Pledging and Politics. The Example of the Late Medieval Duchy of Luxembourg

Virtual research seminar to discuss economic and financial aspects of monarchical rule.

In the late Middle Ages, the County, since 1354 the Duchy of Luxembourg, was under the rule of changing lienholders. The pledging of dominions and rights was already common under John (the Blind) of Luxembourg (1309-1346), but their transfer was only partial and temporary. In its entirety, the duchy was pledged for the first time in 1388 and since then it was ruled by various lienholders until beyond the death of the last male representative of the House of Luxembourg, Sigismund, in 1437. The background to this move was, on the one hand, the outstanding compensation of loyal servants for services rendered, but above all the fact that the political goals of Sigismund and his niece Elisabeth were increasingly diverging at this time, which is why both parties were striving to secure their influence in the duchy in the long term.