Rupert of Germany

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Rupert of Germany (German: Ruprecht III "Klem", Pfalzgraf bei Rhein) from the House of Wittelsbach (5 May 1352 – 18 May 1410) was Elector Palatine from 1398 and German King (rex Romanorum) from 1400 until his death. He was the son of Elector Palatine Rupert II and Princess Beatrix, daughter of King Peter II of Sicily, and a great-grandnephew of Emperor Louis IV.

Contents

Life

Rupert was born at Amberg, and from his early years took part in the government of the Palatinate to which he succeeded on his father's death in 1398. He was one of the four Prince-electors who met at Lahneck Castle in Oberlahnstein on 20 August 1400 and declared King Wenceslaus of Luxembourg deposed. On the next day the same four electors met at Rhense to ballot for Rupert as next German king, thus the majority of the college including the Elector Palatine's own vote. The election was followed by Rupert's coronation at Cologne on 6 January 1401.

Lacking a solid power base in the Empire, his rule remained contested by the mighty House of Luxembourg, though Wenceslaus himself did not take any action to regain his title. After Rupert had won some recognition in Southern Germany, Rupert made an expedition to the Italian kingdom, where he hoped to receive the Imperial crown and to crush the rule of Gian Galeazzo Visconti over the thriving Duchy of Milan. In the autumn of 1401 he crossed the Alps, but his troops, checked before Brescia, melted away and in 1402 Rupert, too poor to continue the campaign, had to return to Germany.

The news of this failure increased the disorder in Germany, but the king met with some success in his efforts to restore peace. He gained the support of England by the marriage of his son Louis with Blanche, daughter of King Henry IV in 1401 and in October 1403 he was recognized by Pope Boniface IX. It was nevertheless only the indolence of Wenceslaus that prevented his overthrow, and after attempts to enlarge his allodium had caused conflicts with several estates led by the archbishop of Mainz in 1406, Rupert was compelled to make certain concessions. The quarrel was complicated by the Papal Schism, but the king was just beginning to make some headway when he died at his castle of Landskrone near Oppenheim on 18 May 1410 and was buried at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg. His achievements earned him the surname clemens. He was succeeded as Count Palatine by his son Louis.

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