Saxe-Hildburghausen

Last updated
Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Herzogtum Sachsen-Hildburghausen
1680–1826
SaksenHildburghausen1820Kaal.png
Status State of the Holy Roman Empire,
State of the Confederation of the Rhine,
State of the German Confederation
Capital Heldburg (to 1684)
Hildburghausen (from 1684)
GovernmentPrincipality
Historical era Middle Ages
 Partitioned from
     Saxe-Gotha
 
1680 1680
1702
 Passed to Saxe-Meiningen
1826
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Armoiries Saxe2.svg Saxe-Gotha
Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Flagge Herzogtum Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha (1911-1920).svg
Saxe-Meiningen Saxe- Meiningen.png

Saxe-Hildburghausen (German : Sachsen-Hildburghausen) was an Ernestine duchy in the southern side of the present State of Thuringia in Germany. It existed from 1680 to 1826 but its name and borders are currently used by the District of Hildburghausen.

Contents

Hildburghausen Castle Schloss Hildburghausen.JPG
Hildburghausen Castle

History

After the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, Ernest the Pious, died on 26 March 1675 in Gotha, the Principality was divided on 24 February 1680 among his seven surviving sons. The lands of Saxe-Hildburghausen went to the sixth son, who became Ernest II, the first Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. But the new Principality did not have complete independence. It had to depend on the higher authorities in Gotha for the matters of administration of its districts – the so-called “Nexus Gothanus” – because Gotha was the residence of Ernest II's oldest brother, who ruled as Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Saxe-Hildburghausen did not become fully sovereign until 1702.

In the beginning, the Principality had the District and city of Hildburghausen, the District and city of Heldburg, the District and city of Eisfeld, the District of Veilsdorf and the half of the District of Schalkau. Two more districts were added – Königsberg in 1683 and Sonnefeld in 1705. When Albert V, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, died in 1699 without any surviving descendants, disputes arose over the inheritance but, eventually, in 1714, Saxe-Hildburghausen agreed to exchange the District of Schalkau for parts of Saxony – a piece of the former Duchy of Saxe-Römhild, the District of Behrungen, including the winery, and the monastery estate of Milz as well as the former properties of the Echter family of Mespelbrunn.

In 1684 the city of Hildburghausen became the residence of the Duke so it was developed to reflect its new status. However, the elaborate buildings and courtyards of the princes strained the finances of the Principality so much that, in 1769, a forced management of debts by an Imperial Debit Commission had to be ordered. It was placed under the direction of the Regent, Charlotte Amalie of Saxe-Meiningen.

With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Saxe-Hildburghausen gained its full sovereignty as the Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen. A few months later, on 15 December 1806, it, along with the other Ernestine duchies, entered the Confederation of the Rhine. In 1815, it joined the German Confederation. In 1818, it was one of the first German states to receive a constitution.

At the City Hall of Hildburghausen, two coats of arms are presented - for the Duchy of Saxe-Hilburghausen on the left and the City of Hildburghausen on the right. The City's shield is quartered with the striped lion of Thuringia and the black lion of the Margraviate of Meissen. The top row of the Duchy's shield is Thuringia, Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg (golden eagle on blue field), Meissen. The second row has the Counties of Weimar-Orlamunde (black lion with hearts) and Pleissen (white lion with golden head), flanking the heart-shield of Saxony. The third row represents the Electorate of Saxe-Wittenberg (three red hearts), Margraviate of Landsberg (gold and blue stripes) and the Palatinate County of Saxony (golden eagle on black field). The fourth row is lined with the Regalia shield ("the blood flag" of royalty), the Burgraviate of Altenburg (red rose) and the 'Herrschaft of Eisenberg (silver and blue stripes). The last row is divided between the Herrschaft of Wildberg (white tower on red field) and Grafschaft of Henneberg (black hen). Hildburghausen-002.jpg
At the City Hall of Hildburghausen, two coats of arms are presented – for the Duchy of Saxe-Hilburghausen on the left and the City of Hildburghausen on the right. The City's shield is quartered with the striped lion of Thuringia and the black lion of the Margraviate of Meissen. The top row of the Duchy's shield is Thüringia, Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg (golden eagle on blue field), Meissen. The second row has the Counties of Weimar-Orlamünde (black lion with hearts) and Pleißen (white lion with golden head), flanking the heart-shield of Saxony. The third row represents the Electorate of Saxe-Wittenberg (three red hearts), Margraviate of Landsberg (gold and blue stripes) and the Palatinate County of Saxony (golden eagle on black field). The fourth row is lined with the Regalia shield (“the blood flag” of royalty), the Burgraviate of Altenburg (red rose) and the 'Herrschaft of Eisenberg (silver and blue stripes). The last row is divided between the Herrschaft of Wildberg (white tower on red field) and Grafschaft of Henneberg (black hen).

The extinction of the oldest line, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg in 1825 again led to inheritance disputes among the other lines of the Ernestine family. On 12 November 1826 the decision, from the arbitration of the supreme head of the family, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, resulted in the extensive rearrangement of the Ernestine duchies. Saxe-Hildburghausen lost the Districts of Königsberg and Sonnefeld to the new Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the rest of its territories to the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen. But the last Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, Frederick, became the new Duke of Saxe-Altenburg.

In 1868, four districts were established in the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen. One of them was Hildburghausen, with boundaries very similar to those of the former duchy. It remained almost unchanged until 1993, when the District of Suhl was dissolved and most of its municipalities joined the District of Hildburghausen.

Dukes of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Notable residents

Bibliography

Related Research Articles

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha Collective name for the duchies of Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha in Germany

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was an Ernestine, Thuringian duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day states of Thuringia and Bavaria in Germany. It lasted from 1826 to 1918. In November 1918, Charles Edward, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was forced to abdicate. In 1920, the northern part of the duchy was merged with six other Thuringian free states to form the state of Thuringia: Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Saxe-Altenburg and Saxe-Meiningen, Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and Schwarzburg-Sondershausen, as well as the People's State of Reuss. The southern part of the duchy, as southernmost of the Thuringian states, was the only one which, after a referendum, became part of Bavaria.

Saxe-Altenburg German duchy

Saxe-Altenburg was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine branch of the House of Wettin in present-day Thuringia. It was one of the smallest of the German states with an area of 1323 square kilometers and a population of 207,000 (1905) of whom about one fifth resided in the capital, Altenburg. The territory of the duchy consisted of two non-contiguous territories separated by land belonging to the Principality of Reuss. Its economy was based on agriculture, forestry, and small industry. The state had a constitutional monarchical form of government with a parliament composed of thirty members chosen by male taxpayers over 25 years of age.

Saxe-Meiningen Saxon duchy held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty in Thuringia, Germany

Saxe-Meiningen was one of the Saxon duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin dynasty, located in the southwest of the present-day German state of Thuringia.

Saxe-Coburg

Saxe-Coburg was a duchy held by the Ernestine branch of the Wettin dynasty in today's Bavaria, Germany.

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.

Hildburghausen Place in Thuringia, Germany

Hildburghausen is a town in Thuringia in central Germany, capital of the district Hildburghausen.

Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld

Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld was one of the Saxon Duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin Dynasty. Established in 1699, the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield line lasted until the reshuffle of the Ernestine territories that occurred following the extinction of the Saxe-Gotha line in 1825, in which the Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld line received Gotha, but lost Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen.

Ernestine duchies A set of related states in Germany

The Ernestine duchies, also known as the Saxon duchies, were a changing number of small states that were largely located in the present-day German state of Thuringia and governed by dukes of the Ernestine line of the House of Wettin.

Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen was a duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, was a duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Altenburg Duke of Saxe-Altenburg

Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, was duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen (1780–1826) and duke of Saxe-Altenburg (1826–1834).

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.

Princess Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg Duchess of Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg

Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg, was a princess of Saxe-Altenburg and, by marriage, duchess of Saxe-Gotha.

Saxe-Römhild

Saxe-Römhild was an Ernestine duchy in the southern foothills of the Thuringian Forest. It existed for only 30 years, from 1680 to 1710.

Princess Ernestine of Saxe-Weimar Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Princess Ernestine of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was a princess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach and by marriage Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

Countess Caroline of Erbach-Fürstenau Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen

Countess Caroline Amalie of Erbach-Fürstenau, was a countess of Erbach-Furstenau and by marriage Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen. From 1745 to 1748, she was also Regent of Saxe-Hildburghausen.

Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach

Sophia Albertine, Countess of Erbach-Erbach, was Countess of Erbach-Erbach by birth and by marriage Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen. From 1724 to 1728, she was Regent of this Thuringian state.

Princess Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Philippsthal

Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Philippsthal, was Duchess and regent from 1763 to 1782 of Saxe-Meiningen.

Countess Sophie Henriette of Waldeck

Sophia Henriette of Waldeck was a Princess of Waldeck by birth and by marriage Duchess of Saxe-Hildburghausen,