The Grumbach Feud, 1563-1567

Wilhelm von Grumbach was a knight holding estates within the Princebishopric of Würzburg. He served Albrecht Alkibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach on his campaigns (Second Margrave War, 1552-1554). The Princebishop of Würzburg then confiscated W. von Grumbach's estates.
Wilhelm von Grumbach was granted the protection of Duke John Frederick of Sachsen-Gotha (Ernestine Line) and in 1563 took and plundered the city of Würzburg. He schemed against Duke-Elector Augustus of (Albertine) Saxony, King Frederick of Denmark and even against Emperor Ferdinand I. In 1563 the Imperial ban was declared against Wilhelm von Grumbach.
While the person of Wilhelm von Grumbach has attracted a lot of attention, the conflict between the Ernestine and Albertine lines of the Dukes of Saxony has not to be overlooked. In the Schmalkaldic War 1546-1547, the Ernestine Line had been deprived of Electoral Saxony and their residence-capital of Wittenberg. They held on to lands in Thuringia, which soon were split in two lines. In 1567, Duke John Frederick reunited the lands of Ernestine Saxony, and - with his continued grudge against his Albertine relative, posed a greater threat to the latter.
Charged by Emperor Maximilian II. with executing the Imperial ban against John Frederick and Wilhelm von Grumbach, on Christmas 1566, Duke-Elector Augustus lead an army of 16,000 men against Gotha, which surrendered April 15th 1567. Grumbach was tortured and executed (April 18th 1567); Duke John Frederick incarcerated.

The Grumbach Quarrels, from A.W. Ward, The Empire under Ferdinand I. and Maximilian II., posted by MATEO
Article Wilhelm von Grumbach, from EB 1911
Saxe-Cobourg-Saalfeld puis Saxe-Cobourg-Gotha, from Heraldique Europeenne, in French
Geschichte der Stadt Gotha, from, in German
Gotha, from Residenzen der Wettiner, in German
Biography Hubert Languet, from BBKL, in German
Der Ritter Grumbach in Gotha, from Hoerselberggemeinde, in German
DOCUMENTS Map : Gotha in 1567, from, modern map, comment in German
Hubert Languet, Historica descriptio susceptae a Caesarea Majestate executionis Augusto Saxoniae septemviro duce contra S.Rom. Imperii rebelles et captae urbis Gothae [...], Gotha 1567

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 25th 2004, last revised on November 18th 2004

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