Frederick I, Elector of Brandenburg

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Frederick (German: Friedrich; September 21, 1371 in Nuremberg – September 20, 1440) was Burgrave of Nuremberg as Frederick VI and Elector of Brandenburg as Frederick I. He was a son of Burgrave Frederick V of Nuremberg and Elisabeth of Meissen, and was the first member of the House of Hohenzollern to rule the Margraviate of Brandenburg.



Frederick entered early into the service of Austria and fought on the side of King Sigismund of Hungary. After he returned he divided the inheritance from his father with his brother John, who received Bayreuth while Frederick kept Ansbach. At first he tried to mediate in the imperial confusion between King Wenceslaus and the party of Rupert of the Palatinate, nevertheless he fought on the side of Rupert in September 1399.

He resumed his rule of Ansbach in 1409 and after heavy feuding entered into the service of King Sigismund. In 1410, the death of Rupert, King of the Germans left the throne of the Holy Roman Empire vacant. Sigismund enlisted Frederick's help in obtaining the throne. At the time, Jobst of Moravia ruled Brandenburg and thus was one of the prince-electors who had the right to vote for the new emperor. However, Sigismund disputed Jobst's claim to Brandenburg and his right to vote in the imperial election. Sigismund claimed these rights for himself and designated Frederick to represent him as elector of Brandenburg in the imperial election of 20 September 1410. While Sigismund won this initial vote, Jobst of Moravia won the support of a majority of electors in an election in October 1410 and himself claimed the imperial throne. Jobst's death under suspicious circumstances in January 1411 cleared the way for Sigismund's recovery of Brandenburg and his undisputed election as king of the empire later that year. In gratitude for Frederick's services, King Sigismund made him Oberster Hauptmann and Verwalter der Marken (1411). With an iron hand Frederick fought against the rebellious nobility of the March of Brandenburg (in particular, the Quitzow family) and, in the end, restored security. Frederick also became a member of the Parakeet Society and of the League of Constance.

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