Conflict between Princebishop and City of Münster, 1661

The city of Münster, together with Osnabrück host to the negotiations which ended the Thirty Years' War in 1648, formally was subject to the Princebishop of Münster. However, the city council had long pursued an autonomous policy, and she regarded her right to host the aforementioned negotiations as recognition of her status as an Immediate or Free Imperial City.
Princebishop of Münster, Christoph Bernhard von Galen (1650-1678, "Kanonenbischof" - cannon bishop), requested the city to submit to him; the city council repeatedly refused, declaring "rather to submit to the Turks or even to the devil". Besieged three times by the Princebishop's troops, Münster appealed to the Dutch Republic for aid. In 1657, Raadspensionaris of Holland, Johan de Witt, had declared that Münster had to be supported; in 1658, the Dutch Republic had troops stationed at the border to the Princebishopric. The city requested a Dutch garrison, which was refused; the Dutch Republic hoped for negotiations. Emperor Leopold I. sent an envoy offering his mediation; Princebishop Christoph Bernhard refused. In May 1661, the city of Münster had to surrender.
Princebishop Christoph Bernhard had a citadel constructed, the Paulsburg, within the city walls; the city's privileges were abolished. Münster never again was able to resist her Princebishop.
Princebishop Christoph Bernhard regarded the Dutch Republic as an enemy and fought two wars with her, 1665-1666 and 1672-1674.

Diocese of Munster, from Catholic Encyclopedia
Geschichte der Stadt Münster, from Münster Homepage, German-language timeline
Christoph Bernhard von Galen, from EB 1911, from BBKL, in German, from Kongressstadt Münster, in German
Die Zeit des Furstbischofs Christoph Bernhard von Galen (The time of Princebishop C.B. von Galen), from Emslandbuch 1928, in German
REFERENCE Gustav Engel, Politische Geschichte Westfalens, Köln : G. Grote 1968

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 22nd 2004, last revised on November 19th 2004

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