|Electress consort of Hanover|
|Tenure||19 December 1692 – 23 January 1698|
|Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg|
|Tenure||18 December 1679 – 23 January 1698|
|Born||Princess Sophia of the Palatinate|
14 October 1630
The Hague, Dutch Republic
|Died||8 June 1714 83) (aged|
|Burial||9 June 1714 |
(m. 1658;died 1698)
|House|| Palatinate-Simmern |
(Cadet branch of Wittelsbach)
|Father||Frederick V, Elector Palatine|
Sophia of Hanover (born Princess Sophia of the Palatinate; 14 October 1630 – 8 June 1714) was the Electress of Hanover by marriage to Elector Ernest Augustus, and later the heiress presumptive to the thrones of England and Scotland (later Great Britain) and Ireland under the Act of Settlement 1701. She died less than two months before she would have become queen. Consequently, it was her son George I who succeeded her first cousin once removed, Anne.
Born to Frederick V of the Palatinate, a member of the House of Wittelsbach, and Elizabeth Stuart, in 1630, Sophia grew up in the Dutch Republic, where her family had sought refuge after the sequestration of their Electorate during the Thirty Years' War. Sophia's brother Charles Louis was restored to the Lower Palatinate as part of the Peace of Westphalia. Sophia married Ernest Augustus of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1658. Despite his temper and frequent absences, Sophia loved him, and bore him seven children who survived to adulthood. Initially a landless cadet, Ernest Augustus succeeded in having the House of Hanover raised to electoral dignity in 1692. Therefore, Sophia became Electress of Hanover, the title by which she is best remembered. A patron of the arts, Sophia commissioned Herrenhausen Palace its gardens and sponsored philosophers, such as Gottfried Leibniz and John Toland.
The twelfthchild of Frederick V of the Palatinate and Elizabeth Stuart, also known as the "Winter King and Queen of Bohemia" for their short rule in that country, Sophia was born in The Wassenaer Hof, The Hague, Dutch Republic, where her parents had fled into exile after the Battle of White Mountain. Through her mother, she was the granddaughter of James VI and I, king of Scotland and England in a personal union. At birth, Sophia was granted an annuity of 40 thalers by the Estates of Friesland. Sophia was courted by her first cousin, Charles II of England, but she rebuffed his advances as she thought he was using her in order to get money from her mother's supporter, Lord William Craven.
Before her marriage, Sophia, as the daughter of Frederick V, Elector Palatine of the Rhine, was referred to as Sophie, Princess Palatine of the Rhine, or as Sophia of the Palatinate. The Electors of the Palatinate were the Calvinist senior branch of House of Wittelsbach, whose Catholic branch ruled the Electorate of Bavaria.
On 30 September 1658, she married Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, at Heidelberg, who in 1692 became the first Elector of Hanover.Ernest August was a second cousin of Sophia's mother Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, as they were both great-grandchildren of Christian III of Denmark.
Sophia became a friend and admirer of Gottfried Leibniz while he was librarian at the Court of Hanover.Their friendship lasted from 1676 until her death in 1714. This friendship resulted in a substantial correspondence, first published in the 19th century (Klopp 1973), that reveals Sophia to have been a woman of exceptional intellectual ability and curiosity. She was well-read in the works of René Descartes and Baruch Spinoza. Together with Ernest Augustus, she greatly improved the Herrenhausen Palace and she was the guiding spirit in the creation of the Herrenhausen Gardens surrounding the palace, where she died.
Sophia had seven children who reached adulthood. They were:
Three of her sons were killed in battle.
Sophia was absent for almost a year, 1664–65, during a long holiday with Ernest Augustus in Italy. She corresponded regularly with her sons' governess and took a great interest in her sons' upbringing, even more so on her return.After Sophia's tour, she bore Ernest Augustus another four sons and a daughter. In her letters, Sophia describes her eldest son as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters.
Sophia was, at first, against the marriage of her son George and Sophia Dorothea of Celle, looking down on Sophia Dorothea's mother (who was not of royal birth and who Sophia referred to as "mouse dirt mixed among the pepper") and concerned by Sophia Dorothea's legitimated status, but was eventually won over by the advantages inherent in the marriage.
In September 1700, Sophia met her cousin King William III of England at Het Loo Palace in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands. This happened two months after the death of his nephew Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, son of the future Queen Anne. By this time, given the ailing William III's reluctance to remarry, the inclusion of Sophia in the line of succession was becoming more likelybecause she was a Protestant, as was her son. Her candidature was aided by the fact that she had grown up in the Netherlands close to William III and was able to converse fluently with him in Dutch, his native tongue.
A year after their meeting, the Parliament of England passed the Act of Settlement 1701 declaring that, in the event of no legitimate issue from Anne or William III, the crowns of England and Ireland were to settle upon "the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess-dowager of Hanover" and "the heirs of her body, being Protestant". Scotland being a separate state in international law at the time, this did not mean she would also succeed Anne as Queen of Scotland, which led to a succession crisis and eventually to the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England in 1706/07. The key excerpt from the Act, naming Sophia as heir presumptive, reads:
Therefore for a further Provision of the Succession of the Crown in the Protestant Line We Your Majesties most dutifull and Loyall Subjects the Lords Spirituall and Lords Temporall and Commons in this present Parliament assembled do beseech Your Majesty that it may be enacted and declared and be it enacted and declared by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That the most Excellent Princess Sophia Electress and Dutchess Dowager of Hannover Daughter of the most Excellent Princess Elizabeth late Queen of Bohemia Daughter of our late Sovereign Lord King James the First of happy Memory be and is hereby declared to be the next in Succession in the Protestant Line to the Imperiall Crown and Dignity of the forsaid Realms of England France and Ireland with the Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging after His Majesty and the Princess Anne of Denmark and in Default of Issue of the said Princess Anne and of His Majesty respectively.
Sophia was made heir presumptive to cut off a claim by the Roman Catholic James Francis Edward Stuart, who would have become James III and VIII and to deny the throne to the many other Roman Catholics and spouses of Roman Catholics who held a claim. The act restricts the British throne to the "Protestant heirs" of Sophia of Hanover who had never been Roman Catholic or married a Roman Catholic. Some British politicians attempted several times to bring Sophia to England in order to enable her to assume government immediately in the event of Anne's death. It was argued that such a course was necessary to ensure Sophia's succession, for Anne's Roman Catholic half-brother was significantly closer to London than was Sophia. The Electress was eager to move to London,but the proposal was denied, as such action would mortally offend Anne who was strongly opposed to a rival court in her kingdom. Anne might have been aware that Sophia, who was active and lively despite her old age, could cut a better figure than herself. Sophia was completely uncertain of what would happen after Anne's death, saying: "What Parliament does one day, it undoes the next."
When the law was passed in mid-1701, Sophia at age 70, five of her children from ages 35 to 41, and three legitimate grandchildren from ages 14 to 18, were alive. Although Sophia was in her seventy-first year, older than Anne by thirty-five years, she was very fit and healthy, and invested time and energy in securing the succession either for herself or her son.There are more than 5,000 legitimate descendants of Sophia, although not all are in the line of succession. The Sophia Naturalization Act 1705 granted the right of British (or more correctly English, as Great Britain only came into existence in 1707) nationality to Sophia's non-Roman Catholic descendants; those who had obtained the right to British citizenship via this Act at any time before its repeal by the British Nationality Act 1948 retain this lawful right today.
Although considerably older than Queen Anne, Sophia enjoyed much better health. According to the Countess of Bückeburg in a letter to Sophia's niece, the Raugravine Luise,on 5 June 1714 Sophia felt ill after receiving an angry letter from Queen Anne. Three days later on 8 June she was walking in the gardens of Herrenhausen when she ran to shelter from a sudden downpour of rain and collapsed and died, aged 83—a very advanced age for the era. Just under two months later, on 1 August 1714, Queen Anne died at the age of 49. Had Sophia survived Anne, she would have been the oldest person to ascend the British throne.
Upon Sophia's death, her eldest son Elector George Louis of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1660–1727) became heir presumptive in her place and within two months succeeded Anne as George I of Great Britain. Sophia's daughter Sophia Charlotte of Hanover (1668–1705) married Frederick I of Prussia, from whom the later Prussian and German monarchs descend.
Sophia was buried in the chapel of Leine Palace in Hanover, as were her husband and, later, their son George I. After destruction of the palace and its chapel during World War II by British air raids, their remains were moved into the mausoleum of King Ernest Augustus I in the Berggarten of Herrenhausen Gardens in 1957.
|Ancestors of Sophia of Hanover|
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Hanover) within the Holy Roman Empire from 23 January 1698 until his death in 1727. He was the first British monarch of the House of Hanover.
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 to 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 Queen 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 Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg, or more properly the Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg, was a historical duchy that existed from the late Middle Ages to the Late Modern era within the Holy Roman Empire, until the year of its dissolution. 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 Act for the Naturalization of the Most Excellent Princess Sophia, Electress and Duchess Dowager of Hanover, and the Issue of her Body was an Act of the Parliament of England in 1705. It followed the Act of Settlement 1701, whereby Dowager Electress Sophia of Hanover and her Protestant descendants were declared to be in the line of succession to the throne.
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.
Sophia Charlotte of Hanover was the first Queen consort in Prussia as wife of King Frederick I. She was the only daughter of Elector Ernest Augustus of Hanover and his wife Sophia of the Palatinate. Her eldest brother, George Louis, succeeded to the British throne in 1714 as King George I.
Ernst August, Hereditary Prince of Brunswick, Prince of Hanover was head of the House of Hanover from 1953 until his death in 1987. From his birth until the German Revolution of 1918–1919 he was the heir apparent to the Duchy of Brunswick, a state of the German Empire.
Princess Victoria Louise Adelaide Matilda Charlotte of Prussia was the only daughter and the last child of German Emperor Wilhelm II and Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. She was a great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria through her father. Her 1913 wedding to Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover was the largest gathering of reigning monarchs in Germany since German unification in 1871, and one of the last great social events of European royalty before the First World War began fourteen months later.
Sophia Dorothea of Brunswick-Lüneburg-Celle was the repudiated wife of future King George I of Great Britain, and mother of George II. The union with her first cousin was a marriage of state, arranged by her father George William, her father-in-law the Elector of Hanover, and her mother-in-law, Electress Sophia of Hanover, first cousin of King Charles II of England. She is best remembered for her alleged affair with Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck that led to her being imprisoned in the Castle of Ahlden for the last thirty years of her life.
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 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 and Ireland following the Hanoverian Succession.
Ernest Augustus, Duke of York and Albany, was the younger brother of George I of Great Britain. Ernest Augustus was a soldier and served with some distinction under Emperor Leopold I during the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession. In 1715, he became Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück.
The Herrenhausen Gardens of Herrenhausen Palace, located in Herrenhausen, an urban district of Lower Saxony's capital of Hanover are made up of the Great Garden, the Berggarten, the Georgengarten and the Welfengarten. The gardens are a heritage of the Kings of Hanover.
Luise Marie of the Palatinate was a Palatine princess who married Charles Theodore, the Prince (Fürst) of Salm-Salm. A great-granddaughter of James I of England and niece of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, she and her family, as Catholics, were excluded from the line of succession to the British throne.
Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel, was a German noblewoman member of the House of Hesse-Kassel and by marriage Electress Palatine during 1650–1657 as the first wife of Charles I Louis, although the validity of the divorce was disputed. Through her daughter Elizabeth Charlotte, Duchess of Orléans, she was the direct ancestress of House of Orléans and the Houses of Habsburg-Lorraine and Habsburg-Este.
Wilhelmine Ernestine of Denmark and Norway was an Electress of the Palatinate. She was the third of five daughters of King Frederick III of Denmark and Sophie Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg.
Duke Maximilian William of Brunswick-Lüneburg, often called Max, was a member of the House of Hanover who served as an Imperial Field Marshal.
The following is the Jacobite line of succession to the English and Scottish thrones as of the death of Anne, Queen of Great Britain, on 1 August 1714. It reflects the laws current in England and Scotland immediately before the Act of Settlement 1701, which disqualified Catholics from the throne.
Herrenhausen Palace is a former royal summer residence of the House of Hanover in the Herrenhausen district of the German city of Hanover. It is the centerpiece of Herrenhausen Gardens.