The Rietberg Feud, 1556-1557

Count Otto III. von Rietberg died in 1535. His sons Otto IV. and Johann II. were to inherit; in 1541 Count Philip of Hessen (Rietberg was a Hessian fief) decided to partition the county and grant half a fief to either brother. Otto IV. did not recognize the partitioning.
Johann II. meanwhile had inherited Esens, Stedesdorf and Wittmund (the Harlingerland, in East Frisia). His brother Otto IV. died in 1553; he lead a force from the Frisian coast into Rietberg, crossed into territory of the County of Lippe, where he burnt down the village Lipperode (19. 11. 1556). Count Bernhard zur Lippe responded with laying siege to Rietberg Castle Nov. 26th 1556.
Simultaneously, the occupation of a small stretch of land on the border to East Frisia, in the Accumer Tief, in 1556 had resulted in a feud between the Harlingerland and the County of East Frisia. Negotiations resultet in the conclusion of a peace treaty on February 2nd 1557; as Count Johann II. was unable to name guarantors, the siege was resumed. The Lower Rhenian-Westphalian Circle, upon request of the Count of East Frisia, declared Count Johann II. of Rietberg violator of peace and sent troops against him. On June 2nd 1557, he surrendered. The Lower Rhenian-Westphalian Circle took over the administration of the County of Rietberg; Rietberg Castle was razed to the ground.

Johann II., der Tolle, 1552-1562, from Kaunitz-Rietberg, in German
Rietberg : Geschichte (Timeline History of Rietberg), from Ostwestfalen-Lippe, in German
Wälle und Graben (Walls and Moats), from Rietberg Homepage, in German
REFERENCE Gustav Engel, Politische Geschichte Westfalens, Köln : G. Grote 1968, p.157

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 23rd 2004, last revised on November 18th 2004

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