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Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 11, Slice 8 "Germany" to "Gibson, William"

Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg


sympathies and of some military

experience. Just before this time much unrest in the north-west of Germany had been caused by the settlement there of a number of refugees from the Netherlands. Spreading their advanced religious views, these settlers were partly responsible for two serious outbreaks of disorder. At Aix-la-Chapelle the Protestants, not being allowed freedom of worship, took possession of the city in 1581. The matter came before the diet, which was opened at Augsburg in July 1582, but the case was left undecided; afterwards, however, the _Reichshofrat_ declared against the insurgents, although it was not until 1598 that Protestant worship was abolished and the Roman Catholic governing body was restored. At Cologne the archbishop, Gebhard Truchsess von Waldburg, married and announced his intention of retaining his spiritual office. Had this proceeding passed unchallenged, the Protestants, among whom Gebhard now counted himself, would have had a majority in the electoral college. The Roman Catholics, however, secured the deposition of Gebhard and the election in his stead of Ernest, bishop of Liege, and war broke out in 1583. Except John Casimir, the Protestant princes showed no eagerness to assist Gebhard, who in a short time was driven from his see, and afterwards took up his residence in Strassburg, where also he instigated a rebellion on a small scale. Thus these quarrels terminated in victories for the Roman Catholics, who were successful about this time in restoring their faith in the bishoprics
of Wurzburg, Salzburg, Bamberg, Paderborn, Minden and Osnabruck. Another dispute also ended in a similar way. This was the claim made by the administrator of the archbishopric of Magdeburg, a Hohenzollern prince, Joachim Frederick, afterwards elector of Brandenburg, to sit and vote in the imperial diet; it was not admitted, and the administrator retired from Augsburg, a similar fate befalling a similar claim made by several other administrators some years later.

The Protestant grievances.

After the death of Augustus of Saxony in February 1586 there was another brief alliance between the Protestant parties, although on this occasion the lead was taken not by the Saxon, but by the Palatine prince. Less strict in his adherence to the tenets of Lutheranism than Augustus, the new elector of Saxony, Christian I., fell under the influence of John Casimir. The result was that Protestant princes, including the three temporal electors, united in placing their grievances before the emperor; obtaining no redress they met at Torgau in 1591 and offered help to Henry IV. of France, a proceeding which was diametrically opposed to the past policy of Saxony. But this alliance, like its forerunner, was of very short duration. Christian I. died in 1591, and under Christian II. electoral Saxony re-established a rigid Lutheranism at home and pursued a policy of moderation and neutrality abroad. A short time afterwards the militant party among the Protestants suffered a heavy loss by the death of their leader, John Casimir,


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