Henry during this time.
The first mention of Henry takes place in 1310 when he married the several years older Anna, daughter of Albert I of Habsburg, the ruler of Austria. A year later, as a result of the pressure of the nobility of both Wroc?aw and Legnica (tired of the neglected rule of Boles?aw III), the Duchy was divided into three parts: Wroc?aw, Legnica and Brzeg. The poorest and least important was Brzeg. In the treaty of division, it was stipulated that the brother who takes this district would also receive from the other two a payment of 50,000 fines. As the oldest, Boles?aw III was able to choose first; with financial problems, he unexpectedly took Brzeg and the monetary compensation. As a result, Henry was allowed to take Wroc?aw. He had no problems with paying the debt to his older brother (thanks to the help of the rich Wroc?aw patricians) and kept the district. The youngest brother, W?adys?aw, who received Legnica, wasn't able to pay his part of the debt and for this was expelled from his land by Boles?aw III.
Between 1312 and 1317, a conflict erupted between Boles?aw III and the Dukes of G?ogów. Henry and his brother entered into an alliance with the ruler of Lesser Poland, W?adys?aw I the Elbow-high and with their combined forces began an expeditionary trip against Henry III's sons. As a pretext they used the fact that Henry III was directly responsible for the premature death of Henry V (Henry and Boles?aw III's father). In the end, W?adys?aw I the Elbow-high managed to capture almost all of Greater Poland, but his allies only took the towns of Uraz (which was given to Henry) and Wo?ów and Lubi (granted to Boles?aw III).
In 1314 Henry supported his brother-in-law Frederick the Fair of Austria in the battle for the throne of Germany.
The war with G?ogów began again in 1321. This time, however, Henry wasn't convinced as to the appropriateness of it, and in 1322 he signed a separated peace with the G?ogów Dukes, receiving in return Smogorzew. The agreement was reinforced with the marriage of Henry's eldest daughter Elisabeth to Duke Konrad I of Ole?nica.
By that time the relations between Henry and his older brother Boles?aw III had seriously deteriorated. The reasons for this was Henry's refusal to support the overtly militaristic policy of his brother (as evidenced after he signed a peace with Konrad I of Ole?nica and his brothers) and Boles?aw's pretensions to control the rich city of Wroc?aw. Boles?aw even made an official proposal to exchange his district of Legnica for Wroc?aw. Henry refused this unfavorable transaction. The war between the brothers was imminent.
Henry reestablished contacts with W?adys?aw I the Elbow-high (now King of Poland), and promised him homage and named him his heir in exchange for aid against Boles?aw. However, W?adys?aw I feared a direct confrontation with the Kingdom of Bohemia and declined the offer. Subsequently, Henry asked Emperor Louis IV for help. On 20 April 1324, the Duke of Wroc?aw declared himself a vassal of the Empire; in return, Henry gained the right of succession over his lands for his daughters, and as a consequence, the disinheritance of Boles?aw III and his descendants. These decision prompted Boles?aw to carry out armed attempts to settle the dispute, but finally Boles?aw failed due to the powerful walls of Wroc?aw.
However, his homage to the Holy Roman Empire did not secure his lands, especially since the fights with Boles?aw III continued. To remedy this, in 1325, Henry arranged the marriage of his second daughter Euphemia with Boles?aw the Elder, Duke of Niemodlin (Falkenberg). He also entered into an alliance with the Teutonic Order, which was directed against the principal supporter of Boles?aw in Silesia, the King of Poland, W?adys?aw I the Elbow-high.
Eventually, under pressure from the Wroc?aw nobility, Henry opted for an alliance with John of Luxemburg, King of Bohemia. The signing of the agreement took place in Wroc?aw on 6 April 1327. Under the terms of the treaty, Wroc?aw remained independent, but after the death of Henry would be adjoined to the Bohemian Kingdom. In return for these concessions, Henry obtain from the King the Kladsko Land (then northeastern part of Bohemia) for his lifetime and a high pension.
In the matters of internal policy, Henry was constrained by the powerful Wroc?aw nobility, who received from him many privileges. His relation with the Church was very firm and tense, and in fact, between 1319-1321 he was excommunicated.
Henry died on 24 November 1335 and was buried in the chapel of St. Hedwig in Wroc?aw.
In 1310 Henry married with Anna (b. Vienna, 1280 - d. Wroc?aw, 19 March 1327), daughter of Albert I of Habsburg, Duke of Austria and widow of Herman, Margrave of Brandenburg-Salzwedel. They had three daughters:
On his death without male heirs and according to the treaty of 1327, Wroc?aw was merged into the Bohemian crown.