Leopold I (4 August 1290 – 28 February 1326) from the House of Habsburg was Duke of Austria and Styria – as co-ruler with his elder brother Frederick the Fair – from 1308 until his death. Born at Vienna, he was the third son of King Albert I of Germany and Elisabeth of Gorizia-Tyrol, a scion of the Meinhardiner dynasty.
A stained glass portrait of Leopold I of Austria, Königsfelden Monastery, Windisch, Switzerland
After the death of his eldest brother Duke Rudolph III in 1307 and the assassination of King Albert in 1308, Leopold became head of the Habsburg dynasty and administrator of the Swabian home territories, where he started a retaliation campaign against his father's murderers. The energetic man converged with the royal House of Luxembourg and accompanied King Henry VII on his Italian campaign. In 1311 he helped to suppress a Guelph revolt at Milan under Guido della Torre and to lay siege to the city of Brescia.
Upon Emperor Henry's death, he strongly supported his brother Frederick in the 1314 election as King of the Romans. Despite all efforts (and bribes), the Habsburgs only gained the votes of four Prince-electors, while Louis IV of Wittelsbach, with support of the Luxembourgs, was elected by five. In the following armed conflict between the rivals, the forces of Leopold were supportive of his brother's claims. In his ancestral homeland however, he incurred a decisive defeat by the Swiss Confederacy at the 1315 Battle of Morgarten.
When Frederick and their younger brother Henry had been captured at the Battle of Mühldorf in 1322, Leopold struggled for their release. He entered into negotiations with King Louis IV and even surrendered the Imperial Regalia he had kept at Kyburg castle. The parleys failed and Leopold continued to attack the Bavarian forces of Louis, who unsuccessfully laid siege to the Swabian town of Burgau in 1324. After the king had failed to reach the approval of his election by Pope John XXII and was even banned, he released Frederick in 1325. The captive however had to promise to swear his brother to acknowledge Louis as his suzerain, which Leopold refused. Frederick as a man of honour voluntarily returned to the Bavarian court, where he and Louis finally agreed upon a joint rule.
Leopold died in Straßburg shortly afterwards, aged 35. His remains were buried at Königsfelden Monastery in the Swiss town of Windisch in the Aargau.
Marriage and issue
Catherine of Savoy
In 1315 Leopold married Catherine (1284–1336), daughter of Count Amadeus V of Savoy. They had two daughters:
Catherine (1320–1349), who married Lord Enguerrand VI of Coucy
Agnes (1322–1392), married Duke Bolko II the Small of Świdnica.
Ancestors of Leopold I, Duke of Austria
16. Rudolph II, Count of Habsburg
8. Albert IV, Count of Habsburg
17. Agnes of Staufen
4. Rudolph I of Germany
18. Ulrich, Count of Kiburg and Dillingen
9. Heilwig of Kiburg
19. Anna von Zähringen
2. Albert I of Germany
20. Burckhard IV, Count of Hohenburg
10. Burckhard V, Count of Hohenburg
5. Gertrude of Hohenburg
22. Rudolph II, Count Palatine of Tübingen
11. Mechtild of Tübingen
1. Leopold I, Duke of Austria
24. Engelbert III, Count of Gorizia
12. Meinhard I of Gorizia-Tyrol
25. Matilda of Andechs
6. Meinhard, Duke of Carinthia
26. Albert IV, Count of Tyrol
13. Adelaide of Tyrol
27. Uta of Frontenhausen
3. Elisabeth of Tirol
28. Louis I, Duke of Bavaria
14. Otto II Wittelsbach, Duke of Bavaria
29. Ludmilla of Bohemia
7. Elisabeth of Bavaria
30. Henry V, Count Palatine of the Rhine
15. Agnes of the Palatinate
31. Agnes of Hohenstaufen
Leopold I, Duke of Austria
House of Habsburg
Born: 1290Died: 1326
Preceded by Albert V Rudolph VI
Count of Habsburg 1308-1326
Succeeded by Frederick the Fair
Preceded by Albert I Rudolph II Rudolph III
Duke of Austria and Styria 1308-1326 With: Frederick the Fair
Succeeded by Frederick the Fair (alone)
Main character in the book series The Forest Knights. Main antagonist in the Japanese manga series, Wolfsmund.