Gebhard Truchsess

Gebhard Truchsess, archbishop of Cologne, was born at Waldburg November 10, 1547; was made prebendary of Augsburg in 1562, of Strasburg in 1567, of Cologne in 1570, and in 1577 elector and archbishop of Cologne. In 1582 he became a Protestant, and in the following year he married the countess Agnes von Meansfeld. He proclaimed unrestricted religious liberty, and intended to convert his spiritual into a temporal electorate. His plan was highly approved by the people and the nobility, but the cathedral chapter opposed it with all its might. The pope fulminated a ban against him, and the emperor, Rudolph II, declared him deposed. The Protestant princes ultimately deserted him, and the newly-elected archbishop, duke Ernest of Bavaria, overcame him by force of arms (1584). He fled to Holland, but not receiving any help there, he returned to Germany, where be vainly solicited the assistance of the Protestant princes, as well as petitioned queen Elizabeth of England for aid in regaining his bishopric; he finally retired to Strasburg, where he officiated as dean of the cathedral, and died May 21, 1601. See Köhler, De actis et fatis Gebhardi (Altd. 1723); Barthold, in Raumer's Historisches Taschenbuch (1840); Pierer, Univerasal-Lexikon, s.v.

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