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Leopold I, Duke of Austria

Leopold I, Duke of Austria

Leopold I (4 August 1290 – 28 February 1326) from the House of Habsburg was Duke of Austria and Styria – as co-ruler with his elder brother Frederick the Fair – from 1308 until his death. Born at Vienna, he was the third son of King Albert I of Germany and Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol, a scion of the Meinhardiner dynasty.


A stained glass portrait of Leopold I of Austria, Königsfelden Monastery, Windisch, Switzerland

After the death of his eldest brother Duke Rudolph III in 1307 and the assassination of King Albert in 1308, Leopold became head of the Habsburg dynasty and administrator of the Swabian home territories, where he started a retaliation campaign against his father's murderers. The energetic man converged with the royal House of Luxembourg and accompanied King Henry VII on his Italian campaign. In 1311 he helped to suppress a Guelph revolt at Milan under Guido della Torre and to lay siege to the city of Brescia.

Upon Emperor Henry's death, he strongly supported his brother Frederick in the 1314 election as Battle of Morgarten.

When Frederick and their younger brother Henry had been captured at the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322, Leopold struggled for their release. He entered into negotiations with King Louis IV and even surrendered the Imperial Regalia he had kept at Kyburg castle. The parleys failed and Leopold continued to attack the Bavarian forces of Louis, who unsuccessfully laid siege to the Swabian town of Burgau

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