Guelphs


Also found in: Dictionary.
Related to Guelphs: Ghibellini, War of the Guelphs and Ghibellines

Guelphs

(gwĕlfs), European dynasty tracing its descent from the Swabian count Guelph or Welf (9th cent.), whose daughter Judith married the Frankish emperor Louis I. Guelph III (d. 1055) was made (1047) duke of Carinthia and margrave of Verona. Without male heirs, he was succeeded by his nephew, Guelph IV, whose father was a member of the Italian house of EsteEste
, Italian noble family, rulers of Ferrara (1240–1597) and of Modena (1288–1796) and celebrated patrons of the arts during the Renaissance. Probably of Lombard origin, they took their name from the castle of Este, near Padua.
..... Click the link for more information.
. He became (1070) the first Guelph duke of Bavaria. His grandson, Henry the ProudHenry the Proud,
c.1108–1139, duke of Bavaria (1126–38) and of Saxony (1137–38). A member of the Guelph family, he inherited the duchy of Bavaria and enormous private wealth.
..... Click the link for more information.
, inherited the duchy of Saxony from Holy Roman Emperor Lothair II through his marriage to Lothair's daughter Gertrude. Henry's control of both Bavaria and Saxony made the Guelphs powerful rivals to the house of HohenstaufenHohenstaufen
, German princely family, whose name is derived from the castle of Staufen built in 1077 by a Swabian count, Frederick. In 1079, Frederick married Agnes, daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV, and was created duke of Swabia.
..... Click the link for more information.
 for the imperial title; when Conrad III of Hohenstaufen became German king in 1138 he deprived Henry of his duchies, and war ensued. Amity between the two dynasties was restored with the accession of Frederick IFrederick I
or Frederick Barbarossa
[Ital.,=red beard], c.1125–90, Holy Roman emperor (1155–90) and German king (1152–90), son of Frederick of Hohenstaufen, duke of Swabia, nephew and successor of Holy Roman Emperor Conrad III.
..... Click the link for more information.
 of Hohenstaufen as Holy Roman emperor in 1155. His mother, Judith, was the sister of Henry the Proud, and Frederick I thus united in his person the two chief rival houses of Germany. Frederick reconfirmed Henry the LionHenry the Lion,
1129–95, duke of Saxony (1142–80) and of Bavaria (1156–80); son of Henry the Proud. His father died (1139) while engaged in a war to regain his duchies, and it was not until 1142 that Henry the Lion became duke of Saxony.
..... Click the link for more information.
, successor of Henry the Proud, as duke of Saxony and Bavaria. Later in Frederick's reign friction between the two developed, and in 1180, Frederick confiscated Henry's duchies; the Guelphs retained only Brunswick and Lüneburg. Henry's son Otto IVOtto IV,
1175?–1218, Holy Roman emperor (1209–15) and German king, son of Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony. He was brought up at the court of his uncle King Richard I of England, who secured his election (1198) as antiking to Philip of Swabia after the death of Holy
..... Click the link for more information.
 briefly became Holy Roman emperor but was deposed (1215). In 1235, Brunswick and Lüneburg were raised to the duchy of BrunswickBrunswick
, Ger. Braunschweig , former state, central Germany, surrounded by the former Prussian provinces of Saxony, Hanover, and Westphalia. The region of Braunschweig is situated on the North German plain and in the northern foothills of the Harz Mts.
..... Click the link for more information.
 under Henry's grandson Otto I of Brunswick. The line of Brunswick-Lüneburg or Hanover (see Hanover, house ofHanover, house of,
ruling dynasty of Hanover (see Hanover, province), which was descended from the Guelphs and which in 1714 acceded to the British throne in the person of George I.
..... Click the link for more information.
) ascended (1714) the throne of Great Britain in the person of George I, but because of the Salic law of succession Hanover was separated (1837) from the British crown on the accession of Queen Victoria. After the annexation of Hanover by Prussia and the deposition (1866) of George V, last king of Hanover, the so-called Guelphic party was founded and unsuccessfully sought to restore the kingdom.