George of the Palatinate

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George of the Palatinate
Bischof Georg von der Pfalz.jpg
Bishop George of the Palatinate, contemporary painting on wood
Born 10 February 1486
Died 27 September 1529(1529-09-27) (aged 43)
Kislau Castle in Bad Mingolsheim
Buried Speyer Cathedral
Noble family House of Wittelsbach
Father Philip, Elector Palatine
Mother Margaret of Bavaria-Landshut
Medallion depicting George of the Palatinate" by Hans Schwarz, 1520 Hans schwarz, conte palatino georg, vescovo di spira, 1520.JPG
Medallion depicting George of the Palatinate" by Hans Schwarz, 1520

George of the Palatinate (10 February 1486 – 27 September 1529) was Bishop of Speyer from 1513 to 1529.

A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

Bishopric of Speyer

The Bishopric of Speyer, or Prince-Bishopric of Speyer, was an ecclesiastical principality in what are today the German states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg. It was secularized in 1803. The prince-bishop resided in Speyer, a Free Imperial City, until the 14th century when he moved his residence to Uddenheim (Philippsburg), then in 1723 to Bruchsal, in large part due to the tense relationship between successive prince-bishops and the civic authorities of the Free City, officially Protestant since the Reformation. The prince-provostry of Wissemburg in Alsace was ruled by the prince-bishop of Speyer in a personal union.



His parents were Elector Palatine Philip and his wife Margaret of Bavaria-Landshut, a daughter of Duke Louis the Rich.

Philip, Elector Palatine Elector Palatine

Philip the Upright was an Elector Palatine of the Rhine from the house of Wittelsbach from 1476 to 1508.

Margaret of Bavaria, Electress Palatine Princess of Bavaria-Landshut by birth, by marriage Electress Palatine

Margaret of Bavaria was a princess of Bavaria-Landshut and by marriage Princess of the Palatinate.

Louis IX, Duke of Bavaria Duke of Bavaria-Landshut

Louis IX, was Duke of Bavaria-Landshut from 1450. He was a son of Henry XVI the Rich and Margaret of Austria.

He held posts as canon in Mainz, Trier and Speyer and was Provost in Mainz from 1499 to 1506. From 10 November 1502, he was also Dean of St. Donatian in Bruges. Later, he was priest at Hochheim and Lorch. On 12 February 1513, he became Bishop of Speyer. He studied theology in Heidenberg in 1514 and received his Holy Orders on 10 July 1515. On 22 July 1515, he was consecrated as bishop.

Canon (priest) Ecclesiastical position

A canon is a member of certain bodies subject to an ecclesiastical rule.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Trier diocese of the Catholic Church in Germany

The Roman Catholic diocese of Trier, in English traditionally known by its French name of Treves, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic church in Germany. When it was the archbishopric and Electorate of Trier, it was one of the most important states of the Holy Roman Empire, both as an ecclesiastical principality and as a diocese of the church. Unlike the other Rhenish dioceses — Mainz and Cologne, Trier was the former Roman provincial capital of Augusta Treverorum. Given its status, Trier has always been the seat of a bishop since Roman times, one of the oldest dioceses in all of Germany. The diocese was elevated to an Archdiocese in the time of Charlemagne and was the metropolitan for the dioceses of Metz, Toul, and Verdun. After the victory of Napoleon Bonaparte of France, the archdiocese was lowered to a diocese and is now a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Cologne. The diocesan cathedral is the Cathedral of Saint Peter.

A provost is a senior official in a number of Christian churches.

George sought to improvide discipline among the clergy in his diocese and forbade the study of the writings of Martin Luther. However, he could not prevent his suffragan bishop Engelbrecht from converting to the new faith. On 28 April 1523, he published his most memorable letter to his clergy, which states:

Martin Luther Saxon priest, monk and theologian, seminal figure in Protestant Reformation

Martin Luther, was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

A suffragan bishop is a bishop subordinate to a metropolitan bishop or diocesan bishop and, consequently, are not normally jurisdictional in their role. Suffragan bishops may be charged by a metropolitan to oversee a suffragan diocese. They may be assigned to an area which does not have a cathedral of its own.

The suspect teachings of Luther, which oppose the Holy Catholic Church and our ancient traditions, we must mention to our great distress, have been sprinkled and sown among the uneducated believers in many places and parishes in our diocese by pastors and preachers and others, who were not nominated by us or our vicars general, causing not only aberrations, riots, murder and dangerous movements among the communities .... We urge you to hold Mass without any improprieties, with seclusion, seriousness, respect, dignity and prudence, with as much devotion as possible, in the fear of our Lord, and to instruct people, not only by teaching them the wholesome Catholic doctrine, but also by good actions, by an irreproachable conduct and to encourage them by example to be pious, so that when all the trouble and the contempt for the clergy have been removed, we, as fighters for Christ and mediators between God and the people, may be able to prevent our eternal damnation by prayer and by good works

Bishop George of the Palatinate, in a pastoral latter of 28 April 1534, Franz Xaver Remling: The work of reform in the Palatinate, 1929 edition, p. 58-59

Around Easter 1525, the German Peasants' War spread to the diocese of Speyer and rebellious peasants raided the bishop's cellars. George fled to Heidelberg and the peasants occupied Kislau Castle, Rothenberg and Bruchsal Castle, set up a provisional government, invaded the Udenheim district and threatened Speyer itself. On 29 April 1525, George met the rebels at Herrenalb and promised them they would be allowed to appoint a preacher of their choice. He opened negotiations with the rebels at Philippsburg and signed an agreement with them on 5 May 1525. The revolt was later struck down by forces from the Electoral Palatinate and other principalities.

German Peasants War conflict

The German Peasants' War, Great Peasants' War or Great Peasants' Revolt was a widespread popular revolt in some German-speaking areas in Central Europe from 1524 to 1525. It failed because of the intense opposition by the aristocracy, who slaughtered up to 100,000 of the 300,000 poorly armed peasants and farmers. The survivors were fined and achieved few, if any, of their goals. The war consisted, like the preceding Bundschuh movement and the Hussite Wars, of a series of both economic and religious revolts in which peasants and farmers, often supported by Anabaptist clergy, took the lead. The German Peasants' War was Europe's largest and most widespread popular uprising prior to the French Revolution of 1789. The fighting was at its height in the middle of 1525.

Bad Herrenalb Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Bad Herrenalb is a municipality in the district of Calw, in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is situated in the northern Black Forest, 15 km east of Baden-Baden, and 22 km southwest of Pforzheim.

Philippsburg Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Philippsburg is a town in Germany, in the district of Karlsruhe in Baden-Württemberg.

George participated in the Diet of Speyer in 1529 and died on 27 September 1529 of the sweating sickness. He was buried in the Speyer Cathedral. The monument on his grave was destroyed by French troops in 1689, during the Nine Years' War.

The Diet of Speyer or the Diet of Spires was a Diet of the Holy Roman Empire held in 1529 in the Imperial City of Speyer. The Diet condemned the results of the Diet of Speyer of 1526 and prohibited future reformation. It resulted in the Protestation at Speyer.

Sweating sickness, also known as English sweating sickness or English sweat, was a mysterious and highly contagious disease that struck England, and later continental Europe, in a series of epidemics beginning in 1485. The last outbreak occurred in 1551, after which the disease apparently vanished. The onset of symptoms was dramatic and sudden, with death often occurring within hours. Although its cause remains unknown, it has been suggested that an unknown species of hantavirus was responsible for the outbreak.

Speyer Cathedral Church in Speyer, Germany

Speyer Cathedral, officially the Imperial Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption and St Stephen, in Latin: Domus sanctae Mariae Spirae in Speyer, Germany, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Speyer and is suffragan to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bamberg. The cathedral, which is dedicated to St. Mary, patron saint of Speyer and St. Stephen is generally known as the Kaiserdom zu Speyer. Pope Pius XI raised Speyer Cathedral to the rank of a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church in 1925.

Coat of arms

The bishop's coat of arms is quartered in the usual way. The fields of the shield alternately show the Wittelsbach family crest and the coat of arms of the Diocese of Speyer, a silver cross on a blue background. [1]


  1. Hans Ammerich: Das Bistum Speyer und seine Geschichte, vol. 3: Von der Reformationszeit bis zum Ende des alten Bistums, Kehl am Rhein 1999, ISBN   3-927095-49-4, p. 11

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George of the Palatinate
Born: 10 February 1486 Died: 27 September 1529
Preceded by
Philip I of Rosenberg
Prince-Bishop of Speyer
Succeeded by
Philip II of Flersheim