William I, Margrave of Meissen

William I, the one-eyed, (19 December 1343, Dresden – 9 February 1407, Schloss Grimma) was Margrave of Meissen. His surname is related to the legend that Saint Benno appeared to him because of his disputes with the Church in a dream and he had an eye gouged out.

William I, Margrave of Meissen
Wilhelm I. (Meißen).jpg
Born19 December 1343
Died9 February 1407(1407-02-09) (aged 63)
Grimma Castle
Noble familyHouse of Wettin
Spouse(s)Elizabeth of Moravia
Anna of Brunswick-Lüneburg
FatherFrederick II, Margrave of Meissen
MotherMathilde of Bavaria


William was the son of Frederick II, Margrave of Meissen and Mathilde of Bavaria. He had his father and the country until 1382 reigned together with his older brothers and alternately. After his brother Frederick III died 1381, he performed in 1382 with the remaining heirs so-called Division of Chemnitz, in which he was awarded the Margraviate of Meissen for an inheritance. Since 1395 he managed as governor (vicarius) Jobst of Moravia(his brother in law) and the March of Brandenburg. William was one of the most active Wettin princes, worked cleverly to the removal of powers of small noble-free estates in the interior of Meissen and the defence of the Bohemian House of Luxembourg. He also acquired the rule of Colditz, brought the rich possessions of the Burgraviate of Dohna, which he sold (Dohna Feud), in itself, and was a great patron of the Meissen Cathedral whose exemption he successfully helped to enforce. In 1404 William founded the Augustinian Monastery in Dresden, and fitted it out with possessions.

William's first wife was Elizabeth of Moravia (d. 1400), after whose death he married his second wife Anna of Brunswick. Both marriages were childless, so his inheritance fell to his nephews Frederick the Peaceful, Frederick the Belligerent and William the Rich.



  • Matthias Donath: Die Grabmonumente im Dom zu Meißen. Leipziger Universitätsverlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-937209-45-6, S. 285-287.
  • Heinrich Theodor Flathe (1898), "Wilhelm I., Markgraf von Meißen", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 43, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 118–124
  • Carl Wenck: Die Wettiner im XIV. Jahrhundert insbesondere Markgraf Wilhelm und König Wenzel nebst einem Exkurs: Der vogtländische Krieg, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877
William I, Margrave of Meissen
Born: 19 December 1343 Died: 9 February 1407
Preceded by
Frederick III
Margrave of Meissen
Succeeded by
William II
Frederick I
Frederick IV