Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

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Frederick I
Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Frederick I of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.jpg
Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Reign1675–1691
PredecessorNew creation
Successor Frederick II
Born(1646-07-15)15 July 1646
Gotha, Duchy of Saxe-Gotha
Died2 August 1691(1691-08-02) (aged 45)
Friedrichswerth
Spouse Magdalena Sibylle of Saxe-Weissenfels
Christine of Baden-Durlach
Issue
among others...
Anna Sophie, Princess of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Dorothea Marie, Duchess of Saxe-Meiningen
Frederick II
House House of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Father Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg
Mother Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg
Religion Lutheran

Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (15 July 1646 Gotha, Duchy of Saxe-Gotha 2 August 1691 Friedrichswerth), was a duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. He was the fourth but eldest surviving son of Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Altenburg and Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg.

Saxe-Gotha

Saxe-Gotha was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in the former Landgraviate of Thuringia. The ducal residence was erected at Gotha.

Friedrichswerth Ortsteil of Nessetal in Thuringia, Germany

Friedrichswerth is a village and a former municipality in the district of Gotha, in Thuringia, Germany. Since 1 January 2019, it is part of the municipality Nessetal.

Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg

Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg was a duchy ruled by the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in today's Thuringia, Germany. The extinction of the line in 1825 led to a major re-organisation of the Thuringian states.

Contents

When Ernst inherited the duchy of Saxe-Altenburg (1672), he made Frederick the regent of that duchy. In 1674 Ernst, who was already ill, made Frederick the regent of his entire lands.

After the death of his father (1675) Frederick assumed the throne of both duchies. However, on the basis of his family's house law, he had to allow his six younger brothers to take part in the government. At first, they agreed to a common household of all seven brothers in the Schloss Friedenstein, though this arrangement endured only until 1676.

Afterwards, negotiations began for the division of the paternal inheritance. This was finally accomplished on 24 February 1680; Frederick kept Gotha, Tenneberg, Wachsenburg, Ichtershausen, Georgenthal, Schwarzwald, Reinhardsbrunn, Volkenrode, Oberkranichfeld, Orlamünde, Altenburg and Tonna. These towns virtually formed the old duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. They consisted of three large and coherent areas around Gotha, Kahla and Altenburg, as well as six smaller enclaves.

Wachsenburg Castle

Wachsenburg Castle is a castle in Amt Wachsenburg in the Ilm-Kreis, Thuringia, Germany. It is one of the Drei Gleichen, three hilltop castles east of Gotha. It was originally built in the 10th century. The castle was extensively reconstructed in the 17th and 19th century. The well-preserved castle now houses a museum, a hotel and a restaurant.

Ichtershausen Ortsteil of Amt Wachsenburg in Thuringia, Germany

Ichtershausen is a village and a former municipality in the district Ilm-Kreis, in Thuringia, Germany. Since 31 December 2012, it is part of the municipality Amt Wachsenburg.

Georgenthal Place in Thuringia, Germany

Georgenthal is a municipality in the district of Gotha, in Thuringia, Germany.

Frederick continued the work of his father. In order to prevent future disputes between his descendants, he established primogeniture for his house in 1685 (with Imperial assent granted in 1688). Around 1680 he established himself in the Lustschloss Friedrichswerth, near the village of Erffa, approximately 20 km of Gotha, which was renamed in his honour Friedrichswerth.

Primogeniture is the right, by law or custom, of the firstborn legitimate son to inherit his parent's entire or main estate, in preference to shared inheritance among all or some children, a child other than the eldest male, a daughter, illegitimate child or a collateral relative. In some cases the estate may instead be the inheritance of the firstborn child or occasionally the firstborn daughter. The descendant of a deceased elder sibling inherits before a living younger sibling by right of substitution for the deceased heir. In the absence of any children, brothers succeed, individually, to the inheritance by seniority of age. Among siblings, sons usually inherit before daughters. In the absence of male descendants in the male-line, there are variations of primogeniture which allocate the inheritance to a daughter or a brother or, in the absence of either, to another collateral relative, in a specified order.

In 1683 Frederick created the (still in existence today) Theatre of Gotha (Gothaer Schloßtheater). He was also an eager diary writer; these diaries became one of the most important sources of his time. Frederick took part in the Great Turkish War against the Turks, and in the War of the Grand Alliance against France. He ruined the finances of his small duchy, however, using them to maintain a standing army, which by the time of his death counted over 10,000 men.

Great Turkish War Series of conflicts (1683–1699) between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League

The Great Turkish War or the War of the Holy League was a series of conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and the Holy League consisting of the Habsburg Empire, Poland-Lithuania, Venice and Russia. Intensive fighting began in 1683 and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699. The war was a defeat for the Ottoman Empire, which for the first time lost large amounts of territory. It lost lands in Hungary and Poland, as well as part of the western Balkans. The war was also significant in that it marked the first time Russia was involved in a western European alliance.

Marriage and children

Frederick married firstly in Halle on 14 November 1669, Magdalena Sibylle of Saxe-Weissenfels. They had eight children:

  1. Anna Sophie (b. Gotha, 22 December 1670 – d. Rudolstadt, 28 December 1728), married on 15 October 1691 to Louis Frederick I, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.
  2. Magdalene Sibylle (b. Gotha, 30 September 1671 – d. Altenburg, 2 March 1673).
  3. Dorothea Marie (b. Gotha, 22 January 1674 – d. Meiningen, 18 April 1713), married on 19 September 1704 to Ernst Ludwig I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen.
  4. Fredericka (b. Gotha, 24 March 1675 – d. Karlsbad, 28 May 1709), married on 25 May 1702 to Johann August, Prince of Anhalt-Zerbst.
  5. Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (b. Gotha, 28 July 1676 – d. Altenburg, 23 March 1732).
  6. Johann Wilhelm (b. Gotha, 4 October 1677 – killed in battle, Toulon, 15 August 1707), General Imperial.
  7. Elisabeth (b. Gotha, 7 February 1679 – d. of smallpox, Gotha, 22 June 1680).
  8. Johanna (b. Gotha, 1 October 1680 – d. Strelitz, 9 July 1704), married on 20 June 1702 to Adolf Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

In Ansbach on 14 August 1681, Frederick married secondly Christine of Baden-Durlach. They had no children.

Ancestry

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References

Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Born: 15 July 1646 Died: 2 August 1691
Preceded by
Ernest I
As Duke of
Saxe-Gotha
and
Saxe-Altenburg
Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
16751691
Succeeded by
Frederick II