Emperor Conrad GERMANY, II
(Abt 990-1039)
Duchess Gisela SWABIA
Duke William V AQUITAINE
(Abt 969-1030)
Countess Agnes BURGUNDY
(Abt 971-)
Emperor Henry GERMANY, III
Empress Agnes Aquitaine GERMANY
(Abt 1024-1077)
Emperor Henry GERMANY, IV


Family Links

1. Countess Bertha Maurine SAVOY

2. Empress Euprexia Kiev GERMANY

Emperor Henry GERMANY, IV

  • Born: 11 Nov 1050, Goslar, Brunswick, Germany
  • Christened: Apr 1051
  • Married (1): 1066
  • Married (2): 14 Aug 1089
  • Died: 7 Aug 1106, Liege, , Belgium
  • Buried: 1111, Cathedral, Speyer, Germany

   Other names for Henry were HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE Emperor and GERMANY King.

   Ancestral File Number: 9HM1-RD.

   General Notes:

King of GERMANY Reigned 1053/1056-1105/1106, HOLY ROMAN Emperor Reigned 1084-

Wall Chart of World History, Edward Hull, 1988, Studio Editions, Germany 1056: "Henry IV, King of Germany 1056-1077, Son of Henry III, Deposed...Reinstated King of Germany 1080-1106, Milan independent republic 1101..."

The New Columbia Encyclopedia, 1975, p1223, Henry IV: "1050-1106, Holy Roman Emperor (1084-1105) and German King (1056-1105), son and successor of Henry III. He was the central figure in the opening stages of the long struggle between the Holy Roman Empire and the papacy. During his minority the papacy, the German nobles, and the high ecclesiastics greatly increased their power at the expense of the imperial authority. In 1062, Archbishop Anno of Cologne abducted Henry and assumed the regency, which had been held by Henry's mother Agnes...The first task of Henry afterassuming control (1066) was to restore his authority in the duchies, especially Saxony and Italy...This provoked a conflict with the papacy...Henry summoned a council at Worms, which declared Pope Gregory deposed (Jan 1076). Gregory, at a synod (Feb 1076) declared Henry excommunicate and deposed and absolved his subjects of their oaths of fealty. A powerful coalition of German nobles, including the rebellious Saxons, agreed (Oct 1076) not to recognize the king unless he obtained absolution by February. ..Henry crossed the Alps in the dead of winter to seek absolution. By his humiliation and penitence he moved the pope to grant him absolution at Canossa (Jan 1077). The rebel dukes, however elected Duke Rudolf of Swabia antiking, thus plunging Germany into civil war...In March 1080 Pope Gregory renewed Henry's excommunication and deposition and recognized Rudolf's title. But Henry was now supported by a large party; German and Italian bishops joined him in declaring Gregory deposed and in electing an antipope, Clement III...By 1081 the German revolt was practically broken and Henry carried the war into Italy. After several unsuccessful attempts he occupied Rome in 1084, installed Clement III as pope, and was crowned emperor. He retired before the advance of Gregory's Norman allies under Rober Guiscard, who recued Gregory but plundered Rome...Henry's stubborn support of Clement III against Gregory's successors made his own family turn againsthim...trapped by a promise of conciliation, Henry was imprisoned and forced to abdicate (1105) to his son Henry V one year before his death..."

The Story of Civilization, Will Durant, Vol IV, The Age of Faith, Bk IV, The Dark Ages, Ch XX, TheRise of the North, Sec VI, Germany, p513: "...Henry was four when crowned king at Aachen, six at his father's death. His mother and two archbishops served as regents till 1065; the the fifteen-year-old boy was declared of age, and found himself vested with an imperial power that must have turned any youthful head. He came naturally to believe in absolute manarchy, and sought to rule accordingly; soon he was at odds or war with one or another of the great nobles who had in his helplessness almost dismembered his realm. The Saxons resented the taxes laid upon them, and refused to restore the crown lands that he claimed; for fifteen years (1072-1088) he fought an intermittent war with them; when he defeated them in 1975 he compelled their whole force, including its proudest nobles and its martial bishops, to walk disarmed and barefoot between the files of his army, and lay their act of surrender at his feet. In that same year Pope Gregory VII issued a decree against lay investiture- the appointment of bishops or abbots by laymen. Henry, standing on the precedents of a century, never doubted his right to make such appointments; he fought Gregory for ten years in diplomacy and war, and literally to the death, in one of the bitterest conflicts in medieval history. The rebellious nobles of Germany took advantage of the quarrel to strengthen their feudal power, and the humiliated Saxons renewed their revolt. Henry's sons joined the opposition; andin 1098 the Diet of Maintz declared Henry V king. The son took the father prisoner, and compelled him to abdicate (1105); the father escaped, and was forming a new army when he died a Liege, in the fifty-seventh year of his age (1106). Pope Paschal II could not grant Christian burial to an unrepentant excommunicate; but the people of Liege, defying Pope and King, gave Henry IV a royal funeral, and buried him in their cathedral."

Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1981, Macropaedia, Vol VIII, p760, Henry IV Emperor: "German king and Holy Roman emperor, Henry IV, in one of the most famous episodes in medieval history, engaged in a monumental contest of strength with the great reforming pope, Gregory VII. Gregory, who stood for thesupremacy of the spiritual over the temporal order, sought to deprive the German kings of the right of investiture of ecclesiastical offices (ie, the right to confer on prelates the symbols of their spiritual authority). The power of the German crown, however, largely depended on this right, since it linked the high ecclesiastics to the crown as a counterweight against the territorial nobles, and Henry IV thus regarded retention of the right of investiture and the curtailment of thepower of the nobles as his chief task.
"The only surviving son of Emperor Henry III and Agnes of Poitou, he was born in Goslar Germany on Nov 11, 1050. Henry III, who had retained a firm hold on the church, had resolved a schism in Rome (1046), opening new activities for the reformers. At Easter 1051, the boy was baptized after the Germand princes had taken an oath of fidelity and obedience at Christmas 1050. On 17 July 1053 he was elected king at Tribur (modern Trebur) Germanyon condition that he would be a just king. In 1054 he was crowned king in Aix-la-Chapelle (modern Aachen) Germany, and the following year he became engaged to Bertha, daughter of the margrave of Turin. When the Emperor died in October 1056, atthe age of 39, succession to the throne and survival of the dynasty were assured. The princes of the realm raised no objection when nominal government was handed over to the six-year-old boy, for whom his pious and unworldly mother became regent. Yet the early death of Henry III was the beginning of a fateful change that marked all of his son's reign. In his will, the late Emperor had appointed Pope Victor II as counsellor to the Empress, and the Pope solved some of the conflicts between the princes and the imperial court that had endangered peace in the empire.
"After Victor's early death (1057), however, the politically inept Empress committed a number of decisive mistakes. On her own, and without the benefit of theadvice of a permanent group of counsellors, she readily yealded to various influences. She turned over the duchy of Bavaria, which Henry III had given to his son in 1055, to the Saxon count Otto of Nordheim, thus depriving the king of an important foundation of his power. She gave the duchy of Swabia to Count Rudolf of Rheinfelden- who married her daughter- and the duchy of Carinthia to Count Berthold of Zahringen; both of them eventually became opponents of Henry IV...
"Increasing discontent reached a climax in a conspiracy of the princes led by Anno, archbishop of Cologne, in April 1062. During court assembly in Kaiserswerth he kidnapped the young king and had him brought to Cologne by ship. Henry's attempt to escape by jumping into the Rhine failed. Agnes resigned as regent and the government was taken over by Anno, who settled the conflict with the church by recognizing Alexander II (1064). Anno was, however, too dominating and inflexible a man to winHenry's confidence, so that Adalbert, archbishop of Bremen, granting more freedom to the lascivious young king, gained increasing and finally sole influence. But he used it for such unscrupulous personal enrichment that Henry, who was declaredof age in 1065, had to ban him from court early in 1066. This incident marks the beginning of the King's own rule, for which he was badly prepared. Repeated changes in the government of the empire had an unsettling effect on the boy king and had, moreover, prevented him from being given a regular education. The selfishness of his tutors, the dissolute character of his companions, and the traumatic experience of his kidnapping had produced a lack of moral stability during his years ofpuberty. In addition, his love of power, typical of all the rulers of his dynasty, contributed to conduct often characterized by recklessness and indiscretion...
"After his mother had freely dispensed of lands during her regency, he beganto increase the royal possessions in the Harz Mountains and to protect them by castles, which he handed over to Swabian ministerials...Peasants and nobles in Saxony were stirred up by the ruthless repossession of former royal rights that had long ago been appropriated by nobility or had become obsolete and by the highhanded and severe measures of the foreign ministerials...A rebellion broke out among the Saxons, which in 1073 spread so rapidly that Henry had to escape to Worms. After negotiations with Welf IV, the new duke (as Welf I) of Bavaria, and with Rudolf, the duke of Swabia, Henry was forced to grant immunity to the rebels in 1073 and had to agree to the razing of the royal Harz Castle in the final peace treaty inFebruary 1074. When the peasants, destroying the castle, also desecrated the church and the tomb of one of the King's sons, Henry declared the peace broken. This incident assured him of support from all over the empire, and in June 1075 he wonan overwhelming victory that resulted in the surrender of the Saxons. It also forced the princes at Christmas to confirm on oath the succession of his one-year-old son Conrad.
"This rebellion affected relations between Henry and the Pope.In Milan a popular party, the Patarines, didicated to reforming the city's corrupt higher clergy, elected its own archbishop, who was recognized by the Pope. When Henry countered by having his own nominee consecrated by the Lombard bishops, Alexander II excommunicated the bishops. Henry did not yield, and it was not until the Saxon rebellion that he was ready to negotiate. In 1073 he humbly asked the new pope, Gregory VII, to settle the Milan problem. The King having thus renouncedhis right of investiture, a Roman synod, called to strengthen the Patarine movement, forbade any lay investiture in Milan; henceforward Gregory regarded Henry as his ally in questions of church reform. When planning a crusade, he even put the defense of the Roman Church into the King's hands. But after defeating the Saxons, Henry considered himself strong enough to cancel his agreements with the Pope and to nominate his court chaplain as archbishop of Milan. The violation of the agreement on investiture called into question the King's trustworthiness, and the Pope sent him a letter warning him of the melancholy fate of King Saul but offering negotiations on the investiture problem. Instead of accepting the offer, which arrived at his court on January 1, 1076, Henry, on the same day, deposed the Pope and persuaded an assembly of 26 bishops, hastily called to Worms, to refuse obedience to the Pope. By this impulsive reaction he turned the problem of investiture inMilan, which could have been solved by negotiations, into a fundamental dispute on the relations between church and state. Gregory replied by excommunicating Henry and absolving the King's subjects from their oaths of allegiance. Such action equalled dethronement. Many bishops who had taken part in the Worms assembly and had subsequently been excommunicated now surrendered to the Pope, and immediately the King was also faced with the newly aroused opposition of the nobility. In October 1076 the princes discussed the election of a new king in Tribur. It was only by promising to seek absolution from the ban within a year that Henry could reach a postponement of the election. The final decision was to be taken at an assemblyto be called Augsburg to which the Pope was also invited. But Henry secretly travelled to northern Italy and in Canossa did penance before Gregory VII, whereupon he was readmitted to the church. For the moment it was a political success for the King because the opposition had been deprived of all canonical arguments. Yet, Canossa meant a change. By doing penance Henry had admitted the legality of the Pope's measures and had given up the king's traditional position of authority equalor even superior to that of the church. The relations between church and state were changed forever.
"The princes, however, considered Canossa a breach of teh original agreement providing for an assembly at Augsburg and declared Henry dethroned. In his stead, they elected Rudolf, duke of Swabia, in March 1077, whereupon Henry confiscated the duchies of Bavaria and Swabia on behalf of the crown. He received support from the peasants and citizens of these duchies, whereas Rudolfrelied mainly on the Saxons. Gregory watched the indecisive struggle between Henry and Rudolf for almost three years until he resolved to bring about a decision for the sake of continued church reform in Germany. At a synod in March 1080, he prohibited investiture, excommunicated and dethroned Henry again, and recognized Rudolf. The reasons for this act of excommunication were not as valid as those advanced in 1077, and many nobles who had so far favoured the Pope turned against himbecause they thought the prohibition of investiture infringed upon their rights as patrons of churches and monasteries. Henry now succeeded in deposing Gregory and in nominating Guibert, archbishop of Ravenna, as pope at a synod in Brizen (Bressanone). When the opposition of the princes was crippled by the death of Rudolf in October 1080, Henry, freed of the threat of enemies to the rear, went to Italy to seek a military decision in his struggle with the church. After attacking Romein vain in 1081 and 1082, he conquered the city in March 1084. Guibert was enthroned as Clement III and crowned Henry emperor on March 31, 1084. Gregory, the legitimate pope, fled to Salerno, where he died on May 25, 1085. A number of cardinalsjoined Clement, and, feeling that he had won a complete victory, the Emperor returned to Germany. In May 1087 he had his son Conrad crowned king. The Saxons now made peace with him. Further, Henry replaced bishops who did not join Clement with others loyal to the king...
"The marriage, arranged by Pope Urban II in 1089, of the 17-year-old Welf V of Bavaria with the 43-year-old countess Matilda of Tuscany, a zealous adherent of the cause of reform in the church, allied Henry's opponents in southern Germany and Italy. Henry was forced to invade Italy once more in 1090, but after initial success, his defeat in 1092 resulted in the uprisings in Lombardy; and the rebellion of his son Conrad, who was crowned king of Italyby the Lombards, led to general rebellion. The Emperor found himself cut off from Germany and besieged in a corner of northeastern Italy...It was not until Welf V separated from Matilda, in 1095, and his father, the deposed Welf IV, was once more granted Bavaria as a fief, in 1096, that Henry was able to return to Germany (1097).
"In Germany, sympathy for reform and the papacy no longer excluded loyalty to the Emperor. Gradually Henry was able to consolidate his authority so that in May 1098 the princes elected his second son, Henry V, king in place of the disloyal Conrad. But peace with the Pope, which was necessary for a complete consolidation of authority, was a goal that remained unattainable. At first a settlement was impossible because of Henry's support for Clement III, who had died in 1100. Paschal II (1099-1118), a follower of the reformist policies of Gregory VII, was unwilling to conclude an agreement with Henry. Finally, the Emperor declared that he would go on a crusade if his excommunication were removed. To prepare for the crusade, he forbade all feuds among the great nobles of the empire for four years (1103). But unrest started again when reconciliation with the church did not materialize and the nobles thought the Emperor was restricting their rights in favour of his son. Henry feared a controversy with the princes. In alliance with Bavarian nobles he revolted against the Emperor in 1104 to secure his throne by sacrificing his father. The Emperor escaped to Cologne, but when he went to Mainz his son imprisoned him and on December 31, 1105, extorted his apparently voluntary abdication. Yet Henry IV was not yet prepared to give up. He fled to Liege and with the Lotharingians defeated Henry V's army near Vise on March 22, 1106. Henry IV suddenly died in Liege on August 7, 1106. His body was transferred to Speyer but remained there in an unconsecrated chapel before being buried in the family vault in1111.
"Judgment of Henry by his contemporaries differed according to the parties to which they belonged. His opponents considered the tall, handsome king a tyrant- the crafty head of heresy- whose death they cheered because it seemed to usher in a new age. His friends praised him as a pious, gentle, and intelligent ruler, a patron of the arts and sciences, who surrounded himself with religious scholars and who, in his sense of law and justice, was the embodiment of the ideal king. In his attempt to preserve the traditional rights of the crown, Henry IV was only partially successful, for while he strengthened the king's position against the nobles by gaining the support of thepeasants, the citizens, and the ministerials, his continuing battles with the reforming church over investiture ultimately weakened royal influence over the papacy."

Ancestral File Ver 4.11 9HM1-RD.

   Marriage Information:

Henry married Countess Bertha Maurine SAVOY, daughter of Count Eudes SAVOY and Adelais SUZA, in 1066. (Countess Bertha Maurine SAVOY was born on 21 Sep 1051 in , Savoy, France and died on 27 Dec 1087 in , , Germany.)

   Marriage Information:

Henry also married Empress Euprexia Kiev GERMANY on 14 Aug 1089. (Empress Euprexia Kiev GERMANY was born in 1070 and died on 10 Jul 1109.)

Home | Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Web Site was Created 27 Mar 2002 with Legacy 4.0 from Millennia