Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein

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Jutland and Northernmost Germany showing Schleswig and Holstein in today's German Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein.

The Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein were titles of the Frankish Empire. The dynastic family came from Schauenburg near Rinteln (district Schaumburg) on the Weser in Germany. Together with its ancestral possessions in Bückeburg and Stadthagen, the family of Schauenburg ruled the County of Schauenburg and Holstein. The comital titles of Holstein were subject to the liege lord, the Dukes of undivided Saxony till 1296, and thereafter the Dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg.

Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein[edit]

Rule in the County of
Schaumburg Holstein
Image Reign Name Image Reign Name
1110–1131 Adolphus I as count of Schauenburg and Holstein
1131–1164 Adolphus II as count of Schauenburg 1131–1137 Adolphus II as count of Holstein
1137–1143 Henry of Badewide as count of Holstein, restrained in 1139 to Wagria
1143–1164 Adolphus II as count of Holstein
1164–1203 Adolphus III as count of Schauenburg and Holstein, ceding the latter to Valdemar II in 1203 in order to be released from his captivity
1203–1225 Adolphus III as count of Schauenburg only
Coin minted for king Valdemar II of Denmark, Valdemar II Sejr.jpg
1203–1227 Valdemar II of Denmark, de facto ruling Holstein
Adolf von Schauenburg IV.jpg
1225–1227 Adolphus IV as count of Schauenburg only
1227–1238 Adolphus IV as count of Schauenburg, and as count of Holstein by military victory over Valdemar II; he later resigned and became a monk
Seal Gerhard I. (Holstein-Itzehoe) 01.jpg
Seals of Gerhard ↑ and John ↓
Seal Johann I. (Holstein-Kiel) 02.jpg
1238–1261 Gerhard I and John I
joint rule of the brothers until their father's death

Holstein partitions of 1261 and 1273[edit]

After 1261 the previously jointly ruling brothers Gerhard I and the elder John I divided the Counties of Holstein and Schauenburg (Schaumburg). Gerhard I received the Counties of Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg, whereas John received the County of Holstein-Kiel. After the death of John I, his sons Adolphus V and John II reigned jointly in Holstein-Kiel. In 1273 they partitioned Holstein-Kiel and John II continued ruling over Kiel; Adolphus V the Pomeranian then received Segeberg (aka County of Stormarn). Adolphus V was succeeded by his nephew Adolphus VII. Lacking a male successor upon the death of Adolphus VII in 1315, Holstein-Segeberg was reincorporated into Holstein-Kiel.

Holstein-Kiel (1261–1290)[edit]

The previously jointly ruling brothers Gerhard I and John I partitioned Holstein in 1261, John received Kiel.
Image Reign Name
Seal Johann I. (Holstein-Kiel) 02.jpg
1261–1263 John I
Seal Johann II. (Holstein-Kiel) 01.jpg

John's seal
1263–1316, and
Till 1273 joint rule of the brothers
John II the One-Eyed and
Adolphus V the Pomeranian, who then received Segeberg by partition

Holstein-Segeberg (1273–1315)[edit]

The previously jointly ruling brothers Adolphus V and John II partitioned Holstein-Kiel in 1273, Adolphus V received Holstein-Segeberg, aka County of Stormarn.
Seal Reign Name
Seal Adolf V. (Holstein-Segeberg) 02.jpg
1273–1308 Adolphus V the Pomeranian
1308–1315 Adolphus VII of Holstein-Segeberg
After the murder of Adolphus VII Holstein-Segeberg reverted to Holstein-Kiel, then still ruled by his father John II.

Holstein-Itzehoe (1261–1290)[edit]

The previously jointly ruling brothers Gerhard I and John I partitioned Holstein in 1261, Gerhard received Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg.
Image Reign Name
Seal Gerhard I. (Holstein-Itzehoe) 01.jpg
1261–1290 Gerhard I
In 1290 Gerhard's sons partitioned Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg into three branches, with Adolphus VI getting Holstein-Pinneberg and Schaumburg, Gerhard II getting Holstein-Plön, and Henry I Holstein-Rendsburg.

Holstein partition of 1290 and reversions of 1350 and 1390[edit]

After Gerhard I's death in 1290 his three younger sons partitioned Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg into three branches, with Adolph VI the Elder, the third brother, getting Holstein-Pinneberg and Schaumburg south of the Elbe, the second brother Gerhard II the Blind getting Holstein-Plön, and the fourth Henry I receiving Holstein-Rendsburg. The eldest brother John was Canon at the Hamburg Cathedral.

After the death of Gerhard II his sons Gerhard IV and his younger half-brother John III the Mild inherited and ruled in Holstein-Plön together. In 1316 the brothers militarily seized the possessions of John II the One-Eyed (d. 1321) in Holstein-Kiel, whose sons had been killed. John III the Mild, before a second-born co-ruling count in Plön, then received Kiel from the deposed John II the One-Eyed, a cousin of his father Gerhard II the Blind. Gerhard IV continued ruling Holstein-Plön as sole count.

After the death of John III's nephew Gerhard V, Count of Holstein-Plön in 1350, who had succeeded Gerhard IV, the Plön line became extinct and John III re-inherited their possessions. In 1390 his son Adolphus IX (aka VII)[1] ruling since 1359 Kiel including Plön, died without issue and thus Nicholas (Claus) of Holstein-Rendsburg and his nephews Albert II and Gerhard VI (jointly ruling till 1397) succeeded to the territories of Holstein-Kiel and Holstein-Plön.

Holstein-Kiel (1290–1390)[edit]

The Kiel line was deposed in 1316, but succeeded by a second-born son from Plön.
Image Reign Name
Seal Johann II. (Holstein-Kiel) 01.jpg
John II the One-Eyed – joint rule with Adolphus V the Pomeranian till 1273, deposed by John III and Gerhard IV


Depriving John II, a cousin of his father, John III the Mild succeeded, waiving his co-rule in Plön, leaving it to his brother Gerhard IV;
inherited Plön in 1350 from his nephew Gerhard V
Seal Adolf IX. (Holstein-Kiel) 04.jpg
Adolphus IX (aka VII) the Mild[1]
After Adolphus the Mild´s death Holstein-Kiel (incl. Plön) merged into Holstein-Rendsburg.

Holstein-Plön (1290–1350)[edit]

The Plön line was extinct in 1350, but inherited by its former co-ruling count John III.
Seal Reign Name
Seal Gerhard II. (Holstein-Plön) 01.jpg
Gerhard II the Blind
Seal Gerhard IV. (Holstein-Plön) 01.jpg
Seals of Gerhard ↑ a. John ↓
Seal Johann III. (Holstein-Kiel) 01.jpg
1323 and

Till 1316 joint rule of the brothers
Gerhard IV and John III the Mild, waiving co-rule in favour of Kiel, depriving John II
Seal Gerhard V. (Holstein-Plön) 01.jpg
Gerhard V, bequeathing Plön to John III in Kiel
Seal Johann III. (Holstein-Kiel) 02.jpg
John III, succeeding his nephew Gerhard V
John III merged Holstein-Plön into Holstein-Kiel.

Holstein-Rendsburg (1290–1397)[edit]

Holstein-Rendsburg was partitioned from Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg in 1290.
Image Reign Name
Seal Heinrich I. (Holstein-Rendsburg) 01.jpg
Henry I
Seal Gerhard III. (Holstein-Rendsburg) 02.jpg
Gerhard III the Great, as Gerhard I also Duke of Schleswig between 1326 and 1330
Seals of Henry ↓
Seal Heinrich II. (Holstein-Rendsburg) 04.jpg
Seal Nikolaus (Holstein-Rendsburg) 04.jpg
Claus ↑, Gerhard ↓
Seal Gerhard VI. (Holstein-Rendsburg) 01.jpg
Seal Albrecht II. (Holstein) 01.jpg
a. Albert ↑

and 1381/84–

Till 1381/84 joint rule of the brothers Henry II the Iron, and Nicholas (Claus), both also Dukes of Schleswig starting from 1375; after Henry's death Nicholas ruled jointly with his nephews Albert II and Gerhard VI. In 1386, Nicholas resigned as Duke of Schleswig and Gerhard VI succeeded as Duke Gerhard II (1386–1404).
Holstein-Rendsburg gained Kiel (incl. Plön) by inheritance in 1390.

Holstein-Pinneberg (1290–1397)[edit]

Holstein-Pinneberg, partitioned in 1290, was jointly ruled with Schaumburg.
Image Reign Name
Seal Adolf VI. (Holstein-Schauenburg) 01.jpg

Adolph VI the Elder (1256–1315)


Adolphus VII of Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg

Seal Adolf VIII. (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
Adolphus VIII the Younger
Seal Otto I. (Schaumburg), 01.jpg

Otto I

Holstein partition of 1397 and the extinction of the Rendsburg line in 1459[edit]

In 1390 the Holstein-Rendsburg line had assembled the larger part of the partitioned Holstein counties, to wit Kiel, Plön and Segeberg, but not Holstein-Pinneberg, which existed until 1640. Members of the Rendsburg family branch were often also simply titled as Counts of Holstein after 1390. For the Pinneberg family branch, usually residing in the County of Schaumburg, the titling after Schaumburg started to prevail.

In 1397 after the death of their uncle Nicholas (Claus), with whom the nephews Albert II and the elder Gerhard VI had jointly ruled Holstein-Rendsburg, they partitioned Holstein-Segeberg (aka county of Stormarn) from Holstein-Rendsburg, with Albert receiving the new branch county in return for waiving his co-rule in Rendsburg. After Albert's death in 1403 Segeberg reverted to Rendsberg. In 1459, with the death of Adolphus XI (aka VIII),[1] the Rendsburg branch was extinct in the male line and the nobility of Holstein-Rendburg and of Schleswig then assigned the succession to his sister's son King Christian I of Denmark, House of Oldenburg.

Holstein-Rendsburg (1397–1459)[edit]

Image Reign Name
Seal Nikolaus (Holstein-Rendsburg) 04.jpg
Seals of Nicholas ↑,
Seal Albrecht II. (Holstein) 01.jpg
Albert ↑ a.
Seal Gerhard VI. (Holstein-Rendsburg) 01.jpg
Gerhard ↑

1340–1397, 1381/84–1397,


After Nicholas' death and Albert II's transfer to Segeberg as his secundogeniture, both in 1397,
Gerhard VI ruled alone, also as Duke Gerhard II of Schleswig
Seal Heinrich III. von Schauenburg-Holstein 01.jpg
1404–1421 Henry III, also Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück as Henry I (1402–1410)
1421–1427 Henry IV, also Duke of Schleswig as Henry III (1404–1427)
Seal Adolf VIII. (Holstein) 01.jpg
Seals of Adolphus ↑ and Gerhard ↓
Seal Gerhard VII. (Holstein) 01.jpg
1427–1459 and

Till 1433 joint rule by the brothers Adolphus XI (aka VIII)[1] as Adolphus I and
Gerhard VII as Gerhard III simultaneously claiming dukedom in Schleswig, with Adolphus gaining royal Danish recognition in 1440
With Adolphus' death the Rendsburg line was extinct, his nephew Christian I of Denmark, House of Oldenburg, inherited the County of Holstein-Rendsburg, elevated to the Duchy of Holstein in 1474.

Holstein-Segeberg (1397–1403)[edit]

After the death of their co-ruling uncle Claus the brothers Albert II and Gerhard VI partitioned Holstein-Segeberg (aka county of Stormarn) from Holstein-Rendsburg.
Seal Reign Name
Seal Albrecht II. (Holstein) 01.jpg
1397–1403 Albert (Albrecht) II
After Albert's death Holstein-Segeberg reverted to Holstein-Rendsburg.

Holstein-Pinneberg (1397–1459)[edit]

Image Reign Name
Seal Otto I. (Schaumburg), 01.jpg

Otto I


Adolphus X (aka IX)[1]

Seal Otto II. (Schaumburg) 01.jpg

Otto II

The last Schauenburg line ruling Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg till 1640[edit]

After King Christian I of Denmark, House of Oldenburg had been chosen as heir to the County of Holstein-Rendsburg Christian ascended to the comital throne in 1460. In 1474 Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, elevated Christian I from Count of Holstein-Rendsburg to Duke of Holstein. For his succession in the Duchy of Holstein see List of rulers of Schleswig-Holstein#House of Oldenburg (1460–1544). The Schauenburg line in the Counties of Holstein-Pinneberg and Schaumburg persisted until its extinction in the male line in 1640. This line is also known as Holstein-Schauenburg. The Counts were elevated to Princes of Schaumburg in 1619/1620, however, the Dukes of Holstein opposed the transition of that title to the County of Holstein-Pinneberg.

Holstein-Pinneberg (1459–1640)[edit]

Joint rule in the County of Holstein-Pinneberg and the County/Principality (as of 1620) of Schaumburg.
Image Reign Name
Seal Otto II. (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
1426–1464 Otto II
1464–1474 Adolphus XII (aka X)[1] (1419–1474)
1474–1492 Eric (1420–1492)
Seal Otto III. (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
1492–1510 Otto III (1426–1510)
1510–1526 Anthony (1439–1526)
1526–1527 John IV (1449–1527)
1527–1531 Jobst I (1483–1531)
Stadthagen StMartini Grabmal.JPG
Otto's grave monument
1531–1560, and
John V, from 1544 jointly with his brother
Otto IV, prince-bishop of Hildesheim (1531–1537 as Otto III)
Seal Adolf XI. (XIV.) (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
1576–1601 Adolphus XIV (aka XI)[1] (1547–1601)
Ernst von Schaumburg.jpg
1601–1622 Ernest, elevated to Prince of Schaumburg in 1619
1622–1635 Jobst Hermann (1593–1635)
1635–1640 Otto V (1616–1640)

Schaumburg partition of 1640[edit]

After the childless death in 1640 of Count Otto V, the rule of the House of Schaumburg ended in Holstein. The County of Holstein-Pinneberg was merged under Christian IV with his royal share in the Duchy of Holstein, which is now part of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. For Christian IV and his successors see List of rulers of Schleswig-Holstein#House of Oldenburg (1640–1713)

The Principality of Schaumburg proper, however, was partitioned among the agnatic Schauenburg heirs into three parts, one incorporated into the Principality of Lüneburg of the Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg, the second becoming the County of Schaumburg-Lippe and the third continuing the name County of Schaumburg, ruled in personal union by Hesse-Cassel. All the three are now part of the state of Lower Saxony. The Sovereign Lordship of Gemen, in 1531 acquired for Schaumburg through marriage by Jobst I, and ruled by his second-born son of Jobst II (ca. 1520–1581, regnant since 1531), passed on to the family of Limburg Stirum. Gemen is in today's North Rhine-Westphalia.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g The numbering varies; some authors count all namesakes within the House of Schauenburg, here put in front, others count only the namesakes within any branch line, here given in parenthesis.