- John Sigismund, Elector of Brandenburg
John Sigismund ( _de. Johann Sigismund;
8 November, 1572– 23 December, 1619) was a Prince-electorof the Margraviate of Brandenburgfrom the House of Hohenzollern. He also served as a Duke of Prussia.
John Sigismund was born in Halle an der Saale to
Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg, and his first wife Catherine, Princess of Brandenburg-Küstrin. He succeeded his father as Margrave of Brandenburg in 1608. He gave the Reichshof Castropto his teacher and educator Carl Friedrich von Bordelius. John Sigismund received the territories of Cleves, Mark, and Ravensbergin the Treaty of Xantenin 1614. He succeeded his father-in-law Albert Frederick as Duke of Prussia in 1618, but died the following year.
John Sigismund's most significant action was his conversion from
Lutheranismto Calvinism. He was probably won over to the faith during a visit to Heidelburgin 1606, but it was not until 1613 that he publicly took communionaccording to the Calvinist rite. The vast majority of his subjects in Brandenburg remained deeply Lutheran, however, and after the Elector and his Calvinist court officials drew up plans for mass conversion of the population to the new faith in February 1614 there were serious protests. Resistance was so strong that in 1615, John Sigismund backed down and relinquished any attempt at forcible conversion, allowing his subjects to be either Lutheran or Calvinist according to the dictates of their own consciences. Henceforward, Brandenburg-Prussia would be a bi-confessional state. [Christopher Clark "The Iron Kingdom: The Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947" (Penguin, 2007) pp.115-121]
Family and children
30 October, 1594, John Sigismund married Anna of Prussia, daughter of Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia(1553–1618). They were parents to eight children:
* George William (
13 November, 1595– 1 December, 1640). His successor.
* Anne Sophia of Brandenburg (
15 March, 1598– 19 December, 1659). Married Frederick Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
Maria Eleonora of Brandenburg( 11 November, 1599– 28 March, 1655). Married Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. They were parents of Christina of Sweden.
* Catharina of Brandenburg (
28 May, 1602– 27 August, 1644). Married first Gabriel Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania and secondly Franz Karl of Saxe-Lauenburg.
* Joachim Sigismund of Brandenburg (
25 July, 1603– 22 February, 1625).
* Agnes of Brandenburg (
31 August, 1606– 12 March, 1607).
* John Frederick of Brandenburg (
18 August, 1607– 1 March, 1608).
* Albrecht Christian of Brandenburg (
7 March– 14 March, 1609).
* [http://www.lwl.org/westfaelische-geschichte/portal/Internet/ku.php?tab=que&ID=1215 Settlement of Dortmund between Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg and the conflict of succession in Jülich, in full text]
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