It’s not what you know II: Networking Salzburg by David Murray

Following on from the first post in this series, in which David Murray discussed Pilgrim II’s circles in Avignon, he turns now to the members of Pilgrim’s court once he ascended to the Throne of St Ruprecht and became Archbishop of Salzburg.


Medieval Salzburg sat very much in the middle of things: in terms of secular geography, one might think of it as lying somewhere between Wittelsbach Bavaria and Habsburg Austria (and I wrote in my last blogpost here about some of Archbishop Pilgrim’s familial connections with the Habsburgs). Alternatively, in terms of the fourteenth-century Church, Salzburg’s ecclesiastical direct influence extended from the middle of Bavaria, where Freising (near Munich) was the seat of a suffragan bishopric, to the north of modern Italy, where another Salzburg suffragan was Bishop of Brixen. The bishop of Salzburg was also secular lord over much land in Styria, reaching into modern Slovenia. By another measure—as evidenced by Archbishop Pilgrim’s machinations in order to hasten the end of the Great Schism—the city on the Salzach lay in the overlap between the Pope in Avignon (or so Pilgrim said—his Chapter, by contrast, held true to Rome) and the King of Romans in Prague.

Brightly coloured drawing of medieval Salzburg

A view of Salzburg from Hartmann Schedel’s Weltchronik of 1493. Now Weimar, Anna-Amalia Bibliothek, Inc. 122

Just as the Hochstift as an institution can be thought of on multiple overlapping maps, so too were the individual courtiers and hangers-on around Pilgrim von Puchheim players in various different spheres. Two instances are particularly illuminating, and not least of all because they are individuals who were particularly close to Pilgrim. The first, Haug von Goldegg, to whom the rest of this post is devoted, was a secular member of the archiespiscopal court. My next post will be focussed on Wilderich de Mitra, Pilgrim’s chancellor and a cleric.

Haug von Goldegg was the last of a dynasty of Salzburg nobles, part of a class whose social position came from long years of service to the archbishops. Though the Goldeggs had come down in the world since their glory days in the early fourteenth century, they remained hereditary butlers to the Archbishop. They were still a force to be reckoned with at the end of the century, and that was all due to salt. Salzburg made much of its money from the production and shipping of salt, essential to the preservation of meat before the advent of the refrigeration, and the Goldeggs were major players. Of the saltworks, four belonged to the archbishop, while others belonged to, or supported, the abbey of St Peter, Nonnberg convent, and cathedral chapter in Salzburg (where Haug’s brother Wulfing had been a canon since the 1350s). The abbeys of Raitenhaslach (Bavaria) and Salmansweiler (Swabia, now better known as Schloss Salem) both had an interest in saltworks near Salzburg. But on their own, the Goldeggs owned five saltworks. It is hardly surprising then, that, when the main line of that family died out in 1400, the jostling of more distant relatives for a piece of this rather savoury pie was enthusiastic.


Castle and lake with mountains behind

The Castle and Lake at Goldegg. The present Castle goes back to a fortress built from 1323 by Wulfing, grandfather of Haug and close ally to the earlier Salzburger archbishop Friedrich III von Leibnitz.


Haug was clearly a close associate of Archbishop Pilgrim. It is tempting to put this down to a similar taste for display. For instance, when Pilgrim travelled to meet the dukes of Bavaria in 1387 at the abbey of Raitenhaslach (a meeting, incidentally, that ended with Pilgrim being held hostage by the Bavarians for several months), the two travelled together in some style:

Pilgrim was accompanied by 34 knights and noble pages, partly members of his Council and of the Salzburg Stiftsadel, partly squires of the Hofgesind, his entourage of armed mercenaries. There were also guards, chamberlains and two pipers, then the servants of the noblemen. The most distinguished of Pilgrim’s companions, Sir Haug, the last of the Goldeggs, himself had another four knights and six pages with him.  (Klein 1972/73: 50-51; my trans.)

Haug also interacted with other members of Pilgrim’s court. For instance, Pilgrim’s steward Reicher von Rastat re-founded the church of the Virgin at Altenmarkt in the Pongau valley (you can see an earlier post about Reicher and the Virgin here), and following the fourteenth-century devotion to the Holy Family, built a new chapel dedicated to Sts Anne and Achatius, one of the Seven Holy Helpers.

whitewashed arched and round tower with tall windows

The chapel of Sts Anne and Achatius in the churchyard at Altenmarkt.


Haug von Goldegg, himself closely linked with the Pongau as it was the centre of his family’s lands, is mentioned in a charter of 1398 as giving extensive lands to Reicher’s chapel and the associated confraternity of St Anne in Altenmarkt (Martin 1947: 50). This may well be thought of as an ailing man (as noted already, he died only two years later) who was experiencing extreme financial difficulties at the time, making sure that things were a little better on the other side. The fact that Haug did this by supporting the religious work of Reicher, who, as magister curie oversaw Pilgrim’s extensive domains, is suggestive of his well-connected place in the Archbishop’s circle. Haug’s own indirect religious donations were made to pay for a weekly mass at the church in Goldegg. A charter of 1375 shows them releasing lands to be given by Marchart der Pründlinger to the parish of St. Veit im Pongau, a town around four miles away.

If it is reasonable (and I leave the question open to you…) to judge someone by the company they keep, Haug von Goldegg, last of his dynasty might be thought as the perfect counterpart to Pilgrim. Both were without direct heirs, but nonetheless engaged in the sometimes desperate attempt to shore up or expand their empire. Both of them, although this is hardly unusual in the fourteenth century, took steps to ease their fate after death (Pilgrim established a spectacularly well-endowed chapel next to the Cathedral), and both were given to a certain amount of ceremony as they thought befitting their status.

In my next post, I turn to another figure who seemed to gain Pilgrim’s respect, the doctor in decretis, Wilderich de Mitra.


Further reading

Klein, Herbert, ‘Der Streit um das Erbe der Herren von Goldegg’, Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Salzburger Landeskunde, 82/83 (1942/1943), 1–48

Klein, Herbert, ‘Erzbischof Pilgrim II. von Puchheim (1365-1396)’, Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Salzburger Landeskunde, 112/113 (1972/1973), 13–71

Martin, Franz, Salzburger Archivberichte 2.2 Politischer Bezirk Bischofshofen, Beihefte zu den Mitteilungen der Gesellschaft für Salzburger Landeskunde, 2 (Salzburg: Gesellschaft für Salzburger Landeskunde, 1947)

Schneider, Christian, Hovezuht: Literarische Hofkultur und höfisches Lebensideal um Herzog Albrecht III. von Österreich und Erzbischof Pilgrim II. von Salzburg (1365–1396) (Heidelberg: Winter, 2008)

Vones, Ludwig, Urban V. (1362-1370): Kirchenreform zwischen Kardinalkollegium, Kurie und Klientel, Päpste und Papsttum, 28 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1998)

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