Christopher, Duke of Mecklenburg

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Christopher, Duke of Mecklenburg
Grabmal Christoph von Mecklenburg.jpg
Christopher's tomb in Schwerin Cathedral
Spouse(s) Dorothea of Denmark
Princess Elizabeth of Sweden
Noble family House of Mecklenburg
Father Albrecht VII, Duke of Mecklenburg
Mother Anna of Brandenburg
Born (1537-07-30)30 July 1537
Augsburg
Died 4 March 1592(1592-03-04) (aged 54)
Tempzin Abbey, near Brüel
Buried Schwerin Cathedral

Christopher, Duke of Mecklenburg (30 July 1537 in Augsburg – 4 March 1592 in Tempzin Abbey) was a son of Duke Albert VII of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. He was administrator of Ratzeburg and of the Commandery of Mirow.

Life[edit]

At the urging of his elder brother John Albert I, the cathedral chapter appointed Christopher as the successor of Bishop Christopher I of Ratzeburg in 1554. Christopher thus became the first Lutheran administrator of the Bishopric.

In 1555, he was also elected coadjutor of Bishop William of Riga, with the right of succession. His election was controversial and led to armed clashes. During a clash on 1 July 1556 in Koknese, Christoper and William were both taken prisoner. They were released in 1557, and Christopher was recognized as coadjutor. However, when William died in 1563, Christopher found himself unable to exercise his right of succession. Instead, he was taken prisoner again during renewed fighting against Poland. He was released in 1569, after he had renounced all claims on Riga. After his release, he returned to Mecklenburg.

He died on 4 March 1592 and was buried in the northern chapel of the high choir of Schwerin Cathedral. His widow commissioned a grave monument, which shows a couple kneeling before a prie-dieu. It was crafted in the workshop of the Flemish sculptor Robert Coppens, with assistance from the Pomeranian painter Georg Strachen.[1]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Christopher married his first wife on 27 October 1573 in Kolding. She was Dorothea (1528 – 11 November 1575), a daughter of King Frederick I of Denmark. She died only two years later, in Schönberg, which was the capital of the Bishopric of Ratzeburg.

He married his second wife on 7 May 1581 in Stockholm. She was Elizabeth (4 April 1549 – 12 November 1597), a daughter of King Gustav I of Sweden. With her he had a daughter:

  • Margaret Elisabeth (11 July 1584 – 16 November 1616), married on 9 October 1608 to Duke John Albert II of Mecklenburg.

After Christopher's death, she returned to Sweden, where she lived in Norrköping. She died in 1616 and was buried in Uppsala Cathedral.

References[edit]

  • Alexander Bergengrün: Herzog Christoph von Mecklenburg, letzter Koadjutor des Erzbistums Riga: Ein Beitrag zur livländischen und mecklenburgischen Geschichte. Verlag Franz Kluge, Reval 1898.
  • Friedrich Schlie: Die Kunst- und Geschichts-Denkmäler des Grossherzogthums Mecklenburg-Schwerin. II. Band: Die Amtsgerichtsbezirke Wismar, Grevesmühlen, Rehna, Gadebusch und Schwerin. Schwerin 1898, Neudruck Schwerin 1992, S. 557ff. ISBN 3-910179-06-1
  • Ludwig Fromm (1876), "Christoph von Mecklenburg", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German) 4, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 240–241 
  • Heinz Meybaum (1957), Christoph von Mecklenburg, Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German) (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot) 3: 247 

External links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ He was a painter from Old Stettin; licensed by the Council of Lübeck in 1587, see: Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker, et al.: Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart, vol. 32, Leipzig, 1938
Duke Christopher of Mecklenburg
Born: 30 July 1537 Died: 4 March 1592
Regnal titles
Religious titles
Preceded by
Christoph von der Schulenburg
as Prince-Bishop
Administrator of the
Prince-Bishopric of Ratzeburg

1554–1592
Succeeded by
Charles I of Mecklenburg