Schlik, Leopold Anton, Count
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Schlik von Bassano und Weisskirchen, Leopold Anton Joseph Count
Imperialist General-Feldwachtmeister (1692-1700), Feldmarschall-Lieutenant (1700-1704), General of cavalry (1704-1707), Field-Marshal (1707-1723)
High Chancellor of Bohemia (1713-1723)
born 10 July 1663, Ostrovská, Bohemia, Habsburg Domain
died 10 April 1723, Vienna, Austria, Habsburg Domain
As early as the 14th century, the Schlik family (sometime written as Schlick or Šlik) lived in the region of Eger (present-day Cheb/CZ). In 1422, Caspar Schlik was ennobled and received the property of Bassano Vincentio in Northern Italy and the title “von Bassano”. In 1437, a member of the family became Reichsgraf (count). After 1516, the Schlik were one of the richest families in Bohemia due to silver ore found on their property at Joachimsthal (present-day Jáchymov/CZ), well know are the “Joachimstaler” stamped in their mint.
In 1618, during the Uprising of the Bohemian aristocracy, some members of the family supported the “Winter King” Frederick V, and Joachim Count Schlik was one of the 21 rebels beheaded in 1621 on the market place (Altstädter Ring) in Prague. Beside their properties in Bohemia, the Schlik family also owned the estates of Holíč in Western Slovakia.
Leopold Anton Schlik was born on 10 July 1663 at Ostrovská, district Karlovy Vary/CZ. His parents were Franz Ernst Count Schlik and Helene Ester Maximiliana von Drahotuš, second wife of Franz Ernst.
After an attentive education and some “cavalier tours” through some European countries, the young Schlik joined the regiment of his stepfather, Count Taafe of Carlingsfort.
In 1685, Schlik participated in the siege of Neuhäusel and in the Battle of Gran (Esztregom/HU).
In 1686, Schlik was transferred to the Saint-Croix Cuirassiers in the rank of captain. He was wounded during the attack of the fortress of Ofen,
In 1687, Schlik was promoted to lieutenant-colonel and transferred to Dünewald Cuirassiers.
In 1689, Schlik was transferred to the Löwenschild Dragoons (D1) and promoted to colonel. He was only 26 years old!
In 1690, Löwenschild resigned from his function and Count Schlik was appointed proprietor of this regiment.
In 1691, Count Schlik participated in all battles in Hungary and replaced Colonel Corbelli during the last blockade of Grosswardein (present-day Oradea/RO).
On 20 June 1692, Count Schlik was promoted to General (GFWM) and participated in the siege of Belgrade where he commanded the “Arriere-garde”. During a sortie of the Turks, he was wounded in a shoulder.
Afterwards, GFWM Count Schlik was appointed military governor of the region between the Danube and Transylvania. He was entrusted with several diplomatic missions (negotiations regarding the Spanish succession and the Treaty of Karlowitz).
On 23 January 1700, Schlik was promoted to field-marshal-lieutenant (FML).
In 1701, Schlik became the Emperor's chancellor.
In 1703, during the campaign against Bavaria, FML Schlik commanded the army fighting in Bavaria. He occupied Ried, St. Martin, Aroldsmünster and Zell. On 11 March 1703, his corps was surprised at Eisenbirn and suffered heavy losses.
On 2 May 1704, Schlik was promoted to General of cavalry (G.d.C) and received command of the army operating against Rákóczi Uprising in Hungary. His corps marched through the Dukla Pass to Upper Hungary (present-day Slovakia) and rallied with troops of Palatin Paul Esterházy. Together, they crossed the Neutra River with 30,000 men. On 1 November, they surprised the rebels under Ladislav Ocskay near Levencz (present-day Levice/SK). After their victory, the centre of Upper Hungary was freed from rebels.
In 1707, Count Schlik was sent to the new Duchy of Milan to organize the administration. On 15 June 1707, he was promoted to field marshal (FM).
In 1708, Count Schlik was appointed general commissar (General-Kriegskommisar) and was sent to the Low Countries with Prince Eugène de Savoie. There, he took part in the capture of Ryssel. Count Schlik was then appointed Secret Chancellor (Geheimer Rat).
In 1713, after the death of his brother-in-law, Johann Wenzel Count Wratislav, Count Schlik was appointed Chancellor of the Kingdom of Bohemia and accepted as Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Toison d´Or). In the Castle of Prague Hradschin the building of the Hofkanzlei, which had been erected by his predecessor and completed by Count Schlik, still exist today.
Leopold Anton Count Schlik died on 10 April 1723 in Vienna. His body was buried in a chapel of the Cathedral St. Vitus (Veitsdom).
Leopold Anton Count Schlik married twice. His first wife was since 1687 Clara Rosalie Countess Kaunitz (widow of Jaroslav Count Kaunitz). After her death, in 1711, he married Maria Josepha Countess Wratislav. From each marriage came one daughter; from the second, his son Franz Heinrich who inherited Radim and Žabonosy/CZ and served at the Court in Vienna.
Halada, Jan: Lexikon české šlechty, Prague, 1999
Mašek, Petr: Modrá krev, Prague, 1992
Wurzbach, C. v.: Biograpisches lexicon des Kaiserthum Österreich, Vienna 1872
Harald Skala for the initial version of this article