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Duchies of Brunswick and Lüneburg
Brunswick-Lüneburg as part of the Holy Roman Empire, c. 1648
|Capital|| Braunschweig |
|Common languages||West Low German|
|Historical era||Middle Ages|
• Allod elevated to Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg
• Partition into Lüneburg and Brunswick
• Grubenhagen formed
• Göttingen formed
• Brunswick splits into Wolfenbüttel and Calenberg
• The end of the Holy Roman Empire
|Currency||Goldgulden, thaler, pfennig|
|Today part of||Germany|
The Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg (German : Herzogtum Braunschweig und Lüneburg), or more properly the Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg, was a historical duchy that existed from the late Middle Ages to the Early Modern era within the Holy Roman Empire. The duchy was located in what is now northwestern Germany. Its name came from the two largest cities in the territory: Brunswick and Lüneburg.
The dukedom emerged in 1235 from the allodial lands of the House of Welf in Saxony and was granted as an imperial fief to Otto the Child, a grandson of Henry the Lion. The duchy was divided several times during the High Middle Ages amongst various lines of the House of Welf, but each ruler was styled "Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg" in addition to his own particular title.By 1692, the territories had consolidated to two: the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) and the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
In 1714, the Hanoverian branch of the family succeeded to the throne of Great Britain, which they would rule in personal union with Hanover until 1837. For this reason, many cities and provinces in former British colonies are named after Brunswick or Lüneburg. The Hanoverians never ruled Brunswick while they held the British throne, as the city was part of neighboring Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. After the Congress of Vienna in 1814/15, the Brunswick-Lüneburg territories became the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Brunswick.
When the imperial ban was placed on Henry the Lion in 1180, he lost his titles as Duke of Saxony and Duke of Bavaria. He went into exile for several years, but was then allowed to stay on the (allodial) estates inherited from his mother's side until the end of his life.
At the Imperial Diet of 1235 in Mainz, as part of the reconciliation between the Hohenstaufen and Welf families, Henry's grandson, Otto the Child, transferred his estates to Emperor Frederick II and was enfeoffed in return with the newly created Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, which was formed from the estates transferred to the Emperor as well as other large areas of the imperial fisc. After his death in 1252, he was succeeded by his sons, Albert the Tall and John, who ruled the dukedom jointly.
In 1269 the duchy was divided, Albert receiving the southern part of the state around Brunswick and John the northern territories in the area of Lüneburg. The towns of Lüneburg and Brunswick remained in the overall possession of the House of Welf until 1512 and 1671 respectively. In 1571 the Amt of Calvörde became an exclave of the Duchy. The various parts of the duchy were further divided and re-united over the centuries, all of them being ruled by the Welf or Guelph dynasty, who maintained close relations with one another—not infrequently by marrying cousins—a practice far more common than is the case today, even among the peasantry of the Holy Roman Empire, for the salic inheritance laws in effect, encouraged the practice of retaining control of lands and benefits. The seats of power moved in the meantime from Brunswick and Lüneburg to Celle and Wolfenbüttel as the towns asserted their independence.
The subsequent history of the dukedom and its subordinate principalities was characterised by numerous divisions and reunifications. The subordinate states that were repeatedly created, and which had the legal status of principalities, were generally named after the residence of their rulers. The estates of the different dynastic lines could be inherited by a side line when a particular family died out. For example, over the course of the centuries there were the Old, Middle and New Houses (or Lines) of Brunswick, and the Old, Middle and New Houses of Lüneburg. The number of simultaneously reigning dynastic lines varied from two to five.
In 1269 the Principality of Brunswick was formed following the first division of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1432, as a result of increasing tensions with the townsfolk of Brunswick, the Brunswick Line moved their Residence to Wolfenbüttel, into the water castle, which was expanded into a Schloss , whilst the town was developed into a royal seat. The name Wolfenbüttel was given to this principality. From 1546 Wolfenbüttel became the residence of the senior prince of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Henry, Duke of Brunswick-Dannenberg. With sole rights to the duchy Brunswick-Lüneburg, he provided a conditional lease of the principality of Lüneburg to the princes of Calenburg with the conditions of payment to Wolfenbüttel heirs, together with the guarantee that only his descendants would inherit this senior principality of Wolfenbüttel. Not until 1753/1754 was the Residence moved back to Brunswick, into the newly built Brunswick Palace. In 1814 the principality became the Duchy of Brunswick, with its own subordinate principalities that are all apart from the Calenburg principality from which sprang the de facto Kingdom of Hanover, a Kingdom which was declared a usurpation by the head of house, Charles II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, in his edict of May 10, 1827. In 1866 Prussia annexed the territories and refused to recognize the Kingdom of Hanover. Prince Charles II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel protested the violent annexation from his places of exile in Paris, as well as Geneva Switzerland, signed and sealed the 12th of April 1873.
In 1432 the estates gained by the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel between the Deister and Leine split away as the Principality of Calenberg. To the north this new state bordered on the County of Hoya near Nienburg and extended from there in a narrow, winding strip southwards up the River Leine through Wunstorf and Hanover where it reached the Principality of Wolfenbüttel. In 1495 it was expanded around Göttingen and in 1584 went back to the Wolfenbüttel Line. In 1634, as a result of inheritance distributions, it went to the House of Lüneburg, before becoming an independent principality again in 1635, when it was given to George, younger brother of Prince Ernest II of Lüneburg, who chose Hanover as his Residenz. New territory was added in 1665 in the vicinity of Grubenhagen and in 1705 around the Principality of Lüneburg. In 1692 Duke Ernest Augustus from the Calenberg Line acquired the right to be a prince-elector as the Prince-Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Colloquially the Electorate was also known as the Electorate of Hanover or as Kurhannover. In 1814 it was succeeded by the Kingdom of Hanover.
The Principality of Lüneburg emerged alongside the Principality of Brunswick in 1269 when the inheritance of the Duchy was divided. After the death of Duke George William of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1705, King George I inherited the state of Lüneburg with his wife, the Duke's daughter, Sophie Dorothea, later known as the "Princess of Ahlden". It was united with the Principality of Calenberg, which had been elevated in 1692 into the Electorate.
The southernmost principality in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg stretched from Münden in the south down the River Weser to Holzminden. In the east it ran through Göttingen along the River Leine via Northeim to Einbeck. It emerged in 1345 as the result of a division of the Principality of Brunswick and was united in 1495 with Calenberg.
From 1291 to 1596 Grubenhagen was an independent principality, its first ruler being Henry the Admirable, son of Albert of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. The state lay ran from the northern part of the Solling hills and the River Leine near Einbeck and north of the Eichsfeld on and in the southwestern Harz. After being split in the course of the years into smaller and smaller principalities it Grubenhagen finally returned in 1596 to Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
Other branches that did not have full sovereignty existed in the Dannenberg, Harburg, Gifhorn, Bevern, Osterode, Herzberg, Salzderhelden and Einbeck.
While a total of about a dozen subdivisions that existed, some were only dynastic and not recognised as states of the Empire, which at one time had over 1500 such legally recognized entities. In the List of Reichstag participants (1792), the following four subdivisions of Brunswick-Lüneburg had recognized representation:
By 1705 only two Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg survived, one ruling Calenberg, Lüneburg and other possessions, and the other ruling Wolfenbüttel.
One of the dynastic lines was that of the princes of Lüneburg, who in 1635 acquired Calenberg for George, a junior member of the family who set up residence in the city of Hanover. His son Christian Louis and his brothers inherited Celle in 1648 and thereafter shared it and Calenberg between themselves; a closely related branch of the family ruled separately in Wolfenbüttel.
As a latter day development, what became the Electorate of Hanover was initially called the Elector of Brunswick-Lunenberg when the Holy Roman Emperor appointed Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lunenberg an Elector in 1696 (two years before his death) in a somewhat controversial move to increase the number of Protestant electors—thereby offending the entrenched interests of the extant prince-electors who would no longer be so few. As with most matters in Europe during these times, this was part of the centuries-long religious unrest accompanied by outright warfare (see Thirty Years' War) triggered by the zealous advocates on either side of the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation.
The territories of Calenberg and Lüneburg-Celle were made an Electorate by the Emperor Leopold I in 1692 in expectation of the imminent inheritance of Celle by the Duke of Calenberg, though the actual dynastic union of the territories did not occur until 1705 under his son George I Louis, and the Electorate was not officially approved by the Imperial Diet until 1708.
The resulting state was known under many different names (Brunswick-Lüneburg, Calenberg, Calenberg-Celle; its ruler was often known as the "Elector of Hanover". Coincidentally, in 1701 the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg found himself in the line of succession for the British crown, later confirmed in 1707 by the Act of Union, which he subsequently inherited, thereby creating a personal union of the two crowns on 20 October 1714.
After a little over a decade, the matter of the disputed electorate was settled upon the heir, and the new Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (acceded as duke on 23 January 1698), George I Louis was able to style himself the Elector of Brunswick and Lüneburg from 1708. It was not just happenstance but similar religious driven politics that brought about the circumstance that he was also put into the line of succession for the British crown by the Act of Settlement— which was written to ensure a Protestant succession to the thrones of Scotland and England at a time when anti-Catholic sentiment ran high in much of Northern Europe and much of Great Britain. In the event, George I succeeded his second cousin Anne, Queen of Great Britain — the last reigning member of the House of Stuart, and subsequently formed a personal union from 1 August 1714 between the British crown and the duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg (electorate of Hanover) which would last until well after the end of the Napoleonic wars more than a century later—including even through the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and the rise of a new successor kingdom. In that manner, the "Electorate of Hanover" (the core duchy) was enlarged with the addition of other lands and became the kingdom of Hanover in 1814 at the peace conferences (Congress of Vienna) settling the future shape of Europe in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars.
The first Hanoverian King of Great Britain, George I of Great Britain, was the reigning Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, and was finally made an official and recognized prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1708. His possessions were enlarged in 1706 when the hereditary lands of the Calenberg branch of the Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg merged with the lands of the Lüneburg-Celle branch to form the state of Hanover. Subsequently, George I was referred to as Elector of Hanover.
In 1700 and 1701, when the English Parliament had addressed the question of an orderly succession, with a particular religious bias toward a Protestant ruler, from the childless ruling Queen Anne (House of Stuart), it passed the provisions of the Act of Settlement 1701 to Sophia of Hanover, granddaughter of James I. Sophia predeceased Queen Anne by a few weeks, but her son and heir, George I, succeeded as King of Great Britain when Anne, his second cousin, died in August 1714. Great Britain and Hanover remained united in personal union until the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837.
George I was followed by his son George II and great-grandson George III. The last mentioned retained the position of elector even after the Holy Roman Empire was abolished by its last emperor in 1806. George III contested the validity of the dissolution of the Empire and maintained separate consular offices and staff for the Electorate of Hanover until the peace conferences at the war's end. After the fall of Napoleon, George III regained his lands plus lands from Prussia as King of Hanover, whilst giving up some other smaller scattered territories.
After the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Calenberg-Celle and its possessions were added to by the Congress of Vienna ending the Napoleonic war, being born anew under the name of Kingdom of Hanover (including Brunswick-Lüneburg). During the first half of the 19th century, the Kingdom of Hanover was ruled as personal union by the British crown from its creation under George III of the United Kingdom, the last elector of Hanover until the death of William IV in 1837. At that point, the crown of Hanover went to William's younger brother, Ernest, Duke of Cumberland and Teviotdale under the Salic laws requiring the next male heir to inherit, whereas the British throne was inherited by an elder brother's only daughter, Queen Victoria.
Subsequently, the kingdom was lost in 1866 by his son George V of Hanover during the Austro-Prussian War when it was annexed by Prussia, and became the Prussian province of Hanover.
The Wolfenbüttel Line retained its independence, except from 1807 to 1813, when it and Hanover were merged into the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia. The Congress of Vienna of 1815 turned it into an independent state under the name Duchy of Brunswick . The Duchy remained independent and joined first the North German Confederation and in 1871 the German Empire.
When the main line of descent became extinct in 1884, the German Emperor withheld the rightful heir, the Crown Prince of Hanover, from taking control, instead installing a regent. Decades later, the families were reconciled by the marriage of the Crown Prince's son to the Emperor's only daughter, and the Emperor allowed his son-in-law to assume rule (his father having renounced his own right).
|Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg|
|(annexed Grubenhagen 1617)|
Recalled Hanover 1692
|Electorate of Hanover|
|Annexed by |
Kingdom of France
|Annexed by Kingdom of Prussia|
(Note: Here the numbering of the princes is the same for all duchies, as all were titled Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg, despite of the different parts of land and its particular numbering of the rulers. The princes are numbered by the year of their succession.)
|Otto I the Child||1204||1235–1252||9 June 1252||Brunswick-Lüneburg|| Matilda of Brandenburg |
|Grandson of Henry the Lion, founded the Duchy and was recognised as such in 1235, by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Albert I the Tall||1236||1252–1269||15 August 1279||Brunswick-Lüneburg|| Elisabeth of Brabant |
Alexia of Montferrat
|Shared rule with his brother John. In 1269 divided the land with him, and became Prince of Brunswick.|
|John I||1242||13 December 1277||Brunswick-Lüneburg|| Liutgard of Holstein-Itzehoe |
|Shared rule with his brother Albert. In 1269 divided the land with him, and became Prince of Luneburg.|
|All Welf lines continued to bear the title "Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg" between the division of 1269 and the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. This was an additional title to the representation of their actual territorial lordship. However, as this is list of rulers, the list goes beyond the use of the title, going through all generations until the end of the noble family representation in the land, in 1918.|
|Albert I the Tall||1236||1269–1279||15 August 1279||Brunswick|| Elisabeth of Brabant |
Alexia of Montferrat
|In 1269 became Prince of Wolfenbuttel.|
|John I||1242||1269-1277||13 December 1277||Lüneburg|| Liutgard of Holstein-Itzehoe |
|Shared rule with his brother Albert. In 1269 divided the land with him, and became Prince of Luneburg.|
| Albert I the Tall |
|1236||1277–1279||15 August 1279||Lüneburg|| Elisabeth of Brabant |
Alexia of Montferrat
|Regents on behalf of their nephew|
| Conrad of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince-Bishop of Verden |
|Before 1279||1277–1282||After 1282||Lüneburg|
|Otto II the Strict||1266||1282-1330||10 April 1330||Lüneburg|| Matilda of Bavaria |
|His rule was marked by several feuds, financed by pledges (Verpfändungen), involving border and property disputes with his neighbours. Otto restricted the rights of the knights and safeguarded public order.|
|Henry I the Admirable||August 1267||1279–1291||7 September 1322||Brunswick|| Agnes of Meissen |
|Sons of Albert I, ruled jointly. In 1291 divided the land: Henry received Grubenhagen, William Wolfenbüttel and Albert Göttingen. William died without descendants, and Albert reunited his land with his brother's.|
|William I||1270||1279-1291||30 September 1292||Brunswick|| Elisabeth of Hesse |
|Albert II the Fat||1268||1279-1291||22 September 1318||Brunswick|| Rixa of Mecklenburg-Werle |
|1292–1318||Göttingen and Wolfenbüttel|
|Otto III the Mild||24 June 1292||1318–1344||30 August 1344||Göttingen and Wolfenbüttel|| Judith of Hesse |
Agnes of Brandenburg-Salzwedel
|Sons of Albert II, ruled jointly. After Otto's death Magnus and Ernest divided the land: Magnus received Wolfenbüttel and Ernest Göttingen.|
|Magnus I the Pious||1304||1318–1344||1369||Göttingen and Wolfenbüttel|| Sophia of Brandenburg-Stendal |
|Ernest I||1305||1318–1344||24 April 1367||Göttingen and Wolfenbüttel|| Elizabeth of Hesse |
|Henry II||Before 1296||1322–1351||After 1351||Grubenhagen|| Jutta of Brandenburg-Stendal |
Helvis of Ibelin
|Sons of Henry I, ruled jointly.|
|Ernest II||1297||1322–1361||9 March 1361||Grubenhagen|| Adelheid of Everstein-Polle |
|John II||Before 1296||1322–1325||After 1367||Grubenhagen||Unmarried|
|Otto IV||1296||1330–1352||19 August 1352||Lüneburg|| Matilda of Mecklenburg |
|Sons of Otto II, ruled jointly. After Otto's death in 1352, William ruled alone. His death without descendants precipitated the Lüneburg War of Succession in 1370.|
|William III the Elder||c.1300||1330–1369||23 November 1369||Lüneburg|| Hedwig of Ravensberg |
7 April 1328
Sophia of Anhalt-Bernburg
12 March 1346
Agnes of Saxe-Lauenburg
|Albert III||c.1339||1361–1383||1383||Grubenhagen|| Agnes of Brunswick-Lüneburg |
|Sons of Ernest II, ruled jointly. John abdicated 1364 to join the clergy and Albert became sole ruler.|
|John III||c.1339||1361–1364||18 January 1401||Grubenhagen|| Adelheid of Everstein-Polle |
|Otto V the Evil||1330||1367–1394||13 November 1394||Göttingen|| Margarethe of Jülich-Berg |
|Magnus II of the Necklace (Torquatus)||1304||1369–1373||25 July 1373||Wolfenbüttel and Lüneburg|| Katherine of Anhalt-Bernburg |
|Inherited Wolfenbüttel from his father. However, the Lüneburg War of Succession allowed his succession also in this duchy. However, the War of Succession brought, after his death, the dukes of Saxe-Wittenberg to the government.|
|Frederick I||1357||1373–1400||5 June 1400||Wolfenbüttel|| Anna of Saxe-Wittenberg |
|Fulfilling the agreement of Hanover, married the daughter of the Duke Wenceslaus of Saxe-Wittenberg.|
|After the death of Magnus II with the Necklace, a treaty (the Reconciliation of Hanover) was agreed between the widow of Magnus II and her sons and the claimers, Albert of Saxe-Wittenberg and his uncle Duke Wenceslaus I of Saxe-Wittenberg: the estates of the Principality were to pay homage both to the Welfs and to the Ascanians, and the two noble houses would govern the state alternately. Initially, the land would be given to the two Ascanians from Wittenberg, and after their death it would go to the sons of the fallen Duke Magnus II. After their death, rule of the Principality was to revert to the Ascanians. In order to underpin the agreement, in 1374 Albert of Saxe-Lüneburg married Catharina, the widow of Magnus II. The treaty also envisaged the creation of a statutory body representing the estates, which was to supervise the treaty. However, 1373–1388 would be the only period in which a Brunswick-Luneburg land was not ruled by a Welf.|
|Albert IV (Ascanian)||before 1350||1373–1385||28 June 1385||Lüneburg|| Katherine of Anhalt-Bernburg |
10 November 1373
11 July 1374
|Inherited Lüneburg as he was son of Elisabeth, daughter of William the Elder. To reinforce his claim married the widow of the previous duke, Katherine. Albert also moved the residence to Celle after the slighting of Lüneburg Castle. With no male heirs, his co-ruler and uncle, Wenceslaus I of Saxe-Wittenberg, took the entire government of Lüneburg.|
|Wenceslaus I (Ascanian)||1337||1373–1388||15 May 1388||Lüneburg|| Cecilia da Carrara |
23 January 1376
|Took the entire government of the duchy after the death of his nephew, the natural heir. After his death,according to the treaty, the duchy was returned to the Welfs.|
|In the wake of his death, Elector Wenceslas appointed Bernard, his brother-in-law, as co-regent involved him in the government. But his younger brother Henry did not agree with this ruling, and after vain attempts to reach an agreement, the fight flared up again in the spring of 1388. Elector Wenceslas had to assemble an army without the help of Bernard, supported by the town of Lüneburg. From Winsen an der Aller, he wanted to attack Celle, which was held by Henry and his mother. During the preparations, however, Elector Wenceslas fell seriously ill and died shortly thereafter. According to legend, he was poisoned. Lüneburg continued the preparations, formed an alliance with the Bishop of Minden and Count of Schaumburg and set up his own army. On 28 May 1388, battle was joined at Winsen an der Aller; it ended in victory for Henry. According to the provisions of the Treaty of Hanover from the year 1373, after the death of Wensceslas, the Principality passed to the House of Welf. In 1389, a inheritance agreement between the Welfs and the Ascanians was concluded, the treaty of 1374 was abolished, and the Principality was finally secured for the Welfs.|
|Frederick I, Duke of Brunswick-Osterode (regent)||c.1383||1383–1401||28 May 1427||Grubenhagen|| Adelaide of Anhalt-Zerbst |
|Brother of Albert III, regent on behalf of his nephew, Eric|
|Eric I the Winner||c.1383||1401–1427||28 May 1427||Grubenhagen|| Elisabeth of Brunswick-Göttingen |
|Henry III the Mild||1355||1388–1400||14 October 1416||Lüneburg|| Sophia of Pomerania |
11 November 1388
Margaret of Hesse
30 January 1409
|Sons of Magnus II, ruled jointly. They permanently recovered Lüneburg for the Welfs. In 1400 inherited Wolfenbüttel and in 1416 divided their lands: Henry retained Lüneburg and Bernard kept Wolfenbüttel until 1428, when exchanged it with Lüneburg from his nephews.|
|1400-1409||Lüneburg and Wolfenbüttel|
|Bernard I||between 1358 and 1364||1388–1400||11 June 1434||Lüneburg|| Margaret of Saxe-Wittenberg |
|1400–1409||Lüneburg and Wolfenbüttel|
|Otto VI the One-Eyed||1380||1394–1463||6 February 1463||Göttingen|| Agnes of Hesse |
|With no male heirs, after his death Gottingen is absorbed by Calenberg.|
|William IV the Victorious||1392||1416–1428||25 July 1482||Lüneburg|| Cecilia of Brandenburg |
30 May/6 June 1423
Matilda of Holstein-Pinneberg
|Sons of Henry III, ruled jointly. In 1428 they exchanged, with their uncle Bernard I, Lüneburg for Wolfenbüttel. In 1432 founded the Principality of Calenberg, a split-off from Lüneburg, and left the remaining Wolfenbüttel to his brother Henry IV. After the latter's death William took his lands. In 1463, attached the Principality of Göttingen to Calenberg.|
|1432–1482||Calenberg (and Göttingen)|
|Henry IV the Peaceful||1411||1416–1428||7 December 1473||Lüneburg|| Helena of Clèves |
|Henry V||1416||1427–1464||20 December 1464||Grubenhagen (Part 1 from 1440)|| Margaret of Żagań |
before 27 June 1457
|In 1440 divided Grubenhagen with his brother Albert.|
|Bernard I||between 1358 and 1364||1428–1434||11 June 1434||Lüneburg|| Margaret of Saxe-Wittenberg |
|In 1428, Bernard recovered Luneburg from his nephews.|
|Otto VII the Lame||?||1434–1446||1446||Lüneburg|| Elisabeth of Eberstein |
|Ruled jointly. Their rule was marked by major building work to Celle Castle and also by numerous reforms which improved the legal situation of farmers vis-a-vis their local lords.|
|Frederick II the Pious||1418||1434–1457||19 March 1478||Lüneburg|| Magdalene of Brandenburg |
3 July 1429
|Albert V||1 November 1419||1440–1485||15 August 1485||Grubenhagen (Part 2)|| Elisabeth of Waldeck |
15 October 1471
|In 1440 Henry V divided Grubenhagen with his brother, Albert.|
|Bernard II||1437||1457–1464||1464||Lüneburg|| Matilda of Holstein-Pinneberg |
|Also Prince-Bishop of Hildesheim. Ruled jointly with his brother Otto.|
|Otto VIII Magnanimous||1439||1457–1471||9 January 1471||Lüneburg|| Anna of Nassau-Dillenburg |
25 September 1467
|Ruled jointly with his brother Bernard until 1464.|
|Albert V (regent)||1 November 1419||1464–1479||15 August 1485||Grubenhagen (Part 1)|| Elisabeth of Waldeck |
15 October 1471
|Appointed regent for his nephew Henry.|
|Henry VI||1460||1479–1526||6 December 1526||Grubenhagen (Part 1)|| Elisabeth of Saxe-Lauenburg |
26 August 1494
|With his uncle Albert V, officialized the division of Grubenhagen. However, his death without descendants allowed his cousins (sons of Albert) to reunite Grubenhagen.|
|Frederick II the Pious||1418||1471–1478||19 March 1478||Lüneburg|| Magdalene of Brandenburg |
3 July 1429
|Anna of Nassau-Dillenburg (regent)||1441||1478–1486||8 April 1513||Lüneburg|| Otto VIII |
25 September 1467
Philipp I, Count of Katzenelnbogen
|Regent on behalf of his son after the death of his grandfather.|
|Henry VII the Middle||15 September 1468||1486–1520||19 February 1532||Lüneburg|| Margaret of Saxony |
27 February 1487
Anna von Camp
|As he opposed to the newly elected Emperor Charles V, the latter deposed him from the duchy and gave it to his sons.|
|Frederick III the Turbulent||1424||1482–1485||7 July 1503||Calenberg|| Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen-Einbeck |
Margaret of Rietberg
10 May 1483
|Imprisoned by his brother William, who took his place.|
|William V the Younger||1425||1482–1485||7 July 1503||Wolfenbüttel|| Elizabeth of Stolberg-Wernigerode |
|Inherited Wolfenbüttel from his father. Joined Wolfenbüttel to his domains in 1485, when he imprisoned his brother. Abdicated to his sons in 1491.|
|1485–1491||Calenberg and Wolfenbüttel|
|Philip I||1476||1485–1551||4 September 1551||Grubenhagen (Part 2 until 1526)||Unknown|
Catherine of Mansfeld-Vorderort
|Son of Albert V, in 1526 reunited Grubenhagen under his hands.|
|Henry VIII the Elder||14 June 1463||1491–1494||23 June 1514||Calenberg and Wolfenbüttel|| Catherine of Pomerania-Wolgast |
|Sons of William V, ruled jointly. In 1494, they divided their lands. Henry retained Wolfenbüttel and Eric retained Calenberg.|
|Eric II the Elder||16 February 1470||1491-1494||30 July 1540||Calenberg and Wolfenbüttel|| Katharina of Saxony |
Elisabeth of Brandenburg
7 July 1525
|Henry IX the Younger||10 November 1489||1514–1568||11 June 1568||Wolfenbüttel|| Maria of Württemberg |
Sophia of Poland
22/25 February 1556
|He was the last Catholic of his family. Under him the medieval fortress (Burg) was rebuilt into a castle (Schloss); he was a passionate opponent of the Lutherans, and driving force behind the Catholic alliance established against the Schmalkaldic League; the disinheritance of a third son could not be carried out.|
|Otto IX||24 August 1495||1520–1527||11 August 1549||Lüneburg||Meta von Camp|
|Sons of Henry VII, ruled jointly. Otto abdicated in 1527 and founded his own estate, the Lordship of Harburg, which passed to his own descendants. Ernest was a champion of the Protestant cause during the early years of the Protestant Reformation. Francis started his co-rulership in 1536, and abdicated three years later to rule in his own estate, the Principality of Gifhorn, which was reannexed to Lüneburg after his death as he left no descendants.|
|Ernest III the Confessor||27 June 1497||1520–1546||11 January 1546||Lüneburg|| Sophia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin |
2 June 1528
|Francis I||23 November 1508||1536–1539||23 November 1549||Lüneburg|| Clara of Saxe-Lauenburg |
29 September 1547
|Interin government: 1546–1555|
|Elisabeth of Brandenburg (regent)||24 August 1510||1540–1545||25 May 1558||Calenberg|| Eric II the Elder |
7 July 1525
Poppo XII of Henneberg
|Regent on behalf of her son, Eric. Called The Reformation Princess, implemented the Reformation in Calenberg. She also wrote a "government manual" for Eric II, with important advice that should serve him as a guide.|
|Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse (regent)||13 November 1504||31 March 1567||Calenberg|| Christine of Saxony |
11 December 1523
Margarethe von der Saale
4 March 1540
(morganatic and bigamous)
|Regent on behalf of Eric III.|
|Eric III||10 August 1528||1545–1584||17 November 1584||Calenberg|| Sidonie of Saxony |
17 May 1545
Dorothea of Lorraine
26 November 1575
|Left no descendants, and Calenberg was annexed to Wolfenbüttel.|
|Ernest IV||17 December 1518||1551–1567||2 April 1567||Grubenhagen|| Margaret of Pomerania-Wolgast |
9 October 1547
|Left no male descendants. The land passed to his brother Wolfgang.|
|Francis Otto||20 June 1530||1555–1559||29 April 1559||Lüneburg|| Elizabeth Magdalene of Brandenburg |
|Left no descendants. The land passed to his brothers.|
|Henry X||1533||1559–1569||19 January 1598||Lüneburg|| Ursula of Saxe-Lauenburg |
|Brothers of Francis Otto, ruled jointly. In 1569 Henry founded the duchy of Dannenberg, which left to his own descendants. William ruled alone from 1569.|
|William VI the Younger||4 July 1535||1559–1592||20 August 1592||Lüneburg|| Dorothea of Denmark |
12 October 1561
|Wolfgang||6 April 1531||1567–1595||14 May 1595||Grubenhagen|| Dorothea of Saxe-Lauenburg |
10 December 1570
Osterode am Harz
|Like most of his predecessors, he had financial problems, so he was often forced to sell or pledge major parts of his possession and he had to demand high taxes. As he left no male descendants, the land passed to his brother Philip.|
|Julius||29 June 1528||1568–1584||3 May 1589||Wolfenbüttel|| Hedwig of Brandenburg |
25 February 1560
|In 1584 absorbes the Principality of Calenberg. By embracing the Protestant Reformation, establishing the University of Helmstedt, and introducing a series of administrative reforms, Julius was one of the most important Brunswick dukes in the early modern era.|
|1584–1589||Wolfenbüttel and Calenberg|
|Henry Julius||15 October 1564||1589–1596||30 July 1613||Wolfenbüttel and Calenberg|| Dorothea of Saxony |
26 September 1585
Elizabeth of Denmark
19 April 1590
|In 1596 occupied Grubenhagen.|
|Ernest V||31 December 1564||1592–1611||2 March 1611||Lüneburg||Unmarried||Left no descendants. The land passed to his brother, Christian.|
|Philip II||2 May 1533||1595–1596||4 April 1596||Grubenhagen|| Clara of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel |
1 July 1560
|As he left no male descendants, the land had no heir and was occupied by the Principality of Wolfenbüttel.|
|Henry Julius||15 October 1564||1596–1613||30 July 1613||Wolfenbüttel, Calenberg and Grubenhagen|| Dorothea of Saxony |
26 September 1585
Elizabeth of Denmark
19 April 1590
|Christian the Elder||9 November 1566||1611–1617||8 November 1633||Lüneburg||Unmarried||In 1617 annexed Grubenhagen to his domains|
|Frederick Ulrich||5 April 1591||1613–1616||11 August 1634||Wolfenbüttel, Calenberg and Grubenhagen|| Anna Sophia of Brandenburg |
4 September 1614
|Because of his alcoholism, was deposed by his own mother, who took the regency in his name.|
|Elizabeth of Denmark (regent)||25 August 1573||1616–1622||19 July 1625||Wolfenbüttel, Calenberg and Grubenhagen|| Henry Julius |
19 April 1590
|With the help of her brother, Christian IV of Denmark, she managed to depose her son, as he was alcoholic and at that point unfit for ruling. However she lost in 1617 the Principality of Grubenhagen. Left the government business for Anton von Streithorst, who nearly ruined the state by minting coins from cheap metals and thus causing inflation. Because of the bad situation of the state, the king of Denmark had Frederick take control of the government again.|
|Christian the Elder||9 November 1566||1617–1633||8 November 1633||Lüneburg and Grubenhagen||Unmarried||Absorbed Grubenhagen from Wolfenbüttel. As he left no descendants, the land passed to his brother, Augustus. Grubenhagen is definitively annexed to Lüneburg.|
|Frederick Ulrich||5 April 1591||1622–1634||11 August 1634||Wolfenbüttel and Calenberg|| Anna Sophia of Brandenburg |
4 September 1614
|Left no descendants. His lands passed to collateral lines of the Lüneburg Welfs.|
|Augustus I the Elder||18 November 1568||1633–1636||1 October 1636||Lüneburg (and Grubenhagen)||Unmarried||No legitimate issue. The land passed to his brother, Frederick IV.|
|George||17 February 1582||1634–1641||2 April 1641||Calenberg|| Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt |
14 December 1617
|Younger son of William VI. Inherited Calenberg from his cousin Frederick Ulrich, who had left no descendants. Abdicated to his son in 1641.|
|Augustus II the Younger||10 April 1579||1634–1666||17 September 1666||Wolfenbüttel|| Clara Maria of Pomerania-Barth |
13 December 1607
Dorothea of Anhalt-Zerbst
26 October 1623
Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg
|Younger son of Henry X. Inherited Wolfenbüttel from his cousin Frederick Ulrich, who had left no descendants. In 1643 he moved into the Residence at Wolfenbüttel, was the founder of a barock theatre and the Bibliotheca Augusta.|
|Frederick IV||28 August 1574||1636–1648||10 December 1648||Lüneburg (and Grubenhagen)||Unmarried||As he left no descendants, the land passed to a nephew, Christian Louis, son of Frederick's brother George.|
|Christian Louis||25 February 1622||1641–1648||15 March 1665||Calenberg|| Sophia Dorothea of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg |
9 October 1653
|In 1648 inherited the Principality of Lüneburg from his uncle Frederick IV, he gave Calenberg to his younger brother George William, and instead ruled the larger territory of Lüneburg.|
|George William||26 January 1624||1648–1665||28 August 1705||Calenberg|| Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse |
|When his brother, Christian Louis died childless in 1665, George William inherited Luneburg. He then gave Calenberg to his next brother, John Frederick. At his death without male descendants, the land passed to his son-in-law, the Elector of Hanover. Lüneburg is annexed to Hanover.|
|Rudolf Augustus||16 May 1627||1666–1704||26 January 1704||Wolfenbüttel|| Christiane Elizabeth of Barby-Mühlingen |
Rosine Elisabeth Menthe
|Sons of Augustus II, ruled jointly from 1685 to 1702. According to reports dating to 1677, Rudolf Augustus slashed a way through the Lechlum Forest, the Alten Weg ("Old Way"), later the "Barock Road" between the Lustschloss of Antoinettenruh via the little barock castle [later the Sternhaus] to the Großes Weghaus at Stöckheim; in 1671 captured the town and fortress of Brunswick. After the death of Rudolf Augustus, Anthony Ulrich returned to the throne and ruled alone. A politician, art lover and poet, he founded a museum named after him in Brunswick; he had also Salzdahlum Castle built.|
|Anthony Ulrich||4 October 1633||1685-1702|
|27 March 1714||Wolfenbüttel|| Elizabeth Juliana of Schleswig-Holstein-Sønderburg-Nordborg |
17 August 1656
|John Frederick||25 April 1625||1665–1679||18 December 1679||Calenberg|| Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate |
30 November 1668
|Brother of Christian Louis and George William. As he left no male heirs, the land passed to his younger brother, Ernest Augustus.|
|Ernest Augustus I||20 November 1629||1679–1692||23 January 1698||Calenberg|| Sophia of the Palatinate |
30 September 1658
|Youngest son of George. Brother of Christian Louis, George William and John Frederick. In 1692, he was appointed Prince-elector by Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, thus raising the House of Welf to electoral dignity. The old Principality of Calenberg thus adopted the new name of Electorate of Hanover.|
|1692-1698||Electorate of Hanover|
|George I Louis||28 May 1660||1698–1705||11 June 1727||Electorate of Hanover|| Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg |
22 November 1682
|The electorship became effective under his rule. In 1705 reunited his father-in-law's princedom of Lüneburg to the Electorate. In 1714 was chosen for King of Great Britain, starting a personal union between Hanover and this new country. Lüneburg was definitely annexed to the Electorate. Thus the Wolfenbüttel was the remaining old land of Brunswick-Lüneburg that remained separate.|
|1705–1727||Electorate of Hanover and Lüneburg|
|Augustus William||8 March 1662||1714–1731||23 March 1731||Wolfenbüttel|| Christine Sophie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel |
Sophie Amalie of Holstein-Gottorp
Elisabeth Sophie Marie of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderborg-Norburg
|Son of Anthony Ulrich. Ruler of the only land that was still not in Hanoverian lands, to which it would never belong.|
|George II Augustus||30 October / 9 November 1683 O.S./N.S.||1727–1760||25 October 1760||Electorate of Hanover|| Wilhelmina Charlotte Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach |
22 August / 2 September 1705 O.S./N.S.
|In personal union with Great Britain.|
|Louis Rudolph||22 July 1671||1731–1735||1 March 1735||Wolfenbüttel|| Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen |
22 April 1690
|Left no male heirs, and his land passed to a collateral line.|
|Ferdinand Albert||29 May 1680||1735||2 September 1735||Wolfenbüttel|| Antoinette Amalie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel |
15 October 1712
|From the line of Brunswick-Bevern. Grandson of Augustus II.|
|Charles I||1 August 1713||1735–1773||26 March 1780||Wolfenbüttel|| Philippine Charlotte of Prussia |
2 June 1733
|Founder of the Collegium Carolinum in Brunswick, the porcelain makers of Fürstenberg, the fire office; in 1753 the Residence was moved to Brunswick.|
|George III William Frederick||4 June 1738||1760-1811||29 January 1820||Electorate of Hanover|| Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz |
8 September 1761
|In personal union with Great Britain.|
|Charles II William Ferdinand||9 October 1735||1773–1806||10 November 1806||Wolfenbüttel|| Augusta of Great Britain |
16 January 1764
|Due to financial problems, was obliged to replace his father. He was the head of the Prussian Army; died in the Battle of Jena; because his son and heir died young, and two other sons were not eligible, rule passed to his youngest son.|
|With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, the title of Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg ceased to exist. However, its successor states continued.|
|Frederick William the Black Duke||9 October 1771||1806–1807||16 June 1815||Wolfenbüttel|| Marie Elisabeth Wilhelmine of Baden |
1 November 1802
|Duke of Oels/Silesia, the "Black Duke"; recruited a Freikorps (volunteer corps), the Black Brunswickers, at the outbreak of the War of the Fifth Coalition in Bohemia in 1809, and made his way via Brunswick to the North Sea and then on to Great Britain.|
|On the Eve of Napoleonic era, in 1807 the Duchy was briefly annexed to the Kingdom of France, to appear again in 1813 as Duchy of Brunswick.|
|George IV Augustus Frederick||12 August 1762||1811–1830||26 June 1830|| Electorate of Hanover (until 1814)|
Kingdom of Hanover (from 1814)
| Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel |
8 April 1795
|In personal union with Great Britain. Named regent of his father due to his illness, succeeding him after his death in 1820. Left no male descendants. The land passed to his brother.|
|Frederick William the Black Duke||9 October 1771||1813–1815||16 June 1815||Brunswick|| Marie Elisabeth Wilhelmine of Baden |
1 November 1802
|Restored to his duchy.|
|George IV of Great Britain (regent)||12 August 1762||1815-1823||26 June 1830||Brunswick|| Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel |
8 April 1795
|Regent on behalf of the Duke of Brunswick, Charles.|
|Charles III||30 October 1804||1815–1830||18 August 1873||Brunswick||Unmarried||On the eve of the July Revolution of 1830, Charles was in Paris, and did not manage to keep the duchy for himself; his brother William took over with the agreement of the people and his international neighbours.|
|William VII Henry||21 August 1765||1830–1837||20 June 1837||Kingdom of Hanover|| Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen |
13 July 1818
|In personal union with Great Britain. Usually numbered IV as King of Hanover and Great Britain. As he left only illegitimate descendants, the land passed to his brother.|
|William VIII||25 April 1806||1830–1884||18 October 1884||Brunswick||Unmarried|
|Ernest Augustus||5 June 1771||1837–1851||18 November 1851||Kingdom of Hanover|| Frederica of Mecklenburg-Strelitz |
29 May 1815
|End of personal union with Great Britain, as in this country the successor in 1837 was Queen Victoria (in Hanover the Salic Law was still active).|
|George V Frederick||27 May 1819||1851–1866||12 June 1878||Kingdom of Hanover|| Marie of Saxe-Altenburg (I) |
18 February 1843
|He was the last king of Hanover, as his reign ended with the Unification of Germany.|
|Albert of Prussia (regent)||8 May 1837||1885–1906||13 September 1906||Brunswick|| Marie of Saxe-Altenburg (II) |
9 April 1873
|John Albert of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (regent)||8 December 1857||1906–1913||20 February 1920||Brunswick|| Elisabeth Sybille of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach |
6 November 1886
Elisabeth of Stolberg-Rossla
15 December 1909
|The regency came to an end on 1 November 1913 when Ernest Augustus, Crown Prince of Hanover's son Ernest Augustus was permitted to ascend to Duchy following his marriage to Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia|
|Ernest Augustus||17 November 1887||1913–1918||30 January 1953||Brunswick|| Victoria Louise of Prussia |
24 May 1913
|In 1918, with the abolition of the monarchy, all nobles titles were equally abolished.|
The House of Hanover, whose members are known as Hanoverians, is a German royal house that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th through 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic.
The Principality of Calenberg was a dynastic division of the Welf duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg established in 1432. Calenberg was ruled by the House of Hanover from 1635 onwards; the princes received the ninth electoral dignity of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692. Their territory became the nucleus of the Electorate of Hanover, ruled in personal union with the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1714 onwards. The principality received its name from Calenberg Castle, a residence of the Brunswick dukes.
The House of Welf is a European dynasty that has included many German and British monarchs from the 11th to 20th century and Emperor Ivan VI of Russia in the 18th century.
Hanover is a territory that was at various times a principality within the Holy Roman Empire, an Electorate within the same, an independent Kingdom, and a subordinate Province within the Kingdom of Prussia. The territory was named after its capital, the city of Hanover, which was the principal town of the region from 1636. In contemporary usage, the name is only used for the city; most of the historical territory of Hanover forms the greater part of the German Land of Lower Saxony but excludes certain areas.
The Kingdom of Hanover was established in October 1814 by the Congress of Vienna, with the restoration of George III to his Hanoverian territories after the Napoleonic era. It succeeded the former Electorate of Hanover, and joined 38 other sovereign states in the German Confederation in June 1815. The kingdom was ruled by the House of Hanover, a cadet branch of the House of Welf, in personal union with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland since 1714. Since its monarch resided in London, a viceroy handled the administration of the Kingdom of Hanover.
The Duchy of Brunswick was a historical German state. Its capital was the city of Brunswick (Braunschweig). It was established as the successor state of the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. In the course of the 19th-century history of Germany, the duchy was part of the German Confederation, the North German Confederation and from 1871 the German Empire. It was disestablished after the end of World War I, its territory incorporated into the Weimar Republic as the Free State of Brunswick.
George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ruled as Prince of Calenberg from 1635.
The Principality of Göttingen was a subdivision of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire, with Göttingen as its capital. It was split off from the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1286 in the course of an estate division among members of the ruling House of Welf. In 1495 the Göttingen lands were incorporated as integral part of the newly established Brunswick Principality of Calenberg, with which they stayed united until the territory was merged into the Electorate of Hanover.
Ernest Augustus was ruler of the Principality of Lüneburg from 1658 and of the Principality of Calenberg from 1679 until his death. He was appointed as the ninth prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692, but died before the appointment became effective.
The Principality of Lüneburg was a territorial division of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg within the Holy Roman Empire, immediately subordinate to the emperor. It existed from 1269 until 1705 and its territory lay within the modern-day state of Lower Saxony in Germany. The principality was named after its first capital, Lüneburg, which was ruled jointly by all Brunswick-Lüneburg lines until 1637. From 1378, the seat of the principality was in Celle. It lost its independence in 1705 when it was annexed by the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, but retained its vote in the Reichstag as Brunswick-Celle.
Christian Louis was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. A member of the House of Welf, from 1641 until 1648 he ruled the Principality of Calenberg, a subdivision of the duchy, and, from 1648 until his death, the Principality of Lüneburg.
George William German: Georg Wilhelm was the first Welf Duke of Lauenburg after its occupation in 1689. From 1648 to 1665, he was the ruler of the Principality of Calenberg as an appanage from his eldest brother, Christian Louis, Prince of Luneburg. When he inherited Luneburg on the latter's death in 1665, he gave Calenberg to his younger brother, John Frederick.
The Principality of Grubenhagen was a subdivision of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, ruled by the Grubenhagen line of the House of Welf from 1291. It is also known as Brunswick-Grubenhagen. The principality fell to the Brunswick Principality of Lüneburg in 1617; from 1665 the territory was ruled by the Calenberg branch of the Welf dynasty.
Anthony Ulrich, a member of the House of Welf, was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruling Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel from 1685 until 1702 jointly with his elder brother Rudolph Augustus, and solely from 1704 until his death. He was one of the main proponents of enlightened absolutism among the Brunswick dukes.
The Electorate of Hanover was an Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, located in northwestern Germany and taking its name from the capital city of Hanover. It was formally known as the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg. For most of its existence, the electorate was ruled in personal union with Great Britain following the Hanoverian Succession.
Louis Rudolph, a member of the House of Welf, was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruling Prince of Wolfenbüttel from 1731 until his death. Since 1707, he ruled as an immediate Prince of Blankenburg.
William I KG, called the Victorious, a member of the House of Welf, was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He was reigning Prince of Lüneburg from 1416 to 1428 and of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel from 1428 to 1432, counted either as William III or William IV. From 1432 he ruled over the newly established Principality of Calenberg, from 1463 also over the Principality of Göttingen. In 1473 he stepped down in favour of his sons, to assume the rule in Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel.
Henry V of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, called the Younger,, a member of the House of Welf, was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruling Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel from 1514 until his death. The last Catholic of the Welf princes, he was known for the large number of wars in which he was involved and for the long-standing affair with his mistress Eva von Trott.
The County of Blankenburg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. Its capital was Blankenburg, it was located in and near the Harz mountains.
The Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel was a subdivision of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, whose history was characterised by numerous divisions and reunifications. Various dynastic lines of the House of Welf ruled Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. As a result of the Congress of Vienna, its successor state, the Duchy of Brunswick, was created in 1815.
The House of Brunswick Luneburg being one of the most illustrious and most ancient in Europe, the Hanoverian branch having filled for more than a century one of the most distinguished thrones, its possessions being among the most considerable in Germany;
I remain ever, Your affectionate Charles, Duke of Brunswick and Lüneburg. Brunswick, February 14, 1776. To Colonel Riedesel.