|Electress consort of Hanover|
|Tenure||19 December 1692 – 23 January 1698|
|Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg|
|Tenure||18 December 1679 – 23 January 1698|
|Born||14 October 1630|
The Hague, Netherlands
|Died||8 June 1714 83) (aged|
|Burial||9 June 1714 |
|Spouse||Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover|
|Father||Frederick V, Elector Palatine|
Sophia of Hanover (born Sophia of the Palatinate; 14 October 1630 – 8 June 1714) was the Electress of Hanover from 1692 to 1698. As a Protestant granddaughter of James I, she became heir presumptive to the crowns of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland under the Act of Settlement 1701. After the Acts of Union 1707, she became heir presumptive to the unified throne of the Kingdom of Great Britain. She died less than two months before she would have become queen succeeding her first cousin once removed, Queen Anne, and her claim to the throne passed on to her eldest son, George Louis, Elector of Hanover, who ascended as George I on 1 August 1714 (Old Style).
The Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg was an Electorate of the Holy Roman Empire, located in northwestern Germany. It was colloquially known as the Electorate of Hanover, after its capital city of Hanover. For most of its existence, the electorate was ruled in personal union with Great Britain.
An heir presumptive is the person entitled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question. The position is however subject to law and/or conventions that may alter who is entitled to be heir presumptive.
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
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 jealous 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 the palace and gardens of Herrenhausen and sponsored philosophers, such as Gottfried Leibniz and John Toland.
Frederick V was the Elector Palatine of the Rhine in the Holy Roman Empire from 1610 to 1623, and reigned as King of Bohemia from 1619 to 1620. He was forced to abdicate both roles, and the brevity of his reign in Bohemia earned him the derisive nickname of "the Winter King".
The House of Wittelsbach is a European royal family and a German dynasty from Bavaria.
The Dutch Republic, or the United Provinces, was a confederal republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first Dutch nation state.
A daughter of Frederick V of the Palatinate by 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.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.
The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat of government of the Netherlands.
The Battle of White Mountain was an important battle in the early stages of the Thirty Years' War.
James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments, judiciaries, and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union.
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.
The Rhine is one of the major European rivers, which has its sources in Switzerland and flows in an mostly northerly direction through Germany and The Netherlands, emptying into the North Sea. The river begins in the Swiss canton of Graubünden in the southeastern Swiss Alps, forms part of the Swiss-Liechtenstein, Swiss-Austrian, Swiss-German and then the Franco-German border, then flows through the German Rhineland and the Netherlands and eventually empties into the North Sea.
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor.
The County Palatine of the Rhine, later the Electorate of the Palatinate or simply Electoral Palatinate, was a territory in the Holy Roman Empire administered by the Count Palatine of the Rhine. Its rulers served as prince-electors (Kurfürsten) from time immemorial, were noted as such in a papal letter of 1261, and were confirmed as electors by the Golden Bull of 1356.
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, as they were both great-grandchildren of Christian III of Denmark.
Ernest Augustus was a Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruled over the Principality of Calenberg, a subdivision of the duchy. He was appointed Prince-elector, but died before the appointment became effective. He was also the Prince-Bishop of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück.
Heidelberg is a university town in Baden-Württemberg situated on the river Neckar in south-west Germany. In the 2016 census, its population was 159,914, with roughly a quarter of its population being students.
Christian III reigned as King of Denmark from 1534 until his death, and King of Norway from 1537 until his death. During his reign, Christian established Lutheranism as the state religion within his realms as part of the Protestant Reformation.
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 nineteenth 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 Summer Palace of Herrenhausen and she was the guiding spirit in the creation of the gardens (which still exist) surrounding the palace, where she died.
René Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, and scientist. A native of the Kingdom of France, he spent about 20 years (1629–1649) of his life in the Dutch Republic after serving for a while in the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy.
Baruch Spinoza was a Jewish-Dutch philosopher of Portuguese Sephardi origin. One of the early thinkers of the Enlightenment and modern biblical criticism, including modern conceptions of the self and the universe, he came to be considered one of the great rationalists of 17th-century philosophy. Inspired by the groundbreaking ideas of René Descartes, Spinoza became a leading philosophical figure of the Dutch Golden Age. Spinoza's given name, which means "Blessed", varies among different languages. In Hebrew, it is written ברוך שפינוזה. His Portuguese name is Benedito "Bento" de Espinosa or d'Espinosa. In his Latin works, he used Latin: Benedictus de Spinoza.
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.
Sophia had seven children who reached adulthood. They were:
Sophia was absent for almost a year, 1664–65, during a long holiday with Ernest Augustus in Italy but 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 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, William III of England, at Loo. This happened just two months after the death of Prince William, Duke of Gloucester, nephew of William III and 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 likely,because she was a Protestant, as was her husband. Her candidature was also aided by the fact that, because she had grown up in the Netherlands she was well known to her cousin, 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 Scotland were to settle upon "the most excellent princess Sophia, electress and duchess-dowager of Hanover" and "the heirs of her body, being Protestant". 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 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 not just a claim by the Roman Catholic James Francis Edward Stuart, who would have become James III and VIII, but also 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 also 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 (age 70), five of her children (ages 35 to 41), and three legitimate grandchildren (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.Currently, 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 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. Two days later 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 over a month later, in August, Queen Anne died at the age of 49. Had Anne predeceased Sophia, Sophia 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 weeks later, succeeded Anne as George I. 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, 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) in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698 until his death in 1727.
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 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 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 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 Brunswick-Lüneburg 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.
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 an arranged marriage of state, instigated by the machinations of his mother, Electress Sophia of Hanover. She is best remembered for her alleged affair with Philip Christoph von Königsmarck that led to her being imprisoned in the Castle of Ahlden for the last thirty years of her life.
George William German: Georg Wilhelm was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He ruled first over the Principality of Calenberg, a subdivision of the duchy, then over the Lüneburg subdivision. In 1689, he occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg and passed it on to his successors. George William was the father of Sophia Dorothea of Celle, wife of George I of Great Britain.
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 Spanish Succession. In 1715, he became Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück.
The Princess Sophia's Precedence Act 1711 is an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain.
Anna Gonzaga was an Italian French noblewoman and salonist. The youngest daughter of Charles Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua and Montferrat, and Catherine de Mayenne, Anna was "Princess Palatine" as the wife of Edward of the Palatinate, a grandson of King James I of England and uncle to King George I of Great Britain. She bore Edward three children, all daughters. Had Anna not converted Edward to Catholicism, the English throne might have passed to their descendants.
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.
Princess Palatine Benedicta Henrietta was Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg, or of Hanover, by her marriage to Duke John Frederick. She was the third and youngest daughter of Prince Palatine Edward and the political hostess Anna Gonzaga.
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.
Benedicta Henrietta of the Palatinate
| Duchess consort of Brunswick-Lüneburg |
Served alongside: Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse
Title next held byCaroline of Ansbach
|New title|| Electress consort of Hanover |