Ernest the Iron (German: Ernst der Eiserne), a member of the House of Habsburg, ruled over the Inner Austrian duchies of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola from 1406 until his death. He was head of the Habsburg Leopoldian line from 1411.
Ernest was born in Bruck an der Mur in Styria, the third son of Duke Leopold III of Austria and his consort Viridis Visconti, a daughter of Bernabò Visconti, Lord of Milan. Shortly after his birth, his father and his uncle Albert III divided the Habsburg lands by the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg: while Albert and his Albertinian descendants would rule over the Duchy of Austria proper, the Leopoldian line received the Inner Austrian states of Styria, Carinthia and Carniola with the remaining March of Istria, as well as Tyrol and the Further Austrian possessions. After Leopold's death in the 1386 Battle of Sempach, young Ernest and his brothers William, Leopold IV and Frederick IV remained under the guardianship of their uncle Albert III.
In 1414, he became the last Duke to be enthroned according to Carantanian traditional rite at the Prince's Stone in Carinthia, and from that time on called himself 'archduke'. He was the first Habsburg to actually use this title, which had been invented by his uncle Duke Rudolf IV.
Ernest died at Bruck an der Mur, and was buried in the Cistercian monastery of Rein near Graz. His nickname the Iron only came into use after his death.
As the ruler of Inner Austria and founder of the older Styrian line of the Habsburgs, which, by their son, Frederick III survived the Albertinian (Austrian) and Tyrolean lines, Ernest and Cymburgis became the ancestors of all later emperors of the Habsburg Monarchy.
|Reigned as||In Country||From||To||Coins Issued|
|Erzherzog Ernst (Archduke Ernest of Inner and Further Austria)||Austria, Duchy and Archduchy||1406||10 June 1424|