The Second Defenestration of Prague


The Thirty Years War (1618-1648) was touched off by an incident called "The Second Defenestration of Prague". The Bohemian nobility was in more or less open revolt against the Emperor, and, at a meeting of the Bohemian Estates at the Hrdcany Castle in Prague on 23 May 1618, the assembled Bohemian nobles took the two Imperial governors present at the meeting, namely Wilhelm Graf Slavata and Jaroslav Borzita Graf von Martinicz, and threw them out of a window of the castle and into a ditch.

Neither man was seriously injured as a result of being defenestrated (an English translation of part of Slavata's report of the incident is printed in Henry Frederick Schwarz, *The Imperial Privy Council in the Seventeenth Century* [Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1943, issued as volume LIII of *Harvard Historical Studies*], pp. 344-347)

< >