Innsbruck, Tyrol (now a part of Austria).
He was called the Peaceful or the Fat.
Frederick was the eldest son of the Inner Austrian Duke, Ernest the Iron
and his second wife Cymburgis of Masovia.
Ernest the Iron was a member of the Leopoldian line of the House of
According to the treaty of 1379, the Leopoldian branch ruled over the
duchies of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola (referred as Inner Austria).
Only 3 of Frederick's 8 siblings survived childhood:
- His younger brother Albert, who became later Albert VI, Archduke of
- His sisters Margaret (later Electress of Saxony) and Catherine.
In 1424, Frederick 's father died. Frederick, then 9 years old, became
Duke of Inner Austria. He ruled as Frederick V together with his uncle
Duke Frederick IV of Tyrol as regent.
In 1431, Frederick tried to obtain majority but for several years this was
denied by his relatives. Finally in 1435, Albert V, (Duke of Austria later
Albert II, King of Germany) allowed him to rule over his heritage.
In 1436 Frederick made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, accompanied by
numerous nobles, knighted by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.
In 1439, Frederick IV of Tyrol died and Frederick took over the regency
of Tyrol and Further Austria for the duke's heir Sigismund. Likewise he
acted as regent for his nephew Ladislaus the Posthumous (son of King Albert
II and his consort Elizabeth of Luxembourg), in the Duchy of Austria.
Frederick was now the undisputed head of the Habsburg dynasty. As a cousin
of King Albert II, Frederick became a candidate for the imperial selection.
In 1440 the prince electors came together in Frankfurt and they selected
Frederick to become King of the Romans. He ruled then as Frederick IV.
In 1452, at the age of 37, Frederick III traveled to Italy to receive his bride
and to be crowned as Holy Roman Emperor.
Love and Marriage
On 16 March 1452, Frederick married Eleanor of Portugal in Rome. She was
the daughter of King Edward of Portugal and Eleanor of Aragon. They would
have 5 children, inter alia, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor.
However this marriage had other advantages for Frederick. Her dowry would help
him to alleviate his debts and cement his power. But as a couple they were not
Frederick was still successful as Emperor. His first opponent was his brother
Albert VI who tested his rule. But Frederick succeeded in his conflicts by
outliving his opponents and sometimes he even inherited their lands.
In 1474 and 1475 Frederick forced Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy
to give up his daughter Mary of Burgundy as wife to Frederick's son Maximilian.
With the inheritance of Burgundy, the House of Habsburg began to rise to
predominance in Europe.
On 19 August 1493, Frederick died at Linz, Austria. He was then 77 years old.
His left foot had become gangrenous and was even amputated. He survived this
procedure but due to infections, he died.
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor was buried in the St. Stephen's Cathedral in
See also the page: House of Habsburg on top of this blog or on this link
Source pictures: Wikipedia