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Margaret of Austria

Margaret of Austria

Electress of Saxony
Margaret of Austria
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Electress of Saxony
A.K.A. Margaretha II. von Österreich
Was Noble Aristocrat
From Austria
Type Royals
Gender female
Birth 1416, Innsbruck, Austria
Death 12 February 1486, Altenburg, Germany (aged 70 years)
Family
Mother: Cymburgis of Masovia
Father: Ernest, Duke of Austria
Siblings: Albert VI, Archduke of AustriaFrederick III, Holy Roman EmperorCatherine of Austria
Spouse: Frederick II, Elector of Saxony
Children: Amalia of SaxonyAnna of Saxony, Electress of BrandenburgErnest, Elector of SaxonyAlbert III, Duke of SaxonyHedwig, Abbess of QuedlinburgMargarete von Sachsen Heinrich von SachsenAlexander von SachsenFriedrich von Sachsen
Margaret of Austria
The details

Biography

Margaret of Austria (c. 1416 – 12 February 1486), a member of the House of Habsburg, was Electress of Saxony from 1431 until 1464 by her marriage with the Wettin elector Frederick II. She was a sister of Emperor Frederick III.

Life

Born in Innsbruck, Margaret was the eldest daughter of the Inner Austrian duke Ernest the Iron (1377–1424) and his second wife, the Piast princess Cymburgis of Masovia (1394/97–1429). Upon her father's death, she and her siblings were raised under the tutelage of their uncle Duke Frederick IV of Austria.

At Wiener Neustadt, young Margaret was betrothed to Elector Frederick II, heir of both the Saxe-Wittenberg electorate and the Margravate of Meissen, not long after his accession in 1428; the wedding took place on 3 June 1431 in Leipzig. The conjugal bond with the Habsburgs strengthened her husband's position, particularly when Margaret's brother Duke Frederick V of Austria was elected King of the Romans in 1440 (as Frederick III). The electoral couple accompanied the new king to his coronation at Aachen Cathedral two years later. Margaret evolved plans to marry her first-born son Frederick to Elizabeth of Austria, daughter of her cousin King Albert II of Germany, however, the twelve-year-old boy died in 1451.

Margaret went on to reside at the Meissen court, where she had a significant impact on her husband's government: in 1432 she had all Jews expelled from the former margravate. In the Saxon Fratricidal War over the 1445 Division of Altenburg, she helped to reconcile her husband with his rebellious brother, Landgrave William III of Thuringia. Margaret received her own coinage (Margarethengroschen) and a mint in the Saxon burgraviate of Colditz, which caused further trouble with her brother-in-law William. Nevertheless, the minting privilege was finally confirmed by Emperor Frederick III in a 1463 deed.

Fourteen Holy Helpers pilgrimage church, Jena

Margaret was regarded as a Christian-influenced woman. After the Saxon Fratricidal War, she set up a spiritual foundation and in 1453 laid the foundation for the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Vierzehnheiligen) sanctuary in a devastated village near Jena. The consecration of the pilgrimage church in 1464 marked the beginning of the resettlement.

In the night of 7/8 July 1455, her two minor sons Ernest and Albert were abducted from the castle of Altenburg by henchmen of the Saxon noble Kunz von Kaufungen, a former knight in the service of Elector Frederick II, who aimed to extort compensation for the losses that he suffered in the Fratricidal War. He nevertheless was pursued and captured in short time on his way to the Bohemian border, and the princes were saved.

After the death of her husband on 7 September 1464, Margaret received an extensive dowry, including the castle and city of Altenburg as well as nearby Leipzig, Liebenwerda, Colditz, Eilenburg and Liebenwerda. Until her death she lived at Altenburg Castle, where she exercised her sovereign rights and thus was under the jurisdiction. In the Old Castle in 1468, she set up a grain house, which was destroyed by fire in 1868. With the support of the Altenburg civil servants who cared for her household plot, Margaret gave generous supplies industries.

In 1485, she had to witness the division of the Saxon territories between her sons according to the Treaty of Leipzig. Margaret died the next year in Altenburg and was buried in the Castle's local church. She was outlived by six of her eight children.

Family

Margaret and Frederick had eight children:

  1. Amalia (b. Meissen, 4 April 1436 – d. Rochlitz, 19 October 1501), married on 21 March 1452 to Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria
  2. Anna (b. Meissen, 7 March 1437 – d. Neustadt am Aisch, 31 October 1512), married on 12 November 1458 to Albert III Achilles, Elector of Brandenburg
  3. Frederick (b. Meissen, 28 August 1439 – d. Meissen, 23 December 1451)
  4. Ernest, Elector of Saxony (b. Meissen, 24 March 1441 – d. Colditz, 26 August 1486)
  5. Albert, Duke of Saxony (b. Grimma, 31 July 1443 – d. Emden, 12 September 1500)
  6. Margaret (b. Meissen?, 1444 – d. Seusslitz?, ca. 19 November 1498), Abbess of Seusslitz
  7. Hedwig (b. Meissen?, 31 October 1445 – d. Quedlinburg, 13 June 1511), Abbess of Quedlinburg (1458)
  8. Alexander (b. Meissen, 24 June 1447 – d. Meissen, 14 September 1447).

Ancestors

16. Albert I of Germany
16. Albert I of Germany
8. Albert II, Duke of Austria
17. Elisabeth of Tirol
4. Leopold III, Duke of Austria
18. Ulrich III, Count of Pfirt
9. Joanna of Pfirt
19. Joanna of Burgundy
2. Ernest, Duke of Austria
20. Stefano Visconti
10. Bernabò Visconti
21. Valentina Doria
5. Viridis Visconti
22. Mastino II della Scala
11. Beatrice della Scala
23. Taddea de Carrara
1. Margaret of Austria
24. Trojden I of Masovia
12. Siemowit III of Masovia
25. Maria of Galicia
6. Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia
26. Nicholas II, Duke of Troppau
13. Euphemia of Troppau
27. Anna of Racibórz
3. Cymburgis of Masovia
28. Gediminas
14. Algirdas
29. Jewna
7. Alexandra of Lithuania
30. Aleksandr Mikhailovich of Tver
15. Uliana Alexandrovna of Tver
31. Anastasia of Halych
16. Albert I of Germany
8. Albert II, Duke of Austria
17. Elisabeth of Tirol
4. Leopold III, Duke of Austria
18. Ulrich III, Count of Pfirt
9. Joanna of Pfirt
19. Joanna of Burgundy
2. Ernest, Duke of Austria
20. Stefano Visconti
10. Bernabò Visconti
21. Valentina Doria
5. Viridis Visconti
22. Mastino II della Scala
11. Beatrice della Scala
23. Taddea de Carrara
1. Margaret of Austria
24. Trojden I of Masovia
12. Siemowit III of Masovia
25. Maria of Galicia
6. Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia
26. Nicholas II, Duke of Troppau
13. Euphemia of Troppau
27. Anna of Racibórz
3. Cymburgis of Masovia
28. Gediminas
14. Algirdas
29. Jewna
7. Alexandra of Lithuania
30. Aleksandr Mikhailovich of Tver
15. Uliana Alexandrovna of Tver
31. Anastasia of Halych
8. Albert II, Duke of Austria
17. Elisabeth of Tirol
4. Leopold III, Duke of Austria
18. Ulrich III, Count of Pfirt
9. Joanna of Pfirt
19. Joanna of Burgundy
2. Ernest, Duke of Austria
20. Stefano Visconti
10. Bernabò Visconti
21. Valentina Doria
5. Viridis Visconti
22. Mastino II della Scala
11. Beatrice della Scala
23. Taddea de Carrara
1. Margaret of Austria
24. Trojden I of Masovia
12. Siemowit III of Masovia
25. Maria of Galicia
6. Siemowit IV, Duke of Masovia
26. Nicholas II, Duke of Troppau
13. Euphemia of Troppau
27. Anna of Racibórz
3. Cymburgis of Masovia
28. Gediminas
14. Algirdas
29. Jewna
7. Alexandra of Lithuania
30. Aleksandr Mikhailovich of Tver
15. Uliana Alexandrovna of Tver
31. Anastasia of Halych
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 09 Mar 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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Reference sources
References
http://fmg.ac/Projects/MedLands/AUSTRIA.htm#ErnstIdied1424B
https://d-nb.info/gnd/139150129
https://viaf.org/viaf/100452454
https://www.worldcat.org/identities/containsVIAFID/100452454
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