Oldřich František Count Liebsteinský of Kolowrat
Oldřich František Count Liebsteinský of Kolowrat

Oldřich František Count Liebsteinský of Kolowrat

(28th July 1607, Žichovice – 3rd January 1650, České Budějovice)

President of the Bohemian Royal Chamber (1636–1645)
President of the Royal Chamber (1637–1648)
The Highest Chamberlain (1643–1646)
The Highest Hofmeister (1646–1650)
The Highest Burgrave (1647–1650)

The only son of Alžběta of Lobkowicz and Jindřich Liebsteinský of Kolowrat (1570–1656), the Highest Provincial Hofmeister in Bohemia, a feudal court judge and a provincial chamberlain.

Between 1622 and 1628 Count Oldřich František Liebsteinský of Kolowrat took part in several Grand Tours. During his first tour, he visited several Italian towns and then stayed for two years in Rome. His second Grand Tour led him westwards through Germany, to the Netherlands, and to Belgian Leuven where he studied for almost a year. Later on, he continued travelling to Paris and to the Iberian Peninsula where he spent some time in Madrid and Lisbon. Turning eastwards, he travelled by ship to the Italian peninsula and eventually returned to Bohemia via Switzerland and Bavaria. It is apparent that his Grand Tour was focused on visits to the Catholic countries of Southern Europe, and he often paid his respects at important pilgrimage sites like Loreto and Santiago.

Two years after his return from the Grand Tour, he married Countess Lucie Otýlie of Martinice (1609–1651), the daughter of Jaroslav Bořita of Martinice. Sadly, they had no children. However, marrying into this family, along with the support of his own father, was advantageous to Oldřich František’s political career. Wilhelm Slavata was also another helpful patron.

In the era after the Battle of the White Mountain, he held a few of the highest posts in the Kingdom of Bohemia, went to work for the Imperial court in Vienna, and belonged to sponsors of the Catholic church. Shortly after his return from his travels, he quickly developed his career at the royal court and, in 1628, was named the personal cup-bearer of the emperor, Ferdinand II. Later, in 1631, he also received the title of Imperial Chamberlain. Between 1636 and 1645, he became President of the Bohemian Royal Chamber, and at the same time, from 1637 till 1648, he held the post of President of the Royal Chamber. Holding concurrently the two positions within the financial governance of the Habsburg monarchy made him an important figure in the government of Ferdinand II. After 1643, he became the Highest Chamberlain, and three years later, the Highest Hofmeister. His career peaked when he held the office of the Highest Burgrave, which he inherited from his father-in-law.

The Count was strongly loyal to the Catholic Church until his late years when he, for example, assisted in establishing a monastery for the Order of Capuchins in Sušice. The Count also supported the creation of the Jesuit College in Klatovy (1636). Addtionally, he was a member of one of the re-Catholisation commissions, financially supported the establishment of Jesuit colleges in Březnice and Hlohov, and the construction of the St. Nicholas Church at Malá Strana in Prague.

He owned many estates in various regions of Bohemia, though his main seats were Žichovice Castle and Bystré Castle. He acquired the estate of Žichovice while he was married and enlarged it with the neighbouring Frymburk which had previously belonged to his mother. In 1637, he bought the Pakoměřice Estate near Prague, and, under unclear circumstances, he also acquired Podsedice Estate in North Bohemia. A distant relative, Wilhelm Bezdružický of Kolowrat, died in 1642, and left him the estate of Bystré in East Bohemia, which he managed to develop further. The two estates – Bystré and Žichovice, however, suffered greatly from the raids of Swedish armies during the Thirty-years War.

After Oldřich František´s death, his property was divided among several of his relatives. Bestré passed to his widowed wife, Lucie Otýlie, born of Martinic, whilst Žichovice passed to Olřich František´s mother Alžběta, born of Lobkowicz. Oldřich František´s cousin, Count Václav Liebsteinský of Kolowrat (1634–1659), a member of the Jesuit Order, inherited Střela Castle along with the village of Střelské Hoštice, whilst his other cousin, Count František Karel I Liebsteinský of Kolowrat (1620 - 1700) inherited the estate of Pakoměřice.