1902 Encyclopedia > Frederick

Frederick V
Elector Palatine and King of Bohemia
(1596-1632)




FREDERICK V. (1596-1632), elector palatine and king of Bohemia, son of Frederick IV. and of Louisa Julia, daughter of William of Orange, was born at Amberg in 1596, and succeeded his father in 1610, under the guar dianship of Duke John of Deux-Ponts. In 1613 he married Elizabeth, daughter of James I, of England; and on undertaking the government of his palatinate two years afterwards, he became the head of the Protestant union of German princes, on which account, and because of his connexion with England, he was in 1619 chosen king of Bohemia. He shrank from this difficult position, but at last accepted it, partly owing to his wife's influence, but mainly in deference to the entreaties of a number of land-less princes who had great power over him. When his forces were confronted at Prague, November 8, 1620, by those of the emperor under Tilly, his courage so utterly forsook him that he fled in panic from the field before the battle had commenced, and ignominiously took refuge in Holland from the dangers and difficulties of his position— the general ridicule with which he was regarded being indicated by dubbing him with the title " Winter-King." The remainder of his life was spent in vain endeavours to enlist the help of various European sovereigns to enable him to wrest his palatinate from Duke Maximilian of Bavaria, who had been invested with its sovereignty by the emperor. Frederick died at Mainz, November 19, 1632.







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