Last week I talked about how Frederick V and Elizabeth wanted to create an ideal court based in Rosicrucian teachings, according to Frances Yates (The Rosicrucian Enlightenment). They moved their court from Heidelberg to Prague.
The Protestant estates of Bohemia rebelled against Ferdinand, their Catholic king, in 1618. Frederick, as head of the Protestant Union, was asked to take the throne. He was crowned Frederick I, King of Bohemia, on November 4, 1619. Frederick had hoped for the support of Elizabeth’s father, the king of England, but James I did offer military assistance. The Protestant Union sealed the deal with the Treaty of Ulm in 1620, in which they promised neutrality in the war. The hope to overthrow Hapsburg and Catholic rule in Bohemia failed at the Battle of White Mountain on November 8, 1620. Frederick ruled as King of Bohemia for one year and four days, thus earning the nickname The Winter King. The imperial forces invaded the Palatinate and the royal family fled to the Dutch Republic.
The attempted to create the ideal court was defeated that day, but the dream lived on.
Members of the Unitas Fratrum, known as the Moravian Church in America, fought with Frederick during this war. “With the Peace of Westphalia at war’s end, Catholicism became the official religion of Bohemia and Moravia. The few surviving members of the Unitas Fratrum either left their homeland or worshiped in secret, becoming known as ‘The Hidden Seed’” (Determining the Facts).
How connected were the Unitas Fratrum to the Rosicrucian ideal Frederick and Elizabeth hoped to create? Let’s explore Moravian and Rosicrucian connections next week.