The first people who are known to have inhabited Brandenburg were the Suevi. They were succeeded by the Slavonians, whom Henry II conquered and converted to Christianity in the early part of the 10th century. The government was first conferred on a Saxon count, and did not become hereditary until the time of Albert, whose son succeeded to the dignity of elector in 1180. This line becoming extinct, Charles IV assigned the electorate to his son Sigismund. The Elector of Brandenburg held the seventh rank among the electors of the empire and had five votes in the Council of Princes.