Thurn-und-Taxis Post

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Carl Jugel's map of the postal and transportation networks in Germany, 1843 Map Thurn-und-Taxis-Post.jpg
Carl Jügel's map of the postal and transportation networks in Germany, 1843

The Thurn-und-Taxis Post (German: [ˈtuːɐ̯n ʊnt ˈtaksɪs ˈpɔst] ) was a private company postal service and the successor to the Imperial Reichspost of the Holy Roman Empire. The Thurn-und-Taxis Post was operated by the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis between 1806 and 1867. The company was headquartered in Regensburg from its creation in 1806 until 1810 when it relocated to Frankfurt am Main where it remained until 1867.

Contents

The end of the Imperial Reichspost

Deutsche Bundespost 1984 stamp commemorating the Kaiserlichen Taxis'schen Post BM-TdB1984.jpg
Deutsche Bundespost 1984 stamp commemorating the Kaiserlichen Taxis'schen Post

Throughout the course of the 16th century, the Taxis dynasty was entrusted as the imperial courier of the Holy Roman Empire and in the Spanish Netherlands, Spain, and Burgundy. In 1595, Leonhard I von Taxis was the empire's Postmaster General. Beginning in 1615, the office of Postmaster General of the Imperial Reichspost became hereditary under Lamoral I von Taxis. In 1650, the house was permitted with imperial authorization to rename itself from the House of Tassis (Taxis) to the House of Thurn and Taxis (from the French Tour et Taxis). It was able to maintain the Imperial Reichspost in competition with Europe's post offices.

Karl Alexander, 4th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, 1827 Karl Alexander von Thurn und Taxis.jpg
Karl Alexander, 4th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, 1827

Due to the 1792–1802 French Revolutionary Wars and the following 1803–15 Napoleonic Wars, the Imperial Reichspost gradually lost more and more postal districts during the tenure of Karl Anselm, 4th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, beginning with the Austrian Netherlands, thus depriving the post of important sources of revenue. Upon the death of Karl Anselm on 13 November 1805, the office of Postmaster General was inherited by his son, Karl Alexander, 5th Prince of Thurn and Taxis.

After the Peace of Pressburg in December 1805, the operation of the Imperial Reichspost of the Holy Roman Empire was abolished in Württemberg, which then continued under government control. By contrast, Karl Alexander was granted the postal system in the Kingdom of Bavaria as a fiefdom of the House of Thurn and Taxis on 24 February 1806. On 2 May 1806, an agreement was signed between Karl Alexander and the Grand Duchy of Baden, also instituting its postal system as a fiefdom of the House of Thurn and Taxis.

The creation of the Confederation of the Rhine on 12 July 1806 virtually meant the end of the Holy Roman Empire and thus the end of the Imperial Reichspost and the hereditary office of Postmaster General held by the House of Thurn and Taxis. On 6 August 1806, Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor dissolved the empire after the disastrous defeat of the Third Coalition by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Austerlitz.

While the Imperial Reichspost and the office of Postmaster General ceased to exist, Karl Alexander's wife Therese, Princess of Thurn and Taxis was instrumental in negotiating postal agreements with the Confederation of the Rhine and Napoleon, thus preserving the House of Thurn and Taxis postal monopoly as a private company.

Members of the Rothschild banking dynasty were involved in funding parts of the system in the last years of the Napoleonic Wars and the immediate years that followed.

Thurn-und-Taxis Post

Deutsche Bundespost 1952 stamp depicting a Thurn-und-Taxis cariole Stamp Thurn und Taxis Post 1852.jpg
Deutsche Bundespost 1952 stamp depicting a Thurn-und-Taxis cariole

On 1 August 1808, the Kingdom of Bavaria placed the postal system under its government's control. The Grand Duchy of Baden followed suit on 2 August 1811. After Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg ceded Regensburg to Bavaria in 1810, the House of Thurn and Taxis relocated the headquarters of its postal operations to Frankfurt am Main. After the defeat and exile of Napoleon, the Congress of Vienna recognized the postal claims of the House of Thurn and Taxis in several member states of the German Confederation as legitimate. This recognition resulted in Article 17 of the German Federal Act of 8 June 1815 which required states that had established their own postal system, or intended to do so, to give the House of Thurn and Taxis fair compensation for its loss of revenue. [1]

Under the German Federal Act, the postal systems of the Grand Duchy of Hesse, the duchies of Nassau, Saxe-Weimar, Saxe-Meiningen, and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the principalities of Reuss and Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, the free cities of Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Bremen, and Lübeck, the principalities of Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, Lippe-Detmold and Schaumburg-Lippe were placed under the now privately operated Thurn-und-Taxis Post. The seat of the post's headquarters in Frankfurt am Main was confirmed on 20 May 1816.

On 14 May 1816, Karl Alexander entered into a contract with William I, Elector of Hesse to operate the postal system of Hesse-Kassel. Prior to the contract, the Thurn-und-Taxis Post had a 23 January 1814 mutual transportation agreement with Hesse-Kassel's state postal system. On 27 July 1819, the Kingdom of Württemberg transferred the ownership and management of its state postal system to the Thurn-und-Taxis Post due to its inability to pay its compensation owed to the House of Thurn and Taxis.

German-Austrian Postal Association

Thurn-und-Taxis Post's 1859 15 Kreuzer stamp Thurnundtaxisstamp.jpg
Thurn-und-Taxis Post's 1859 15 Kreuzer stamp

In 1847, a German postal conference met in Dresden which resulted in the establishment of the German-Austrian Postal Association. The association came into force on 1 July 1850. On 6 April 1850, the Thurn-und-Taxis Post joined the German-Austrian Postal Association, which was greeted with negative reactions from the government of the Kingdom of Prussia. Above all, Otto von Bismarck, as a representative of the German Confederation in Frankfurt am Main, was disparaged.

Beginning on 1 January 1852, the Thurn-und-Taxis Post postage stamp was available in two variants: Kreuzer and Groschen.

The end of the Thurn-und-Taxis Post

After the Prussian victory in the Austro-Prussian War, the Prussians occupied the Free City of Frankfurt and the Thurn-und-Taxis Post's headquarters. The Thurn-und-Taxis Post transferred its postal system contracts to the Prussian state for the sum of three million Thaler after a contract was signed and ratified on 28 January 1867. The handover of control of the postal system took place on 1 July 1867. [2] The last Post Director General of the Thurn-und-Taxis Post in Frankfurt was Eduard von Schele zu Schelenburg.

See also

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Karl August, 10th Prince of Thurn and Taxis Prince of Thurn and Taxis

Karl August Joseph Maria Maximilian Lamoral Antonius Ignatius Benediktus Valentin, 10th Prince of Thurn and Taxis was the tenth Prince of Thurn and Taxis and Head of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis from 13 July 1971 until his death on 26 April 1982.

Maximilian Maria, 7th Prince of Thurn and Taxis Prince of Thurn and Taxis

Maximilian Maria Carl Joseph Gabriel Lamoral, 7th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Maximilian Maria Carl Joseph Gabriel Lamoral Fürst von Thurn und Taxis was the seventh Prince of Thurn and Taxis and Head of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis from 10 November 1871 until his death on 2 June 1885.

Maximilian Karl, 6th Prince of Thurn and Taxis Prince of Thurn and Taxis

Maximilian Karl, 6th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Maximilian Karl Fürst von Thurn und Taxis was the sixth Prince of Thurn and Taxis, head of the Thurn-und-Taxis-Post, and Head of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis from 15 July 1827 until his death on 10 November 1871.

Baroness Wilhelmine of Dörnberg Princess consort of Thurn and Taxis

Baroness Wilhelmine Caroline Christiane Henriette of Dörnberg, was a member of the House of Dörnberg and a Baroness of Dörnberg by birth. Through her marriage to Maximilian Karl, 6th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Wilhelmine was also a member of the House of Thurn and Taxis. Wilhelmine was known to her family and friends as "Mimi."

Karl Alexander, 5th Prince of Thurn and Taxis Prince of Thurn and Taxis

Karl Alexander, 5th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Karl Alexander Fürst von Thurn und Taxis was the fifth Prince of Thurn and Taxis, head of the Thurn-und-Taxis-Post, and Head of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis from 13 November 1805 until his death on 15 July 1827. With the death of his father on 13 November 1805, he became nominal Generalpostmeister of the Imperial Reichspost until the resignation of Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor.

Duchess Therese of Mecklenburg-Strelitz Princess consort of Thurn and Taxis

Duchess Therese Mathilde Amalie of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was a member of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and a Duchess of Mecklenburg. Through her marriage to Karl Alexander, 5th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Therese was also a member of the House of Thurn and Taxis.

Karl Anselm, 4th Prince of Thurn and Taxis Prince of Thurn and Taxis

Karl Anselm, 4th Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Karl Anselm Fürst von Thurn und Taxis was the fourth Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Postmaster General of the Imperial Reichspost, and Head of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis from 17 March 1773 until his death on 13 November 1805. Karl Anselm served as Prinzipalkommissar at the Perpetual Imperial Diet in Regensburg for Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor and Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor from 1773 to 1797.

Alexander Ferdinand, 3rd Prince of Thurn and Taxis Prince of Thurn and Taxis

Alexander Ferdinand, 3rd Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Alexander Ferdinand Fürst von Thurn und Taxis was the third Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Postmaster General of the Imperial Reichspost, and Head of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis from 8 November 1739 until his death on 17 March 1773. Alexander Ferdinand served as Principal Commissioner at the Perpetual Imperial Diet in Frankfurt am Main and Regensburg for Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor, Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor from 1 February 1743 to 1745 and again from 1748 until 1773.

Anselm Franz, 2nd Prince of Thurn and Taxis Prince of Thurn and Taxis

Anselm Franz, 2nd Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Anselm Franz Fürst von Thurn und Taxis was the second Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Postmaster General of the Imperial Reichspost, and Head of the House of Thurn and Taxis from 21 February 1714 until his death on 8 November 1739.

Eugen Alexander Franz, 1st Prince of Thurn and Taxis German prince

Eugen Alexander Franz, 1st Prince of Thurn and Taxis, full German name: Eugen Alexander Franz Fürst von Thurn und Taxis was the first Prince of Thurn and Taxis, Postmaster General of the Imperial Reichspost, and Head of the House of Thurn and Taxis from 13 September 1676 until his death.

Palais Thurn und Taxis building

The Palais Thurn und Taxis in Frankfurt, Germany was built from 1731 to 1739 by Robert de Cotte and commissioned by the Imperial Postmaster, Prince Anselm Franz von Thurn und Taxis (1714–1739).

Lamoral II Claudius Franz, Count of Thurn and Taxis Postmaster General of the Holy Roman Empire

Lamoral II Claudius Franz, Count of Thurn and Taxis was a German nobleman and Imperial Postmaster. He took over the post of Imperial Postmaster General from his mother when he came of age in 1646. He obtained permission from the Emperor in 1650 to change his family name to von Thurn, Valsassina und Taxis, but then opted for the shorter von Thurn und Taxis. He and his mother were instrumental in the organization of the Imperial postal system. After the end of the Thirty Years' War, he successfully competed against the many postal systems of the German states. He was, however, unable to regain a legal monopoly. He also participated in the negotiations that led to the Treaty of Westphalia.

<i>Kaiserliche Reichspost</i> postal service

Kaiserliche Reichspost was the name of the country-wide postal service of the Holy Roman Empire.

References

  1. Dallmeier, Schad, a. a. O., S. 79, Wortlaut bei Piendl, a. a. O., S. 86.
  2. "Stamp-Collecting-World: German States Stamps from Thurn and Taxis - A Brief History" . Retrieved 2011-08-20.

Literature

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