Hedwig, Abbess of Quedlinburg

Hedwig of Saxony ( born October 31, 1445 Meissen, † June 13, 1511 in Quedlinburg ) was a princess of Saxony and 26 Abbess of the Imperial pin of Quedlinburg.


Origin and family

Hedwig was the youngest child of the Elector Frederick II of Saxony (1412-1464) from his marriage to Margaret ( 1416/7-1486 ), daughter of Duke Ernst of Austria. About her mother she was a niece of the Emperor Frederick III, her brothers Albrecht and Ernst are the founders of the Albertine and Ernestine line of Saxon house.; her sister Anna had since 1470 Electress of Brandenburg and her sister Amalia Duchess of Bavaria -Landshut.

Abbess of Quedlinburg

Hedwig was 1457 canoness in Quedlinburg and as a 12 -year-old from chapter one year later to the successor of the 1458 deceased Anna I. elected abbess. Pope Calixtus III. confirmed the election in 1458 under the condition that Hedwig should act under the tutelage of her father and a lady pin up to the age of 20. In 1465 it was founded by Emperor Friedrich III. invested with the regalia and ruled independently.

In 1460, disputes began with the city of Quedlinburg, which had joined the Hanseatic League in 1426 and then to be desired free imperial city and to move away from the suzerainty of the pen. The bickering flared to mistakenly cut wood from the forest kingdom of the pin and widened on mills, minting, the protection of the Jews and fishing rights. After mediation by Hedwig's father and the Mayor of Halberstadt, the conflict ignited in 1474 again to advocacies. With the support of her brothers Hedwig reached the confirmation of the advocacies by the emperor 1475th Gebhard von Hoym, Bishop of Halberstadt and former owner of the advocacies, protested to the Pope and the town of Quedlinburg in 1475 concluded a defensive alliance with the Dukes of Brunswick.

After the lapse of a mediation meeting is prepared the citizenry, supported by the Bishop of Halberstadt, a military invasion, and erected a force of 200 men, which was trying to sell the abbess by force. On July 24, 1477 Saxon troops of the brothers Hedwig captured the city with 400 horsemen and 200 footmen. Quedlinburg finally threw himself on August 9, 1477, and the abbess had to pay annual Reaparationsleistungen and an amount for the reconstruction of the castle. The city lost its autonomy, the Roland was overthrown, Quedlinburg had to withdraw from the Hanseatic League and all the protective covenants and to make the abbess Hereditary Homage. Without the consent of the abbess the city could neither advice nor select a city captain or repair the town's fortifications. The urban development suffered a decisive setback; in the coming centuries remained Quedlinburg a small farming town.

In peace with the Bishop of Halberstadt Hedwig was awarded the advocacy and the rights to wholesale Ditfurt. The advocacies transferred Hedwig to 1479 thanks to her brothers Albrecht and Ernst.

In her last years in office trying Hedwig's nephew Ernst, Archbishop of Magdeburg as Administrator of Halberstadt to enforce the protection lordly claims of his predecessors. He succeeded in doing the Pope Julius II to win as allies who threatened Hedwig with excommunication. Hedwig was considered a strict and serious, but also pious and charitable. From Emperor Frederick III. she was admitted into the Order of Can. Hedwig is buried in the Collegiate Church of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg.

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Hedwig of Saxony