Albert of Brandenburg-Ansbach

First Duke of Prussia, born in 1490 in Ansbach, Bavaria; died in 1568 in Tapinu, East Prussia. Elected grand-master of the Teutonic Order, 1510, he seized Church property to defray the expenses of a disastrous war with Poland (1519-1521). He met Luther (1522-1523), on whose advice he secularized the order, and with the entire chapter and a majority of the knights adopted Lutheranism. By the Treaty of Cracow in 1525, with Sigismund, King of Poland, the lands of the order became a fief of Poland vested in Albert, on whom Sigismund conferred the title of Duke of Prussia.

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