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Henry Vii, German King

HENRY VII, GERMAN KING. (1211-1242), German king, son of the emperor Frederick II. and his first wife Constance, daughter of Alphonso [I., king of Aragon, was crowned king of Sicily in 1212 and made duke of Swabia in 1216. Pope Innocent III. had favoured his coronation as king of Sicily in the hope that the union of this .sland with the Empire would be dissolved, and had obtained a jromise from Frederick to this effect. In spite of this, however, Henry was chosen king of the Romans, or German king, at Frankfort in April 1220, and crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle on the 3th of May 1222 by his guardian Engelbert, archbishop of Cologne. He appears to have spent most of his youth in Germany, and on the 18th of November 1225 was married at Nuremberg to Margaret (d. 1267), daughter of Leopold VI., duke of Austria. Henry's marriage was the occasion of some difference of opinion, as Engelbert wished him to marry an English princess, and the name of a Bohemian princess was also mentioned in this connexion, but Frederick insisted upon the union with Margaret. The murder of Engelbert in 1225 was followed by an increase of disorder in Germany in which Henry soon began to participate, and in 1227 he took part in a quarrel which had arisen on the death of Henry V., the childless count palatine of the Rhine. About this time the relations between Frederick and his son began to be somewhat strained. The emperor had favoured the Austrian marriage because Margaret's brother, Duke Frederick II., was childless; but Henry took up a hostile attitude towards his brother-in-law and wished to put away his wife and marry Agnes, daughter of Wenceslaus I., king of Bohemia. Other causes of trouble probably existed, for in 1231 Henry not only refused to appear at the diet at Ravenna, but opposed the privileges granted by Frederick to the princes at Worms. In 1 23 2, "however, he submitted to his father, promising to adopt the emperor's policy and to obey his commands. He did not long keep his word and was soon engaged in thwarting Frederick's wishes in several directions, until in 1233 he took the decisive step of issuing a manifesto to the princes, and the following year raised the standard of revolt at Boppard. He obtained very little support in Germany, however, while the suspicion that he favoured heresy deprived him of encouragement from the pope. On the other hand, he succeeded in forming an alliance with the Lombards in December 1234, but his few supporters fell away when the emperor reached Germany in 1235, and, after a vain attack on Worms, Henry submitted and was kept for some time as a prisoner in Germany, though his formal deposition as German king was not considered necessary, as he had broken the oath taken in 1232. He was soon removed to San Felice in Apulia, and afterwards to Martirano in Calabria, where he died, probably by his own hand, on the 12th of February 1242, and was buried at Cosenza. He left two sons, Frederick and Henry, both of whom died in Italy about 1251.

See J. Rohden, Der Sturz Heinrichs VII. (Gottingen, 1883) ; F. W. Schirrmacher, Die letzten Hohenstaufen (Gottingen, 1871), and E. Winkelmann, Kaiser Friedrich II. (Leipzig, 1889).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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