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Ernest was the third son of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria and Anna of Austria.
He received his education and training from the Jesuits.
In 1565 he became a canon at Salzburg and soon afterward in Cologne,
Treves and Würzburg.
At the age of 19 Ernest was elected as bishop of the small see
of Hildesheim. In the spring of 1574 Ernest was sent to Rome there
he won the good-will of pope Gregory XIII.
In 1581 Ernest was elected the Bishop of Liège and in 1583 he became
Archbishop of Cologne. This was one of the seven Imperial Electors of
the Holy Roman Empire.
From 1584 he was elected the Bishop of Münster.
Ernest died in 1612 in Arnsberg Westphalia and he was buried in the