John I, Duke of Opava-Ratibor

John I of Opava-Ratibor (Czech: Jan I. Ratibořský; German: Johann I. von Troppau-Ratibor; c. 1322c. 1380-1382) was the founder the Opava branch of the Bohemian Přemyslid dynasty, which lasted until 1521. In 1365, he became the sole heir of the Duchy of Racibórz. From 1367 to 1377 he ruled the Duchy of Opava (German: Troppau) jointly with his brothers, Nicholas III, Wenceslaus I and Przemko I. From 1377 until his death, he was also Duke of Krnov and Bruntál.

John I, Duke of Opava-Ratibor
POL Racibórz COA.svg
Coat-of-arms of Racibórz (Ratibor)
Bornc.  1322
Diedc.  1380–1382
Noble familyPremyslids
Spouse(s)Anna of Głogów-Żagań
FatherNicholas II, Duke of Opava
MotherAnna of Ratiboř


His parents were Nicholas II of Opava and Anna of Racibórz, a sister of Leszek of Racibórz, the last Duke of Racibórz from the Silesian Piast family. Leszek died in 1336 without heirs, causing Ratiboř to revert to the Crown. King John of Bohemia then enfeoffed Leszek's brother-in-law, Nicholas II, who was John I's father. Since John I was the only son of Nicholas II from his first marriage with Anna, John I was the sole heir of Racibórz. At the same time, he and his younger half-brother Nicholas III became guardians of Nicholas III's younger brothers Wenceslaus I and Přemysl. After disputes about the inheritance, Opava was divided in 1367 among the four brothers. In 1377, a new division was made, in which John I kept Racibórz, but also received the duchies of Krnov and Bruntál. The Duchy of Głubczyce was split off for Nicholas III; Wenceslaus I and Přemysl received the rest of Opava. When Wenceslaus died in 1381, Přemysl inherited Wenceslaus's share. When Nicholas III died in 1394, Přemysl inherited Głubczyce as well.

John I gave Magdeburg rights to the city of Opava in 1372. Because of financial difficulties, he sold Mikołów and the Principality of Pless to Duke Władysław II of Opole in 1375. His son John II later managed to buy both these possession back.

Marriage and issueEdit

In 1361 John I married to Anna, daughter of Henry V of Głogów and Żagań (d. 1369). They had three children

  • John II "the Iron" (d. 1424), Duke of Opava-Ratibor
  • Nicholas IV (died circa 1406), Duke of Bruntál
  • Margareta (born: 1380 – died: before 7 September 1407),
married in Duke Boleslaus I of Cieszyn (d. 1431), no issue

References and sourcesEdit

  • Ludwig Petry et al.: History of Silesia, Volume 1, Sigmaringen, 1988, ISBN 3-7995-6341-5.
  • Hugo Weczerka: Handbuch der historischen Stätten: Schlesien, Stuttgart, 1977, ISBN 3-520-31601-3, Genealogical tables on pages 600-601.

External linksEdit