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Ladislaus Posthumus of Bohemia and Hungary

From Academic Kids

Ladislaus Posthumus (22 February 1440 - 23 November 1457), Archduke, king of Hungary as Ladislaus V (or VI); king of Bohemia as Ladislaus I; duke of Austria, the only son of Albert II, Holy Roman Emperor, and of Elizabeth, daughter of the emperor Sigismund, was born at Komarom four months after his father's death, and was hence called Ladislaus Posthumus (Ladislaus the Posthumous). He became immediately ruler of the Archduchy of Austria and official head of the House of Habsburg, and succeeded soon as King of Bohemia. However, his distant kinsman Frederick, the ruler of Inner Austria, was chosen as his father's successor as Holy Roman Emperor.

The estates of Hungary had already elected Wladislaus III of Poland as their king Vladislaus I (Hungarian: I. Ulászló), but the infant Ladislaus's mother had the Hungarian crown to be stolen from its guardians at Visegrad and have it brought to Wiener Neustadt by a lady of the court, Helene Kottannerin. According to legend, the cross on the crown is askew, because it was damaged during the transport. Ladislaus' mother thus compelled the primate to crown the infant king at Székesfehérvár on 15 May 1440; whereupon, for safety's sake, she placed the child in the guardianship of his distant Habsburg relative, the emperor Frederick III (then ruler of Inner Austria), who held him prisoner in Castle Orth and ruled Austria himself.

On the death of Wladislaus I in the Battle of Varna (10 November 1444), the Hungarian estates, not without considerable opposition, elected Ladislaus Postumus as their king and sent a deputation to Vienna to induce the emperor to surrender the child and the holy crown, which Frederick first refused. In Bohemia George of Poděbrady, acted as regent, and in Hungary John Hunyadi. From 1450 onwards, the pressure of the Austrian estates to free Ladislaus grew. In 1452, they entered into the Mailberg Confederation under the leadership of Ulrich of Eyczing and Ulrich of Celje and freed him by force. The Princely Count of Celje, Slovenian magnate and heir to Bosnia, the cousin of Ladislaus' mother, prevailed against Eyczing and became the guardian of the child, and thus the effective ruler in his stead.

On 28 October 1453 Ladislaus Posthumus, aged 13, was crowned king of Bohemia, and henceforth spent most of his time at Prague and Vienna. As Celje became increasingly inimical towards John Hunyadi, who bore the main burden of the battle against the Ottomans, Celje (and with him Ladislaus) remained supremely indifferent to the Turkish threat. After the death of Hunyadi, Ladislaus made Celje governor of Hungary at the Diet of Futtak (October 1456). When, after the Siege of Nándorfehérvár, Celje was murdered by Laszlo Hunyadi in revange for his assassination attempt on him on November 9, 1456, Ladislaus procured the decapitation of young Hunyadi, who was executed on March 16, 1457. This raised such a storm in Hungary that Ladislaus had to flee to Prague, where he spent the last year of his life.

He died suddenly on November 23, 1457), while making preparations for his marriage with Magdalena, daughter of Charles VII of France. He was rumored to have been poisoned by his political opponents in Bohemia, though no actual evidence of this ever existed. As late as in the 20th century it was proven that Ladislaus died of leukaemia which was an unknown diagnose in his era. In Austria, his uncle Frederick V succeeded him, Hungary elected Matthias Corvinus of the Hunyadi family, while Bohemia elected George of Poděbrady, the only Hussite ruler of that kingdom.


Note: There is one major error in the 1911 Encyclopedia entry for Ladislaus. The entry states that Ladislaus' mother's father (i.e. his maternal grandfather) was Emperor Sigismund, and then states that he was placed under the guardianship of his maternal grandfather, Ulrich of Celje. Ulrich was in fact his mother's first cousin.

Names in other languages: Czech: Ladislav (I) Pohrobek, Hungarian: V.(or VI) Postumus László, Slovak: Ladislav (V or VI) Pohrobok


Preceded by:
Albert II of Habsburg
Duke of Austria Succeeded by:
Frederick V
King of Bohemia Succeeded by:
George of Poděbrady
Preceded by:
Ulászló I
King of Hungary Succeeded by:
Matthias Corvinus

Template:End boxcs:Ladislav Pohrobek de:Ladislaus Postumus fr:Ladislas Ier du Saint-Empire nl:Ladislaus Posthumus pl:Władysław Pogrobowiec

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