Bogislaw XIV, Duke of Pomerania bigraphy, stories - Duke of Pomerania-Rügenwalde (1617-1725), then all of Pomerania (1625-1637)

Bogislaw XIV, Duke of Pomerania : biography

31 March 1580 - 10 March 1637

Bogislaw XIV of Pomerania or Bogislav XIV ( ) (31 March 1580 – 10 March 1637) was the last Duke of Pomerania. His titles included Duke of Stettin (Szczecin), Cassubiorum et Vandalorum; Prince of Rügen; and Lutheran Bishop of Cammin (Kamień).

Ancestors

Biography

Bogislaw was born in Barth as a member of the House of Pomerania. He was the third son of Duke Bogislaw XIII by his first wife Clara of Brunswick-Lüneburg. On the death of his father in 1606, he and his younger brother George II became joint Dukes of Rügenwalde (Darłowo). George II died in 1617, and Bogislaw became sole ruler. In 1620 his domain was incorporated into the Duchy of Stettin, which he inherited on the death of his elder brother Francis. Early in 1625 he became ruler of all West Pomerania on the death of the last Duke of Wolgast, Philipp Julius, and on the 19 February he was married to Elisabeth (24 September 1580 - 21 December 1653), fifth daughter of John II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg, by his first wife, Elisabeth of Brunswick-Grubenhagen.

Gustavus Adolphus and Bogislaw XIV.

Despite his attempts to avoid becoming embroiled in the Thirty Years' War, Bogislaw in the Capitulation of Franzburg was forced to allow imperial troops commanded by Albrecht von Wallenstein to use his territories as a base in 1627. In turn, his lands became embroiled in the war, with all its disastrous consequences. In the 1630s, many of the local nobility tried to lessen his power, and this problem occupied Bogislaw in the early 1630s, causing a stroke which left him partial paralyzed. In 1634 he abdicated without clear succession resulting in a constitutional power struggle between his relatives and the governing council. With the constitutional issues unresolved, no recognized male issue, and virtually all of Pomerania occupied by Swedish and imperial troops, Bogislaw died in 1637. The conflicts and issues surrounding the personal and constitutional succession and general future of Pomerania as a dukedom were of such gravity and complexity that they resulted in the postponement of the burial of Bogislaw's body for almost 20 years.

The succession to his lands was mainly between George William, Elector of Brandenburg, the heir under a pact between the two families in 1464, and his brother-in-law Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, who had occupied much of Pomerania on entering the Thirty Years' War in 1629. According to Bogislaw' last will, in case of no succession with the House of Pomerania, his lands were to pass to Sweden, not to Brandenburg-Prussia. Both, Sweden and Brandenburg, exploited not only their position as superior military and occupying powers but also the succession conflicts within the House of Pomerania itself. Therefore, when the allocation of territory was decided at the Peace of Westphalia which concluded the war in 1648, Pomerania was carved up and the territories were split between Sweden and Brandenburg. This meant that the Peace of Westphalia marked the end of Pomerania as an autonomous, political entity.

On 25 May 1654, almost seven years after Pomerania had lost her independence and only after Bogislaw's wife Elisabeth of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg had died, could Bogislaw's body finally be put to rest in Stettin.

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