Albert III
Duke of Saxony
Reign7 September 1464 – 12 September 1500
PredecessorFrederick II
Margrave of Meissen
Reign7 September 1464 – 12 September 1500
PredecessorFrederick VI
SuccessorGeorge II
Born(1443-01-27)January 27, 1443
DiedSeptember 12, 1500(1500-09-12) (aged 57)
SpouseSidonie Podiebrad of Bohemia
IssueCatherine, Archduchess of Austria
George, Duke of Saxony
Henry IV, Duke of Saxony
Frederick, Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights
HouseHouse of Wettin
FatherFrederick II, Elector of Saxony
MotherMargaret of Austria
ReligionRoman Catholicism

Albert III (German: Albrecht) (27 January 1443 – 12 September 1500) was a Duke of Saxony. He was nicknamed Albert the Bold or Albert the Courageous and founded the Albertine line of the House of Wettin.


Ernest, Elector of Saxony (1464–1486), Frederick II, Elector of Saxony (1428–1464) and Albert III, Duke of Saxony (1486–1500); from left to right, Fürstenzug, Dresden, Germany
Ernest, Elector of Saxony (1464–1486), Frederick II, Elector of Saxony (1428–1464) and Albert III, Duke of Saxony (1486–1500); from left to right, Fürstenzug, Dresden, Germany

Albert was born in Grimma as the third and youngest son (but fifth child in order of birth) of Frederick II the Gentle, Elector of Saxony, and Margarete of Austria, sister of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor. Later, he was a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece.[citation needed]

After escaping from the hands of Kunz von Kaufungen, who had abducted him together with his brother Ernest, he spent some time at the court of the emperor Frederick III in Vienna.[1]

In Eger (Cheb) on 11 November 1464 Albert married Zdenka (Sidonie), daughter of George of Podebrady, King of Bohemia; but failed to obtain the Bohemian Crown on the death of George in 1471. After the death of his father in 1464, Albert and Ernest ruled their lands together, but in 1485 a division was made by the Treaty of Leipzig, and Albert received the Meissen, together with some adjoining districts, and founded the Albertine branch of the House of Wettin.[1]

Regarded as a capable soldier by the emperor, Albert (in 1475) took a prominent part in the campaign against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and in 1487 led an expedition against Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary, which failed owing to lack of support on the part of the emperor.[1]

In 1488 he was appointed Governor of the Netherlands (until 1493)[2][3] and marched with the imperial forces to free the Roman king Maximilian from his imprisonment at Bruges, and when, in 1489, the King returned to Germany, Albert was left as his representative to prosecute the war against the rebels. He was successful in restoring the authority of Maximilian in Holland, Flanders, and Brabant, but failed to obtain any repayment of the large sums of money which he had spent in these campaigns.[1]

His services were rewarded in 1498 when Maximilian bestowed upon him the title of Hereditary Governor (potestat) of Friesland, but he had to make good his claim by force of arms. He had to a great extent succeeded, and was paying a visit to Saxony, when he was recalled by news of a fresh rising. The duke recaptured Groningen, but soon afterwards he died at Emden. He was buried at Meissen.[1]

Albert, who was a man of great strength and considerable skill in feats of arms, delighted in tournaments and knightly exercises. His loyalty to the emperor Frederick, and the expenses incurred in this connection, aroused some irritation among his subjects, but his rule was a period of prosperity in Saxony.[1]

Family and children

With his wife Sidonie, Albrecht had nine children:

  1. Katharina (Meissen, 24 July 1468 – Göttingen, 10 February 1524), married firstly on 24 February 1484 in Innsbruck to Duke Sigismund of Austria, and secondly on 1497 to Duke Eric I of Brunswick-Calenberg.
  2. Georg "der Bärtige" (Meissen, 27 August 1471 – Dresden, 17 April 1539).
  3. Heinrich V "der Fromme" (Dresden, 16 March 1473 – Dresden, 18 August 1541).
  4. Frederick (Torgau, 26 October 1473 – Rochlitz, 14 December 1510), Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights.
  5. Anna (Dresden, 3 August 1478 – Dresden, 1479).
  6. Stillborn child (1479).
  7. Louis (Torgau, 28 September 1481 – Torgau?, some days later / Torgau?, young after 1498) [?].
  8. John (born and died Torgau, 24 June 1484).
  9. John (Torgau, 2 December 1498 – Torgau?, some days later / Torgau?, young in September of the same year as his brother Louis) [?].[4]


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  1. ^ a b c d e f  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Albert III.". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 497–498. Endnote: See
    • F. A. von Langenn, Herzog Albrecht der Beherzte, Stammvater des königlichen Hauses Sachsen (Leipzig, 1838)
    • O. Sperling, Herzog Albrecht der Beherzte von Sachsen als Gubernator Frieslands (Leipzig, 1892).
  2. ^ Bietenholz, Peter G.; Deutscher, Thomas Brian (2003). Contemporaries of Erasmus: A Biographical Register of the Renaissance and Reformation, Volumes 1-3, A-Z. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9780802085771.
  3. ^ "Albert III duke of Saxony". Britannica. Retrieved 24 July 2019.
  4. ^ Genealogical database by Herbert Stoyan[permanent dead link]
Albert III, Duke of Saxony House of WettinBorn: 27 January 1443 Died: 12 September 1500 Regnal titles Preceded byFrederick II Duke of Saxony 1464–1500 Succeeded byGeorge Government offices VacantDirect rule of Maximilian ITitle last held byEngelbert II of Nassau Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands 1488 to 1492 VacantDirect rule of Philip the HandsomeTitle next held byEngelbert II of Nassau