Neufchatel, Henri De

Neufchatel, Henri de another Swiss prelate, flourished in the first part of the 13th century. His father, Ulric III, was count of Neufchatel. At first provost of the church of Basle, and coadjutor to bishop Berthold of Ferrete, he established himself upon the episcopal seat in 1262. He was a man proud of his origin and of his alliances, and would yield to no one, not even the sovereign princes.

From the first he engaged in an armed warfare with Rudolph of Hapsburg, his relative. They quarrelled about the castles of Brisach and of Neuenburg. The two armies had for chiefs the count and the bishop, and took as many strong places, and desolated as many boroughs and farms in the name of the one as of the other. In 1268, Henry of Neufchatel carried by assault Hertenberg, Blotzheim, and Rheinfelden, although the latter place was accounted impregnable; Rudolph in turn besieged Toggenburg: there interposed in the affray the peasants, ill-treated by count Rudolph, who rushed suddenly upon the castles of Auggen, Gervesch, and Froschbach, and demolished them. Desolation reigned everywhere in the year 1269, when the two adversaries concluded to close the strife by a treaty. But they finally failed to agree, and reopened the war. In 1272, Rudolph, making each day new progress, ruined the Chateau de Tieffenstein, and carried conflagration even to the suburbs of Basle, and finally besieged the episcopal city. Henry, though for a long time he had valiantly opposed, now found himself unable to prolong the struggle, and signed a truce Sept. 22, 1273. His death occurred the following year, September 13, 1274. One does not find in the life of Henry de Neufchatel any acts properly belonging to a bishop. Absolutely destitute of all ecclesiastical science, ignorant of or despising his episcopal duties, he acted the part of a valiant warrior and a skilful captain, and this part alone he was by education and general training fitted to play in lile. See Annoles Colmarienses, apud Urstisium, passim; Herrgott, Genealog. Habsb. volume 2, passin; Btsileat Scra, page 237; Monum. de l'Hist. de l'ancien geche de Bale, collected by M. Trouillat, volume 2, passim.

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