Mediatised houses

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The mediatised houses (or mediatized houses, German: Standesherren) were ruling princely and comital-ranked houses that were mediatised in the Holy Roman Empire during the period 1803–1815 as part of German mediatisation, and were later recognised in 1825–1829 by the German ruling houses as possessing considerable rights and rank. With few exceptions, these houses were those whose heads held a seat in the Imperial Diet when mediatised during the establishment of the Confederation of the Rhine in 1806–07, by France in 1810, or by the Congress of Vienna in 1814–15. The mediatised houses were organised into two ranks: the princely houses, entitled to the predicate Durchlaucht (Serene Highness), which previously possessed a vote on the Bench of Princes (Furstenbank); and the comital houses that were accorded the address of Erlaucht (Illustrious Highness), which previously possessed a vote in one of the four Benches of Counts (Gräfenbank). Although some form of mediatisation occurred in other countries, such as France, Italy and Russia, only designated houses within the former Holy Roman Empire legally comprised the mediatised houses.