Sibylle of Cleves

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Sibylle of Cleves
Lucas Cranach d.Ä. - Bildnis der Prinzessin Sibylle von Cleve (1526, Klassik Stiftung Weimar).jpg
Sibylle of Cleves at the time of her betrothal to Electoral Prince John Frederick, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526.
SpouseJohann Friedrich I, Elector of Saxony
IssueJohann Friedrich II, Duke of Saxony
Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Prince John Ernest of Saxony
John Frederick III the Younger, Duke of Saxony
HouseHouse of Wettin
House of La Marck
FatherJohann III, Duke of Cleves
MotherMaria of Jülich-Berg
Born(1512-01-17)17 January 1512
Düsseldorf
Died21 February 1554(1554-02-21) (aged 42)
Weimar
BurialSt. Peter und Paul, Weimar
 
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Sibylle of Cleves
Lucas Cranach d.Ä. - Bildnis der Prinzessin Sibylle von Cleve (1526, Klassik Stiftung Weimar).jpg
Sibylle of Cleves at the time of her betrothal to Electoral Prince John Frederick, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1526.
SpouseJohann Friedrich I, Elector of Saxony
IssueJohann Friedrich II, Duke of Saxony
Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Prince John Ernest of Saxony
John Frederick III the Younger, Duke of Saxony
HouseHouse of Wettin
House of La Marck
FatherJohann III, Duke of Cleves
MotherMaria of Jülich-Berg
Born(1512-01-17)17 January 1512
Düsseldorf
Died21 February 1554(1554-02-21) (aged 42)
Weimar
BurialSt. Peter und Paul, Weimar

Sibylle of Cleves (German: Sibylle von Jülich-Kleve-Berg) (17 January 1512 – 21 February 1554) was Electress consort of Saxony.

Born in in Düsseldorf,[1] she was the eldest daughter of Johann III of the House of La Marck, Duke of Jülich jure uxoris, Cleves, Berg jure uxoris, Count of Mark, also known as de la Marck and Ravensberg jure uxoris (often referred to as Duke of Cleves) who died in 1538, and his wife Maria, Duchess of Julich-Berg (1491–1543). Her younger siblings where two sisters, Anna (later Queen of England) and Amalia, and a brother, Wilhelm, who became in Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg, bearing the promising epithet "The Rich".

Life[edit]

In September, 1526 Sibylle was betrothed to Electoral Prince Johann Friedrich of Saxony in the Schloss Burg an der Wupper. After lengthy negotiations about the dowry, the lavish wedding ceremony, preceded by an elaborate procession, took place in Torgau on 9 February 1527. They had four sons:

After the death of his father in 1532, Johann Friedrich became Elector of Saxony and Sibylle in the Electress consort.

The correspondence between Sibylle and her husband during his captivity as consequence of the Schmalkaldic War, showed a devoted and intimate couple. In the meanwhile, during the siege of Wittenberg, the Electress protected the city in her husband's absence. To save his wife and sons, and to prevent Wittenberg from being destroyed, Johann Friedrich conceded the Capitulation of Wittenberg, and resigned the government of his country in favour of Maurice of Saxony.

In 1552, after five years of captivity, the deposed Elector was finally reunited with his family. However, the reunion was short-lived: in 1554 both Sibylle and Johann Friedrich I died within a month of each other. They were buried in the City Church of Weimar.

Like her husband, Sibylle was a staunch supporter of the Reformation. The Thuringian reformer Justus Menius dedicated to her the mirrors for princes writing Oeconomia Christiana.

Portrait of Electoral Princess Sibylle of Saxony, by Lucas Cranach, 1531.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ At the time, the area was in the Duchy of Berg.

References[edit]


This article incorporates information from the revision as of 4 December 2006 of the equivalent article on the German Wikipedia.
Sibylle of Cleves
Born: 17 January 1512 Died: 21 February 1554
Vacant
Title last held by
Elisabeth of Bavaria
Electress of Saxony
16 August 1532 – 24 April 1547
Succeeded by
Agnes of Hesse