Hanuš I. z Kolowrat


Guvernor of the towns of Prague, and the regions of Pilsen and Loket
One of the intermediary governors of the Kingdom of Bohemia

The second son of Kateřina of Hedčany and Albrecht I Liebsteinský of Kolowrat (died 1416), the Guvernor of Vogtland and the region of Loket, the jury of the High court, and an assessor of the Royal and Provincial Court.

Hanuš I inherited the castle of Krašov in Pilsen region and named it his seat. He married Anna of Stráž and together they had a son, Hanuš II. (died 1483) who became a canon. Since Hanuš I was a Catholic, he and his brother remained loyal to the King Sigismund of Luxembourg at the beginning of the Hussite Wars and lead the Catholic Union in the Pilsen region where the Liebsteinskýs of Kolowrat had their estates and property. In 1422, they pitted 200 horsemen against the Hussites to aid the king, who then granted them inscription to the royal estates in Bohemia. Additionally, the brothers acquired the villages previously possessed by the Plasy Monastery. That same year, the king also pledged a small town of Dobříš and the castles of Točník and Žebrák to them. Consequently, a unified Kolowratian region loyal to King Sigismund was formed.

During the times of interregnum between 1421 and 1422, Hanuš I repeatedly invaded the town of Příbram, wanting to annex it to his estates, in order to weaken the opposing Hussites. On 8th September 1422, Hanuš I defeated the troops of Jan Zmrzlík at Orlík Castle and the Příbram militia in the Battle of Hluboš. He also became an important regional politician who had a considerable military power. One example was his organisation of regional militia opposing Jan Žižka invading Pilsen in 1424. At the beginning of 1424, peace talks between the representatives of the Catholic and Utraquist nobility were organized in Zdice. It was Hanuš I who, together with his brother, represented the Catholics. Sources mention that Hanuš was also a participant at the Bratislava talks between the King Sigismund and Prokop the Great on 4th April 1429.

Between 1425 and 1430, Hanuš´ castles were unsuccessfully besieged by the Hussites. In 1430, Hanuš and his brother offered the Old Town of Prague and Prokop the Great a ceasefire, reconciliation, and an alliance in order to keep their estates. As a result, they ceded Castle Libštejn to the Hussites. The castle burgrave Jan Šmikouský was, however, kept there as a Guvernor. Hanuš I of Kolowrat is also traceable among Hussite warriors, e.g. during the besieging of Pilsen in 1431 and as a Guvernor of a cavalry troop during the battle of Domažlice on 14th August 1431. That same year, he took part in the Hussite expedition to Lusatia, Silesia, and Slovakia.

As the political situation shifted, Hanuš I rejoined the Catholic side and, when a five year long ceasefire between the Hussites and the Catholic lords was arranged on 4th March 1434, he was already on the side of the Catholic imperials. When some of the radicals kept on breaking the arranged peace in Bohemia, Hanuš´s troops supported military action by the Provincial Governor Aleš Včešťovský of Rýzmurk. In the same year, he participated in the fourth round of negotiations of Basel Council delegates in Brno to determine the final wording of the Compacts of Basel, Among the delegates were Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg, his son-in-law Albrecht II of Germany, and political representatives of the Bohemians.

After the proclamation of the Compacts of Basel and the election of Sigismund as the King of Bohemia, Hanuš I also received new titles. In 1436 he was named a royal huntsman, a judge of the High Court in the Pilsen Region a year later, and an assessor of the Bohemian Provincial Court.

Following the Sigismund´s death, Hanuš actively participated in forming the domestic policy of Bohemia. In 1437, at the Provincial Council, he was elected as one of the six governors of the Kingdom who governed Bohemia until Albrecht II of Germany assumed power. As a governor, he averted a rebellion of Prague townsmen who sought to thwart Albrecht´s coronation. Later, at the coronation ceremony, Hanuš had the honor of joining other prominent noblemen to carry the baldaquin over the Crown of St. Wenceslas.

In the 1430s, the political power of Hanuš grew even more. He became the Guvernor of the Pilsen region as well as the Guvernor of the Towns of Prague. He managed to enlarge his manor by acquiring the castle of Zbiroh and the town of Příbram in 1431. When King Albrecht II of Germany unexpectedly died in 1439, Hanuš was among the voting body that was responsible for choosing the king´s successor. The vote granted the throne to George of Poděbrady, of whom Hanuš was a great opponent. Consequently, in 1448, Hanuš escaped to the castle of Žebrák, where he died in 1450.