I recently commissioned a new harness from Jeffrey Hedgecock of Historic Enterprises in Ramona, California. I wanted to be as historically accurate as possible without having to pawn all of the wife’s heirlooms. I also hoped to find a complete harness rather than a composite one that had been assembled from multiple decades. That greatly reduced the number of options available. In the end I chose the harness once owned by Friedrich I, Kurfürst von der Pfalz, often referred to as Frederick the Victorious. Born in 1425 at Heidelberg, he was the son of Louis III, Elector Palatine.
Friedrich (1 August 1425, Heidelberg– 12 December 1476, Heidelberg) earned the surname “the Victorious” (der Siegreiche) shortly after he came to rule as regent for his nephew, Philip, after the death of his older brother in 1451, claiming to be the legitimate elector. The Emperor Frederick III refused to confirm his status as his actions violated imperial law. Friedrich, an able strategist, quickly allied himself with the Duke of Bavaria, and the emperor was unable to remove him. Through a series of subsequent encounters, Friedrich won against members of the emperor’s party such as the Elector of Brandenburg and archbishop of Mainz, which served to increase his territory. At the Battle of Seckenheim, Friedrich captured the bishop of Baden, Margrave of Baden-Baden and count of Wurttemberg.