Henry IV, Duke of Saxony
Henry IV the Pious, Duke of Saxony was a Duke of Saxony from the House of Wettin. Succeeding George, Duke of Saxony, a fervent Catholic who sought to extinguish Lutheranism by any means possible, Henry established the Lutheran church as the state religion in his domains. Henry was the second son of Albert, Duke of Saxony, his wife Sidonie Podiebrad, princess of Bohemia; when Albert died in 1500, his eldest son George succeeded to the Duchy of Saxony, Henry became Lord of Friesland. Saxon rule of Friesland was disturbed by constant revolts. Henry, of a rather inert disposition, gave up his title there. In 1505 Henry ceded Friesland to George, in return for an annuity and the districts of Wolkenstein and Freiberg, where Henry made his residence. In 1517, Martin Luther posted the Ninety-Five Theses which sparked the Reformation in Germany, a few years Henry adopted the Evangelical faith. George remained a devout Catholic. Only two of George's sons survived to adulthood and Frederick, but they both predeceased him without issue.
When Frederick died in 1539, the Lutheran Henry became heir presumptive to the Duchy under the Act of Settlement of 1499. To prevent a Protestant succession, George tried to override his father's will, disinherit Henry, bequeath the Duchy to Ferdinand, brother of Charles V. However, George died only two months and Henry succeeded to the Duchy aged 66, he reigned for only two years. In Freiberg, on 6 July 1512, Heinrich married Catherine of Mecklenburg, daughter of Duke Magnus II of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, they had six children: Sybille, married on 8 February 1540 to Duke Francis I of Saxe-Lauenburg. Emilie, married on 25 August 1533 to Georg, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. Sidonie, married on 17 May 1545 to Eric II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. Maurice Elector of Saxony. Severinus. Augustus. Article in the ABD
The Fruitbearing Society was a German literary society founded in 1617 in Weimar by German scholars and nobility. Its aim was to standardize vernacular German and promote it as both a scholarly and literary language, after the pattern of the Accademia della Crusca in Florence and similar groups thriving in Italy, followed in years in France and Britain, it was known as the Palmenorden because its emblem was the then-exotic fruitbearing coconut palm. Caspar von Teutleben, Hofmarschall at the court in Weimar, was the founding father of the society; as a young man he got inspired by the Italian language academies. During the funeral celebrations of Duchess Dorothea Maria in August 1617 which were attended by several princes he took the opportunity to propose the founding of a society following the example of the Italian Accademia della Crusca. Prince Ludwig von Anhalt-Köthen who had joined the Accademia della Crusca in 1600 took hold of the idea and became the first president of the Palm Order.
The society counted a king, 153 Germanic princes, over 60 barons and distinguished scholars among its members. It disbanded in 1668; the first book about the Palm Order, Der Teutsche Palmbaum, was written by Carl Gustav von Hille and published in Nuremberg in 1647. The society had 890 members. Of these, the below list only includes those. For a more complete list, including their fruitbearing names, see this German article. University of California, News article: Taking pride in their language, finding uses for everything February 11, 2004 die-fruchtbringende-gesellschaft.de Finding aid to the Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft Collection: Manuscript and Pictorial Material, 1592–1754 at The Bancroft Library Neue Fruchtbringende Gesellschaft zu Köthen/Anhalt
Catherine of Mecklenburg
Catherine of Mecklenburg, Duchess of Saxony, was the daughter of the Duke Magnus II of Mecklenburg and Sophie of Pomerania-Stettin. She married on 6 July 1512 in Freiberg Duke Henry the Pious of Saxony; the couple had six children: Sibylle married in 1540 Duke Francis I of Saxe-Lauenburg Aemilia married in 1533 Margrave George the Pious of Brandenburg-Ansbach Sidonie married in 1545 Duke Eric II of Brunswick-Lüneburg Maurice, Elector of Saxonymarried in 1541 princess Agnes of Hesse Severinus Augustus, Elector of Saxonymarried in 1548 princess Anne of Denmark and Norway Catherine sympathized early with Martin Luther's teachings, while her husband suppressed the Reformation until 1536 for fear of his brother, the reigning Duke George the Bearded. The Freiberg area became Lutheran; when duke George tried bear down on Catherine, she told the envoy: You could do me a big favor by leaving Freiberg right now. In 1539, after the death of Duke George, the couple moved to Dresden and brought the Reformation there.
Duke Henry died on 18 August 1541. She spent her days in Wolkenstein castle. In 1560, she published a book on etiquette for ladies, culturally and very interesting. Elizabeth Werl, "Catherine, Duchess of Saxony, born Duchess of Mecklenburg", Neue Deutsche Biographie, 11, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 325–326 Franz Otto Stichart: Gallery of the Saxon princesses. Biographical sketches of all the ancestress of the royal house of Saxony, Leipzig, 1857, p. 229-247. Theodor Distel: News on the Duchess Catherine of Saxony and her people In: New archive for Saxon history, Volume 15, 1894, ISSN 0944-8195, p. 326 ff.. John Meyer: Female characters and women's sway in the House of Wettin, Bautzen, 1912. Sabine Ulbricht: princesses in the Saxon History, Beucha/Markham, 2010, ISBN 3-86729-053-9, p. 99-125. Portraits of Henry IV of Saxony and Catherine of Mecklenburg
Bevern, Lower Saxony
Bevern is a municipality in the District of Holzminden, Lower Saxony, Germany. It is the adminsitrative seat of the Samtgemeinde of Bevern. Bevern lies on the Weser river near its confluence with the Beverbach tributary, located between the Burgberg and Vogler hill ranges of the Weser Uplands; the municipal area comprises the villages of Bevern proper, Forst, Dölme, Lobach, Lütgenade, Reileifzen. The Saxon settlement of Byueran was first mentioned in a register of Corvey Abbey in 822; the construction of a church was documented in 1501. The community is chiefly known for Bevern Castle, a Renaissance palace built as a manor house from 1603 to 1612. Purchased by the Welf dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg during the Thirty Years' War in 1633, the building served as the residence of a cadet line, known as Brunswick-Bevern, from 1667 until the late 18th century. Bevern Palace
Duchess Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg
Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg was a German poet and composer. She began studying music at the court of her father, Duke John Albert II of Mecklenburg-Güstrow, where there was an orchestra known for its use of fine English musicians, such as William Brade, she moved to the court of Kassel, which had a strong musical tradition, when the Thirty Years War threatened her court in 1628. In 1635 she married the learned Augustus the Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, they had two children: Ferdinand Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg Marie Elisabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Elisabeth Sophie was charged with organizing the court orchestra, at times worked with Heinrich Schütz, appointed absentes Kapellmeister in 1655, she may have collaborated with him on arias in his Theatralische neue Vorstellung von der Maria Magdalena. Most of Elisabeth Sophie's compositions are devotional arias; some of these were published in 1651 and 1667. The one printed in 1651, Vinetum evangelicum, Evangelischer Weinberg, is believed to have been the first music published by a woman in Germany.
She played a major role in establishing large court entertainments, including masquerades and ballets, to which she at times wrote librettos and music. Her additional involvement in these entertainments is unclear. Two of her dramatic works survive: Friedens Glückwünschende Freudensdarstellung. Sibylle Ursula von Braunschweig-Lüneburg was her stepdaughter. Horst Walter. "Sophie Elisabeth, Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg". In Deane L. Root. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. Judith Tick. "Women in music, §II: Western classical traditions in Europe & the USA 3. 1500–1800.". In Deane L. Root. Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press
Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Augustus II, called the Younger, a member of the House of Welf was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In the estate division of the House of Welf of 1635, he received the Principality of Wolfenbüttel which he ruled until his death. Considered one of the most literate princes of his time, he is known for founding the Herzog August Library at his Wolfenbüttel residence the largest collection of books and manuscripts north of the Alps. Augustus was born at the seventh child of Duke Henry of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his father had ruled over the Brunswick Principality of Lüneburg, jointly with his younger brother William, since 1559. Ten years however, upon his marriage with Ursula, a daughter of the Ascanian duke Francis I of Saxe-Lauenburg, he had to waive all rights and claims and was compensated with the small Dannenberg lordship. Moreover, he received an annual payment and had reserved the inheritance right of his descendants should the Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel line become extinct. Augustus was the youngest child from the marriage of Henry and Ursula.
With little chance to take up any rule in the Brunswick lands, he concentrated on his studies in Rostock, Tübingen, Straßburg. Afterwards, he travelled on a Grand Tour through Italy, the Netherlands, England. Back in Germany at the age of 25, he took his residence in Hitzacker, where he spent the next three decades with a small court, continuing his studies. Succession arose in the midst of the Thirty Years' War, when the last Wolfenbüttel prince, Duke Frederick Ulrich of Brunswick-Lüneburg died without heirs in 1634. After lengthy and complicated negotiations with his reluctant Welf relatives and an intervention by Emperor Ferdinand II, it was agreed that Augustus should inherit the Wolfenbüttel principality; because of the ongoing war, he had to stay at Dankwarderode Castle in Braunschweig and could not move to his residence until 1644. Soon after, Augustus instituted a number of government reforms, founded the Bibliotheca Augusta. After the 1648 Peace of Westphalia, the Wolfenbüttel lands recovered under his capable rule.
Augustus was a promoter of German as language of literature. Under the pseudonym Gustavus Selenus, he wrote a book on chess in 1616, Chess or the King's Game, a standard reference on cryptography in 1624: Cryptomenytices et Cryptographiae libri IX; the pseudonym itself is a cryptic reference to his name, Gustavus anagrams to Augustus, the surname is a play on the Greek goddess of the moon. The book on cryptography is based on earlier works by Johannes Trithemius; the duke employed the scholar Justus Georg Schottel as tutor of his sons. In 1632 he joined his Fruitbearing Society. Augustus was succeeded by his eldest son Rudolph Augustus. In December 1607 he married Clara Maria of Pomerania-Barth, the eldest daughter of the Griffin duke Bogislaw XIII of Pomerania; the marriage produced two stillborn children. Clara Maria died in February 1623. In October 1623 he married Dorothea of Anhalt-Zerbst, daughter of the Ascanian prince Rudolph of Anhalt-Zerbst, they had the following children: Henry August Rudolph Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttelmarried firstly, in 1650 Countess Christiane Elisabeth of Barby married secondly, in 1681 Rosine Elisabeth Menthe Sibylle Ursula married in 1663 Duke Christian of Schleswig-Holstein-Glücksburg Klara Auguste married in 1653 Duke Frederick of Württemberg-Neuenstadt Anton Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttelmarried in 1656 princess Elisabeth Juliane of Schleswig-Holstein-Norburg.
Dorothea died in September 1634 and in 1635 Augustus married Duchess Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg, daughter of Duke John Albert II of Mecklenburg. They had two surviving children: Ferdinand Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburgmarried in 1667 Christine of Hesse-Eschwege Marie Elisabeth married firstly, in 1663 Adolf William, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach married secondly, in 1676 Albert V, Duke of Saxe-Coburg. Bibliotheca Augusta
Nobility is a social class ranked under royalty and found in some societies that have a formal aristocracy. Nobility possesses more acknowledged privileges and higher social status than most other classes in society; the privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be honorary, vary by country and era. As referred to in the Medieval chivalric motto "noblesse oblige", nobles can carry a lifelong duty to uphold various social responsibilities, such as honorable behavior, customary service, or leadership positions. Membership in the nobility, including rights and responsibilities, is hereditary. Membership in the nobility has been granted by a monarch or government, unlike other social classes where membership is determined by wealth, lifestyle, or affiliation. Nonetheless, acquisition of sufficient power, military prowess, or royal favour has enabled commoners to ascend into the nobility. There are a variety of ranks within the noble class.
Legal recognition of nobility has been more common in monarchies, but nobility existed in such regimes as the Dutch Republic, the Republic of Genoa, the Republic of Venice, the Old Swiss Confederacy, remains part of the legal social structure of some non-hereditary regimes, e.g. Channel Islands, San Marino, the Vatican City in Europe. Hereditary titles and styles added to names, as well as honorifics distinguish nobles from non-nobles in conversation and written speech. In many nations most of the nobility have been un-titled, some hereditary titles do not indicate nobility; some countries have had non-hereditary nobility, such as the Empire of Brazil or life peers in the United Kingdom. The term derives from the abstract noun of the adjective nobilis. In ancient Roman society, nobiles originated as an informal designation for the political governing class who had allied interests, including both patricians and plebeian families with an ancestor who had risen to the consulship through his own merit.
In modern usage, "nobility" is applied to the highest social class in pre-modern societies, excepting the ruling dynasty. In the feudal system, the nobility were those who held a fief land or office, under vassalage, i.e. in exchange for allegiance and various military, services to a suzerain, who might be a higher-ranking nobleman or a monarch. It came to be seen as a hereditary caste, sometimes associated with a right to bear a hereditary title and, for example in pre-revolutionary France, enjoying fiscal and other privileges. While noble status conferred significant privileges in most jurisdictions, by the 21st century it had become a honorary dignity in most societies, although a few, residual privileges may still be preserved and some Asian and African cultures continue to attach considerable significance to formal hereditary rank or titles. Nobility is a historical and legal notion, differing from high socio-economic status in that the latter is based on income, possessions or lifestyle.
Being wealthy or influential cannot ipso facto make one noble, nor are all nobles wealthy or influential. Various republics, including former Iron Curtain countries, Greece and Austria have expressly abolished the conferral and use of titles of nobility for their citizens; this is distinct from countries which have not abolished the right to inherit titles, but which do not grant legal recognition or protection to them, such as Germany and Italy, although Germany recognizes their use as part of the legal surname. Still other countries and authorities allow their use, but forbid attachment of any privilege thereto, e.g. Finland and the European Union, while French law protects lawful titles against usurpation. Although many societies have a privileged upper class with substantial wealth and power, the status is not hereditary and does not entail a distinct legal status, nor differentiated forms of address. Not all of the benefits of nobility derived from noble status per se. Privileges were granted or recognised by the monarch in association with possession of a specific title, office or estate.
Most nobles' wealth derived from one or more estates, large or small, that might include fields, orchards, hunting grounds, etc. It included infrastructure such as castle and mill to which local peasants were allowed some access, although at a price. Nobles were expected to live "nobly", that is, from the proceeds of these possessions. Work involving manual labour or subordination to those of lower rank was either forbidden or frowned upon socially. On the other hand, membership in the nobility was a prerequisite for holding offices of trust in the realm and for career promotion in the military, at court and the higher functions in the government and church. Prior to the French Revolution, European nobles commanded tribute in the form of entitlement to cash rents or usage taxes, labour or a portion of the annual crop yield from commoners or no