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County (Duchy) of Cleves
Flag of Cleves-Mark
|Attributed arms of the Duchy of Cleves|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Dietrich I first
Count of Cleves
• United with Mark
• Raised to duchy
• To Brandenburg
• Province of
The Duchy of Cleves (German: Herzogtum Kleve; Dutch: Hertogdom Kleef) was a State of the Holy Roman Empire which emerged from the medieval Hettergau. It was situated in the northern Rhineland on both sides of the Lower Rhine, around its capital Cleves and the towns of Wesel, Kalkar, Xanten, Emmerich, Rees and Duisburg bordering the lands of the Prince-Bishopric of Münster in the east and the Duchy of Brabant in the west. Its history is closely related to that of its southern neighbours: the Duchies of Jülich and Berg, as well as Guelders and the Westphalian county of Mark. The Duchy was archaically known as Cleveland in English.
The duchy's territory roughly covered the present-day German districts of Cleves (northern part), Wesel and the city of Duisburg, as well as adjacent parts of the Limburg, North Brabant and Gelderland provinces in the Netherlands.
In the early 11th century Emperor Henry II entrusted the administration of the Klever Reichswald, a large forested area around the Kaiserpfalz at Nijmegen directly subordinate to the Imperial rule, to local Lower Lorrainian nobles at Geldern and Kleve. A County of Cleves (German: Grafschaft Kleve; Dutch: Graafschap Kleef) was first mentioned in the 11th century. Dietrich I was the first Count of Cleves and reigned from 1092 through 1119. In 1355 Zevenaar passed from the control of the Duchy of Guelders to the Duchy of Cleves.
Upon the death of Count Johann in 1368, the fief was inherited by his nephew Adolf III of the Marck. Cleves and the Marck were finally ruled in personal union by the House of La Marck after Adolf's elder brother Count Engelbert III had died without issue in 1391. King Sigismund of Germany raised Count Adolph I to the status of a duke and a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire in 1417, and the county became a duchy.
The Cleves-Mark territories became one of the most significant estates of the Lower Rhenish–Westphalian Circle in 1500, rivaled by the Prince-Bishops of Münster. In 1511 John III of La Marck, son of Duke John II of Cleves, married Maria and her estates and titles were then merged with the Duchy of Cleves. Upon the death of his father-in-law Duke William IV, John inherited the fiefs of Jülich and Berg through his wife. When John III succeeded his father as Duke of Cleves in 1521, the states of Jülich, Berge, Cleves and Mark formed the United Duchies of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. His daughter Anne of Cleves (1515–1557) even became Queen Consort of England for a few months in 1540, as her brother William, duke since 1539, quarrelled with Emperor Charles V over the possession of Guelders and sought support from King Henry VIII.
John William was the son of William and the last duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berge. He died without issue in 1609, and the War of the Jülich succession broke out between the heirs of his two eldest sisters: Maria Eleonora, Duchess of Prussia, and Anna, Countess of Neuburg. Marie Eleonore's daughter Marie was married to the Margrave of Brandenburg; Neuberg was a cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach. According to the 1614 Treaty of Xanten, Brandenburg received Cleves-Mark and Neuburg received Jülich-Berg. The Hohenzollern margraves thereby got a first foothold in the Rhineland; however, large parts of the Duchy of Cleves were occupied by the United Provinces until the Franco-Dutch War in 1672. Finally incorporated into Brandenburg-Prussia by the Great Elector Frederick William I of Brandenburg in 1666 and part of the Kingdom of Prussia after 1701, Cleves was occupied by French forces in the Seven Years' War (1757–1762).
In the 1795 Peace of Basel the Duchy of Cleves west of the Rhine and Wesel was ceded to France, and became part of the French département of the Roer. The rest of the duchy was occupied between 1803 and 1805, and became part of the puppet-state Grand Duchy of Berg. In 1815, after the defeat of Napoleon, the duchy became part of the Prussian Province of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, which merged in the Prussian Rhine Province in 1822. The cities Gennep, Zevenaar, and Huissen became part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands as a result of the 1815 Congress of Vienna.
Rulers of Cleves Edit
Counts of Cleves Edit
House of Cleves Edit
- 1092–1119 Dietrich I
- 1119–1147 Arnold I
- 1147–1172 Dietrich II
- 1172–1188 Dietrich III
- 1188–1198 Dietrich IV
- 1198–1201 Arnold II
- 1201–1260 Dietrich V
- 1260–1275 Dietrich VI
- 1275–1305 Dietrich VII of Meissen
- 1305–1310 Otto I the Peaceable
- 1310–1347 Dietrich VIII the Pious
- 1347–1368 Johann
House of La Marck Edit
Dukes of Cleves Edit
House of La Marck Edit
Notable people Edit
- Haude, Sigrun. In the Shadow of "Savage Wolves": Anabaptist Münster and the German Reformation During the 1530s. Brill (2000) p. 72
- "Wilhelm II, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg", The British Museum
- Hayden, J. Michael (1973). "Continuity in the France of Henry IV and Louis XIII: French Foreign Policy, 1598-1615". Journal of Modern History. 45 (1): 22. doi:10.1086/240888. S2CID 144914347.
- public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Frederick William of Brandenburg". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 67–68. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the
- Romeyk, Horst (1985). Verwaltungs- und Behördengeschichte der Rheinprovinz 1914–1945 [History of Administration and Public Authorities of the Rhine Province 1914–1945] (in German). Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag. pp. 123 ff.
- Miller, Clarence H. (March 1994). "Thomas More's Letters to Frans van Cranevelt, including Seven Recently Discovered Autographs: Latin Text, English Translation, and Facsimiles of the Originals". Moreana. 31 (Number 117) (1): 65. doi:10.3366/more.19184.108.40.206.
- Edicts of Jülich, Cleves, Berg, Grand Duchy Berg, 1475–1815 (Coll. Scotti) online
- Settlement of Dortmund between Brandenburg and Palatinate-Neuburg and the conflict of succession in Jülich, in full text
- Map of the Duchy of Cleves in 1789