Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Theresa Sobeska, Electress of Bavaria

"He hath delivered my soul in peace from the battle that was against me: for there were many with me"--Psalm 55:18

"The lamentable situation of the Electress and her children appealed strongly to the chivalry of Marlborough.  "It has made my heart ache," he wrote to the Duchess, "being very sensible how cruel it is to be separated from what one loves."
"On November 10 a treaty was concluded by the King of the Romans and the Bavarian representatives, whereby the Electress undertook to disband her husband's army, to surrender his fortunes, and to restore his conquests.  In return she was permitted to reside at Munich, to receive a sufficient revenue, and to maintain a personal guard of 400 men."--pp. 245, 251, Wars of Marlborough by Frank Taylor

Theresa Kundegarde Sobieska was born in 1676.  In 1695, she married Maximilian II Emmanuel, Elector of Bavaria.  1695 was the middle of the Nine Years War, as France and the Holy Roman Empire clashed in Europe.  The Nine Years War ended in 1697, and Bavaria enjoyed peace.

But the peace was broken in 1702 with the outbreak of the War of the Spanish Succession.  Max Emmanuel changed sides, joining France against the Holy Roman Empire.  This new Franco-Bavarian force was poised along the Rhine, until the Duke of Marlborough shattered it at the Battle of Blenheim.  The Elector with the remains of his army joined the French in their retreat, leaving his wife as vice-regent of Bavaria.  The Allies wasted Bavaria with fire and sword, to compel the Elector to surrender.  On November 10, 1704, the Electress signed a treaty with the Holy Roman Emperor.  When the war ended in 1713, the Elector returned to his dominions, which had been saved for him by his wife, Theresa Kundegarde Sobieska.

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