1002: St. Brice’s Day Massacre 1949: Nathuram Godse, Gandhi’s assassin

1226: Frederick of Isenberg

November 14th, 2007 Headsman

On this date in 1226, Count — although he had been stripped of this title — Frederick of Isenberg, a German noble, was broken on the wheel for the murder of his cousin, the Archbishop of Cologne.

The proximate cause of the dispute between the two was said to have been Frederick‘s exploitation for his own benefit of an abbey he administered, to which the Archbishop, Engelbert of Berg, took exception. Underlying the conflict are the the outlines of power politics in fractious medieval Germany.

Engelbert was an aggressive and effective Archbishop, and the power he won for his diocese came at the expense of other claimants. Frederick was not likely the only noble menaced by the inroads of the vigorous bishop. One theory has it that, despite the 47 wounds found on the cleric’s body, the ambush Frederick laid for him aimed only to capture him as a hostage — a not unheard-of negotiating strategem of the period.

No matter Frederick’s intent, what he achieved was excommunication and the loss of all lands, title and wealth — including his castle, razed by the Archbishop’s successor. A year after the murder Frederick was captured returning from Rome, where he had sought to have his excommunication lifted. He suffered one of the more excrutiating forms of execution, his shattered body lingering alive overnight displayed atop a stone pillar.

Engelbert, who in life had been no stranger to worldly politics and himself had been excommunicated in his youth for backing an anti-papal power, was incorporated into the Catholic Church’s martyrology for his death in defense of the abbey and (though never formally canonized) has sometimes been venerated as a saint.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 13th Century,Broken on the Wheel,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Germany,God,Gruesome Methods,History,Murder,Nobility,Pelf,Power,Public Executions

Tags: , , , , ,

One thought on “1226: Frederick of Isenberg”

  1. jeff says:

    Ah, I see you follow the AP’s rejection of the serial comma. Fortunately for you, it seems not to be a capital offense.

    Anyway, and people say there was no innovation in the Middle Ages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Calendar

November 2007
M T W T F S S
« Oct   Dec »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Archives

Categories

Execution Playing Cards

Exclusively available on this site: our one-of-a-kind custom playing card deck.

Every card features a historical execution from England, France, Germany, or Russia!


Recent Comments

  • Graham Clayton: To this day, the identity of Rouse’s passenger is still not known.
  • Kevin Sullivan: Hey Bob… I’m just now seeing this so sorry for the delay in getting back with you....
  • Kevin Sullivan: Thank you, Antony for the kind words about my books! It’s always good to hear nice things. :)...
  • Kevin Sullivan: I’m not hiding facts, Richard. You’ve trashed the last three books I’ve written and...
  • jehanbosch/ Johan Louis de Jong: Modi, a wannabee dictator with an awful reputation praises the tribal leaders for...