Henry Berengar

Henry Berengar[1] (1136/7–1150), sometimes numbered Henry (VI),[2] was the eldest legitimate son of Conrad III of Germany and his second wife, Gertrude von Sulzbach. He was named after his father's maternal grandfather, the Emperor Henry IV, and his mother's father, Count Berengar II of Sulzbach. He was groomed for the succession, but predeceased his father.

In 1139, Henry was betrothed to Sophia, daughter of King Béla II of Hungary. She moved to Germany to learn German language and court culture, but relations between Germany and Hungary cooled after the death of her father in 1141. The marriage was cancelled while Sophia was still residing in Germany. After several letters to her brother, King Géza II, she received permission to remain in the German monastery where she had been living. Conrad and Henry likewise approved.[3]

Conrad had the princes elect Henry, then ten years old, as co-King of Germany at a diet in Regensburg on 13 March 1147, before Conrad left on the Second Crusade.[4][5] Henry was anointed and crowned on Laetare Sunday (30 March) in Aachen.[5][6] During his father's absence on crusade (June 1147–May 1149), he was placed under the tutorship of the powerful abbot Wibald and the notary Heinrich von Wiesenbach.[5][7] For his services, Heinrich was raised to the rank of master (magister) or protonotary (protonotarius).[5] Nine letters (eight in full) written by or for Henry survive from this period of his reign.[5]

The young Henry was the winning general at the Battle of Flochberg (1150) against Welf VI and Welf VII.[8] The military prowess of the young ruler was emphasised in letters (dated the week of 16–20 April 1150 at Würzburg) to the Byzantine emperor Manuel I and the empress Irene, Gertrude's sister, informing them of the victory.[9][10] Henry died later that year[11][12] and was buried at the monastery of Lorch.


  1. Dale 2016, p. 195.
  2. Fuhrmann 1986, p. 202.
  3. Lyon 2013, pp. 236–37.
  4. Fuhrmann 1986, p. 130.
  5. Hausmann 1969, p. 519.
  6. Waitz 1879, p. 37, Annales Aquenses, s.a. 1147: Heinricus puer 10 annorum, filius Conradi regis, in media quadragesima, scilicet 3. Kal. Aprilis, unctus est in regem Aquisgrani ("Henry, a boy of ten years, son of King Conrad, in the midst of Lent, that is 30 March, is anointed to the kingship at Aachen").
  7. Bumke 1991, p. 461.
  8. Reuter 2001, p. 153.
  9. Hausmann 1969, pp. 404–06, for Conrad's letter (no. 229) to Irene
  10. Hausmann 1969, pp. 530–31, for Henry's letter (no. 10) to Manuel, and pp. 531–32 for his letter (no. 11) to Irene.
  11. Fuhrmann 1986, p. 132.
  12. Waitz 1879, p. 38, Annales Aquenses, s.a. 1150: Obiit Heinricus rex puer 13 annorum ("King Henry, a boy of thirteen years, died").


  • Bumke, Joachim (1991). Courtly Culture: Literature and Society in the High Middle Ages. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Dale, Johanna (2016). "Inauguration and Political Liturgy in the Hohenstaufen Empire, 1138–1215". German History. 34 (2): 191–213. doi:10.1093/gerhis/ghw014.
  • Fuhrmann, Horst (1986). Germany in the High Middle Ages: c.1050–1200. Translated by Timothy Reuter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Hausmann, Friedrich, ed. (1969). "Die Urkunden Konrads III. und seines Sohnes Heinrich [Conradi III. et filii eius Heinrici Diplomata]". Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Diplomata. 21. Vienna.
  • Lyon, Jonathan R. (2013). Princely Brothers and Sisters: The Sibling Bond in German Politics, 1100–1250. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  • Reuter, Timothy (2001). "The 'Non-Crusade' of 1149–50". In Phillips, Jonathan; Hoch, Martin (eds.). The Second Crusade: Scope and Consequences. Manchester: Manchester University Press. pp. 150–63.
  • Waitz, Georg, ed. (1879). "Annales Aquenses". Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Scriptores. 24. Hanover. pp. 33–39.
Preceded by
Conrad III
King of Germany
with Conrad III

30 March 1147 – 1150
Succeeded by
Conrad III
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