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

Wilhelm II. The Younger
(William II.)
(d. 1503)

Duke of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel (1482-1503)

in 1482, after the death of Wilhelm the Elder who had also inherited the principality of Wolfenbüttel, his elder son, Wilhelm II. the Younger, obtained the principality of Wolfenbüttel, and his younger son, Friedrich "The Restless" (d. 1495) obtained the principality of Calenberg - Göttingen. In 1484 the "Great Bishopric Feud" began in Hildesheim, in which the bishop--in league with Wilhelm II. the Younger--sought to break the predominance of his state. Both rulers wanted to strengthen their royal power. Friedrich, however, pursued the traditional of politics of the feud against the Bishop; he was removed from Calenberg caslte in the surprise coup of his brother Wilhelm II., declared mentally ill, and held captive in Hardegsen, later in Münden, until his death in 1495. Even without his help, Hildesheim could hold its own against the Bishop. After the removal of his brother, Wilhelm II. could not win against the state. Very early Duke Wilhelm II. the Younger gave his sons control; at the same time, however, he initially rejected an inheritance division of the two principalities. Then in the testamentary contract of Gandersheim of 1495, he decided that it should come to a division of his domain. His eldest son, Heinrich, took over the principality of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel, and his younger son, Eric I., obtained the principality of Calenberg. The father of the two princes, Wilhelm II. the Younger, had become weary of his position and appointed his two sons to power. For that, however, they had to promise him life-long payments and a high income.