The name of a famous Catholic German noble family from the Rhineland that rose to renown in the 17th century. Many members were prelates of the church.
Lothar Franz, archbishop of Mainz; b. Bavaria, Oct. 4, 1655; d. Mainz, Jan. 30, 1729. He entered the clerical state at an early age and filled church positions in Bamberg, Würzburg, and Mainz and was entrusted with numerous governmental duties as well. On Nov. 16, 1693, he was elected bishop of Bamberg; on Sept. 3, 1694, he became coadjutor to Anselm Franz, the ailing archbishop of Mainz. After Franz's death in March 1695, Lothar Franz succeeded as archbishop. He was well known for his appreciation and interest in art and learning.
Johann Philipp, prince bishop of Würzburg; b. Würzburg, Feb. 5, 1673; d. near Löffelsterz, Aug. 18, 1724. He was the nephew of Lothar Franz and the eldest son of Melchior Friedrich, who held the hereditary office of Elector of Mainz. He obtained his higher education at the German College in Rome. His outstanding intellectual gifts, his skill in oratory, plus the connections with so renowned a family won him recognition in the episcopal service and a number of highly regarded church benefices in Mainz, Bamberg, Würzburg, and Frankfurt on the Main. Johann Philipp was also active in diplomatic service at the papal, imperial, and royal courts. On Sept. 18, 1719, he was unanimously elected to the office of prince bishop of Würzburg. He contributed significantly to the family interest and promotion of education, culture, and the welfare of Würzburg as the Schönborn Chapel, the magnificent Schönborn mausoleum, and the splendid palace. Johann Philipp died suddenly while returning from a visit to the Grand Master of the German Order of Knights in Mergentheim.
Friedrich Karl, also prince bishop of Würzburg; b. Mainz, March 3, 1674; d. Würzburg, July 25, 1746. He was a younger brother and second successor of Johann Philipp. In 1729, after a notable episcopal career in Mainz and Bamberg, Friedrich succeeded to Würzburg. Diplomatic missions to Polish, Prussian, Saxon, Lorraine, and Roman courts made Friedrich Karl the most distinguished politically among the Schönborns. During the 17 years that he headed the dioceses of Bamberg and Würzburg, foreign affairs demanded his attention and he gave valuable service to the Hapsburgs. In both dioceses he effected great reforms in higher education, was patron of the arts, built churches and palaces, founded many institutions, and was responsible for worthwhile economic measures.
Damien Hugo, cardinal, prince bishop of Speyer and Constance; b. Mainz, Sept. 19, 1676; d. Bruchsal, Aug. 17, 1743. He became a cardinal in 1713 and coadjutor of Speyer in 1716. He was prince bishop of Speyer (1719–43) and of Constance (1740–43). Bruchsal Castle is a lasting monument to this exemplary churchman.
Franz Georg, prince bishop of Worms; b. Mainz, June 15, 1682; d. Mainz, Jan. 18, 1756. He was the brother of Damien Hugo. He became archbishop and electoral prince of Trier in 1729 and in 1732 succeeded to Worms and became provost of Ellwangen. He was an ardent supporter of the Hapsburgs, and was praised by Frederick the Great and Maria Theresa as an excellent ruler.
Franz, cardinal, archbishop of Prague; b. near Prague, Jan. 24, 1844; d. near Falkenau bei Eger, June 25, 1899. He was a member of the Prague branch of the Schönborn family. He took part in the War of 1866 as an Austrian officer. In 1873 he was ordained; he became vice rector of the Prague Seminary in 1879 and rector in 1882. He became bishop of Budweis in 1883 and prince archbishop of Prague and primate of Bohemia in 1885. Four years later he received the cardinalate.
Bibliography: h. hantsch, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche ī 9:310–313. t. henner and k. g. bockenheimer, Allgemeine deutsche Biographie 32:268–280. Der grosse Brockhaus, 12 v. (16th ed. Wiesbaden 1952–57) 10:460.
[m. v. schuller]