From the history of the Nelahozeves manor Nelahodova ves/ Nalehozeves, Nalezoves (Muhlausen)
The oldest written report on the village of Nelahozeves comes from the year 1352. At that time the Church of St. Andrew stood there and the village was mentioned as a parish village. Before the Hussite wars, the village was kept by the Prague Chapter, which had there a fort, forests and a mill. The provosts used to lease the local estate: from the beginning of the 15th century. Secular owners maintained their positron until the first quarter of the 16th century. The best known of them was Řehoř of Heimburk, to whom Nelahozeves (together with the village of Chvatěruby) was given in 1466 by the King Jiří of Poděbrady as a reward for his loyal services. In the year 1532, the Prague Chapter bought the estate back, but did not succeed to keep it.
In October, 1544, the estate was bought from the parish priest Arnošt of Slejnice by Florian Griespek of Griespach (1509-1588). Florian Griespek knew perfectly well, how to take advantage of his privileged situation. As a foreigner, he was not allowed to gain any property in Bohemia and Ferdinand I helped him, therefore, to get the Czech nationality. The chronicler Sixta of Ottersdorf wrote about him in his chronicle: "... coming to Bohemia with an empty pocket, for many thousands through his unjust handling of human estates he gained". It would be fair to mention, however, that Griespek had outstanding political knowledge and knowledge of various sciences and he was also a good manager. This contributed, in the end, to the prosperity of the Nelahozeves manor.
In the village there existed at that time a farm, a sawmill (production of boards), a brewery, a fish shop, a brickyard, a lime- kiln, a stone quarry, a limestone quarry and a ferry. The operation of the farm was in the care of an official, who had a flat there, a steward and his wife. On the farm, there were at least 40 milk cows, horses, oxes, pigs, to the north of the village there was a shed for sheep where 500-600 sheep were bred.
The favour of the emperor characterised by unlimited flow of financial means can be documented by the construction of the seat of the Griespek family at Kralovice, and also of castles at Dobříš, Kočová and Nečtiny, only the construction of the castle at Nelahozeves was Florian's private enterprise. He died before Floriansburg (so he himself named the castle) was completed in 1588. His seven sons distributed the inherited property among themselves. The development of the manor and the castle was continued by his youngest son Blažej. The castle was almost finished around the year 1613, but Blažej died in 1620. For his participation in the anti-emperor rebellions, the family was in 1622 sentenced to a complete loss of property. The manor was left to Blažej's widow, under the condition that she would take over all debts of the manor. However, due to the very heavy indebtedness, Blažej's daughter Veronika was compelled to sell the manor - on July 6,1623, it was bought by Polyxena of Pernštejn and Lobkowicz (1566-1642).
The Lobkowicz family gained through her marriage with Zdeněk Vojtěch of Lobkowicz a huge fortune. Apart from the tlen of Roudnice mentioned earlier, the Lobkowiczes owned part of the town of Litomyšl. Zdeněk Vojtěch of Lobkowicz (1568-1628) was from his youth educated by the Jesuits in the Prague Clementinum, where he gained excellent education. In accordance with the family tradition, he was an orthodox Catholic and it was no wonder that when he became in 1599 the Chancellor of the Czech Kingdom, he ousted from his office all non-Catholic officials. He supported Catholicism by founding monasteries and cloisters. He founded, for example, an important Capuchin monastery at Roudnice, which became at the same time the family vault.
In 1624 he became an Imperial Prince with the hereditary title of the Prince Lobkowicz. The Thirty Years War (1618-1648), whose prologue was the Prague defenestration (1618-1648), affected Nelahoves, too. The worst period came at the time of the invasion of the Saxon Kurfrst Johann Georg into Bohemia in 1631, and again in the so called Swedish-French War (1635-1648), when Swedish troops several times invaded Bohemia. Rich collections, after confiscation deposited in the Nelahozeves castle, were plundered definitely. According to a statement from 1638, the Nelahozeves manor consisted of 15 villages.
At Nelahozeves, the family property was administered by Václav Eusebius of Lobkowicz (1609-1677), the son of the Princess Polyxena and Zdeněk Vojtěch.
Václav Eusebius started the necessary repairs of the Nelahozeves castle and of the manor around 1650. The main object of these repairs was to make the castle suitable for the purposes of the Lobkowicz administrative organs. His son, Ferdinand August Leopold (1655-1715), the third reigning Prince Lobkowicz and Duke of Sagan, continued in the political tradition of the family. In 1689, he was appointed the Privy Counsellor and later on became the Great Hofmeister at the Court of Empress Vilemína Natalie, wife of Emperor Josef I. Ferdinand August had with his four wives twelve children, out of which - in the male line three lived to their maturity.
The oldest of them - Filip Hyacint (1680-1734) - became the founder of the princely branch of the family of Popels of Lobkowicz (the primogenitura of Roudnice). Only one of his four sons survived - Ferdinand Filip Josef (1724-1784), the fifth reigning prince of Lobkowicz and the Duke of Sagan. With his wife – Gabriela Savoy-Carignan - he had only one son - Josef Frantisek Maxmilian (1772-1816).
During the life of Josef Frantisek Maxmilian, important changes in property situation of the family occurred. He was the first of the Lobkowicz family with the title of Duke of Roudnice. He was as well one of the founders of the Society of Patrioti Friends of Arts, and became a patron of Ludwig van Beethoven. In Lobkowicz collection thus appeared the original of Beethoven's "Eroica", dedicated to him, which was heard for the first time in the Lobkowicz Palace in Vienna in 1804.
In the period 1857-1862, the farms at Nelahozeves and Strachov were in the tenancy of Frantisek Horský, Knight of Horskyfeld, a renowned economic reformer and inventor.
Mořic of Lobkowicz (1831-1903), the eighth Prince Lobkowicz and Duke of Roudnice, succeded in 1898 to regain the farm at Lobkovice. With his wife Maria Anna Princess Oettingen-Wallerstein, he had altogether 6 daughters and one son - Ferdinand Zdeněk (1858-1938).
Ferdinand Zdeněk was the only one of the Lokbowiczes who lived together with the family and his sisters - Karolina and Vilemína - in the Nelahozeves castle, where he also died. Alike his father, he was an Imperial Chamberlain and was decorated with an order of the Golden Fleece, too. On January 19, 1919, he ordered that all members of the Lobkowicz family must obligatorily use the oldest preserved form of the name "of Lobkowicz". In 1920 he resigned in favour of his second-born son Maxmilian Ervin, after his first-born son Ferdinand Josef married the low-born Klotilda Volková.
Maxmilian Ervín Lobkowicz (1888-1967) was the tenth reigning Prince Lobkowicz and Duke of Roudnice only until 1888, because - similarly as his brother and contrary to the family tradition, he – also unfittingly - married a divorced English woman - although the daughter of a nobleman - Gillian Margaret Somerville. The title of the reigning Prince was taken over again by his father Ferdinand Zdeněk. After his death the title of the reigning Prince passed over to the - from the point of view of the primogenitura nearest – Jaroslav (1877-1953) from the Krimice branch of the family. The property remained in accor- dance with the decision of Prince Ferdinand Zdenek in the hands of Maxmilian Ervín.
Maxmilian Ervín acted as Counsellor at the Czechoslovak Embassy in London. As he represented during the World War II the Czechoslovak government in exile as Ambassador to England, he was declared by the Nazis an enemy of the Reich and his property was confiscated. In 1945, after the annulment of the property regulations from the time of the Protectorate, Maxmilian - as a participant in the resistence movement - received his property back. In 1947, a revision of the first land reform was executed on the farms at Bilina, Enco-vany, Libceves, Nelahozeves, Nove Sedio, Roudnice nad Labem, Strekov and Vysoky Chlumec. The total acreage of the manor at that time was 15 938 hectares. The family had in use the castles at Nelahozeves, Jezeri, Libceves, Bilina, Roudnice and Vysoky Chlumec, and, furthermore, the library at Roudnice, the palace in Prague, inventory of the castles and of the palace, castle parks at Nelahozeves and Roudnice, several inns and dwelling houses. In 1948, the property of the family was expropriated again. Maxmilian Ervin left Bohemia and spěny the rest of his life in exile in USA.
After 1989, the restitution of the property of the Roudnice branch of the Lobkowicz family started. The Roudnice branch is at present represented by the son of the first-born Maxmilian's son Martin Lobkowicz (1928), William (1961), who manages the property from the newly reconstructed Nelahozeves castle. Here is at present the seat of the family because the castle at Roudnice was ruined so badly that it is not habitable.