Why did Wenceslaus, King of the Romans drown Saint John of Nepomuk in the Middle Ages?

I was looking up the history of Prague (city in the Czech Republic) and found out that John of Nepomuk was drowned in the water beneath the Charles Bridge by Wenceslaus.

1. Why did this event happen?

2. Was Wenceslaus guilty of drowning others? If so, who and why?


3 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    You do realize that this Wenceslaus was not the Christmas song, Good King Wenceslaus, there were a few of them.

    John of Nepomuk (or John Nepomucene) was a roman Catholic priest, and a controversial figure.

    Though there seems to have been TWO John Nepomucenes, one involved in regular priest type duties and one involved in the political aspects of court.

    And the two died 10 years apart.

    This poor man seems to be a victim of a late version of the inveterate investiture controversy between secular rulers and the Catholic hierarchy.

    A confirmed historical fact ---

    Wenceslaus was backing the Avignon papacy, whereas the Archbishop of Prague followed its rival, the pope at Rome.

    Contrary to the wishes of Wenceslaus, John confirmed the archbishop's Abbot candidate for the rich and powerful Benedictine Abbey of Kladruby.

    On the other side of the coin ----

    It seems that one of two of Wenceslaus' wives was having an affair, and she confessed the name of her lover to Father John.

    In 1396 on March 20, Wenceslaus wanted the name of her lover -- John refused to tell him --- which made him a bit suspect himself.

    Infuriated, Wenceslaus had him tortured and thrown into the river Vltava from Charles Bridge in Prague at his behest.

    So he didn't do it himself and John could have just as easily lived.

    We just don't know which was which and why for sure.

    The refusal by John was a much later account of events that even stated that he was the confessor of the queen of Bohemia (the queen's name was never given and everyone assumed there was only one, but there were two) and refused to divulge the secrets of the confessional.

    And then all kinds of miracles suddenly appear that were attributed to John.

    On the basis of this account, John of Nepomuk is considered the first martyr of the Seal of the Confessional, a patron against calumnies and, because of the manner of his death, a protector from floods

    The Church was more than ready to USE John's new Sainthood --- not long after his death, the area experienced a drought, and the Church was quick to point out that they were being punished for the death of John.

    His legend continues.

    King Wenceslaus was an upset man whose wife was screwing around on him.

    Father John #1 went about his duties.

    Father John #2 was playing politician and assisted in putting an abbott not liked by King Wenceslaus into his position of power.

    King Wenceslaus got mad.

    One of the Johns got beat up and tossed in the river and one died normally.

    The Church invented a mythical saint.

    A sad but true story.

    So, Wenceslaus wasn't personally guilty of drowing anyone, he just ordered him tossed in the river, and no other account like this is present in his history.

  • 1 decade ago

    Probably because Wenceslaus was supporting the Avignon Schism at the time and John supported Rome. There was a conflict over who would be the new head of a wealthy abbey at Kladruby, and John would have wanted a candidate who agreed with his views.

    A later story which may or may not be true is that Wenceslaus suspected his wife of adultery, and John refused to discuss what she had said in Confession.

  • 4 years ago

    there is not any set age, even inspite of the undeniable fact that if a king died, leaving a "minor" who had to be ruled by a regent, he regularly took over as finished king at with regards to the age of sixteen, the age of majority at that factor. easily, i'm tremendously specific the youngest king ever grow to be King Alfonso XIII of Spain, whose father died while he grow to be nevertheless in utero, so he became king some thing like 3 or 6 months in the previous he grow to be born. of direction, this being the overdue nineteenth century, he took the throne in his very own suitable on the age of 18. His mom, Christina (i've got faith) grow to be the regent for the completed 18 years. He later abdicated, and many years later, the Civil conflict began, and all varieties of crap went on for 40 years. yet that's yet another tale. And a prince did no longer grow to be king at any specific age. He became king while his father died.

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