Today in History / On This Day - October 20th. 1139 - Henry the Proud

Henry the Proud was born in 1108 as the second son of Duke
Henry IX of Bavaria and Wulfhilde (daughter of Duke Magnus
of Saxony). Henry was thus a member of the House of Welf.

In 1126 his father retired to Weingarten Abbey where he and
his wife died shortly afterwards.

Henry's elder brother Conrad entered the Cistercian Order so the
Duchy of Bavaria went to him.

Love & Marriage

In 1127 he married Gertrude, the only child of King Lothair III
of Germany. Gertrude was heir of the properties of three Saxon
dynasties. This marked the expansion of power of the Welf Dynasty.
The couple would have one son, who would become known as
Henry the Lion.


In 1136 Henry accompanied his father-in-law to Italy and he took
command of a Bavarian division of the Imperial army. They marched
up to the Kingdom of Sicily and devastated the land. Henry
distinguished himself by his military abilities during his campaign and
he was appointed as Margrave of Tuscany and as Lothair's successor
in the Duchy of Saxony.

When Lothair died on his way back from Italy (1137), Henry's wealth
and position made him a formidable candidate for the German crown.

Instead of Henry Conrad was chosen. Henry refused to take the oath of
allegiance and he was banned and deprived of both his duchies. Due to
his jealousy of the princes and his lost election he was called the Proud.


He died on October 20th. 1139 in Quedlinburg. He was buried in the
Imperial Cathedral of Königslütter.

Picture: Wikipedia

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