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Elizabeth Lucretia (Polish: Elżbieta Lukrecja Cieszyńska), Czech: Alžběta Lukrécie (Těšín), German: Elisabeth Lukretia (Teschen); b. 1 June 1599 - d. 19 May 1653), was a reigning Duchess of Cieszyn since 1625 until her death.

She was the third child and second daughter of Adam Wenceslaus, Duke of Cieszyn, by his wife Elisabeth, daughter of Gotthard Kettler, Duke of Courland.


Originally raised in the Lutheran faith, in 1611 she converted to the Catholicism together with her whole family.

On 13 July 1617 her father Adam Wenceslaus died and was succeeded by his only surviving son, Frederick William. On 23 April 1618 Elizabeth Lucretia was married against her will with the also ex- Lutheran Gundakar of Liechtenstein (b. Lednice (Eisgrub), 30 January 1580 - d. Wilfersdorf, 5 August 1658), a widower almost twenty years her senior.[1][2] They had three children:[3] Maria Anna of Liechtenstein (b. 13 August 1621 - d. 5 October 1655), Ferdinand Johann of Liechtenstein (b. 27 December 1622 - d. 9 January 1666) and Albert of Liechtenstein (b. 8 March 1625 - d. 1627). Gundakar was a younger brother of Karl, Duke of Opava and Krnov, one of the members of the Regency council who ruled the Duchy of Cieszyn during Frederick William's absence; however, this arrangement was short-lived, and the de facto rule was held by Elizabeth Lucretia, even after Frederick William returned to Cieszyn and assumed the effective government in 1624, because the Duke almost immediately after his return made a trip with the Emperor to the Netherlands. During this journey, Frederick William became suddenly ill and died on 19 August 1625 in Köln, unmarried and without legitimate issue.

Initially, the Emperor Ferdinand II tried to join Cieszyn to his domains, using his rights as King of Bohemia; but the end, he accepted Elizabeth Lucretia as reigning Duchess, by right of the Privilege granted by King Władysław II Jagiellon to Duke Casimir II of Cieszyn in 1498, under which was secured the female succession over Cieszyn until the fourth generation.[1][4]

During her reign, Cieszyn passed through one of the most difficult periods in his history. It was the Thirty Years' War, during which Cieszyn was regularly plundered by foreign forces (during 1626-1627 by Danish troops of Ernest of Mansfeld, during 1642-1643 and 1645-1647 by Swedish troops under the commands of Colonel Rochowa and General Königsmarck, respectively), both in terms of infrastructure and finances. In addition plague and hunger also affected the Duchy and many citizens died. Eventually, this led Cieszyn economically and demographically destroyed for the next 100 years. Elizabeth Lucretia's life was seriously threatened on several occasions: for example, in 1642, when she had to found refuge in Jablunkov and in 1645, when she escape to Kęt, after the Swedish forces took the capital (who capitulated only in 1646). Only the Peace of Westphalia on 24 October 1648 finally established the peace in her domains.

The marriage of the Duchess with Gundakar of Liechtenstein (despite the fact that they had three children together) proved to be unsuccessfully. In 1626 they were formally separated, and remained in this way until her death.

Elizabeth Lucretia died on 19 May 1653 and was buried in the Ducal crypt in the Dominican church in Cieszyn.

After her death, the Duchy of Cieszyn as a fiefdom of the Kingdom of Bohemia had been ruled by the members of House of Habsburg. Subsequent members of the Habsburg family bore the title until the fall of the Empire and the liquidation of the Duchy of Cieszyn in 1918.


  1. ^ a b Panic 2002, 32.
  2. ^ Biermann 1894, 144.
  3. ^ Genealogy of the House of Liechtenstein
  4. ^ Biermann 1894, 143.


Regnal titles
Preceded by
Frederick William
Duke of Cieszyn
Succeeded by
Ferdinand IV

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