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War of the Limburg Succession (The Kalmar Union)

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War of the Limburg Succession
Battle of Worringen (The Kalmar Union)
Battle of Worringen
Beginning:

1283

End:

1289

Place:

Low Countries, Cologne

Outcome:

Treaty of Cleves

Combatants

Coat of arms of Brabant Brabant
Flag of Berg (The Kalmar Union).svgBerg
Flag of Anglia (The Kalmar Union).svgAnglia
Flag of Cologne (The Kalmar Union).svgCity of Cologne

25px Guelders
Flag of Luxembourg (The Kalmar Union).svgLuxembourg
Flag of Cologne (The Kalmar Union).svgArchbishopric of Cologne

Commanders

Coat of arms of Brabant John I
Flag of Berg (The Kalmar Union).svg Adolf VIII
Flag of Anglia (The Kalmar Union).svg Charles III

25px Reginald I
Flag of Luxembourg (The Kalmar Union).svg Henry VI
Flag of Cologne (The Kalmar Union).svg Seigfried II

Strength

4,200

4,800

Casualties and Losses

The War of the Limburg Succession (1283-1289) was a small but decisive struggle between local powers for the Duchy of Limburg. Despite its small scale it would have important ramifications for the Low Countries over the next few centuries.

Causes

The death of Waleran IV, duke of Limburg in 1280 left the duchy without an heir. He had sired no sons and neither had his daughter Ermegarde. Ermegarde's husband, Reginald I of Guelders, laid claim to the duchy but he was opposed. Waleran's nephew, Adolf VIII of Berg also claimed the duchy but unable to pursue his claims he sold them to John I, duke of Brabant. Brabant had much more resources at its disposal and from 1283 it and Guelders clashed repeatedly

The War

While the initial battles between Brabant and Guelders were inconclusive other local states began to take notice and choose their sides. Siegfried II, Archbishop of Cologne had long opposed Brabant and sided with Guelders. So too did Henry VI, Count of Luxembourg and Adolf, King of Germany gave his nominal support too.

On Brabant's side fell all those smaller counties eager to assert their independence from overbearing Cologne; Berg, Mark, Loon, Tecklenburg, Waldeck and the City of Cologne too. And to offset the German King came Charles III, King of Anglia, fresh from the conquest of Artois (1281-1283).

The fighting for the first few years was characterised by small engagements but no side really pursued the However in 1288 Reginald I of Guelders sold his his rights to Limburg to Henry VI of Luxembourg. This provoked Brabant into decisive action and John I began a siege of the Archbishop's fortress at Worringen. With Charles III racing to join the siege, Henry VI and Seigfried II attempted to lift it.

The Battle of Worringen, when it was joined, was fierce but was won by Brabant. Henry VI was killed along with several of his male relatives. Charles III was blinded and was lucky to survive. Siegfried II was captured and imprisoned by Berg until he acceded to their demands.

Aftermath

Thanks to the victory at Worringen Brabant absorbed the Duchy of Limburg elevating itself to the premier power on the Lower Rhine. It buried the hatchet with Luxembourg, the new count, Henry VII, who married John I's daughter Margaret in 1292. Cologne was forced to grant independence to the City of Cologne and abandon the pretence of overlordship over Berg and Mark. From this the Archbishops never really recovered. However they still retained an Electoral vote and remembering Luxembourg's friendship they gave Henry VII support for the Imperial crown in 1308, thereby securing his family's future as one of the premier dynasties of Europe.

Meanwhile, Brabant did not forget the friendship that Anglia had shown. Successive marriages brought the two states closer and closer until in 1347 both states were inherited by King Henry II. The huge mercantile potential of Brabant assured Anglia's growing wealth and status.

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