Colloredo, a noble family of Austria, represented also in Italy, a branch of the house of Wallsee or Waldsee, which held the vice-comi-tat of Mels in 1031, and was divided at the death of During II. in the 13th century into three lines: Mels-Colloredo, Prodolone, and Venzone. The earliest direct ancestor of the house was probably Wilhelm,who built in 1302 the castle of Colloredo in Friuli, near the village of Mels. His three surviving sons, Asquin, Bernhard, and Weickardt, became the founders of three separate branches. - To the Asquin line belong the following prominent names: Ku-dolph von Colloredo, born Nov. 2, 1585, distinguished himself in the thirty years' war, and especially at the defence of Prague in 1648, as field marshal of the imperial army, and died Jan. 24, 1657. Hieeonymus, his brother, born in 1582, served as cavalry general during the same war, and fell in the battle of St. Omer in 1638. The last of this line was Ludwig, son of the last named, who died Dec. 28, 1693, with the rank of feldzeugmeister. - In the Bernhard line the following distinguished themselves: Johann Baptist von Colloredo-Wallsee in 1648 took command of the Venetian forces in Candia against the Turks, and fell during the siege in October, 1649. Franz de Paula, count of Colloredo, born Oct. 29, 1799, was attached to the English legation in 1820, was minister at Copenhagen in 1825, at Dresden in 1830, at Munich in 1836, at St. Petersburg in 1843, again at London in 1852, and subsequently ambassador in Rome; and in 1859, after the preliminaries of Villafranca, he was appointed first plenipotentiary of Austria to negotiate the terms of peace at Zurich, where he suddenly died, Oct. 26, 1859, leaving no issue. - The Weickardt line produced the following prominent men: Fabrizio, a Florentine statesman, born in 1576, was sent as ambassador to the emperor Rudolph II. by Cosmo II. de' Medici, whose successor, Ferdinand II., appointed him chief minister of state.
He died in 1645. The story of his journey to the Austrian court was written in Latin by Daniel Eremita, and forms an interesting work on the manners of that age. Hieronymus, count of Colloredo, born in 1674, was governor of Moravia from 1714 to 1717, was appointed chief marshal of the Austrian court in 1725, and died in 1726. Count Rudolph Joseph, his son, born July 6,1706, was for 50 years vice chancellor of the German empire, and died Nov. 1, 1788. His son, Joseph Maria, count of Colloredo-Mels and Waldsee, born Sept. 11, 1735, distinguished himself in the seven years' war, was appointed lieutenant field marshal and councillor of war, and accompanied the emperor Joseph II. to France. On his return to Austria he was intrusted with the general direction of the artillery, and soon after he was made feldzeugmeister. He participated in the Turkish war, and was made field marshal and commander-in-chief of the army of observation on the Prussian frontier. From 1805 to 1809 he was minister of state and conference, and director of the council of war.
He died Nov. 26, 1818. Count Wenzel Joseph von Colloeedo, born Oct. 15, 1738, brother of the preceding, participated in the seven years' war, was made lieutenant field marshal in 1784, feldzeugmeister during the Turkish war, and field marshal in 1808. He died Sept. 4, 1822. - Colloredo-Mansfeld has been since 1771 the name of the princely branch of the house, forming a part of the Weickardt line, of which the following are to be noted: Franz de Paula Gundaccae, prince of Colloredo-Mansfeld, born May 28, 1731, married the countess of Mansfeld, and added her name to his own. He was ambassador at Madrid from 1767 to 1771, and vice chancellor of the German empire from 1789 to 1806. He died Oct. 7, 1807. Ferdinand, count of Colloredo-Mansfeld, born in Vienna, July 30, 1777, was in 1801 ambassador at Ratisbon, in 1803 at Naples, and in 1806 at Palermo. He fought valiantly in the battles of Aspern and Wagram in 1809, and rendered valuable assistance in the organization of the landwehr. He retired to his estates in 1815, whence he issued during the revolution of 1848 to take command of the academical legion. He died in the same year.
Hieronymus, count of Colloredo-Mansfeld, born in 1775, took part in nearly all the campaigns of his time, and distinguished himself Aug. 30, 1813, in the battle at Culm, where Russia and Austria have jointly erected a monument to his memory. At the battle of Leipsic, having previously obtained the rank of feldzeugmeister, he took the chief command in place of the prince of Homburg, who had been wounded. He died in Vienna, July 23, 1822, from the effect of his wounds. Franz de Paula Gundaccae, prince of Colloredo-Mansfeld, son of the preceding, born in Vienna, Nov. 8, 1802, was rapidly promoted, and commanded in 1848 as major general in Trieste and Theresienstadt. He distinguished himself in the Hungarian war at Kapolna and Comorn, and obtained the chief command of an army corps. He died May 29, 1852. Joseph Feanz Hieronymus, prince of Colloredo-Mansfeld, cousin and heir of the preceding, was born Feb. 26, 1813. He is a hereditary member of the upper house in the Austrian diet. His eldest son, Count Hieronymus, born July 20, 1842, took part in the Schleswig-Holstein war of 1864, and married in 1865 the countess of Festetics-Tolna.