Elector and Duke of Saxony, Emperor Sigismund, Frederick of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire, Margrave of Meissen
Friedrich I, the Belligerent or the Warlike (April 11, 1370 – January 4, 1428), a member of the House of Wettin, ruled as Margrave Friedrich IV of Meissen from 1407 and Elector of Saxony (as Friedrich I) from 1423 until his death.
He is not to be confused with his cousin Landgrave Friedrich IV of Thuringia, the son of Landgrave Balthasar.
Friedrich I of Saxony was the eldest son of Friedrich III, Landgrave of Thuringia, and Catherine of Henneberg.
After the death of his uncle Wilhelm I, Margrave of Meissen in 1407, he was made governor of the Margraviate of Meissen together with his brother Wilhelm II as well as with his cousin Friedrich IV (son of Balthasar), until their possessions were divided in 1410 and 1415.
In the German town war of 1388 he assisted Friedrich V of Hohenzollern, burgrave of Nuremberg, and in 1391 did the same for the Teutonic Order against Wladislaus II of Poland. Friedrich supported Rupert III, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, in his struggle with King Wenceslaus for the Imperial throne, probably because Wenceslaus refused to fulfill a promise to give him his sister Anna in marriage.
The danger to the Holy Roman Empire rom the Hussites induced Friedrich to ally himself with Emperor Sigismund; and he took a leading part in the war against them, during the earlier years of which he met with considerable success.
For his victory at the Battle of Brüx in 1421, Friedrich was granted the ranks of Duke and Elector of Saxony. In the prosecution of this enterprise Friedrich spent large sums of money, for which he received various places in Bohemia and elsewhere in pledge from Sigismund, who further rewarded him on January 6, 1423 with the vacant electoral Duchy of Saxony-Wittenberg; and Friedrich’s formal investiture followed at Ofen on the August 1, 1425.
Thus ascended Friedrich IV, Margrave of Meissen, who called himself Friedrich I now as Duke and Elector of Saxony. Thus spurred to renewed efforts against the Hussites, the elector was endeavouring to rouse the German princes to aid him in prosecuting this war when the Saxon army was almost annihilated at Aussig on the 16 August 16, 1426.
After the death of his brother Wilhelm II, Friedrich became the ruler over the entire possession of The House of Wettin except Thuringia.
In 1409, Friedrich and his brother Wilhelm founded the University of Leipzig, for the benefit of German students who had left the University of Prague after the events relating to the Western Schism.
Friedrich died in 1428 at Altenburg. He was buried as the first Wettin in the centre of what is now known as the Princes Chapel in Meissen Cathedral. The cathedral is now accessible to the public for a small fee and the tomb is readily seen.
Friedrich I married Catherine of Brunswick-Lüneburg (d. 1442), the only daughter and second child of Heinrich I Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg from his first marriage to Sophie of Pomerania, daughter of Duke Wartislaw VI of Pomerania.
Friedrich I of Saxony was succeeded by his eldest son.
Friedrich II, Elector of Saxony (1412–1464).