Alternate History

Sigismund I of Luxembourg (The Kalmar Union)

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Sigismund I
Sigismund I Luxem (The Kalmar Union).png
Sigismund I
King of Bohemia & Duke of Luxembourg
Reign 7th July, 1426 - 28th May, 1437
Predecessor Charles II
Successor Matthew
King of Hungary
Reign 7th July, 1426 - 28th May, 1437
Predecessor Charles II
Successor Matthew
Margrave of Brandenburg
Reign 7th July, 1426 - 28th May, 1437
Predecessor Charles II
Successor Matthew
Holy Roman Emperor
Reign 1st September, 1431 - 28th May, 1437
Predecessor Charles IV
Successor Matthew
Spouse Anna of Celije

Kunigunde of Magdeburg

House Luxembourg-Limburg
Father Charles II
Mother Valentina of Milan
Born 5th November, 1397
Buda, Hungary
Died 28th May, 1437

Sigismund I, King of Bohemia, King of Hungary, Margrave of Brandenburg, Duke of Luxembourg and Holy Roman Emperor would endure a miserable reign with no let up in either the Hussite War. He himself is said to have regarded it as an utter failure.

Sigismund was the first child of his father's second marriage to Valentina of Milan. While still young Charles II granted the prince Slovakia, then as now, a large duchy within the Hungarian kingdom and proved himself a competent ruler, though was utterly incapable of providing any assistance to his father when the defenestration of Prague kicked off the Hussite Wars in 1419. Slovakia would often be raided losing him authority over his occasionally fractious lords and he would personally lead the fifth crusade against the heretics, to little affect.

In 1426 Charles II died leaving Sigismund as heir. His father had left the Luxembourg lands in a state of uncertainty. Outside of Bohemia and Moravia which the Hussites ran and Sigismund's writ was ignored, various other territories had been granted away to family members to run as fiefs. Sigismund therefore trod carefully to avoid any strife which would further undermine his authority. Neumark was reconfirmed to his aging uncle Wenceslaus, Slovenia to his ambitious younger brother, and eventual heir, Matthew. Luxembourg had reverted to him after the death of his elder sister Catherine and this he gave to another brother, Jobst.

His family now satisfied, he received the crowns of Hungary and Bohemia (which had been recovered on the vaguely more successful Second Hussite Crusade) and was crowned with both by Pope Gregory XIII in the Hungarian city of Esztergom. However, if he expected an Imperial coronation to follow he would be disappointed; the Imperial electors were so unimpressed by him that they withheld his all but guaranteed election for five years.

In 1428 the French king outlawed Duke Charles of Bar and annexed the Duchy of Bar to France. That the duchy had been under 'French Regency' since 1413 or that the ducal family had lived in exile in Lorraine for much of this time mattered little, the act focused attentions in the Western edge of the Empire. Slowly the tide turned against France as the Imperial side began to synchronize its tactics and received strong military guidance. Sigismund would meet with the heroine of the war, Joanna of Wantzenau in 1431 and granted some parcels of land in Bohemia and urged her to go liberate them from the heretics with the same vigour as she had shown in Bar. Joanna's presence in Bohemia did little to solve the Hussite War, and some might say even prolonged it and, angry at the way she had seemingly betrayed the trust and faith he had shown, he would refuse to pay her ransom.

It appears that Sigismund slipped into depression as the 1430s progressed, often snapping at his lords and making occasionally poor decisions. It is perhaps a symptom of this that when the territories of Neumark and Luxembourg once again became free after their governors died he did not endow them to anyone else. His goal, of uniting Christendom into an alliance which would cleanse Bohemia, would come to naught but he would intervene, or at least try to, in other states' affairs in order to build his fanciful grand alliance. This led to foreign policies such as in 1436 when he negotiated Henry III of Anglia's release from captivity, or throwing his weight behind James I of Naples's struggles against Aragon.

Sigismund would not see his grand alliance come to fruition, nor the end of the war in Bohemia, and would die in 1437. Despite two marriages he had no children and he would be succeeded by brother Matthew.

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