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House of Hohenzollern in Franconia
Frederick II the Elder 1460-1536, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 1486-1515
Casimir of Kulmbach 1481-1527, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach 1515-1527
George the Pious 1484-1543, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 1515-1543
Frederick 1497-1536, Provost in Würzburg and Mayence
Albert Alcibiades 1522-1557, Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach 1527/41-1554
George Frederick the Elder 1539-1603, Margrave in Franconia, Duke of Jägersdorf, Duke of Prussia

Wilhelm von Grumbach 1503-67, Franconian knight and adventurer


King Henry VI invested Count Frederick III of Zollern as Burggraf Frederick I of Nuremberg in 1191/92. His two sons divided the inherited country in 1214: Conrad I became Burgrave of Nuremberg while his brother Frederick obtained the family's ancestral territory in Swabia. This created the Swabian and Franconian lines of the Zollern (Hohenzollern). Frederick's VI acquisition of the Mark Brandenburg in 1415/17 led to the formation of another branch, the Brandenburg line of Zollern. The office and castle of the burgrave was sold in 1427 to the imperial city of Nuremberg, but not the surrounding area around Ansbach (SW of Nuremberg) and Kulmbach/Bayreuth (NE of Nuremberg). Afterwards the members of the House of Hohenzollern, even those not resident in Brandenburg, took the title "Margrave of Brandenburg". The possessions in Franconia around Ansbach and Kulmbach received accordingly the names "Brandenburg-Ansbach" and "Brandenburg-Kulmbach". The Hohenzollern used in Brandenburg, Franconia, Silesia and Prussia the same coat of arms including parts for Brandenburg, Pomerania, Zollern and Burgraviate Nuremberg.
Map of B.-Ansbach and B.-Kulmbach, 16th century   Source: www.historisches-lexikon-bayerns.de

Frederick II the Elder 1460-1536,
Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 1486-1515 and B.-Kulmbach 1495-1515

- Son of Albrecht Achilles (1414-1486) -
Albrecht Achilles (1414-1486) was able to unite all the possessions of the Hohenzollern in Brandenburg and Franconia. In 1473 he regulated with the "Dispositio Achillea" the division of his heritage between his three sons: John Cicero received the indivisible Electorate of the Mark Brandenburg. Frederick II the Elder inherited the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Ansbach from his father in 1486 and the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Kulmbach after the death of his brother Sigmund in 1495.
The lavish lifestyle of Friederich led to growing debts. His sons Casimir and George deposed him in 1515. Frederick was captured at the castle Plassenburg near Kulmbach. He died in Ansbach in 1536.


Cast silver medal 1528, Ansbach, from Matthes Gebel.     Ø 38,4 mm; 29,72 g.
specimen of the coin cabinet at the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden.
Brandenb. histor. Münzbelustigungen 2(1769)73; Habich ?; Fischer/Maué ?

Obv.:   *DEI·GRATIA·INVICTA·VIRTVS·FRIDERICH·ANNo·NATiutatis·LXX·SVPERSTes
"By the grace of God virtue is unconquered. Friedrich still lives in his 70th year after his birth"
Bearded and long haired bust to the left.

Rev.:   MARCHio·BRANDenburgi·DVx:STETIni·POMEraniae CASVBiorum·VANDalorum·BVRGRavius·NVRENergae·PRINceps·RVGiae·MDXXVIII·
"Margrave of Brandenburg, Duke of Stettin, Pomerania, the Cassubians and Wends, Burggraf of Nuremberg, Prince of Rügen. 1528"   -   Quartered shield with the arms of Pomerania (griffin, top left), Brandenburg (eagle), Zollern (quartered) and Burgraviate Nuremberg (framed lion, bottom left).
Above three helmets with crests: in the middle crown with eagle wings (for Brandenburg),
at the left half lion between buffalo horns (for Burgraviate Nuremberg),
at the right ducal hat with peacock feathers over a crown (for Pomerania).
Until Casimir's death in 1527, Friedrich was hold on the castle Plassenburg. Then he was brought to Ansbach, where this medal was ordered.
The appearance of the arms of Pomerania (a grifin) seems surprising. The Ducy Pomerania was independent but it was claimed by Brandenburg at that time. Therefore the griffin is used as "claim arms" by the Hohenzollern not only in Brandenburg, but also in Franconia and Prussia.

Casimir of Kulmbach 1481-1527,
Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach 1515-1527
- grandson of Albrecht Achilles (1414-1486) -
Casimir (1481-1527) got the name of his maternal grandfather, King Casimir IV Jagiello of Poland. Casimir's mother was a sister of King Sigismund I of Poland. Casimir and his brother George the Pious disempowered their lavish and choleric father Frederick II the Elder in 1515, who was imprisoned at the castle Plassenburg. The accumulated debts forced Casimir to an economical style of government, without being able to repay debts. Casimir participated in the campaign of Kg. Ferdinand in Hungary in 1527. There he died 46 years old on dysentery when staying in the conquered town Ofen. He left as successor his infant son Albert Alcibiades (see below).

Casimir and his wife Susanna, daughter of Duke Albert V of Bavaria


Medal 1525.     Brandenburgische historische Münzbelustigungen 2(1769)185.
Obv.:   CASIMIRus:MARCHio:BRANDeNburgicus:M:D:XXV.
Rev.:   SVSANna:MARGGREVin:ZV:BRANdenburg:M:D:XXV


Cast bronze medal 1527/1530, workshop Matthes Gebel and Utz Gebhart.
Ø 41,8 mm; 24,38 g.   Habich II,1 1918 (this piece); Fischer/Maué 1.214 (this piece).

Obv.:   CASIMIRus·MARCHio:BRANDeNburgicus·ALT·XXXXVI·IAR·SVSANna·MARGGREVin· ZV·BRANdenburg·ALT·XXVI·IAR·   "... in the age of 46 years and 26 years"
Busts of the couple, side by side to the right.

Rev.:   OMNIA·ORTA·OCCIDVNT·ET·AVCTA·SENESCVNT·ANN:M·D·30·   "Everything that arises, passes away, and what grows gets old"   -   Shield with the Brandenburgian eagle, head turned left, on the chest the quartered coat of arms (Hohenzollern / Bavaria), around wreath of leaves.
Casimir married Susanne (1502-1543) of Bavaria, a daughter of Duke Albert IV of Bavaria. Emperor Maximilian I, the uncle of the bride, took part in the splendid wedding during the Imperial Diet in Augsburg on August 25, 1518. Son Albert Alcibiades (1522-1557) took over the Margraviate Brandenburg-Kulmbach in 1527, initially under the tutelage of George the Pious (see below).


Casimir's brothers, several of them made a career:
- George the Pious (1484-1543), Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 1515-1543 - see below.
- Albert 1490-1568, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order and first Duke in Prussia.
- Frederick (1497-1536), Provost in Würzburg and Mayence - see below.
- Wilhelm (1498-1563), last Archbishop of Riga 1539-1561 - coins without his effigy.
- John Albert (1499-1550), successor of Archbishop Albert of Brandenburg in Magdeburg and
  in Halberstadt.

George the Pious 1484-1543,
Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 1515-1543
- brother of Casimir -
George spent his early years at the Hungarian court and had in King Vladislav of Hungary (1490-1516) a great patron, who appointed him at his death in 1516 as an educator of his young son King Louis II.
George took over the Duchy of Racibórz in pledge ownership in 1521 and two years late he acquired the Duchy of Jägerndorf (Krnov) in Silesia. George introduced the Reformation in the Franconian homelands in 1528-1533.
To get rid of the national debts, which amounted to 509,414 guilders at George's sole accession to the throne, the church treasures were confiscated in 1529. They were made to money in the mint of Schwabach. George sold a part of his treasure for 25,000 guilders to his relative, Cardinal Albert of Brandenburg. Georg got difficulties with his nephew Albert Alcibiades, for whom he ruled as a guardian until 1541. When the country was divided in 1541 Albert Alcibiades got by lot the land up the mountains (Kulmbach/Bayreuth), Georg Friedrich retained the lowlands around Ansbach. At the age of 55 years and in George's third marriage his only son and successor was born: George Frederick (see below).

Medal on George and his 3rd wife, Aemilia of Saxony


Cast gold medal n. d. (1534), by Matthes Gebel.   Ø 25,6 mm, 16,71 g.
specimen of the coin cabinet at the Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden.   Habich ?; Fischer/Maué ?

Obv.:   V·G·G·GEORG·MARG· - BRAN:ZO:HERG Z IN:SCHLE:ZC[etc]· ?
George's bareheaded bust to the right.
Rev.:   Von·Gottes·Gnaden·ÆMILIA:MARGGREVin·ZV·BRANdenburg·GEBOReNE·HERGZogin·ZV:SACHSen
Aemilia's bust to the left with hat and hair net.
The wise and strict Lutheran Aemilia of Saxony (1516-1591) married in 1533 the much older Margrave George. For George, it was the third marriage that produced the hoped heir Georg Friedrich. After George's death in 1543, Aemilia, as guardian until 1556, ensured Georg Friedrich's well-founded and humanistic education. However, the regency in Brandenburg-Ansbach was led jointly by Elector John Frederic I the Magnanimous of Saxony, the Margrave Albert Alcibiades of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and Landgrave Philip the Magnanimous of Hesse.

After the death of his brother Casimir in 1527, George took over the guardianship of Albert Alcibiades, Casimir's son and heir (see below). Together they coined thalers and half-thalers.


Thaler 1538, Schwabach.    Ø 39 mm, 28,94 g.   v. Schrötter 646; Dav.8965B.
Obv.:   +GEORI9 z ALBERT9*MARGGravius*BRAИenburgensis z[et]iLEϨIa
"George and Albert, Margraves of Brandenburg (!) and Silesia"
Half length images of the two opposite each other, below the date *I5*38*.

Rev.:   +SI·DEVS·PROИOBIS·QVIS·COИTRA·ИOS
"If God is for us, who can stand against us?"
The Teutonic Orden Cross as a floral cross carrying the single-headed imperial eagle, in the angles
the coats of arms of Brandenburg (eagle), Pomerania (griffin), Burgraviate Nuremberg (lion in a frame)
and Hohenzollern (quartered).


Thaler 1543, Schwabach.     Ø 41mm, 28,9g.     v. Schrötter 706 ff; Dav.8967.
Obv.:   +Dei:Gracia:GEORgius:Z[et]:ALBERTus:MARCHIONis:BRANdenburgici:Z[et]:SiLesiae
Half-length effigies in armor vis a vis, on top the date.
Rev.:   +SI:DEVS:PRONOBIS:QVIS:CONTRA:NOS
The Teutonic Orden Cross as a floral cross carrying a single-headed eagle, in the angles the arms of Brandenburg, Pomerania, Burgraviate Nuremberg and Hohenzollern, as before.
The Franconian margraves call themselves "margraves of Brandenburg" without beeing in Brandenburg.
Noteworthy is the extensive Thaler common coinage Georgs of Brandenburg-Ansbach from 1537 up to 1545, 2 years after his death. For the year 1538 alone 42 dies can be distinguished. Georg won the silver by confiscating the secularised monastic property and collecting monastic treasures.

Frederick 1497-1536, Provost in Würzburg and Mayence
- Brother of Casimir and George the Pious -
Frederick was born on 17 January 1497 in Ansbach and died on 20 August 1536 in Genoa as the sixth son of the Margrave Frederick the Elder and his wife Sophia of Poland. Frederick was provost of St. Gumbertus in Ansbach and cathedral provost in Würzburg. He commanded the Marienberg Fortress at Würzburg during the Peasants' war in 1525.


Cast silver medal 1533, by Matthes Gebel.     Ø 43,1 mm, 28,30 g.
Habich I,2 1094; Fischer/Maué 1.182; Coll.Wilm.471 (in AE); Coll.Grüber 3269.

Obv.:   FREDERICVS DEI GRACIA·MARCHIO·BRANDEN·ZC·IVNIOR·ÆTATIS·SVE·XXXVIII
Bust to the right.
Rev.:   INSINGNIA·EIVSDE M·ANNO DOMINI·M·D·XXXIII·
Triple helmeted, nine-field coat of arms.


Cast Silver medall 1533, unsigned, by Matthes Gebel.     Ø 25,4 mm; 6,69 g.
Habich I,2 1095; Fischer/Maué 1.183; Coll.Wilm.472.

Like before.


The generation of the brothers Casimir (1481-1527) and George the Pious (1484-1543) was followed by their sons Albert Alcibiades (1522-1557) and George Frederick the Elder (1539-1603), both without heir, as follows below.

Albert Alcibiades, 1522-1557,
Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach 1527/41-1554

- son of Casimir -
The Protestant educated Albert Alcibiades became Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach/Bayreuth in 1541. He fought on the imperial side against Francis I of France and against the Schmalkaldic League. In 1551 he joined the Princes' Revolt of Maurice of Saxony, a league with Charles's enemy, Henry II of France, against the emperor. Charles had to flee out of Innsbruck. When Maurice made truce with the Emperor's brother King Ferdinand in 1552, Albert continued the war and enlarged his territory at the expense of Nuremberg, Würzburg and Bamberg. Charles ratified Albert's seizures because he needed his help in the siege of Metz. However, as Albert continued looting, an alliance was formed against him and in 1553 he was defeated in the battle at Sievershausen. Albert was outlawed and had to flee to France in 1554 and died in 1557, only 33 years old. His country fell to his cousin George Frederick the Elder, see below.
Albert got the nickname Alcibiades in posterity, alluding to the power-hungry and opportunist Athenian statesman (450-404 BC). During his lifetime, Albert's nickname was "Bellator" - the warrior.


Gold plated bronze medal 1534 by Matthes Gebel.     Ø 40,5 mm.   Habich I,2 1098.
Obv.:   D·G·ALBERTVS·MARCHIO· - ·BRANDENB·VRGENSIS·ZC·
Bust in high relief with a biretta to the right.
Rev.:   ·NE·QVID·NIMIS·M·D·XXXIIII·AETatis·Sue·XIII·   "Do not exaggerate. 1534 at the age of 13"
Triple helmeted, nine-field coat of arms, similar as above.

When Albert Alcibiades' father Casimir died in 1527, Albert's uncle George the Pious took over the guardianship of Albert Alcibiades until 1541. From this time comes a common coinage until 1545, see above.


Thaler 1549, Erlangen.     Ø 41 mm, 28,8 g.   v. Schrötter 751; Schulten 222; Dav.8969.
Obv.:   ALBERT9us·Dei·Gratia·MARCHIO·BRANDENBurgensis
Armored half-length figure to the left, with a mace in the right hand and a hilt in the left hand.

Rev.:   SI·DE9us·PRO NOBIS·QVIS·CONTRA·NOS   "If God is for us, who could be against us?"
The Teutonic Orden Cross as a floral cross carrying the single-headed imperial eagle,
in the angles the coats of arms of Brandenburg (eagle), Pomerania (griffin),
Hohenzollern (quartered) and Burgraviate Nuremberg (framed lion).
This floral cross and these five arms was used already in 1521 by Albert Alcibiades' uncle Albert, the last Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, on a gulden n.d.(1521), with a Catholic iconography.
9 at the end of the word stands for us or ost :   DE9 = Deus ,   P9 = Pius or Post.
Albert Alcibiades coined in his own mint in Erlangen since 1548. His coins were allegedly discredited for their low silver content. The closure of the mint in Erlangen was ordered by the Emperor in 1552.


Gulden 1549, Erlangen.     Ø 24 mm, 3,24 g.     v. Schrötter 738 ; Friedb.310.
ALBERT9*D*G*MARCHIO*BRAND   //   *MONETA*AVREA*ERLANG*I549


1/4 Thaler 1549, Erlangen.     Ø 29 mm, 7,09 g.     v. Schrötter 771f.
*·ALBERT9*D*G*MARCHIO*BRANDN·   //   ♣SI·DE9·PRONOBIS·QVIS·CONTRA·NOS

Look at the posthumous painting 94x79 cm, partial copy of a portrait dated 1557
by Andreas Riehl the Elder, Bayerischen Staatsgemäldesammlungen.

George Frederick the Elder 1539-1603,
Margrave in Franconia since 1556, Duke of Jägersdorf, Duke of Prussia since 1578
- son of George the Pious -
George Frederick was the sole son of Margrave George the Pious, who died in 1543. When the guardianship ended George Frederick became ruler of Brandenburg-Ansbach and of Jägerndorf in Silesia in 1556. After the death of his cousin Albert Alcibiades he became ruler of Brandenburg-Kulmbach/Bayreuth in 1557. The successful and exemplary administration of his Franconian territories created the financial conditions allowing George Frederick widespread political activities. But he failed to expand his father's position in Upper Silesia (Jägerndorf, Beuthen, Oderberg) because of Habsburg resistance. The Polish King Stephen Bathory appointed in 1577 George Frederick guardian of his insane cousin, Duke Albert Frederick of Prussia. A year later, George Frederick became Duke of Prussia.


Guldengroschen (Thaler) 1558, Schwabach.    Ø 40 mm, 28,43 g.   v.Schr.806var; Dav.8970.
Obv.:   +MOneta:NOva:ARGentea:GEORii:Friderici·MARchionis·BRAndenburgici·Z[et]·SiLesiae·DVCis
"New silver money from George Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg (not in Franconia!) and Silesian Duke"
Half-length figure to the right, in armor, the right hand at the sword handle, date 1558.

Rev.:   +SI·DEVS·PRO NOBis·QVIS·CONTRa·NOS   "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
The Teutonic Orden Cross as a floral cross carrying a imperial single-headed eagle, in the angles
the coats of arms of Hohenzollern (quartered), Burgraviate Nuremberg (framed lion),
Pomerania (griffin) and Brandenburg (eagle).


Guldentaler 1567 (60 Kreuzer), Jägerndorf.     Ø 37 mm, 24,26 g.   v.Schr.1049var.; Dav.67.
Obv.:   MO·NO·AR·GEO·F·MAR· - BR·Z·SLE·DVC·  -  Fur coated half-length figure from the front.
Rev.:   MAXIMILIAN·IMP - AVG·Publicari·Fecit·DECREto·I567
" ... made according to imperial order 1567"   Maximilian II was the emperor at that time.
Crowned and nimbated double-headed eagle, on the chest orb with value 60.

Look at the painting by Lucas Cranach the Younger, ca. 1564, 99x74 cm,
in the hunting lodge of Jagdschloss Grunewald, Berlin.
(Wikipedia, Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg)


Gulden 1579, Schwabach, on the shooting in Kulmbach.    Ø 22 mm, 3,20 g.  v.Schr.1315a; Friedb.-.
Obv.:   Von.Gottes.Gnaden:GEORG·FRI·MARGgraf·ZV·BRANDENBurg·
Armored half-length figure from the front, left hand at the sword hilt.
Rev.:   IN· PREVSsen·VNd·SCHLESien·ZV·IEGERsdorf·HERTZOG·&C[et]·79·
Four-field coat of arms (Brandenburg, Pomerania, Nuremberg (Burgraviate), Zollern) with a central shield: Prussian eagle with crown around the neck and a S (King Sigismund of Poland) on the chest.


Guldentaler 1586 (60 Kreuzer), Königsberg (now Kaliningrad).     Ø 36 mm, 24,61 g.
v.Schr.1277; Kopicki 3849; Neumann 56; Dav:69.

Obv.:   ·GEORG:FRID:D·G·MARCH:BRAND:DVX:PRVSSIÆ·&c·
Armored half-length figure to the rigth, with a mace in the right hand and a hilt in the left hand.
Rev.:   ∗SI∗DEVS∗PRO∗NOBIS∗QVIS∗CONTRA∗NOS∗15⚒86
Brandenburgian and Prussian eagles looking at each other, at the bottom erased value 60.
When Albert, the first Duke of Prussia, died in 1568, his son Albert Frederick followed him as duke, initially under guardianship, later under progressive mental confusion. Therefore the Polish King Stephan Báthory, at that time the feudal lord of Prussia, called Margrave George Frederick to administrate the Duchy. Later on he was entrusted with the Duchy.


3-Gröscher 1589, Königsberg.     Ø 22 mm.   v.Schr.1279-1288; Neumann 57.
Obv.:   G·FRID:D:G·M:BR:DVX:PRVSSIEᦟ·ᦟ   -   Armored bust to the right.
Rev.:   *III* / GROSS:AR: / .TRIPLEX· / GEORG·FRID: / DVC:PRVSS. / *1589* / ᦟ(Mz.)ᦟ


Ducat 1591, Königsberg.     Ø 22 mm, 3,47 g.   v.Schr.1262; Neumann 54; Friedb.315.
Obv.:   GEORG·FRID:D:G - M - BR:DVX:PRVSS·
Rev.:   MONE:NOVA·AVREA·DVC:PRVSS·159I(Mz.)
Prussian eagle, crown around his neck, on the breast a S, sign for King Sigismund of Poland.

George Frederick together with his second wife Sophie of Brunswick-Lüneburg


Medal 1579.     Brandenb. hist. Münzbelust. 2(1769)105
Obv.:   Von.Gottes.Gnaden.GEORGius.FRIDericus·ᕠ·SOPHIA·MARCHIOᕠMARCHIONISSA· BRANDenburgica:DVX.eT.DVCISsa·PRVSsiae:
"By the grace of God, Georg Friedrich and Sophia, Margrave and Margravine of Brandenburg, Duke and Duchess of Prussia"   -   Date 1579 at the truncation.
Rev.:   Ten-field shield with overlaid central coat of arms, above three helmets with crests. No legend.
After the death of his first wife Georg Friedrich married in 1579 Sophie of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1563-1639), daughter of William of Brunswick-Lüneburg.


thick double Reichstaler 1600, Jägerndorf.   Mintmasters Gregor and Leonhard Emich.
Ø 47 mm, 57,72 g.   v.Schr.1239; Dav.A6844.

Obv.:   ·MOneta:NOva:ARGentea:GEORGii·Friderici·MARchionis·BRANenburgici·Z[et]·SiLeciae·DVCis·♁*    
Rev.:   SI:DEVS:PRO NOBIS:QVIS:CONTRA:NOS*·16(mintmark)00:
"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
The Teutonic Orden Cross as a floral cross carrying a single-headed imperial eagle, in the angles
the coats of arms of Hohenzollern (quartered), Burgraviate Nuremberg (framed lion),
Pomerania (griffin) and Brandenburg (eagle).

Compare the Picture by Andreas Riehl, 1601, 113x96 cm, National Musem Wroclaw (Vralislavia, Breslau)
(Foto from Adamt for Wikipedia).


George Frederick's death, on May 5, 1603


Reichstaler 1603, Nuremberg, on his death.   Mintmaster Paul Dietherr from Anwanden.
Ø 39 mm, 29,17 g.   v.Schr.1316b; Dav.6224.

Obv.:   D:G:GEORG·FRID:MARCH:BRAND:DVX·PRVSSIÆ·&C·    
Rev.:  IST GOTT MIT VNS WER MAG WIDER VNS SEIN   "If God is for us, who can be against us?"
7 lines of live data:
ZV.ONOL / GEBORN:DEN / 5.APRIL A°.1539 / IN GOTT.VER / SCHIDEN.DEN / 26.APRIL. / A°.1603
"Born at Ansbach April 5 1539, died in God April 26 1603".

Georg Friedrich died in 1603 without male offspring. Three sons of Elector John George of Brandenburg inherited the principalities in Ansbach, Kulmbach/Bayreuth, Jägerndorf (Krnov) in Silesia and Prussia.

Readings in German conserning Hohenzollern in Franconia:
• Schuhmann, Günther:  Die Markgrafen von Brandenburg-Ansbach - eine Bilddokumentation zur
    Geschichte der Hohenzollern in Franken
. Ansbach 1980.
• Historisches Lexikon Bayerns: Frankische Hohenzollern
• Schrötter, Frhr. von:  Brandenburg-Fränkisches Münzwesen. Teil 1: 1350-1515 u. 2: 1515-1603.
    Halle 1927 und 1929.
• Dieter Fischer / Hermann Maué:  Die Medaillen der Hohenzollern in Franken. Nürnberg 2000.

Wilhelm von Grumbach 1503-67, Franconian knight and adventurer
Wilhelm von Grumbach was a Franconian imperial knight in possession of much land around Würzburg. He distinguished himself in many wars of the time (Peasants' War, Schmalkaldic war) and became friend of Albert Alcibiades in 1540, whom he served in times of peace and war (raids in Franconia 1549-53).
The Bishop Melchior Zobel from Würzburg demanded in 1544 from Grumbach the repayment of 10,000 guilders, which he had received from the diocese. Grumbach disputed at the Imperial Court and replied with violence. At the third abduction attempt, the bishop was killed, whereupon Grumbach was awarded the imperial ban.
Grumbach became very famous for the "Grumbach quarrel", the last break of the imperial "eternal public peace" proclaimed for in 1495: Grumbach promised John Frederick II, son of the last Ernestine Elector John Frederick I the Magnanimous, the recovery of the lost electorate. But John Frederick II was outlawed and besieged in his residence Gotha until his capitulation in 1567. He was imprisoned until he died 29 years later while Grumbach was quartered on the the market place of Gotha.


One-sided bronze medal n. d. (1567?)     Ø 76,5 mm.   Helmschrott -; Slg.Piloty -;
Johann David Köhlers Münz-Belustigungen, 12(1740)153ff, piece 20.

WILHELMVS A·GRVMB - ACH·ÆTAT - SVÆ LXIX  -  Bearded bust, wearing fur coat and cap, sitting in an armchair almost from the front, a fist-tube (handgun) and a paper in hands on the table.
The same portrait can be found on an etching 1567 by Mathie Zündt at the ÖNB (Austrian National Library).
Wilhelm von Grumbach, born in 1503, was executed in 1567, at the age of 64, not 69.

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