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Frederick IV, Elector Palatine

Frederick IV "the Righteous"
Frederick IV, Elector Palatine
Elector Palatine
Reign 1583-1610
Predecessor Louis VI
Successor Frederick V
Spouse(s) Louise Juliana of Nassau
Luise Juliane, Countess Palatine of Zweibrücken
Katharina Sofie
Frederick V, Elector Palatine
Elisabeth Charlotte, Electress of Brandenburg
Anna Eleonore
Louis William
Maurice Christian
Louis Philip, Count Palatine of Simmern-Kaiserslautern
Noble family House of Wittelsbach
House of Palatinate-Simmern
Father Louis VI, Elector Palatine
Mother Elisabeth of Hesse
Born (1574-03-05)5 March 1574
Died 19 September 1610(1610-09-19) (aged 36)
Religion Calvinism

Frederick IV, Elector Palatine of the Rhine (German: Kurfürst Friedrich IV. von der Pfalz; 5 March 1574 – 19 September 1610), only surviving son of Louis VI, Elector Palatine and Elisabeth of Hesse, called "Frederick the Righteous" (German: Friedrich Der Aufrichtige; French: Frédéric IV le juste).


  • Life 1
  • Family and children 2
  • Ancestors 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5


Born in Amberg, his father died in October 1583 and Frederick came under the guardianship of his uncle, John Casimir, an ardent Calvinist. The Calvinist mathematician and astronomer Bartholemaeus Pitiscus served as Frederick's tutor and later became court preacher.

In January 1592, Frederick assumed control of the government of the Electorate of the Palatinate upon the death of John Casimir. Frederick continued John Casimir's anti-Catholic measures and in 1608 became the head of the Protestant military alliance known as the Protestant Union. He soon fell prey to alcoholism, leaving state matters largely to his chief minister Christian of Anhalt.[1] Frederick IV died in 1610 in Heidelberg.

Family and children

In 1593 he married Louise Juliana of Nassau, the daughter of William I of Orange and Charlotte de Bourbon-Monpensier. They had eight children:

  • Luise Juliane of the Palatinate (Heidelberg, 16 July 1594 - Meisenheim, 28 April 1640); married in 1612 to Pfalzgraf John II, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken.
  • Katharina Sofie of the Palatinate (Heidelberg, 10 June 1595 - Köln an der Spree, 28 June 1626).
  • Frederick V, Elector Palatine (Jagdschloß Deinschwang, 16 August 1596 - Mainz, 29 November 1632).
  • George William of Brandenburg.
  • Anna Eleonore of the Palatinate (Heidelberg, 4 January 1599 - Heidelberg, 10 October 1600).
  • Louis William of the Palatinate (Heidelberg, 5 August 1600 - Heidelberg, 10 October 1600).
  • Maurice Christian of the Palatinate (Heidelberg, 18 September 1601 - Heidelberg, 28 March 1605).
  • Louis Philip, Count Palatine of Simmern-Kaiserslautern (Heidelberg, 23 November 1602 - Krossen, 6 January 1655).



  1. ^ Parker 1997 p. 23


  • Parker, Geoffrey (ed.) (1997): The Thirty Years' War: Second Edition. Routledge.
Frederick IV, Elector Palatine
Cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach
Born: 5 March 1574 Died: 19 September 1610
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Louis VI
Elector Palatine
Succeeded by
Frederick V
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