First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Albert, the first of this name, a duke of Austria, and son of the emperor Adolph, in the year 1298, after the slaying of the emperor Adolph, was elected Roman king; and he reigned ten years. But as the electors were not unanimous in their first choice, he waived his rights under this election in order that he might not be accused of having assumed the sovereignty by force. For this reason he was then unanimously elected, and crowned at Aix-la-Chapelle. In war, arms, and defense, he was a stern, earnest and able man; although some write that he was one-eyed, and had a coarse and boorish countenance; that he was avaricious, and preferred the interests of his children to the common good. Although he often requested Pope Boniface to confirm his election, the pontiff, who was a proud and haughty man, repeatedly withheld it. But when discord arose between this proud pope and King Philip of France, because Philip had called a great council at Paris to consider the injustice of accusations made by Boniface, and to complain of the pope’s unworthy assumption and possession of the pontificate, the pope became so angry, that he not only confirmed said Albert, but subjugated King Philip’s kingdom to Albert; and this was the origin of much discord among Christian peoples. Albert had a brother, named Rudolph, to whom Agnes, the sister of King Wenceslaus of Bohemia, was espoused. He died at Prague, and left a son named John (Iohannes), who requested of his uncle a division of his paternal inheritance; but in mockery Albert sent him a small green wreath in place of it. After Albert had performed many excellent deeds, and had sternly transacted his affairs, and was journeying across the Rhine, he was assassinated at Rhinefelden, not far from the village bridge, by his nephew John, who had accompanied him under the guise of friendship. But John afterward rued the deed; and he journeyed to pope Clement the Fifth, asking him to absolve him of the murder. The pope replied that the slayer of an emperor should be judged by an emperor. And John went to Emperor Henry (Heinricus) VIII, who was at Pisa. As a penance and punishment for his crime Henry ordered John to enter a cloister of the Order of Saint Augustine to do penance there for the rest of his life; and this he did without protest.

Albert I (c.1250-1308), German king and duke of Austria, eldest son of king Rudolph I, was invested with the duchies of Austria and Styria in 1282. On Rudolph’s death in 1291, Albert was obliged to acquiesce in the election of Adolph of Nassau as German king; but, in 1298, he mustered sufficient allies to enable him to defeat Adolph at Göllheim, near Worms; and he was elected king, and later crowned. Pope Boniface VIII declined to recognize him until 1303, when Albert admitted the right of the pope to bestow the imperial crown and promised that none of his sons would be elected king without papal consent. In 1306 he secured the crown of Bohemia for his son, Rudolph, but tried in vain to impose his own claims on Thüringia in 1307. His action in abolishing all tolls established on the Rhine since 1250 led to the formation of a league against him by the Rhenish archbishops and the count palatine of the Rhine; but, aided by the towns, he soon crushed the rising. He was on the way to suppress a revolt in Swabia when he was murdered in 1308, at Windisch, on the Reuss, by his nephew John, whom he had deprived of his inheritance.

Although a hard, stern man, he had a keen sense of justice when his selfish interests were not involved, and few of the German kings possessed so practical an intelligence. He encouraged the cities and, not content with issuing proclamations against private war, formed alliances with the princes in order enforce his decrees. The serfs, whose wrongs seldom attracted notice, found a friend in this severe monarch, and he protected even the despised and persecuted Jews. The stories of his cruelty and oppression in the Swiss cantons first appear in the 16th century, and are now regarded as legendary.

In these times, and after the death of Saint Louis (Ludovici), six sons and five daughters were born to Charles (Carolo) the Second, the king of Naples, by his wife Mary, who was the daughter of the king of Hungary. The eldest son, Charles, expected the Hungarian kingdom as his maternal inheritance; while Robert, duke of Calabria, the second son, expected the Neapolitan kingdom as his paternal inheritance. Philip, the third son, obtained the principality of Tarentum. The first daughter, Clementia, was espoused to Charles, the firstborn son of king Philip of France; the second daughter, Blanche (Blancam), to James (Iacobus) the king of Aragon; and the third daughter, Leonora, to the brother of James.

Wenceslaus (Wentzeslaus) the Third, the seventh Bohemian king, son of the aforesaid Wenceslaus, was a drunken, unchaste, villainous man, who consumed the estates of others, and dishonored other men’s wives, and practised adultery with them. At the age of eighteen he was stabbed to death in the house of the dean of the cathedral of Olmütz, but by whom is not known, except that a bloody dagger was seen upon Conrad, a Thüringian horseman, who being suspected, was slain in a commotion before he had been questioned about it. At the same time Duke Henry (Heinricus) of Carinthia, who was acceptable to the king’s sister, came to Prague, and the Bohemians chose him as their king. This displeased Albert; and he invaded Bohemia with an army, drove Henry out, installed his own son Rudolph as king, and gave him as wife the widow of the elder Wenceslaus. Rudolph died without issue in the first year of his reign. Therefore the Bohemians were compelled to elect another king; and finally the aforesaid Duke Henry retained the kingdom against the wishes of Emperor Albert.

At this time a comet appeared in the heavens as an omen of the future affliction and misery of the Christians. On Saint Andrew’s day in the same year an earthquake suddenly occurred, the like of which had never taken place; and in consequence many buildings were destroyed.