Claims on Jülich-Kleve-Berg
The duchies of Jülich, Berg and Cleves as well as the counties of Mark and Ravensberg had gradually come together through female succession to form a personal union. Duke William V, the Rich (1539-92) also tried to gain Geldern, but was defeated by Ks. Charles V. The rise of the dynasty was finally ended by Wilhelm's mentally ill son Johann Wilhelm, who died childless. On his death in 1609, descendants of his four sisters claimed inheritance. The Lutheran princes Johann Sigismund von Brandenburg and Wolfgang Wilhelm von Pfalz-Neuburg wanted to rule the country together as descendants of the two elder sisters. Emperor Rudolf II, on the other hand, wanted to reallocate the imperial fiefdom. This led to the Jülich-Klevic conflict of succession (1609-66), with confessional and international involvements: Spain against the Netherlands and France against Habsburg. The military alliances of the Thirty Years' War, the Union and the League, were formed as early as 1609.
The Emperor had his cousin Archduke Leopold V occupy Jülich, but the mercenary troops had to capitulate to the Union of Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg. They took over the administration of the state and ruled Jülich as "owning princes" (Latin "principes possidentes"). The land was to remain undivided, as had already been decided in 1546.
Possessing Princes (latin: Principes possessivum)
The Emperor had send his cousin Archduke Leopold V occupy Jülich, but his mercenary troops had to capitulate to the allies Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg, whose rulers represented the claims of the two eldest hereditary princesses. They took over the administration of the whole country on their own authority and initially ruled jointly as "Possessing" princes. The country was to remain undivided, as had already been determined in 1546.
The Possessing Princes 1609-1624
: Double Reichstaler klippe 1613, Mülheim.
40x42 mm, 50,84 g. Noss 479; Dav.6110.
ET MONTium (Lily = mint master's mark)
Crowned 6-field coat of arms between 16 - 13 above: Jülich, Kleve, Berg below: Mark, Ravensberg, Mörs.
Crowned double eagle with the imperial orb on the chest.
Possessing Princes 1609-1624
, Ducat 1613, Mülheim.
22 mm, 3,26 g. Noss 477; Friedb.1389.
·I613 - crowned 6-field coat of arms as before.
Rev.: MATTHIAS·I·ROM·IMP·SEM·AVG - similar as before.
The "Possessing" princes did not identify themselves on their coinage. On the obverse they used Johann Wilhelm's overall coat of arms from before 1609, and on the reverse they respected their emperor with his title in accordance with the imperial regulations. The coat of arms of Mörs is a claim coat of arms, the others are property coats of arms.
The two Possessing Princes granted religious freedom to their mixed-confessional subjects. Conflicting interventions by Spain and the Dutch States General led to the settlement of Xanten with the partition in 1614: Wolfgang Wilhelm of Palatinate-Neuburg - now a Catholic in the meantime - received the south (Jülich and Berg) and Johann Sigismund of Brandenburg - now a Calvinist by conviction - took over the north (Cleves, Mark, Ravensberg). Later treaties (Düsseldorf 1624, Cleves 1666) essentially confirmed the Xanten Treaty. In 1624, the dominion of Ravenstein passed from Brandenburg to Palatinate-Neuburg.
Residual Claim from Palatinate-Neuburg
The country was originally intended to remain undivided. The House of Palatinate-Neuburg claimed the entire land as an inheritance, as Wolfgang Wilhelm was the next male descendant, although he was descended from Wilhelm's second daughter. Palatinate-Neuburg finally had to share the land with Brandenburg in 1614. This division had long been sealed and the succession dispute was finally settled in 1672 at the latest, when decades later Palatinate-Neuburg still claimed the entire inheritance, including the Brandenburg part, as the following coin shows.
Johann Wilhelm II of Palatinate-Neuburg, 1679-1716.
Thaler 1709, Düsseldorf. Ø 42 mm, 29,16 g. Noss 841; Dav.2364.
- Sponhemi Marcae
Regalia shield with the imperial orb under the electoral crown, the Order of St. Hubert and
the Order of the Golden Fleece.
Arms at the left side: Bayern, Jülich, Kleve, Berg and Pfalz (in the center),
arms at the right side: Mörs, Veldenz, Mark and Ravensberg.
The long title only allows a transcription from the first letters of the word. Mention is made of Bavaria, the possessions of Jülich, Berg, Sponheim, Veldenz and the lordship of Ravenstein (on the lower reaches of the Meuse) as well as the unfulfilled claims to Cleves, Mark, Ravensberg and Mörs.
Claim from Pfalz-Zweibrücken
The two younger of William V's four daughters were not included in the distribution of the inheritance. Magdalena, the 3rd daughter, married John I of Palatinate-Zweibrücken and demanded a partial inheritance for her son John II.
Johann II of Palatinate-Zweibrücken, 1604-1635
: Thaler 1626, Zweibrücken.
Ø 42 mm, 28,57 g. Exter II p.66,40; Slg.Memm.2695; Dav.7190.
Armored, draped bust almost from the front, left in the field mintmark HT (Johann Heinrich Taglang).
ET R - AVensbergae
5-fold helmeted shield with arms:
left side: Bavaria|Palatinate, top right: Jülich, Kleve, Berg, bottom right: Mark, Ravensberg and Mörs.
Various Claims from Saxonie
As early as 1483, Duke Albrecht and Elector Ernst of Saxony had received a entitlement to Jülich-Berg. But Jülich-Berg fell to the heir daughter Marie (†1543), who married to Kleve-Mark in 1510. In 1516, Emperor Maximilian I certified the enfeoffment of Jülich-Berg to Cleves. He promised the Saxons compensation, but this never materialized. In 1526, the Ernestines finally accepted the female succession in the unification of Jülich-Kleve when Elector Johann Friedrich married the eldest sister of Duke William V the Rich of Jülich-Berg and Cleves, Sibylle (†1554). In the marriage contract of 1526, the succession to Saxony was confirmed in the event that Jülich-Kleve-Berg remained without heirs. Charles V did not help to clear up any ambiguities.
When the long-anticipated question of succession finally became acute in 1609, both the Albertine and Ernestine dynasties made their own claims to succession.
(a) Claims of the Electorate of Saxony (Albertines)
Emperor Rudolf II enfeoffed Electoral Saxony with the three disputed duchies in 1610. The enfeoffment was renewed in 1613, 1621 and 1638. In 1624, the Possessing Princes granted Electoral Saxony an entitlement to Mark. Ultimately, however, it remained only the claim of Electoral Saxony.
Electoral Johann Georg I, 1615-1656.
Broad triple thaler 1626, Dresden. Ø 60 mm, 87,29 g. Schnee 853; Dav.LS 387.
The Elector in armor on horseback to the right, in the background a view of Dresden.
: - ET ELECTor
6-row coat of arms: 1st row: Thuringia, Saxony, Meissen. 2nd row: Jülich, Kleve, Berg.
3rd row: Palatinate Saxony, Electoral Saxony (heart coat of arms), Palatinate Thuringia.
4th row: Orlamünde, Landsberg, Pleissen.
5th row: Altenburg, Magdeburg ? (gespalten), Brehna
6th row: Mark, Eisenberg, Henneberg, Ravensberg.
On pot are 6 helmets with helmet ornaments (from left to right):
Kleve-Mark, Thüringen, Sachsen, Meissen (man torso), Jülich, Berg.
Until well into the 18th century, the Saxon electors showed on their coins the claims they had made.
(b) Claims of the Ernestine Line of Saxony
The descendants of John Frederick the Magnanimous were divided into several lines. At the time of the succession dispute 1609-1624, two brothers ruled in Saxe-Gotha, four brothers in Saxe-Alteburg and eight brothers in Saxe-Weimar. These three Ernestine parties each raised the maximum inheritance claim for themselves.
(b1) Claims from Saxony-Gotha
Saxonia-Gotha : Johann Kasimir in Coburg and Johann Ernst in Eisenach
Thaler 1626, Saalfeld. Ø 43 mm, 29,20 g. Schnee 190; Dav.7431.
- ET IOannes
- ET Montium
"By the Grace of God Johann Kasimir and Johann Ernst, Duke of Saxony, Jülich, Cleves and Berg"
In der Umschrift 9 small arms : Saxonia (12 h), Kleve (1 h),
2 eagles (Palatinate Saxony & Palatinate Thuringia) and 5 lions (Thuringia, Meissen, Jülich, Berg).
Armored effigy to the right with sash, command staff, sword handle and tournament helmet.
In the field: FRIED - ERNEHRT (1st part of a motto "Peace nourishes").
ET - RAvensberg
- IN Ravenstein
"Landgrave in Thuringia, Margrave in Meissen, Count in Mark and Ravensberg, Lord in Ravenstein"
In the legend 8 coats of arms:
Landsberg (piles, 2 h), Altenburg (rose, 4 h), Eisenberg (bars, 5 h),
Brehna (7 h), Ravensberg (10 h), Mark (11 h) and 2 lions (Orlamünde & Pleissen).
Armored effigy to the left with sash, tournament helmet in the right and sword hilt on the left.
In the field: VNFRIED - VERZEHRT (2nd part of a motto "unpeace consumes").
This thaler with the motto "Peace nourishes - unpeace consumes" is known as the "Concord-thaler".
(b2) Claims from Saxony-Altenburg
S.-Altenburg: Johann Philipp, Friedrich, Johann Wilhelm und Friedrich Wilhelm II.,
3 Dukaten 1620, Saalfeld. Goldabschlag von den Stempeln des Vierteltalers. Ø 32 mm, 10,08 g.
"... Herzogsbrüder von Sachsen, Jülich, Kleve und Berg"
Je zwei Hüftbilder der vier Brüder einander gegenüber.
: WA (Mmz. Wolf Albrecht)
"Landgraf von Thüringen, Markgraf von Meissen, Graf der Mark und von Ravensberg, Herr in Ravenstein."
Verziertes 18-feldiges Wappen mit Mittelschild, darüber die durch eine Blume geteilte Jahreszahl 16 - Z0.
(b3) Claims from Saxony-Weimar
From 1605 onwards, eight brothers ruled Saxony-Weimar, who initially had to shake off their guardianship. From 1612 onwards, they show their claims in the title, coat of arms and crest on their Thalers (see , only in German)
(b4) Claims shown 1854 vor the last time
The claim coats of arms of Jülich, Kleve, Berg, Mark and Ravensberg can also be found in 1854 on the last double thalers of the duchies of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and Saxe-Meiningen (more details only on the page in German).