Bernhardin II. von Herberstein

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About Bernhardin II. von Herberstein

BIOGRAPHY Bernhardin II was born in 1566, the son of Freiherr Georg II von Herberstein and Barbara Schindel von Dromsdorf. In 1586 he succeeded his father as lord of the family estates of Herberstein, Reiffenstein and Krems, as four of his elder brothers had died young or in imperial service. He also succeeded his father in the inherited positions of _Erblandkämmerer_ and _Erblandtruchsess_ in the duchy of Carinthia.

On 29 January 1592 he married Maria Konstanze Fugger, daughter of Johann Jakob Fugger, Freiherr von Kirchberg und Weissenhorn, and Sidonia von Colaus gt. Watzler; they had a daughter Maria Renata who would have progeny. In March 1596 he married Gräfin Margarethe von Valmarana, daughter of Graf Leonhard von Valmarana and Gräfin Elisabeth zu Porto; they had four sons and two daughters, of whom their eldest son Hans Maximilian and their daughter Marie Elisabeth would have progeny.

From 1595 Bernhardin served Archduke (later Emperor) Ferdinand II, the regent of Inner Austria and Styria. In contrast to his father, Bernhardin was a Catholic, and he soon won the trust of Ferdinand, who appointed him as his chamberlain and lord grand master of the horse. He was also greatly esteemed by Ferdinand's wife Maria Anna, Herzogin von Bayern, the future empress.

Bernhardin was later appointed as Ferdinand's privy councillor, and after Ferdinand had become king of Bohemia in 1617 and of Hungary in 1618, Bernhardin became the royal counsellor and lord high steward, positions in which he continued after Ferdinand's coronation in 1619 as emperor. As imperial privy councillor he was able to influence policy both in the Habsburg crown lands and in the empire, but it is doubtful that he would have exerted a significant influence on Ferdinand's hard line against the Protestants in Bohemia, which ultimately led to the 30 Years War, as Bernhardin left active service in 1622 and retired to his estates.

In his last years he devoted himself to continuing the building works in the castle of Herberstein begun by his father, which would be completed by his son Hans Maximilian. Bernhardin died on 30 July 1624, and was buried in the Franciscan monastery at Maria Lankowitz in western Styria.