FERDINAND, ARCHBISHOP (1577-1650), elector and archbishop of Cologne, son of William V., duke of Bavaria, was born on the 7th of October 1577. Intended for the church, he was educated by the Jesuits at the university of Ingolstadt, and in 1595 became coadjutor archbishop of Cologne. He became elector and archbishop in 1612 on the death of his uncle Ernest, whom he also succeeded as bishop of Liége, Munster and Hildesheim. He endeavoured resolutely to root out heresy in the lands under his rule, and favoured the teaching of the Jesuits in every possible way. He supported the league founded by his brother Maximilian I., duke of Bavaria, and wished to involve the leaguers in a general attack on the Protestants of north Germany. The cool political sagacity of the duke formed a sharp contrast to the impetuosity of the archbishop, and he refused to accede to his brother's wish; but, in spite of these temporary differences, Ferdinand sent troops and money to the assistance of the league when the Thirty Years' War broke out in 1619. The elector's alliance with the Spaniards secured his territories to a great extent from the depredations of the war until the arrival of the Swedes in Germany in 1630, when the extension of the area of the struggle to the neighbourhood of Cologne induced him to enter into negotiations for peace. Nothing came of these attempts until 1647, when he joined his brother Maximilian in concluding an armistice with France and Sweden at Ulm. The elector's later years were marked by a conflict with the citizens of Liége; and when the peace of Westphalia freed him from his enemies, he was able to crush the citizens and deprive them of many privileges. Ferdinand, who had held the bishopric of Paderborn since 1618, died at Arnsberg on the 13th of September 1650, and was buried in the cathedral at Cologne.
See L. Ennen, Frankreich und der Niederrhein oder Geschichte von Stadt und Kurstadt Köln seit dem 30 jährigen Kriege, Band i. (Cologne, 1855-1856).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)