Sophia Charlotte of Hanover
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. Sophia Charlotte was born in Iburg Castle in the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück, where her father held the title of a Protestant prince-bishop. In 1672 her family moved to the new episcopal residence in Osnabrück and in 1679 to Hanover, when Ernest Augustus succeeded his brother Duke John Frederick of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Principality of Calenberg. During her childhood, Sophia Charlotte visited the Kingdom of France with her mother in hopes of marrying the "Grand Dauphin" Louis, heir to the French throne, he married Duchess Maria Anna Victoria of Bavaria instead, but Sophia Charlotte was proposed as a possible bride for Louis's father, King Louis XIV, after he lost his wife in 1683. Nothing came of this plan either.
A marriage to Frederick of Hohenzollern, son of the "Great Elector" Frederick William of Brandenburg and heir of both Electoral Brandenburg and the Duchy of Prussia, was therefore arranged. By marrying Frederick on 8 October 1684, she became Electress of Brandenburg in 1688, after the elevation of Brandenburg-Prussia to a kingdom in 1701, she became the first Queen in Prussia, her only child to reach maturity became King Frederick William I of Prussia. Her husband was so much in love with her that while he had an official mistress, Catharina Rickert, at his palace — in imitation of Louis XIV — he never made use of her services. Sophia Charlotte interfered in political affairs, pushing the downfall of the Prussian prime minister Eberhard von Danckelman in 1697, but soon retired to private life. In 1695, she had received the estates of Lietzow manor west of Berlin from the hands of her husband in exchange of further away Caputh. Here she had a Baroque summer residence erected by the architects Johann Arnold Nering and Martin Grünberg, in order to live independently from her spouse and have her own court.
Frederick was only allowed there by invitation, such as on 11 July 1699, when she hosted a birthday party for him. From 1700, she lived there in the summer months. Called Lietzenburg, it was renamed Charlottenburg Palace after her death. Sophia Charlotte is remembered for her friendship and correspondence with her mother's good friend and tutor Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, whose avowed disciple she became. In addition to German, she spoke French and English fluently. Following the example set by her mother, she surrounded herself with philosophers and theologians like Isaac de Beausobre, Daniel Ernst Jablonski or John Toland and inspired the foundation of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, she was interested in music and played the cembalo, had an Italian opera theater constructed, employed the musicians Attilio Ariosti and Giovanni Bononcini. The composer Arcangelo Corelli did her the honor of dedicating to her his Op. 5 sonatas for solo violin. The latter was one of the most significant and influential publications of compositions for violin in the history of Western music.
Nonetheless, the nature of her relationship with Corelli remains obscure. Sophia Charlotte was such a formidable personage that when Tsar Peter the Great first met her and her mother on his Grand Embassy in 1697, he was so overwhelmed and intimidated that he could not speak. Both women put him at ease, he reciprocated with his natural humour and trunks full of brocade and furs. While on a visit to her mother in Hanover, Sophia Charlotte died of pneumonia on 21 January 1705, when she was 36 years of age. Charlottenburg, today a district of Berlin, the Charlottensee lake in Bad Iburg, as well as the Sophie-Charlotte-Gymnasium in Berlin are named after her. Frederick August of Brandenburg died in infancy. Frederick William I of Prussia had issue. 30 October 1668 – 8 October 1684 Her Serene Highness Duchess Sophia Charlotte of Brunswick-Lüneburg 8 October 1684 – 29 April 1688 Her Serene Highness The Hereditary Princess of Prussia, Electoral Princess of Brandenburg 29 April 1688 – 18 January 1701 Her Serene Highness The Duchess of Prussia, Electress of Brandenburg 18 January 1701 – 1 February 1705 Her Majesty The Queen in Prussia, Electress of Brandenburg MacDonald Ross, George, 1990, "Leibniz’s Exposition of His System to Queen Sophie Charlotte and Other Ladies.”
In Leibniz in Berlin, ed. H. Poser and A. Heinekamp, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 1990, 61-69. MacDonald Ross, George, 1999, "Leibniz und Sophie-Charlotte" in Herz, S. Vogtherr, C. M. Windt, F. eds. Sophie Charlotte und ihr Schloß. München: Prestel: 95–105. Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten in Berlin-Brandenburg: Sophie Charlotte und ihr Schloss, München, New York 1999, ISBN 3-7913-2225-7 Clemens Götze: Das "musische Preußen" Sophie Charlottes. Kunst und Politik am Hof der ersten Königin in Preußen. Grin 2008. Karin Feuerstein-Prasser: Die preußischen Königinnen. Piper 2005. Renate Feyl: "Aussicht auf bleibende Helle. Die Königin und der Philosoph." Kipenheuer & Witsch 2006. Otto Krauske: Sophie Charlotte. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie. Band 34, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1892, S. 676–684
George I of Great Britain
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698 until his death in 1727. George was born in Hanover and inherited the titles and lands of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg from his father and uncles. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, in 1708 he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of his second cousin Anne, Queen of Great Britain, George ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Although over 50 Roman Catholics were closer to Anne by primogeniture, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the British throne. In reaction, Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Anne's Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed. During George's reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister.
Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain's first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, he was the last British monarch to be buried outside the United Kingdom. George was born on 28 May 1660 in the city of Hanover in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire, he was the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his wife, Sophia of the Palatinate. Sophia was the granddaughter of King James I of England through Elizabeth of Bohemia. For the first year of his life, George was the only heir to the German territories of his father and three childless uncles. George's brother, Frederick Augustus, was born in 1661, the two boys were brought up together, their mother was absent for a year during a long convalescent holiday in Italy, but corresponded with her sons' governess and took a great interest in their upbringing more so upon her return. Sophia bore Ernest Augustus a daughter.
In her letters, Sophia describes George as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters. By 1675 George's eldest uncle had died without issue, but his remaining two uncles had married, putting George's inheritance in jeopardy as his uncles' estates might pass to their own sons, should they have had any, instead of to George. George's father took him hunting and riding, introduced him to military matters. In 1679 another uncle died unexpectedly without sons, Ernest Augustus became reigning Duke of Calenberg-Göttingen, with his capital at Hanover. George's surviving uncle, George William of Celle, had married his mistress in order to legitimise his only daughter, Sophia Dorothea, but looked unlikely to have any further children. Under Salic law, where inheritance of territory was restricted to the male line, the succession of George and his brothers to the territories of their father and uncle now seemed secure. In 1682, the family agreed to adopt the principle of primogeniture, meaning George would inherit all the territory and not have to share it with his brothers.
The same year, George married his first cousin, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, thereby securing additional incomes that would have been outside Salic laws. The marriage of state was arranged as it ensured a healthy annual income and assisted the eventual unification of Hanover and Celle, his mother was at first against the marriage because she looked down on Sophia Dorothea's mother, because she was concerned by Sophia Dorothea's legitimated status. She was won over by the advantages inherent in the marriage. In 1683, George and his brother, Frederick Augustus, served in the Great Turkish War at the Battle of Vienna, Sophia Dorothea bore George a son, George Augustus; the following year, Frederick Augustus was informed of the adoption of primogeniture, meaning he would no longer receive part of his father's territory as he had expected. It led to a breach between father and son, between the brothers, that lasted until Frederick Augustus's death in battle in 1690. With the imminent formation of a single Hanoverian state, the Hanoverians' continuing contributions to the Empire's wars, Ernest Augustus was made an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692.
George's prospects were now better than as the sole heir to his father's electorate and his uncle's duchy. Sophia Dorothea had a second child, a daughter named after her, in 1687, but there were no other pregnancies; the couple became estranged—George preferred the company of his mistress, Melusine von der Schulenburg, Sophia Dorothea, had her own romance with the Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. Threatened with the scandal of an elopement, the Hanoverian court, including George's brothers and mother, urged the lovers to desist, but to no avail. According to diplomatic sources from Hanover's enemies, in July 1694 the Swedish count was killed with the connivance of George, his body thrown into the river Leine weighted with stones; the murder was claimed to have been committed by four of Ernest Augustus's courtiers, one of whom was paid the enormous sum of 150,000 thalers, about one hundred times the annual salary of the highest paid minister. Rumours supposed t
An Electress was the consort of a Prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, one of the Empire's greatest princes. The Golden Bull of 1356 established by Emperor Charles IV settled the number of Electors at seven. However, three of these were Roman Catholic archbishops, so had no formal consorts; the consorts referred to as Electresses, were: The Electress of the Palatinate. To these were added, in 1623 and 1692 respectively: The Electress of Bavaria. In the final years of the Empire, several Electors were added, who however only held their offices for less than three years before the Empire's final dissolution; the consorts of these last Electors were: The Electress of Württemberg. There was an Elector of Baden, but the only ruler to use this title was married morganatically and so his spouse did not share his title; the rulers of Hesse-Kassel continued to use the title of "Elector" until the annexation of the principality by Prussia in 1866. Persons using or entitled to use the title of "Electress" are listed below.
Spouses of Electors in morganatic or unequal marriages are given in a separate table at the bottom of the page
Eric I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Eric I, the Elder was Duke of Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg from 1495 and the first reigning prince of Calenberg-Göttingen. Eric I was born on 16 February 1470 in Neustadt am Rübenberge at the castle of Rovenburg, he was the founder of the Calenberg line of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg. His father, William II, died in 1503, but had divided his lands in 1495, between his sons and Eric. Eric was given the Principalities of Calenberg and Göttingen, whilst Henry received the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel; as a boy, Eric had travelled as a pilgrim to Jerusalem and toured Italy before he entered the service of Emperor Maximilian I. In his early years Eric had proved himself as a brave fighter at the side of the emperors and took part in 1497 in the campaign against the Turks, he fought in wars against Venice, the Swiss confederation and France. In the Bavarian-Landhut war in 1504 he saved the emperor's life at the Battle of Regensburg the Leben, whereupon he was knighted. Eric I was the second son of Duke William II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel and received in 1491, before his father died, his inheritance of the Principality of Calenberg-Göttingen.
His elder brother, Duke Henry the Elder was given rule over Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. In 1505 the 35-year-old Duke Eric I of Calenberg made Neustadt am Rübenberge his second seat of power; when the first marriage of the duke to the widow of Archbishop Sigismund of Austria, Katharina of Saxony, proved childless, he married after her death on 7 July 1525 the 15-year-old Elisabeth of Brandenburg. From this marriage resulted his long-awaited successor Eric II. When, in 1528, Elisabeth fell ill in bed when she was pregnant, she held the witchcraft of her husband's mistress, Anna Rumschottel, responsible, she persuaded her husband to hold a trial. In the process, several women were burned to death, she was however burnt to death in Hamelin. During the Hildesheim Diocesan Feud he captured Hunnesrück Castle in 1521, together with Henry the Younger of Wolfenbüttel, it lay on a hill near the present town district of Hunnesrück in Dassel. He bombarded the castle with heavy cannon from the hill of Hatop, he gave the castle up after a short period however.
Between 1527 and 1530, he had the castle of Erichsburg built in a marshy depression about 3 km further east, protected by a wide moat and high ramparts. It was named after his heir, born in 1528 Duke Eric II. Eric I used it from time to time as his seat of office. Whilst it was being built he lived in the old castle at Hunnesrück. After the feud, the Amt of Kolding and Poppenburg were transferred to Duke Eric I in accordance with the requirements of the Quedlinburg Recess. In 1523 abbey parish of St. Andrew in Derneburg placed itself under the protection of Eric I of Calenberg, because it had been plundered by the knights of Duke Henry II of Brunswick-Lüneburg. In 1529 Eric allowed the town of Hanover to hold an annual Schützenfest, which today has become the Hanover Schützenfest, the largest of its kind in the world. In 1530 he took Aerzen back into the possession of the Welfs. In 1539 Eric I united the former Ämter of Hunnesrück, Lüthorst and Lauenberg into the new Amt of Erichsburg which remained in that form until 1643.
In 1540, just under 23 years after the Martin Luther's posting of his theses, Duke Eric I of Calenberg-Göttingen died. His son, Eric II, was still a child, why his mother, the Duchess Elisabeth, took over the reign for five years. Two years earlier she had publicly allowed communion to be taken in both kinds in a church service. From on she and her husband followed separate confessions: the duke remained Roman Catholic, the duchess became Lutheran. Duke Eric I died on 30 July 1540 at the Reichstag in Alsace, he left behind large debts, estimated at 900,000 thalers, as well as two important buildings: the Erichsburg near Dassel and the rebuilt Calenberg Castle. His funeral took place in 1541 in Hann. Münden's St. Blasius Church, after his body was released in Haguenau one year after his death on payment of his debts; this required every subject in his duchy to pay 16 pfennigs. Duke Eric had a son and three daughters by his second wife, Elisabeth of Brandenburg: Elisabeth m Count George Ernest of Henneberg Eric II, Duke of Brunswick-Calenberg m Sidonie of Saxony, daughter of Henry of Saxony and Catherine of Mecklenburg m Dorothea of Lorraine, daughter of Francis I of Lorraine and Christina of DenmarkAnna Maria m Albert the Elder, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Duke of Prussia Katharina m William of Rosenberg, Senior Burgrave of Bohemia Karl Janicke, "Eric I", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie, 6, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 203–204 Klaus Friedland, "Erich I", Neue Deutsche Biographie, 4, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 584–584 Wolfgang Kunze: Herzog Erich I. von Braunschweig-Lüneburg.
In: Wolfgang Kunze: Leben und Bauten Herzog Erichs II. von Braunschweig-Lüneburg. Catalogue of the historic exhibition at Landestrost Castle, Neustadt am Rübenberge. Hanover 1993, p. 31–45. Joachim Lehrmann: Hexenverfolgung in Hannover-Calenberg und Calenberg-Göttingen, Lehrte, 2005. ISBN 978-3-9803642-5-6 Picture and short description of the life of Duke Eric with his second wife, Elisabeth on the official pages of the house of Welf. Coins from his reign Histor
Frederick I of Prussia
Frederick I, of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was Elector of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia in personal union. The latter function. From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel, he was the paternal grandfather of Frederick the Great. Born in Königsberg, he was the third son of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg by his father's first marriage to Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau, eldest daughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels, his maternal cousin was King William III of England. Upon the death of his father on 29 April 1688, Frederick became Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia. Right after ascending the throne Frederick founded a new city southerly adjacent to Dorotheenstadt and named it after himself, the Friedrichstadt. Frederick was noted for his opposition to France, in contrast to his father who had sought an alliance with Louis XIV. Frederick took Brandenburg into the League of Augsburg against France and in 1689 led military forces into the field as part of the allied coalition.
That year an army under his command captured Bonn. Despite this opposition to France he was fond of French culture, styled his court in imitation of that of Louis XIV; the Hohenzollern state was known as Brandenburg-Prussia. The family's main possessions were the Margraviate of Brandenburg within the Holy Roman Empire and the Duchy of Prussia outside of the Empire, ruled as a personal union. Although he was the Margrave and Prince-elector of Brandenburg and the Duke of Prussia, Frederick desired the more prestigious title of king. However, according to Germanic law at that time, no kingdoms could exist within the Holy Roman Empire, with the exception of the Kingdom of Bohemia. In the Crown Treaty of 16 November 1700, Frederick persuaded Leopold I, Archduke of Austria and Holy Roman Emperor, to allow Prussia to be elevated to a kingdom; this agreement was ostensibly given in exchange for an alliance against King Louis XIV in the War of the Spanish Succession and the provision of 8,000 Prussian troops to Leopold's service.
Frederick argued that Prussia had never been part of the Holy Roman Empire, he ruled over it with full sovereignty. Therefore, he said, there was no political barrier to letting him rule it as a kingdom. Frederick was aided in the negotiations by Charles Ancillon. Frederick crowned himself on 18 January 1701 in Königsberg. Although he did so with the Emperor's consent, with formal acknowledgement from Augustus II the Strong, Elector of Saxony, who held the title of King of Poland, the Polish-Lithuanian Diet raised objections, viewed the coronation as illegal. In fact, according to the terms of the Treaty of Wehlau and Bromberg, the House of Hohenzollern's sovereignty over the Duchy of Prussia was not absolute but contingent on the continuation of the male line. Therefore, out of deference to the region's historic ties to the Polish crown, Frederick made the symbolic concession of calling himself "King in Prussia" instead of "King of Prussia", his royalty was, in any case, limited to Prussia and did not reduce the rights of the Emperor in the portions of his domains that were still part of the Holy Roman Empire.
In other words, while he was a king in Prussia, he was still only an elector under the suzerainty of the Holy Roman Emperor in Brandenburg. The Hohenzollern state was still a personal union between Brandenburg and Prussia. However, by the time Frederick crowned himself as king, the emperor's authority over Brandenburg was only nominal, in practice it soon came to be treated as part of the Prussian kingdom rather than as a separate entity, his grandson, Frederick the Great, was the first Prussian king to formally style himself "King of Prussia". Frederick was a patron of learning; the Akademie der Künste in Berlin was founded by Frederick in 1696, as was the Academy of Sciences in 1700, though the latter was closed down by his son as an economic measure. Frederick appointed Jacob Paul von Gundling as Professor of History and Law at the Berlin Knights Academy in 1705, as historian at the Higher Herald's Office in 1706. Frederick is entombed in the Berliner Dom, his grandson, Frederick the Great, referred to Frederick I as "the mercenary king", due to the fact that he profited from the hiring of his Prussian troops to defend other territories, such as in northern Italy against the French.
"All in all," he wrote of his grandfather, "he was great in small matters, small in great matters." Frederick was married three times: first to Elizabeth Henrietta of Hesse-Kassel, with whom he had one child, Louise Dorothea, born 1680, who died without issue at age 25. Then to Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, with whom he had Frederick August Frederick William I, born in 1688, who succeeded him. In 1708, he married Sophia Louise of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, who survived him but had no children by him, he had an official mistress, Catharina von Wartenberg, between 1696 and 1711. However, he was never known to make use of her services, being in love with his first wife. Frederick's ancestors in four generations Media related to Frederick I of Prussia at Wikimedia Commons "Frederick I. of Prussia". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
Marie Eleonore of Cleves
Duchess Marie Eleonore of Cleves was a Duchess consort of Prussia by marriage to Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia. She was the eldest child of Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg and Maria of Austria, she was the maternal granddaughter of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary, sister of John William, Duke of Jülich-Cleves-Berg. While her father was a Reform Catholic, Marie Eleonore, of a strong willed character, displayed firm Lutheran sympathies early on, her father was afraid that she would influence her younger sisters with her religious views, therefore wished to have her married to someone of her own religious convictions as soon as possible in order to remove her from his domains, thus considered grooms for his daughter that he would not otherwise have considered. Albert Frederick, Duke of Prussia, the son of Albert of Prussia, was thus accepted as a suitor, despite showing mental disorders; the wedding was conducted in 1573, Marie Eleonore departed to Lutheran Prussia.
In 1577, her mentally ill spouse was placed under the regency of his cousin George Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, which made the position of Marie Eleonore more difficult at the Ducal court of Köningsberg. In 1591, she returned with her daughters to Jülich, where she remained until 1592, she arranged the marriage of her daughters to German princes to avoid them being married by the regency council to Polish suitors, by the marriage alliances she arranged, she ensured that the Duchy of Julich would come to the Brandenburg after the death of her brother. Anna of Prussia. Duchess Marie of Prussia. Duke Albert Frederick of Prussia. Duchess Sofie of Prussia. Duchess Eleonore of Prussia. Duke Wilhelm Frederick of Prussia. Duchess Magdalene Sibylle of Prussia.
Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Ferdinand Albert, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, was an officer in the army of the Holy Roman Empire. He was prince of Wolfenbüttel during 1735. Ferdinand Albert was the fourth son of Ferdinand Albert I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Christina Wilhelmina of Hesse-Eschwege. Ferdinand Albert fought on the side of Emperor Leopold I in the War of the Spanish Succession. In 1704 he became adjutant of the Emperor. During the Austro-Turkish War of 1716-18, he fought under Prince Eugene of Savoy, participated in the battles of Belgrade and Petrovaradin, became commander of the fortress of Komárno. In 1723, he became field marshal, in 1733, Generalfeldmarschall. After the death of his cousin Louis Rudolph in March 1735, Ferdinand Albert inherited the Principality of Wolfenbüttel and resigned as field marshal, he died six months later. Ferdinand Albert married Antoinette Amalie, youngest daughter of his first cousin Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his wife Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen, on 15 October 1712.
They had 12 children. Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel married Princess Philippine Charlotte of Prussia and had issue. Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel married Grand Duchess Anna Leopoldovna of Russia and had issue, he and his children were treated barbarically by Empress Elizabeth of Russia and he died in prison. Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel married Frederick II of no issue. Ludwig Ernest of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died unmarried. Ferdinand of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died unmarried. Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel had issue. Sophie Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel married Ernest Frederick, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld and had issue. Albert of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died unmarried. Charlotte of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died unmarried. Theresa Natalie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died unmarried. Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel had issue. Frederick William of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died in infancy. Frederick Francis of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel died unmarried at the Battle of Hochkirch.
Note: list may be incomplete. At the House of Welf site