The Princebishopric of Worms, 1732-1815

The diocesis of Worms was one of the smaller ecclesiastic states in Germany, with territory extending to both banks of the Rhine. The city of Worms did not belong to her territory; she was a free imperial city. In the time of the reformation the princebishopric had briefly been a secundogeniture of the PALATINE; much of the population had been lost to protestantism.
In the 18th century, the bishopric of Worms mostly was in personal union with that of Mainz or Trier. The fact that no coins were minted for the princebishopric in the 18th century gives evidence of the poor condition of the statelet, caused not only by the alienation of the population of her territory, but also by the wars of the 18th century.
The princebishopric was administrated from Trier (Koblenz) resp. Mainz. In 1792-1793, during the time of the First revolutionary French occupation, a Jacobin club was founded in Worms. The area was retaken by Imperial troops. In 1794/1795 the areas on the left bank of the Rhine were again occupied by French forces, those on the right bank of the Rhine were secularized in 1802/1803.

Princebishops of Worms
Franz Georg von Schönborn (1732-1756, also of Trier)
Johann Friedrich Karl von Ostein (1756-1763, also of Mainz)
Johann Philipp II. von Walderdorf (1763-1774, also of Trier)
Emmerich Josef von Breisach (1768-1774)
Friedrich Karl Josef von Erthal (1774-1802, also of Mainz)

Biography of Friedrich Karl Joseph von Erthal, from Catholic Encyclopedia
DOCUMENTS List of Princebishops, from Regnal Chronologies
REFERENCE Territorien-Ploetz : Geschichte der Deutschen Länder, Vol.1, Würzburg 1964, pp.353-354
Coins of Worms (Free Imperial City) , 1701-1800, in : Krause, Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins : Eighteenth Century 1701-1800, 2nd ed., 1997, p.546

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on January 3rd 2002, last revised on November 11th 2004

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