Life and political career of the starost of glatz, frankenstein and münsterberg Hans Welfl von Warnsdorf

Martin Šandera
Life and political career of the starost of glatz, frankenstein and münsterberg Hans Welfl von Warnsdorf
[Życie i działalność polityczna starosty kłodzkiego, ząbkowickiego i ziębickiego Hansa Welfla von Warnsdorf]
s. 5-20; pp. 5-20

Hans Welfl von Warnsdorf descended from gentry family with roots in Upper Lusatia. His residence was at first a castle Sloup in North Bohemia. At the beginning of 1440s, however, he moved to East Bohemia. Queen-widow Barbara of Celje endowed him in gage her dowry – town of Trutnov (Trautenau) with surroundings, in the same time he gained a castle Žacléř (Schatzlar). His position became strong in the area – he had a huge private property and was on the top of the feudal system at the Trutnov district.

From the end of 1440s Welfl approached the political movement led by George of Poděbrady and at the latest in July 1454 he became its member. George, in those days already an administrator of the Kingdom of Bohemia, appointed Hans for a starost of the boundary fief of the Kingdom – strategically important Kladsko (Glatz) county. Welfl held a post more than 20 years and became known in Europe. From the beginning he acted with success, therefore Georg of Poděbrady, now the king of Bohemia, decided, with no doubts, to appoint Hans, as a perfect administrator, for a starost of Silesian duchies: Frankenstein and Münsterberg. Hans pacified all king’s enemies, showed military abilities, was successful also as a diplomat. He secured lots of summit negotiations that took place at the castle of Glatz. As a conqueror of John of Wiesenburg (Vizmburk) an ally of town Wrocław (Vratislav, Breslau), Hans Welfl became a target of propaganda campaign made by Wrocław authorities.

Although of Catholic and German language area background, he was loyal to the king George even during his conflict with Rome. In 1467 a pope Paul II excommunicated Hans Welfl, who in turn captured a Cistercian monastery in Kamenz. This began an open war. Wrocław and its allies undertook destructive campaigns against the territory of Glatz. The other side hit back. Welfl was the most successful after the death of king George when he made the gentry of the Middle Silesia to pay a tribute.

But this was already a late stage of the Hans’ era in Glatz. He was a starost till 1474. Later he was either dismissed by duke Henry or quitted himself. Welfl came back to Trutnov where he still was an administrator and a pawn owner of two castles, a fief town and lots of villages. He did not miss the public life and participated a country assembly. In spite of two marriages he had no son and a successor and finally his son-in-law Friedrich of Schönburg (Šumburk) became a main heir.

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