Ernst von Bodelschwingh-Velmede

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Ernst von Bodelschwingh-Velmede.

Ernst von Bodelschwingh-Velmede (November 26, 1794 – May 18, 1854) was a Prussian statesman and politician.

Von Bodelschwingh-Velmede was born in Velmede near Hamm in the County of Mark. He studied Law and Cameralism at the University of Berlin and the University of Göttingen. He participated in the Freiheitskriege ("liberty wars"), and at Leipzig earned the Iron Cross first class; he was heavily wounded at Freiburg on October 21, 1813. He subsequently completed his studies at the University of Berlin, and in 1817 entered government service. From 1822 he was an administrator (Landrat) of Kreis Tecklenburg in Westphalia, from 1831 president of the Regierungsbezirk of Trier, and from November 1834 Oberpräsident of the Rhine Province, in which he served during a turbulent time.

In 1842, von Bodelschwingh-Velmede became Finance Minister of Prussia, and Interior Minister in 1845. In 1847, he attempted to lead the United Diet (Vereinigter Landtag), but failed. He did not sympathize with the Revolutions of 1848, and on March 19 resigned to enter the Prussian Abgeordnetenhaus (lower house), first in January 1849 and again after a new electoral law was imposed in 1849. He was later elected to the Erfurt city council as well. In the Prussian legislature he supported the Unionpolitik of the government. In the legislative session from 1850 to 1851 he was leader of the Zentrumspartei. In 1852 he was appointed president of the Regierungsbezirk of Arnsberg. He died in 1854 while on an official trip to Medebach.

His brother, Karl von Bodelschwingh-Velmede, was also active in Prussian politics.

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