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Frederick the Winter King

Frederick the Winter King, 1596–1632, king of Bohemia (1619–20), elector palatine (1610–20) as Frederick V. The Protestant diet of Bohemia deposed the Roman Catholic King Ferdinand (Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II) and chose Frederick as king. Influenced by his minister Christian of Anhalt, Frederick accepted but did not receive the aid expected from his father-in-law, James I of England, and from the Protestant Union against Ferdinand. After initial success, his supporters were routed at White Mt. (1620). Frederick thus lost Bohemia; from his short tenure came the derisive name, the Winter King. He was put under imperial ban and was stripped of all his remaining territories. The electorate was transferred to Maximilian I of Bavaria (see electors). These struggles were the first campaigns of the Thirty Years War. The Hanoverian kings of England were descended from Frederick and his wife, Elizabeth, through their daughter Sophia, who was the mother of George I of England.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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