Friedrich IV., Herzog von Österreich
Duke Friedrich IV. Engraving by W. Kilian.
Friedrich IV, b. 1382, d. Innsbruck (Tyrol), June 24, 1439, son of Duke Leopold III, Duke of Austria, of the Leopoldinian Line of the Habsburgs. Entrusted with the administration of the Tyrol and the western domains, known as the Vorlande, in 1402 (alone in 1406), and founded a short-lived Tyrolean line. At first came into conflict with external adversaries (wars with Appenzell, Venice, and the House of Wittelsbach) and had to fight against internal opposition of the nobility, which resulted in two alliances, the "Elefantenbund" in 1406, and the "Falkenbund" in 1407. When Pope Johannes XXIII, who was F.'s ally, fled from Konstanz in 1415, F. was outlawed by Emperor Sigismund, and the core territories of the Habsburgs were consequently lost to the Swiss. However, F., supported by the peasants, was able to assert himself against the Emperor, the neighbouring countries and the nobility. In return for the peasants' help F. laid down the duties of the "courts" in the Tyrolean constitution (constitution of the estates as representatives of the country). He transferred his official residence from Merano/Meran to Innsbruck and consolidated his position from 1425. When silver was found in Gossensaß (Colle Isarco) and in Schwaz, the country experienced a period of prosperity. He had a son, Sigmund, with his second wife Anna von Braunschweig and became well-known under the nickname, given to him by his aristocratic adversaries, "the one with empty pockets".
Literature: J. Riedmann, in: J. Fontana, Geschichte des Landes Ti., vol. 1, 1985.