Archduke Ferdinand Charles. Scarce Silver 3 Kreuzer Coin.
Mint Year: 1645
Mint Place: Hall (Tyrol, Austria)
Denomination: 3 Kreuzer (Groschen)
Obverse: Crowned, draped and armored bust of Ferdinand Charles (with short hair) right, splitting date (1645) n fields.
Legend: FERDIN CAROL . D : G . ARCHID . AV .
Reverse: Rosette above two shields of Austria / Tyrol. Rosette above, denomination (3) inside circle below.
Legend: * DVX . BVRGVND (3) COM . TYROLIS
Ferdinand Charles was an absolutist ruler, did not call any diet after 1648 and had his chancellor Wilhelm Biener executed illegally in 1651 after a secret trial. On the other hand, he was a lover of music: Italian opera was performed in his court.
Ferdinand Charles (17 May 1628 – 30 December 1662) was the Archduke of Further Austria, including Tyrol, from 1646 to 1662.
He was only 4 years old when his father, Leopold V, died in 1632. He ruled with his mother as regent until 1646 when he came of age (18) and took sole control of his inheritance. As the younger Tyrolean line, he was loyal to his family and took his place in the Holy Roman Empire behind his cousins of the elder line, first under Ferdinand IV and then under Leopold VI (as emperors known as Ferdinand III and Leopold I.) His mother and he were aided by the able and experienced advisor, minister Wilhelm Bienner whom, under the regency and under Ferdinand Charles, served as the chancellor of Tyrol.
Bienner had served under the Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian I and was later appointed by Emperor Ferdinand II to be a judge at the Imperial Court. He was assigned to Archduke Leopold V of Tyrol as an advisor and later as court chancellor under Claudia de’Medici. He continued in this capacity under the Archduke Ferdinand Charles.
As chancellor of Tyrol, Bienner not only strengthened and reaffirmed Tyrol’s right to territories who looked to secede but he also took measures to stem official corruption. He was an able mediator and astute minister in foreign affairs who was often called on to settle disputes, both between internal factions as well as disputes between Austria and other nations. Through diplomacy he prevented a French invasion of the Münstertal in Switzerland and he prevented the secession of the ecclesiastical principalities Brixen and Trient by enforcing their contractual ties to Tyrol.
Bienner also took measures to strengthened the power of the sovereign, a move that might have strengthened his position as chancellor to the court but eventual lead to his downfall and demise. Placing greater powers in the hands of the hereditary monarch made him unpopular with powerful men who would in turn see their own powers diminished, and the young Archduke soon proved ill-suited to wield such power. An all too familiar story of the spoiled prince and the follies of inherited power.