Mint Year: 1624 Mint Place: Stuttgart (S) Reference: KM-124 ($65 in VF!) Denomination: 2 Kreuzer (Halbbatzen) Condition: Struck on a slightly irregular (not broken) planchet, otheriwse VF. Weight: 0.96gm Diameter:18mm Material: Silver
Obverse: Waving flag of Wurttemberg above mint initial (S). Legend: WEIL FRID VD RUH SICH ZU VNS KEHREN ("...because peace and calmnesss have returned to us")
Reverse: Kreuzer value (*2*) above three shields. Date (16-24) split in fields. Legend: + IOHAN FRID : D . G . DVX . VIRTE
The Duchy of Württemberg (German: Herzogtum Württemberg) was a duchy located in the south-western part of the Holy Roman Empire. It was a member of the Holy Roman Empire from 1495 to 1806. The dukedom's long survival for nearly four centuries was mainly due to its size, being larger than its immediate neighbors. During the Protestant Reformation, Württemberg faced great pressure from the Holy Roman Empire to remain a member. Württemberg resisted repeated French invasions in the 17th and 18th centuries. Württemberg was directly in the path of French and Austrian armies who were engaged in the long rivalry between the House of Bourbon and the House of Habsburg. In 1803, Napoleon raised the duchy to be the Electorate of Württemberg of the Holy Roman Empire. On 1 January 1806, the last Elector assumed the title of King of Württemberg. Later this year, on 6 August 1806, the last Emperor, Francis II, abolished (de facto) the Holy Roman Empire.
Duke John Frederick of Württemberg (5 May 1582, Montbéliard – 18 July 1628) was the 7th Duke of Württemberg from 4 February 1608 until his death on 18 July 1628 whilst en route to Heidenheim.
John Frederick of Württemberg was the eldest son of Frederick I and Sibylla of Anhalt. He was born in Montbéliard castle which he left at the age of four when his family moved its residence to Stuttgart.
John Frederick married Barbara Sophie of Brandenburg (16 November 1584 – 13 February 1636), daughter of Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg. To commemorate his marriage on 5 November 1609, he had Castle Urach converted, turning its "golden room" into one of the finest surviving examples of renaissance banqueting halls in Germany.
John Frederick and his wife had the following children:
John Frederick was a well-meaning, peace-loving ruler but he displayed a number of personal weaknesses and was often ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of the era. Despite this he restored the constitution (which had been suspended by his father, Frederick I, subject to changes that were never implemented). He also restored the power of the councils of Duke Louis (which had been abolished by Frederick I). Most importantly, he had Frederick’s powerful chancellor Matthäus Enzlin condemned to a fortress for life for embezzlement and extortion, subjecting him later to trial on a count of high treason for which he was executed on the market place in Urach in 1613. He achieved little improvement in the state of affairs within the ducal household, however. In fact the duchy ran into further debt leading to unruly debate within the family and even the ranks of servants and eventually problems with the mint.
John Frederick continued the long-standing negotiations held by his father with other evangelical princes, resulting in talks in Auhausen near Nördlingen in May 1608 and the subsequent signing of the Union of Auhausen. In 1621 he moved with a Unionist army into the Palatinate region, although the alliance crumbled in the same year with little to show for its efforts.
Duke John Frederick continued to swear allegiance to the union. At the battle of Wimpfen (26 April 1622), Georg Friedrich, Margrave of Baden-Durlach, was defeated by Marshall Tilly and the duke’s youngest brother fell in battle. Despite a neutrality accord, the victors of this battle went on to sack the north western areas of the Duke's region and in the years that followed it suffered repeatedly under harmful raids and settlement.
On 28 May 1617, John Frederick entered into an agreement with a number of his many brothers; the eldest of his youngest brothers, Louis Frederick was given the county of Montbéliard – still not totally independent of the Duchy of Württemberg. The next brother, Julius Frederick inherited recently acquired sovereignty over Brenz and Weiltingen, leading to two new branch lines in the Duchy; the younger line of Württemberg-Mömpelgard (which died out in 1723) and Württemberg-Weiltingen (which died out in 1792). His other brothers, Frederick Achilles and Magnus inherited the castles of Neuenstadt and Neuenbürg respectively. As both of the latter brothers were unmarried when they died their possessions were subsequently brought back into the main line of the Duchy.
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