|Birth||April 11, 1493 (Darłowo, Sławno County, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)|
|Death||May 10, 1531 (Szczecin, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland)|
George I of Pomerania (German: Herzog Georg I. von Pommern; 11 April 1493 – 10 May 1531) was a Duke of Pomerania from the House of Griffins.
George was the eldest son of Duke Bogislaw X of Pomerania and his second wife Anna of Poland, a daughter of King Casimir IV of Poland. He was named after his uncle and godfather, Duke Georg the Bearded of Saxony, who had married the younger sister of George's mother. As a child, George spent time at the court of his uncle and godfather in Saxony, which resulted in a lifetime friendship.
George essentially continued the policies of his father. He worked energetically on limiting the power of the cities and the nobility. He pursued a policy of limiting the suzerainty of Brandenburg. After he and his brother Barnim IX took up government jointly, George showed an interest in the efforts of the Reformation, yet he personally remained faithful to the Catholic church.
George was introduced to government by his father at an early age. In 1520 he was already active at the court of Emperor Charles V and participated in the Diet of Worms in 1521 and the Diet of Nuremberg in 1523.
When in 1524 a military conflict threatened with Brandenburg, George crafted an alliance with King Sigismund I of Poland, which was directed against Brandenburg and Duke Albert of Prussia and against the followers of the Reformation. Nevertheless, he failed to suppress the Reformation in his country; he could in the end only steer it onto moderate tracks.
After the Diet of Speyer in 1526 he tried to approach Brandenburg. Due to Brandenburg claims and the refusal of the Pomeranian estates to cooperate, the negotiations took until 1529. In the meantime, Brandenburg once again threatened to resolve the conflict using its military. But on 26 August 1529, a compromise was struck, the Treaty of Grimnitz, with Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg thanks to the mediation of the Dukes Eric I of Brunswick-Göttingen-Calenberg and Henry the Younger of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. George would marry Joachim's daughter Margaret of Brandenburg and Brandenburg would recognize Pomerania's imperial immediacy.
Domestically, a dispute with his brother Barnim IX, who wanted to divide the country, began after the Treaty of Grimnitz had been ratified. A large part of the Estates backed Barnim because they feared that once George had resolved the dispute with Brandenburg, he would turn his efforts against the reformation, and also because they were hoping that Barnim might be easier to influence than George. The situation changed somewhat after George died, aged 38, at Stettin, as his son and successor Philip I, joined the Reformation. Nevertheless, the country was split into Pomerania-Wolgast (ruled by Philip I) and Pomerania-Szczecin (ruled by Barnim IX).
Marriages and issue
- Bogislaw XI (1514-1514)
- Philip I (1515–1560)
- Margaret (1518–1569), married Duke Ernest III of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
- Georgia (1531–1574), married Count Stanislaus Latalski of Labischin
|Ancestors of George I, Duke of Pomerania|
References and sources
- Roderich Schmidt (1964), "Georg I. von Pommern-Wolgast", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 6, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 223–224