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Albert III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg

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Title: Albert III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg  
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Subject: Albert III, List of rulers of Saxony, Frederick I, Elector of Saxony, Electorate of Saxony, George I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, List of Saxon consorts, Konrad III the Old, Wenceslaus I, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg
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Albert III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg

Duke Albert III of Saxe-Wittenberg (German: Albrecht; b. around 1375/1380 in Wittenberg; d. before 12 November 1422 in Wittenberg) was the last Wittenberg Ascanian and prince-elector of the German Nation.


When Prince-Elector Rudolf III was poisoned in 1419 and died, his younger brother Albert III, (first mentioned in 1407), also known as Albert the Poor, took over the running of Saxe-Wittenberg. Albert III discovered on taking the rule of a land exhausted by many wars and an empty state purse. As a result he could scarcely afford any servants and led a very lonely life. In order to generate some income he controversially imposed the right to charge stall taxes on markets in the town of Wittenberg in 1421. He got into such conflict with the townsfolk that it almost led to an armed clash, because this right had belonged to the town of Wittenberg for generations. Finally Prince-Elector Frederick of Brandenburg, was called in to referee the dispute. He decided that the behaviour of the townsfolk to their lord was inappropriate, but supported their market taxation rights on condition that an apology was made to the lord. In the third year of his reign the prince-elector died as a result of an accidental fire in a farmhouse on the Lochau Heath, where he was overnighting with his wife during a hunt. The fire came so close to them that he and his wife, dressed only in nightshirts had to be rescued through a window. Several of his servants died in the flames. The prince-elector was so shocked by this incident that he died a few days later in Wittenberg. He was buried in the Franciscan chapel there. With his death, Ascanian rule in Saxe-Wittenberg came to an end.


He was the son of Duke Wenceslas of Saxony and married Euphemia (Offka) of Oels, the daughter of Duke Conrad III of Oels on 14 January 1420. This marriage was childless. In 1422 his widow was given the castle in Liebenwerda as an inheritance (Leibgedinge). In 1432, she married Prince George I of Anhalt-Dessau. She died in 1444.


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Albert III, Duke of Saxe-Wittenberg
Born: c. 1375-1380 Died: before 12 November 1422
Preceded by
Rudolf III
Prince-elector of Saxony
Succeeded by
Frederick I
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