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Elizabeth of Gorlitz (c. 1380–c. 1444)

Elizabeth of Gorlitz (c. 1380–c. 1444)

Duchess of Luxemburg. Name variations: Elizabeth of Görlitz; Elizabeth of Luxembourg, Luxemburg, or Limbourg. Born around 1380 in Luxemburg; died around 1444 in Luxemburg; daughter of John of Burgundy and Richarde of Mekelburg ; second wife of Antoine or Anthony, duke of Brabant (died 1415); married John of Bavaria, around 1419; children: (first marriage) John IV, duke of Brabant (r. 1415–1427, who married Jacqueline of Hainault ); Philip, duke of Brabant (r. 1427–1430).

Daughter of the ruling house of Luxemburg, Elizabeth of Gorlitz married Duke Antoine of Brabant about 1400 and had two children, John and Philip. She seems to have been an ambitious, shrewd woman, qualities she shared with her husband. When the Holy Roman emperor Wenceslas IV, who was also ruler of Luxemburg, was imprisoned by his German vassals after years of a chaotic reign, Elizabeth and Antoine claimed the throne of Luxemburg for themselves in 1412, on the grounds that it adjoined their legitimate holdings in Brabant and Limburg. The couple held the duchy together, co-ruling, for three years, until Antoine's death in 1415 at the battle of Agincourt. The imprisoned Wenceslas also died in 1415, paving the way for Elizabeth to retain Luxemburg. She ruled alone until around 1419, when she married Duke John of Bavaria, who assumed the rule of Luxemburg with her. He died only six years later, and Elizabeth again ruled alone. She outlived both of her sons and thus was forced to cede the duchy to Philip the Good when she retired from governing in 1443. Elizabeth is believed to have died the following year.

Laura York , Riverside, California

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