John I of Isenburg-Limburg

John I of Isenburg-Limburg, "The blind Lord" (died September 29, 1312) was from 1289 Count of (Isenburg-) Limburg and the head of the House of Limburg. The core territory of the Lordship of Limburg consisted of the city of Limburg an der Lahn and several surrounding villages.

In the City Chronicle of Limburg by Tilemann Elhen von Wolfhagen, written before 1402, John was referred to as the "Blind Lord." What is this name means, however, is unclear, because no sources refer to John being physically blind. Probably John had an eye disease in his old age and was thereby visually impaired.


John’s father, Gerlach I of Limburg, had founded the House of Limburg and sought to secure dynastic connections with neighboring noble families. John’s sister Imagina was married with the Count, later King of Germany, Adolf of Nassau. His second sister Agnes was married to Henry of Westerburg, the brother of the Siegfried II of Westerburg, the Archbishop of Cologne.

In 1288 John participated in the Battle of Worringen on the side of Siegfried of Westerburg. After the death of his father in the Black Forest on a military campaign of King Rudolph I of Habsburg, John inherited Lordship of Limburg.

John maintained a particularly close relationship to his brother-in-law, Adolf of Nassau. He served as godparent for Adolf's children. After Adolf’s election as king, John was a regular and active supporter and rose to become one of his advisors. He sealed the 1292 pledge of the imperial portion of the city of Limburg to the Archbishopric of Cologne. In the following years, he repeatedly sealed deeds of the king, and sealed the document as a witness for King Edward I of England in his agreement with Adolf. John was delegated to arrange the marriage between Adolf’s son Robert of Nassau and Agnes, the daughter of the King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia. He was also involved in concluding of the marriage contract between Duke Rudolph I of Upper Bavaria and Matilda (Mechtilde) of Nassau (King Adolf's daughter).

On July 2, 1298 John participated in the Battle of Göllheim on the side of Adolf of Nassau. Nevertheless, after the battle, he was able to win the favor of Adolf’s opponent, the new King Albert I of Habsburg. In 1303, Albert commissioned him to look for fiefs that had been wrongly taken from the empire and recover them.

The children of Otto I of Nassau designated John to act as arbitrator in the division of Otto’s inheritance in 1308.

John also worked diligently in his town of Limburg. Near the beginning of his reign, after a great fire destroyed the entire city of Limburg on May 14, 1289, John led a successful reconstruction effort. Already by around 1300 the city had outgrown its walls. John was probably responsible for the construction of the bridge over the Lahn at Limburg, the construction of the church of the Franciscan Monastery, and the founding of the Wilhelmiten monastery. Even the construction of St. Peter's Chapel in Limburg Castle goes back to him.

John died on September 29, 1312. He was buried in the Franciscan church of Limburg. His grave stone is still preserved today.

Marriages and Children

John was married twice and it is unclear which children should be assigned to each marriage. His first marriage was to Elizabeth of Gerolseck (near Strasbourg). With her he probably had the following children:

His second marriage was to Uda of Ravensberg. This marriage probably accounted for the following children:


External links

Preceded by:

John I

Succeeded by:

Gerlach IV Count of Isenburg-Limburg
Gerlach V
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