Contemporary painting in the collegiate church of Neustadt an der Weinstraße
|King of Germany|
|Reign||21 August 1400 - 18 May 1410|
|Coronation||6 January 1401|
|Successor||Jobst of Moravia|
|Reign||6 January 1398 - 18 May 1410|
|Born||5 May 1352|
Amberg, Upper Palatinate
|Died||18 May 1410 (aged 58)|
Oppenheim, Electoral Palatinate
|Spouse||Elisabeth of Hohenzollern|
|Father||Rupert II, Elector Palatine|
|Mother||Beatrice of Aragon|
Rupert of the Palatinate (German: Ruprecht von der Pfalz; 5 May 1352 – 18 May 1410), sometimes known as Robert of the Palatinate, a member of the House of Wittelsbach, was Elector Palatine from 1398 (as Rupert III) and King of Germany from 1400 until his death.
Rupert was born at Amberg in the Upper Palatinate, the son of Elector Palatine Rupert II and Beatrice of Aragon, daughter of King Peter II of Sicily. Rupert's great-granduncle was the Wittelsbach emperor Louis IV. He was raised at the Dominican Liebenau monastery near Worms, where his widowed grandmother Irmengard of Oettingen lived as a nun.
From his early years Rupert took part in the government of the Electoral Palatinate to which he succeeded on his father's death in 1398. He and the three ecclesiastical prince-electors (of Mainz, Cologne and Trier) met at Lahneck Castle in Oberlahnstein on 20 August 1400 and declared their king, Wenceslaus, deposed. On the next day the same four electors met at Rhens to ballot for Rupert as next German king, thus the majority of the college including the Elector Palatine's own vote. As the Imperial City of Aachen refused to let him enter through its gates, Rupert was crowned by Archbishop Frederick III in Cologne on 6 January 1401.
Lacking a solid power base in the Empire, his rule remained contested by Wenceslaus' family, the mighty House of Luxembourg, though Wenceslaus himself did not take any action to regain his royal title. In the Western Schism, Rupert backed Pope Boniface IX who, however, was reluctant to acknowledge his rule in view of the Luxembourg claims. After the king had won some recognition in Southern Germany, he started a campaign to Italy, where he hoped to crush the rule of Gian Galeazzo Visconti over the thriving Duchy of Milan and to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the Pope. In the autumn of 1401 he crossed the Alps, but was defeated at Brescia and in April 1402 Rupert returned to Germany.
The news of this failure increased the disorder in Germany, but the king met with some success in his efforts to restore peace. The Luxembourg resistance waned after Wenceslaus was arrested at Prague Castle by his brother Sigismund in March 1402 and the next year his lordship was finally recognized by the Pope. Rupert also gained the support of England by the marriage of his son Louis with Blanche of Lancaster, daughter of King Henry IV on 6 July 1402. In his Palatinate hereditary lands, Rupert turned out to be a capable ruler.
It was nevertheless only the indolence of Wenceslaus that prevented his overthrow. After attempts to enlarge the king's allodium caused conflicts with his former ally, the Archbishop of Mainz forging an alliance with Count Eberhard III of Württemberg, the Zähringen margrave Bernard I of Baden and several Swabian cities in 1405, Rupert was compelled to make certain concessions. The quarrel was complicated by the Papal Schism, but the king was just beginning to make some headway when he died at his castle of Landskrone near Oppenheim on 18 May 1410 and was buried at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Heidelberg.
On his deathbed Rupert had decreed the division of his heritage among his four surviving sons. He was succeeded as elector by the eldest surviving son, Louis III. The second surviving son, John, received the County Palatine of Neumarkt, the third surviving son, Stephen, the County Palatine of Simmern and Zweibrücken, and the youngest son, Otto, the County Palatine of Mosbach. In the following imperial election on September 20, Louis III voted for Sigismund of Luxembourg, who however lost to his cousin Margrave Jobst of Moravia.
They had the following children:
Rupert's strenuous efforts earned him the surname Clemens ("the Gentle"). He also commissioned the Ruprecht building in Heidelberg Castle.