Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha
Ernest I, called "Ernest The Pious", was a duke of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg. The duchies were merged into Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, he was the ninth but sixth surviving son of Johann II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Dorothea Maria of Anhalt. His mother was a granddaughter of Christoph, Duke of Württemberg, great-granddaughter of Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg. Left an orphan early in life, he was brought up in a strict manner, was gifted and precocious but not physically strong, he soon showed traits of the piety of the time. As ruler, by his character and governmental ability as well as by personal attention to matters of state, he introduced a golden age for his subjects after the ravages of the Thirty Years' War. By wise economy, which did not exclude fitting generosity or display on proper occasions, he freed his land from debt, left at his death a considerable sum in the treasury, reduced taxation. Public security and an incorruptible and efficient judiciary received much of his attention, his regulations served as models for other states.
He did not rise far enough above his time to do away with torture, though he restricted it, in the century of trials for witchcraft he yielded to the common delusion, though he was not otherwise inclined to superstition and was a foe of alchemy. He imposed the death penalty for a mortal result. In 1640, according to the partition treaty with his brothers, Ernst received Gotha, his laws were not conceived in the spirit of modern ideas about individual liberty. His regulations promoted agriculture, commerce and art, his palace of Friedenstein in Gotha was rebuilt, its collections owe their origin to Ernest. Churches were built and by his Schulmethodus of 1642 Ernest became the father of the present grammar-school, it was a popular saying that his peasants were better instructed than the townsmen and nobles elsewhere, at his death, it was said, no one in his land was unable to read and write. He made the gymnasium in Gotha a model school which attracted pupils not only from all German lands, but from Sweden, Russia and Hungary.
In like manner he fostered the University of Jena, increasing its funds and regulating its studies, with too much emphasis on the religious side. The same fault is attached to his efforts in church affairs, which won him the nickname of "Praying Ernest"; the Bible was his own everyday book and he strove unceasingly to make his people religious after a strict Lutheran pattern. Religious instruction, consisting in catechetical exercises without Bible history, was kept up to advanced years and not unnaturally the rigid compulsion in some cases defeated its purpose. Ernest's system has maintained itself surprisingly, his efforts for Protestantism were not confined to his own land. He interceded with the emperor for his Austrian co-religionists, wanted to establish them in Gotha, he became a benefactor to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Germans in Moscow and entered into friendly relations with the tsar. He sent an embassy to introduce Lutheranism into Abyssinia, but this failed to accomplish its purpose.
His rule of his family is a miniature of his government of his land. Its life was industrious, regulated on all sides by religious exercises. Rules were added to rules. No detail was overlooked which could promote the spiritual and physical development of his children, their religious education was carried to excess, his children all turned out well and Ernest died with the name of "father and savior of his people." Oliver Cromwell counted him among the most sagacious of princes. In Altenburg on 24 October 1636, Ernst married his cousin Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg; as a result of this marriage Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Altenburg were unified, when the last duke of the line died childless in 1672. Ernst and Elisabeth Sophie had eighteen children: Johann Ernest. Elisabeth Dorothea, married on 5 December 1666 to Louis VI, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. Johann Ernest. Christian. Sophie. Johanna. Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Albert, Duke of Saxe-Coburg. Bernhard I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen. Henry, Duke of Saxe-Römhild.
Christian, Duke of Saxe-Eisenberg. Dorothea Maria. Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Johann Philip. Johann Ernest IV, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. Johanna Elisabeth (b
Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen was a duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. He was the ninth but sixth surviving son of Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha and Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg; when his father died in 1675, Ernest and his six brothers jointly assumed the government of the duchy. Ernest became thereby first duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. After the death of his brothers Heinrich and Albrecht without male descendants, he took the towns of Sonnefeld and Behringen. Ernest began the building of his castle. In 1710 he approved the building in his lands of a new city of French Huguenot families, who were driven out after the Edict of Nantes from France; as Master of Cavalry he fought in 1683 in the Battle of Vienna, 1685 in the conquest of Gran and Neuhaeusel, after this he entered the Dutch States Army as a Colonel with the conquest of Kaiserswerth. In the building of his new residence, Ernest acquired a serious indebtedness of the principality to his brothers, which could not be reduced by larger taxations.
He was married in Arolsen on the 30 November 1680 to Sophie of Waldeck. They had five children: Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Sophie Charlotte. Sophie Charlotte. Karl Wilhelm. Joseph Maria Frederick Wilhelm. Rudolf Armin Human, Chronik der Stadt Hildburghausen, Hildburghausen, 1886 Heinrich Ferdinand Schoeppl, Die Herzoge von Sachsen-Altenburg, Bozen, 1917, Neudruck Altenburg, 1992. Johann Samuel Ersch, Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste, p. 300
Johann II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Johann II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, was a Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Jena. He was Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Dorothea Susanne of Simmern, his father died in 1573. Since at the time his older brother Frederick William I was under age, the duchy of Saxe-Weimar was governed by a regency. In 1586 his older brother reached took full control of the duchy, including Weimar. However, he died in 1602 and the full duchy was inherited by Johann, because his nephews were under age. Johann was more interested in natural sciences and art than politics, therefore only against his will took over the regency of the duchy on behalf of his nephews, but when they demanded their own inheritance in 1603, he resisted their demands. Johann and his nephews made a treaty dividing the duchy: Altenburg was taken by the sons of Frederick William I, Weimar-Jena was retained by Johann; this line of Saxe-Altenburg became extinct in 1672, all the inheritance passed to the line of Saxe-Weimar, Johann's descendants. In Altenburg on 7 January 1593, Johann married Dorothea Maria of Anhalt.
They had twelve children: Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Christian William. Frederick. John. William, Duke of Saxe-Weimar. Stillborn son, twin of William. Albert IV, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach. John Frederick. Ernest I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha. Frederick William. Bernhard, Count of Franken. Johanna
Saxe-Hildburghausen was an Ernestine duchy in the southern side of the present State of Thuringia in Germany. It existed from 1680 to 1826 but its name and borders are used by the District of Hildburghausen. After the Duke of Saxe-Gotha, Ernest the Pious, died on 26 March 1675 in Gotha, the Principality was divided on 24 February 1680 among his seven surviving sons; the lands of Saxe-Hildburghausen went to the sixth son, who became Ernest II, the first Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. But the new Principality did not have complete independence, it had to depend on the higher authorities in Gotha for the matters of administration of its districts – the so-called “Nexus Gothanus” – because Gotha was the residence of Ernest II's oldest brother, who ruled as Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. Saxe-Hildburghausen did not become sovereign until 1702. In the beginning, the Principality had the District and city of Hildburghausen, the District and city of Heldburg, the District and city of Eisfeld, the District of Veilsdorf and the half of the District of Schalkau.
Two more districts were added – Königsberg in 1683 and Sonnefeld in 1705. When Albert V, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg, died in 1699 without any surviving descendants, disputes arose over the inheritance but in 1714, Saxe-Hildburghausen agreed to exchange the District of Schalkau for parts of Saxony – a piece of the former Duchy of Saxe-Römhild, the District of Behrungen, including the winery, the monastery estate of Milz as well as the former properties of the Echter family of Mespelbrunn. In 1684 the city of Hildburghausen became the residence of the Duke so it was developed to reflect its new status. However, the elaborate buildings and courtyards of the princes strained the finances of the Principality so much that, in 1769, a forced management of debts by an Imperial Debit Commission had to be ordered, it was placed under the direction of Charlotte Amalie of Saxe-Meiningen. With the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806, Saxe-Hildburghausen gained its full sovereignty as the Duchy of Saxe-Hildburghausen.
A few months on 15 December 1806, it, along with the other Ernestine duchies, entered the Confederation of the Rhine. In 1815, it joined the German Confederation. In 1818, it was one of the first German states to receive a constitution; the extinction of the oldest line, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg in 1825 again led to inheritance disputes among the other lines of the Ernestine family. On 12 November 1826 the decision, from the arbitration of the supreme head of the family, King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony, resulted in the extensive rearrangement of the Ernestine duchies. Saxe-Hildburghausen lost the Districts of Königsberg and Sonnefeld to the new Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and the rest of its territories to the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, but the last Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, became the new Duke of Saxe-Altenburg. In 1868, four districts were established in the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen. One of them was Hildburghausen, with boundaries similar to those of the former duchy, it remained unchanged until 1993, when the District of Suhl was dissolved and most of its municipalities joined the District of Hildburghausen.
1680–1715 Ernest II 1715–1724 Ernest Frederick I 1724–1745 Ernest Frederick II, from 1724 to 1728 under the Regency of his mother, Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach 1745–1780 Ernest Frederick III Carl, from 1745 to 1748 under the Regency of his mother, Countess Caroline of Erbach-Fürstenau 1780–1826 Frederick, since 1826 Duke of Saxe-Altenburg. Auflage, Band 14, page 146
Duke George Augustus of Mecklenburg
Duke George Augustus of Mecklenburg was a member of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and a German sailor and soldier. Duke George Augustus was born in Mirow the youngest child of Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg and his wife Princess Elisabeth Albertine of Saxe-Hildburghausen, his grandfather Adolf Frederick II, Duke of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was the founder of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. On 8 September 1761 his sister Charlotte married the King of Great Britain, George III. Following the marriage George Augustus moved to the Kingdom of Great Britain and after learning the English language volunteered to serve in the Royal Navy, he spent two years serving in the Navy before he was forced to leave due to illness brought on by the climate and life at sea. During his time in Great Britain George Augustus became a Doctor of Laws and attended observations of the 1769 Transit of Venus at the King's Observatory in Richmond-upon-Thames. George Augustus developed a love of Britain and though a firm Protestant himself, he disapproved of the country's discrimination and intolerance of Catholics.
After recovering from his illness George Augustus spent some time studying at the University of Leiden before being invited to enter into the service of the Queen-Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. He was made a Lieutenant-Colonel, he was promoted to rank of Colonel after a fellow officer complained to Empress Maria Theresa that Duke George Augustus associated with inferior officers and that he had forgot that he was a German prince. The Empress, only concerned if George Augustus had forgotten that he was Lieutenant-Colonel in her service, responded by promoting him to the rank of Colonel after the complaining officer admitted he was a good officer as she was only interested that he did his duty as an officer in her service, he continued his rise up the ranks and a short while after being made a colonel he was made'General of Horse' and was decorated with various honours. In 1780 he was promoted to the rank of Brigadier-General and was appointed inspector of two carabinier regiments, he won the praise of Austrian Field Marshal Baron Ernst Gideon von Laudon in 1782 after carrying out Army manœuvres in Prague with 50,000 infantry and cavalry soldiers.
Duke George Augustus never married and died in Tyrnau in the Kingdom of Hungary at the age of 37. He was buried in Mirow in 1852. 16 August 1748 – 14 November 1785: His Serene Highness Duke George Augustus of Mecklenburg, Prince of Mirow
Dorothea Maria of Anhalt
Dorothea Maria of Anhalt, was by birth a member of the House of Ascania and princess of Anhalt. After her marriage, she became Duchess of Saxe-Weimar. Dorothea Maria was the sixth daughter of Joachim Ernest, Prince of Anhalt, but second-born daughter by his second wife Eleonore, daughter of Christoph, Duke of Württemberg. In 1586, the twelve-year-old Dorothea Maria was chosen by her father as Abbess of Gernrode and Frose as the successor to her elder sister Agnes Hedwig. In 1593 she was relieved of her post as abbess in order to marry John Duke of Saxe-Weimar; the wedding took place in Altenburg on 7 January of that year. Her successor as abbess was her niece, Sophie Elisabeth, eldest daughter of her half-brother John George I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau. During the twelve years of her marriage, Dorothea Maria gave birth to twelve children, including Ernst I of Saxe-Gotha and the famous general Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar. Dorothea Maria died of injuries sustained while riding a horse, her funeral took place on 24 August 1617 at Schloss Hornstein.
On this occasion, the Fruitbearing Society was created and her younger brother, Louis of Anhalt-Köthen, was appointed its first leader
Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Ernest Frederick I, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen, was a duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. He was the eldest son of Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen and Countess Sophie Henriette of Waldeck. During his youth he served on the Netherlands in the imperial military army, during which he was wounded in the Spanish Succession War at Höchstädt, he wanted, like many German princes, to repeat the splendor of the court of the King Louis XIV of France in his own duchy. In need of money, he levied taxes and sold towns. Among them was the county of Cuylenburg, the dowry of his wife; the county was sold in 1720 to the General States, not for the repayment of the debts but to build in his palace a garden connected with a channel. In 1723 the office was sold to the duchy of Saxe-Meiningen, but the sale, without the assent of his wife was illegal, this led to a war with Saxe-Meiningen. The county was occupied with troops of both duchies and at the end of the war all of the county was devastated and ruined; because of his intolerable fiscal charges, in 1717 an open revolt developed in the duchy.
In Erbach on 4 February 1704, Ernest Frederick married Countess Sophia Albertine of Erbach-Erbach. They had fourteen children: Ernest Louis Hollandinus. Sophie Amalie Elisabeth. Ernest Louis. Ernest Frederick II, Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Frederick August. Louis Frederick, married on 4 May 1749 to Christine Luise von Holstein-Plön; this marriage was childless. Stillborn daughter. Stillborn daughter. Elisabeth Albertine, married on 5 May 1735 to Duke Charles Louis Frederick of Mecklenburg, Herr of Mirow. Emanuel Frederick Charles. Elisabeth Sophie. Stillborn daughter. George Frederick William. Stillborn son. Johann Samuel Ersch: Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste, 1. Sektion, 37. Teil, Leipzig, 1842, S. 300 Rudolf Armin Human: Chronik der Stadt Hildburghausen, Hildburghausen, 1886 Heinrich Ferdinand Schoeppl: Die Herzoge von Sachsen-Altenburg. Bozen, 1917, Neudruck Altenburg, 1992