Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3004

"The Proud"

Duke of Bavaria (as Heinrich X., 1126-1139))
Duke of Saxony (as Heinrich II., 1137-1139)
Margrave of Tuscany (1137-1139)

Heinrich "The Proud " was the second son of Heinrich "The Black" (1075-1126), duke of Bavaria, and Wulfhild, daughter of Magnus Billung (d. 1106), duke of Saxony.  At Whitsuntide 1127 he married Gertrud of Saxony, the only child of the German king, Lothair III. (1075-1137).  He at once took part in the warfare between the king and the Hohenstaufen brothers, Friedrich II., duke of Swabia, and Konrad, later the German king Konrad III. (1093-1152).

When Heinrich the Proud took power in Bavaria upon the death of his father in 1126 and in Saxony upon the death of his father-in-law, Lothair III., in 1137, he was the most powerful prince in the empire and possessed the most imperial insignia.  When Lothair died in December 1137, the Welfs laid claim to the German kingship.  However, it was the influential Staufen in Swabia who did not permit the double duchy of the Welfs into the Empire. "Bavaria and Saxony in one hand violates the law of the Empire."  In 1138, when Staufen Konrad III. was elected new king in Koblenz, Heinrich the proud relinquished the imperial insignia; he thereby refused the royal demand for the return of one of his duchies.  Hence the possibility arose for king Konrad III. to deny his rival his fief and thus the two duchies of Bavaria and Saxony.  In July 1138 the duke was placed under imperial ban and Saxony was given to Albrecht the Bear, later margrave of Brandenburg.  War broke out in Saxony and Bavaria, but was cut short by Heinrich's sudden death at Quedlinburg on 20 October 1139.  Heinrich the Proud left behind a young son, Heinrich the Lion (1129-1195), who was brought up by his grandmother Richenza (d. 1141) of Süpplingenburg.

--Adapted from the website, Die Welfen


  • The Encyclopædia Britannica, 13th edition.  New York:  The Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 1926.
  • Schneidmüller, Bernd.  In the catalogue for the exhibition, "Heinrich der Löwe und seine Zeit." Brunswick, 1995.