Johann Joseph, Graf von Wilczek

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Johann Joseph Maria von Wilczek

Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Petrovice, Hradec Kralove, Bohemia, Austrian Empire (present Czech Republic)
Death: February 2, 1819 (80)
Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Immediate Family:

Son of Johann Maria Graf von Wilczek and Maria Antonia, von Kottulin-Krzizkowitz
Husband of Maria Theresia von Clary und Aldringen and Louise Beatrice von Hardegg-Glatz
Father of Luise, Gräfin von Wilczek
Brother of Maria Josepha von Wilczek and Joseph Frans Graf von Wilczek

Occupation: Austrian Field Marshall
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Johann Joseph, Graf von Wilczek

Johann Joseph Maria von Wilczek

born - (Gross-Petrowitz, June 18, 1738 - Vienna, February 2, 1819) was an Austrian field marshal.


Johann Joseph Maria von Wilczek was born in Gross-Petrowitz, in Silesia, June 18, 1738, son of Joseph Feldzeugmeister Austrian Maria Balthasar von Wilczek († June 10, 1787). After completing his studies at the college Theresianum in Vienna in 1757, studied law and in 1760 at age 22 he was appointed counselor of state.

Harshly criticized for its easy career (perhaps benefited from the father), he was sent to Italy where he found his second home. Since 1766, in fact, was, this happened during the year in 1766 to his appointment as a consultant for the new constitution of the Supreme Council of Economics in Milan. Here, under the presidency of Count Carli, he learned about the Italian situation and saw in those years, the economic recovery of Lombardy, by engaging in first person in the cultural field for the dissemination of literature and science in Milan.

However he was forced to temporarily abandon the Milanese to end the fulfillment of his Grand Tour in Italy, France and Germany. Returning to his homeland, was appointed by the Empress Maria Theresa as a special envoy at the court of her son Leopold, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He came to Florence March 14, 1771, where he received an apartment at the Palazzo Crocetta. Thus obtained free access to the grand ducal court in Florence and also knew how to gain the trust of the Grand Duke, who was also governor of Milan. During the 1772 Leopold accompanied on a trip to Maremma, but was soon forced to apply for a license to be able to return to Vienna due to ill health of his father, who died in May of that year.

On October 29, 1772 was appointed its own initiative by the Emperor Joseph Chamberlain and Privy Councilor, noting the valiant spirit of organization and accuracy in being able to relate the facts of political and social.

The strange fate of his life brought him back from where his career had begun and that in Milan where he arrived July 29, 1782 after the resignation of his predecessor, Count Karl Joseph von Firmian, who had served as representative on behalf Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este, which covered the formal role of governor of the duchy. Wiliczek then obtained the post of Plenipotentiary of Milan, also fueled by his personal friendship with the Archduke Ferdinand, who, being the son of Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany, had seen the court since childhood and admired him as a diplomat and a man of great culture . He was concerned in the new task of reorganizing the financial system, to the satisfaction of the Empress Maria Theresa, not failing to report all the time in Vienna, the situation of the duchy (its copiosissimo chart is now in the State of Vienna).

He never failed any aspect of the life of the Duchy of Milan, paying particular trade and industry, encouraging the construction of roads, shopping centers and increasing the already efficient postal system. He remained in office until his last, coming in 1796 when the French occupied Lombardy.

It is thus concluded his public career and retired to private life, after which in 1792 had already been made a Knight of the Golden Fleece (Austrian Branch in 1792).

He died February 2, 1819 in Vienna. In his life he was married twice: his first wife, Teresa, daughter of Prince Franz Wenzel von Clary Aldringen, died childless in August of 1790, and he then married secondly Marie Louise Beatrice, daughter of Count Johann von Hardegg, April 10, 1800 which gave birth to a daughter, Louise, who later married the Count Alois Almásy.

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  • Portrait of an Austrian statesman Count Johann Joseph von Wilczek (1738-1819).

Johann Joseph von Wilczek was the eldest son of Count Johann Balthasar von Wilczek and his wife Maria Antonia, nee Countess Kottulinsky. In 1759 he received a title of Kamerherr (Gentleman in Attendance) and began his State service in the province government of the Lower Austria. In 1766 he joined the court of Milan in function of a financial councellor; in 1771 became an ambassador and a minister of the Grand Duke of Tuscany; in 1772 became a treasurer. His career developed rapidly: by 1773 he was an ambassador in Naples, in 1777 - privy councilor and Oberhofmeister of the Grand Duchess Beatrix von Este, wife of the Archduke Ferdinand Karl, Governor of Lombardy. In 1782 he was appointed to minister in Lombardy. In 1783 he started the initiative of the street night lighting in the city of Milan, introducing 700 lanterns.

When the French broke into Lombardy Wilczek left Milan together with the Arch Duke Ferdinand Karl. In 1792 he was awarded by Kaiser (emperor) Leopold of Austria with the highest royal honor - the Order of the Golden Fleece (since in our portrait he is depicted already wearing the order, we can maintain that it has been painted after 1792). In 1811 Wilczek reached the highest level of his career - he was appointed to Oberhofmarschall (the highest functionary of the court) of the Imperial court in Vienna. It is also important to mention that he was a well-known Freemason.

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Johann Joseph, Graf von Wilczek's Timeline

June 17, 1738
Petrovice, Hradec Kralove, Bohemia, Austrian Empire (present Czech Republic)
April 10, 1800
Age 61
February 2, 1819
Age 80
Vienna, Vienna, Austria