These watchwords are said to have arisen in Germany during the disputed succession of the empire between 1135 and 1152, when the Welfs of Bavaria opposed the Swabian princes of Waiblingen origin.
It belonged to the family of Welf, then to the bishops of Hildesheim, and then, in 1369, it came again into the possession of the Welfs, now dukes of Brunswick.
In 858 Louis the German, summoned by the disaffected nobles, invaded the kingdom of Charles, who fled to Burgundy, and was only saved by the help of the bishops, and by the fidelity of the family of the Welfs, who were related to Judith.
During the later years of the rule of the Welfs, however, a contrary tendency had operated, and the extent of Bavaria had been reduced.
The first of these centred round the restless and unruly Welfs; after a time these insurgents were joined by their former enemies, the rulers of Saxony, of Thuringia and of Meissen, who were angered by Henrys conduct.
The Welfs also gained the assistance of Canute VI., king of Denmark.
Abandoning the cause of the Welfs, he fought for Conrad against them, and in 1152 the dying king advised the princes to choose Frederick as his successor to the exclusion of his own young son.
This diocese, and indeed the whole of Bavaria, was then disturbed by the feud between the Welfs and the Hohenstaufen, and the church was in a deplorable condition; but a great improvement was brought about by the new bishop in both ecclesiastical and secular matters.
Affied through his mother to the Welfs of Bavaria, and anxious to put an end to the unrest which dominated Germany, especially to the strife between the families of WeIf and Hohenstaufen, Frederick began his reign by promising to secure for Henry the Lion the duchy of Bavaria, and by appeasing Henrys uncle, Count Welf, by making him duke of Spol.eto and margrave of Tuscany.