Duke William of Cleves

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William "the Rich", Duke of Cleves as played by Paul Ronan
German Name:Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg
born July 28,1516 - died January 5,1592
Character's backstory:
William was born in Dusseldorf on July.28,1516 the second oldest and only son to John III "the Pacific" Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg and Maria Duchess of Julich-Berg.
His father was influenced by Erasmus and followed a moderate path within the Reformation. He sided with the Schmalkaldic League and opposed Emperor Charles V. After his father's death, he became Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. From 1539 to 1543, William held the Duchy of Guelders, as successor of his distant relatives, the Egmond dukes. Emperor Charles V. claimed this duchy for himself as the dukes had sold their right of heritage, and William tried to hold on to it. He made a treaty with the King of France and married Jeanne d'Albret, and with this backup dared to challenge the Emperor.
The Duke's ongoing dispute over Gelderland with Emperor Charles V made them suitable allies for King Henry VIII in the wake of the Truce of Nice.
All too soon he learned that the French did not lift a finger to help him, and he was overwhelmed and had to surrender. In accordance with the Treaty of Venlo (1543) that was the result of this war, Guelders and the County of Zutphen were transferred to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, combining them with the Habsburg Netherlands.
In 1545 there was an annulment of the marriage with Jeanne d'Albret and William married Mary of Habsburg a niece to Karl V. A close connection to the house of Habsburg.

Gentility: Nobility.

Position: Duke of Berg and Julich and the Count Ravenstein

Personality type: Uptight.

Signature look:

Endearing trait(s):

Annoying trait(s):

Links: See The Schmalkaldic League

Duke William of Cleves

Excerpt from <a class="external" href="http://books.google.ca/books?id=HvvLfI3C8rYC&pg=PA115&lpg=PA115&dq=william+duke+of+cleves&source=bl&ots=UOP2Tozz8q&sig=4SQKMp98HulHm9MS8hKuk3liuf4&hl=en&ei=0vAhSqSNOZTAM-3exZgJ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9#PPA116,M1" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Reformation Europe, 1517 - 1559">Reformation Europe, 1517 - 1559</a> by G.R. Elton:

....though not Lutheran, Cleves was also not orthodox. Since 1532 it had enjoyed a peculiar Church order of its own in which the duke ruled as spiritual head. Duke William was an Erasmian and the religion of the duchy was a mildly reforming compromise between Rome and Wittenberg. In its constitution as well as its via media [a middle way], it bore some resemblance to Henry VIII's Church of England. The presence of this powerful and dissident new state has immediate repercussions on the religious situation in the north and necessarily affected the political situation to the emperor's detriment.

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Family members:
Father: John III, Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg (11 Nov 1490 - c. 1539)
Mother: Maria,Duchess of Julich-Berg (3 Aug 1491 - 29 Aug 1543)
Sister: Sybille of Cleves (17 Jan 1512 - 21 Feb 1554) who married John Frederick I, Duke of Saxony who was one of the main leaders of The Schmalkaldic League. Had issue; her descendants include the current queen of the United Kingdom, Elizabeth II.
Sister: Anne of Cleves (22 Sep 1515 - 16 Jul 1557)
Sister: Amelia of Cleves (17 Oct 1517 - 1 Mar 1586)
Never married, no issue.

*For full list of relations, see Anne of Cleves ancestry page.

with Maria of Austria
Daughter: Marie Eleonore (25 Jun 1550 - 1608) m. Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia. Had issue.
Daughter: Anna (1 Mar 1552 - 1632) m. Philip Louis, Count Palatine of Neuburg. Had issue.
Daughter: Magdalene (1553 - 1633) m. John I, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken. Had issue.
Son: Charles Frederick (1555 - 1575) Never married, no issue.
Daughter: Elizabeth (1556 - 1561) Died young.
Daughter: Sybille (1557 - 1627) m. Karl II Habsburg of Austria. Had issue.
Son: John William, Duke of Cleves (28 May 1562 - 25 Mar 1609) m. 1st Jakobea of Baden, 2nd Antonia of Lorraine. No issue.

1st: Jeanne d'Albret/Jeanne III, Queen Regent of Navarre m. 1541 (7 Jan 1528 - 9 Jun 1572) - annulled in 1545. Jeanne was the mother of
King Henry IV of France through her 2nd marriage to Antoine de Bourbon.
2nd: Maria, Archduchess of Austria m. 18 Jul 1546 - daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary(15 May 1531 - 1581).





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Duke William of Cleves

William Duke of Cleves
Duke William of ClevesDuke William of Cleves
Duke William of ClevesDuke William of Cleves
Duke William of Cleves
Duke William of Cleves - The Tudors Wiki Jeanne III of Navarre, 1st wife of William of Cleves
William's first wife, Queen Regent Jeanne III of Navarre.
Duke William of Cleves - The Tudors Wiki
His 2nd wife Archduchess Maria and their daughter Maria Eleonore of Cleves.