Held, Matthias (d. 1563)

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Matthias Held, a statesman in the ecclesiastical service of Emperor Charles V. He was a native of Arlon (Belgian Luxemburg). In 1527 he was made assessor in the court of chancellery in Speyer. When Charles V made his preparations for the Diet of Augsburg he summoned Held and in 1538 gave him the important office of chancellor; he was qualified for the position both by his knowledge of law and his zeal for the Catholic cause, and under his leadership the politics detrimental to ecclesiastical innovations were strongly promoted. A determined opponent of ecclesiastical attempts to come to an agreement, Held counseled against concessions to the Protestants. This policy won him the favor of the Catholic imperial estates, such as George of Saxony, Joachim of Brandenburg, Heinrich of Brunswick, etc. As leader of the imperial chancellery he accompanied the emperor on his campaigns to Italy and Spain, and on 17 April 1536, received the rank of knight in Rome. On the question of calling a council, which the Protestants rejected, he took a very partisan position. It was his objective to unite the Catholic estates in a consolidated union in order to achieve a unified position in opposition to the Schmalkaldian League. Thus in 1538 the Nürnberger Bund was founded, which was on the one hand to repel the Protestant estates, and on the other to promote the Catholic plans of Charles V (the Catholic reformation), but which found opponents within the Bund itself. In the end Held succumbed to the influence of Granvella, lost his position, withdrew into private life, and took up residence in Cologne. He died in 1563.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. II, 279.

Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 56 vols. Leipzig, 1875-1912: II, 672-684, where other literature is cited.

Author(s) Johann Loserth
Date Published 1956

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MLA style

Loserth, Johann. "Held, Matthias (d. 1563)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1956. Web. 14 May 2021. https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Held,_Matthias_(d._1563)&oldid=145447.

APA style

Loserth, Johann. (1956). Held, Matthias (d. 1563). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 May 2021, from https://gameo.org/index.php?title=Held,_Matthias_(d._1563)&oldid=145447.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 2, p. 694. All rights reserved.

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