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Henry the Proud

Henry 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. By his marriage (1127) with Gertrude, only child of German King Lothair II (later Holy Roman emperor), he became the most powerful German noble. He fought with Lothair against the Hohenstaufen dukes, Frederick of Swabia and his brother Conrad, who refused to recognize Lothair's election. In 1136 he accompanied Lothair to Italy, where the pope invested Henry with lands in Tuscany. Although he was Lothair's intended successor to the German kingship, Henry was defeated in the election of 1138 by Conrad of Hohenstaufen (Conrad III), who shortly afterward deprived Henry of his duchies. Henry, however, retained the loyalty of his subjects. He succeeded in expelling Albert the Bear from Saxony and was preparing to attack Bavaria when he suddenly died, leaving as his heir his young son Henry the Lion.

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