Frederick IV the Righteous (German: Friedrich IV. der Aufrichtige) (5 March 1574 - 9 September 1610) was the Elector Palatine from 1583 until 1610.


Frederick was born in Amberg in 1574 as the only surviving son of Louis VI, Elector Palatine. His father died in October 1583 when Frederick was only nine years old, and the young boy came under the guardianship of his uncle John Casimir of Palatinate-Lautern. Frederick was then raised as a Calvinist, and the famous Calvinist mathematician Bartholemaeus Pitiscus became his tutor and later court preacher. Frederick took over the governing of the Palatinate after his uncle's death in 1592, and continued his anti-Catholic measures.

In 1606/7 Frederick built the Friedrichsburg fortress in the Dutch style near Mannheim. In order to encourage growth of the city he waived real estate tax for new arrivals for 20 years. He also further developed the Castle at Heidelberg. He commissioned Sebastian Götz from Chur to catalog the history of the House of Wittelsbach in a new gallery and although it displayed the history well, the addition of Charlemagne was unfounded. In 1608 Frederick became the leader of the newly created Protestant Union of several of the Protestant states of Germany, and conflict between Catholic and Protestant states increased dramatically.

Frederick died in Heidelberg in 1610 and was buried in the Church of the Holy Spirit.


Frederick married Louise Juliana of Nassau-Orange (13 February 1539 - 14 March 1582), daughter of Prince William I, on 23 July 1593 and had the following children:

  1. Louise Juliana (16 July 1594 - 28 April 1640)
  2. Catherine Sophie (10 June 1595 - 28 June 1626)
  3. Frederick (16 August 1596 - 29 November 1632)
  4. Elizabeth Charlotte (19 November 1597 - 26 April 1660)
  5. Anna Eleonore (4 January 1599 - 10 October 1600)
  6. Louis William (5 August 1600 - 10 October 1600)
  7. Maurice Christian (18 September 1601 - 28 March 1605)
  8. Louis Philip (23 November 1602 - 6 January 1655)
Frederick IV, Elector Palatine
Cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach
Born: 5 March 1574 Died: 19 September 1610
Preceded by
Louis VI
Elector Palatine
Succeeded by
Frederick V
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