Contemporaries in Prussia
Albert, Grand Master of the Teutonic Order and Duke in Prussia 1511-1525-1568
- cousin of Elector Joachim I and nephew of King Sigismund I of Poland -
*1490. Albert was the third son of Margrave Friedrich of Brandenburg-Ansbach and a Polish princess. In 1510, he was elected Grand Master of the Teutonic Order - without ever having been a member before. It was hoped he would save the Order from Polish claims based on terms of the Peace Treaty of Toruń (1466). He fought against Poland, but lost the battle. As he did not get any help from the empire, he turned to the Reformation. Luther advised him to transform the Order's lands into a secular dukedom. This led to a peace treaty with Poland: Albrecht publically swore the oath of allegiance to his uncle King Sigismund I on the market place of Kraków in 1525. He was then enfeoffed with the lands of the Order which, in turn, were converted into a duchy in East Prussia. However, numerous members of the Order opposed this procedure. Those who wished to stick to the catholic faith moved the catholic Order to Mergentheim in western Germany, while Prussia turned into a protestant country. At the order's instigation, Emperor Charles V declared the transformation of the order into a secular dukedom as null and void in 1530, but this remained without consequences.
Albrecht founded the "Albertina", the University of Königsberg, in 1544.
After Albrecht's death in 1568, his son became duke. He was a minor at the time and later fell mentally ill so that his guardian Georg Friedrich of Brandenburg-Ansbach became governor. In 1618, Prussia reverted to the main branch of the Brandenburg House of Hohenzollern thanks to the enfeoffment with Poland which Joachim II had obtained in 1569.
Groschen 1529, Königsberg. Ø 23 mm Neumann 45.
Obv.: ¤IVSTVS¤EX¤FIDE¤VIVIT¤1529¤(arms of Zollern)
Justus ex fide vivit = The just shall live by faith (motto from Albrecht)
The Prussian eagle with the polish crown at his neck, on the breast the initial S for king Sigismund I.
Groschen 1539, Königsberg. Ø 22 mm, 2,04 g. Neumann 45; Kopicki 3780,
Groschen 1543, Königsberg. Ø 23 mm, ~2,0 g. Neumann 46
Obv.: ¤IVSTVS¤EX¤FIDE¤VIVIT¤1545¤ (arms of Hohenzollern)
Rev.: ALBER¤D¤G¤MAR¤BRAN¤DVX¤PRVSS (mm. clover leaf)
Prussian eagle with a crown around the neck, on its breast the initial letter S of Sigismund I of Poland.
3 Gröscher 1535, Königsberg. Ø 22 mm, 2,39 g. Neumann 42; Kopicki 3800.
Rev.: ¤III¤ / GROSSvs:ARgentea: / ·TRIPLEX· / ·ALBERtus:DVCis· / PRVSSIE / ¤1535¤
3 Gröscher1540, Königsberg. Ø 22 mm, ~2,7 g. Neumann 42,
3 Gröscher 1544, Königsberg. Ø 21 mm, 2,65 g. Neumann 44; Kopicki 3810.
+ALBER·D·G·MAR·BRAN·DVX·PRVSS // ¤III¤/.GROSS:AR:/·TRIPLEX·/·ALBER:DVC·/·PRVSSIE·/¤1544¤
6 Gröscher 1535, Königsberg. Ø 28 mm Neumann 41, Schulten 2807.
Obv.: ALBERTVS¤D¤G¤MAR¤BRAN¤DVX¤PRVSSI¤ (arms of Zollern)
Rev.: GROS¤AR¤SEXDVP¤DVCIS¤PRVSSIE¤1535 (mintmark cloverleaf)
arms of the dukedom Prussia, on top the value V I
besides K - I for "Koenigsbergae Incusus" (minted in Königsberg)
Compare the parallel royal coinage, a 6 Groschen 1535, Torun for Prussia.
• W. Schwinkowski: Das Geldwesen in Preußen unter Herzog Albrecht (1525-69). ZfN 27 (1909) 185-375.
• E. Neumann: Die Münzen des Deutschen Ordens in Preußen, der Herzogtums Preußen, Westpreußen
sowie die Gepräge des D. O. in Mergentheim 1235-1801. Köln 1987.