Gebhard II of Truchsess Waldburg (German: Gebhard II, Truchsess von Waldburg) (1547 - 1601) was the Archbishop of Cologne from 1577 until 1583.
Gebhard II was a son of William of Truchsess Waldburg-Trauchburg, a son of Count William of Waldburg-Trauchburg, an aristocratic family from the southeast of modern Baden-Württemberg, Germany. He was educated in Dillingen, Ingolstadt, Ievas and Perugia, and later received titles in Augsburg, Cologne and Strasbourg.
Archbishop of Cologne and the Cologne War
Gebhard II was elected the Archbishop of Cologne on 5 December 1577, defeating Ernest of Bavaria 12 votes to 10. He was consecrated as a priest on 19 March 1578, and he received papal confirmation on 29 March 1580. From 1579 Gebhard had started an affair with Agnes of Mansfeld, the Protestant Abbess of Gerresheim, and publically announced his relationship on 19 December 1582, marrying her on 2 February 1583. The Papacy responded by immediately excommunicating Gebhard, and the Cathedral chapter elected Ernest of Bavaria archbishop, therefore gaining Bavarian and Spanish support during the ensuing Cologne War (1583 - 1588).
Gebhard mobilised troops and received aid and support from the Electorate of the Palatinate. The war began very badly for Gebhard. The Spanish and Bavarians captured Godesberg and Bonn on 7 December 1583, and Gebhard fled to the Duchy of Westphalia, basing himself in Werl. He received Dutch aid after successfully contacting William I the Silent of the Netherlands and Nassau-Orange, and fought the remainder of the war with Dutch soldiers. He conquered and devastated Bonn on 23 December 1587, however by the following year his war effort ground to a halt and he abandoned the Archbishopric in 1589.
Life After the Archbishopric
Gebhard moved to Strasbourg where he became the Protestant deacon of the Duke of Württemberg. He died in Strasbourg on 31 May 1601 and was buried in Strasbourg Cathedral.
Gebhard II of Truchsess Waldburg
|Salentin of Isenburg-Grenzau||Archbishop of Cologne
1577 - 1583
|Ernest of Bavaria|