Francis II, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg

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Francis II
Franz II mit seiner Familie.jpg
Portrait of Francis II with his wife Mary and their family, originally in Franzhagen Castle chapel, now in St. Mary's Church in Büchen.
Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg
Reign 1586–1619
Predecessor Francis I
Successor Augustus
Co-ruler Maurice
Consort Margaret of Pomerania-Wolgast
Maria of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Issue
more....
Augustus
Francis Julius
Francis Charles
Francis Henry
House House of Ascania
Father Francis I of Saxe-Lauenburg
Mother Sybille of Saxe-Freiberg
Born (1547-08-10)10 August 1547
Ratzeburg
Died 2 July 1619(1619-07-02) (aged 71)
Lauenburg upon Elbe
Burial St. Mary Magdalene Church, Lauenburg upon Elbe
Religion Lutheran

Francis II of Saxe-Lauenburg (Ratzeburg, 10 August 1547 – 2 July 1619, Lauenburg upon Elbe), was the third son of Francis I of Saxe-Lauenburg and Sybille of Saxe-Freiberg (Freiberg, 2 May 1515 – 18 July 1592, Buxtehude), daughter of Duke Henry IV the Pious of Saxony. From 1581 on he ruled Saxe-Lauenburg as duke.

Life[edit]

As the third born son and with primogeniture in Saxe-Lauenburg Francis II made a military career in imperial services. In 1571 his highly indebted father Francis I resigned in favour of his eldest surviving son Magnus II, who had promised to redeem the pawned ducal demesnes with funds he gained as Swedish military commander and by his marriage to a Swedish princess. However, Magnus did not redeem pawns but further alienated ducal possessions, which ignited a conflict between Magnus and his father and brothers as well as the estates of the duchy, further escalating due to Magnus' violent temperament.

In 1573 Francis deposed Magnus and reascended to the throne. The following year Magnus hired troops in order to take Saxe-Lauenburg with violence. Francis II, an experienced military commander, and Duke Adolphus of Holstein-Gottorp, then Lower Saxon Circle Colonel (Kreisobrist), then helped Francis I to defeat Magnus. In return Saxe-Lauenburg had to cede the bailiwick of Steinhorst to Adolphus' Holstein-Gottorp in 1575. Francis II again helped his father to inhibit Magnus' second military attempt to overthrow his father in 1578.[1] Francis I then made Francis II his vicegerent actually governing the duchy.

In 1581 – shortly before he died and after consultations with his son Prince-Archbishop Henry of Bremen and Emperor Rudolph II, but unconcerted with his other sons Magnus and Maurice – Francis I made his third son Francis II, whom he considered the ablest, his sole successor, violating the rules of primogeniture.[2]

This severed the anyway difficult relations with the estates of the duchy, which fought the ducal practice of growing indebtedness.[2] Francis only officiated as administrator of Saxe-Lauenburg. Magnus appealed at Rudolph II, who in 1585 finally decided in favour of Francis II, as agreed with Francis I in 1581. Francis II, who meanwhile had won his brother Maurice, by sharing the reign with him, lured Magnus into a trap and captured him later in 1585. Francis and Maurice kept their brother imprisoned for the rest of his life, mostly in the castle of Ratzeburg, where he died in 1603.

The violation of the primogeniture, however, gave grounds for the estates to perceive the upcoming duke as illegitimate. This forced Francis II into negotiations, which ended on 16 December 1585 with the constitutional act of the "Eternal Union" (German: Ewige Union) of the representatives of Saxe-Lauenburg's nobility and cities, Lauenburg upon Elbe and Ratzeburg, then altogether constituted as the estates of the duchy, led by the Land Marshall, a hereditary office held by the family von Bülow. Francis II accepted their establishment as a permanent institution with a crucial say in government matters. In return the estates accepted Francis II as legitimate and rendered him homage as duke in 1586.

Francis' coat-of-arms as of 1608 on St. Jacobi Church in Cuxhaven. Abbreviated inscription: V.[on] G.[ottes] G.[naden] F.[ranz] H.[erzog] Z.[u] S.[achsen,] E.[ngern] V.[nd] W.[estfalen] (trl. Of God's Grace Francis Duke of Saxony, Angria and Westphalia)

The relations between estates and duke improved since Francis II redeemed ducal pawns with money he had earned as imperial commander.[3] Already earlier in 1585, after consultations with his brother Prince-Archbishop Henry, Francis II decreed a constitution (Kirchenordnung) for the Lutheran church of Saxe-Lauenburg.[4]

In 1592 Francis II granted his second wife Maria of Brunswick-Lüneburg a manorial estate near Schulendorf.[5] Starting in 1608 Francis extended the existing house to a castle with a large garden, called Franzgarten or Franzhof, in the end the name Franzhagen prevailed.[6] Francis II left workers, employed in castle constructions, short. Till his death he used the castle, which his widow Mary then used until she deceased in 1626.[7]

In 1608 Francis II acquired the minting regal for Saxe-Lauenburg.[1] After Maurice had died in 1612, Francis became the sole ruling duke. In 1616 the ducal residential castle in Lauenburg upon Elbe, started in 1180–1182 by Duke Bernard I, burnt down. Francis then also used another residence in Neuhaus.[8] Francis died in 1619 and was buried in the ducal family crypt in the St. Mary Magdalene Church in Lauenburg upon Elbe, his widow Mary, died in 1626, was buried alongside with him.[9]

Marriages and issue[edit]

Francis II married twice, on 26 December 1574 in Wolgast Margaret of Pomerania-Wolgast (19 March 1553 – 7 August 1581), daughter of Philip I, Duke of Pomerania-Wolgast. Their children were the following:

  • Marie (18 February 1576 – 13 March 1625, Schwarzenbek)
  • Augustus (Ratzeburg, 17 February 1577 – 18 January 1656, Lauenburg upon Elbe), Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg between 1619–1656
  • Philip (Ratzeburg, 17 August 1578 – 18 April 1605, Lauenburg upon Elbe)
  • Catharina Ursula (Ratzeburg, 18 April 1580 – 18 April 1611)

On 10 November 1582 Francis II married in Wolfenbüttel his second wife, Maria of Brunswick-Lüneburg (Schladen, 13 January 1566 – 13 August 1626, Lauenburg upon Elbe), daughter of Duke Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, making her the new consort. Mary and Francis had 14 children, of whom the following 12 reached adulthood:

Ancestry[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373–389, here p. 381. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  2. ^ a b Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373–389, here p. 380. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  3. ^ Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373–389, here p. 382. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  4. ^ Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373–389, here p. 379. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  5. ^ Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373–389, here p. 384. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  6. ^ Carl Heinrich Seebach, 800 Jahre Burgen, Schlösser und Herrenhäuser in Schleswig-Holstein (11988), 2nd impr. ed., Neumünster: Wachholtz, 21988, p. 16. ISBN 3-529-02675-1
  7. ^ She legated the castle to her son Francis Henry, who in 1658 bequeathed it to his daughters Erdmuthe Sophia and Eleanor Charlotte. After the former's death in 1689 the latter owned Franzhagen alone. After her husband Duke Christian Adolphus of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg went bankrupt with his possessions in 1677, they lived in Franzhagen founding the short-lived dynastic line of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Franzhagen. Cf. Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373–389, here p. 384. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  8. ^ Cordula Bornefeld, "Die Herzöge von Sachsen-Lauenburg", in: Die Fürsten des Landes: Herzöge und Grafen von Schleswig, Holstein und Lauenburg [De slevigske hertuger; German], Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen (ed.) on behalf of the Gesellschaft für Schleswig-Holsteinische Geschichte, Neumünster: Wachholtz, 2008, pp. 373–389, here p. 383. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  9. ^ Andrea Baresel-Brand, Grabdenkmäler nordeuropäischer Fürstenhäuser im Zeitalter der Renaissance 1550-1650, Kiel: Ludwig, 2007, (= Bau + Kunst. Schleswig-Holsteinische Schriften zur Kunstgeschichte; vol. 9), p. 241. ISBN 978-3-937719-18-4.
  10. ^ John Albert II was a brother of Duke Adolphus Frederick I of Mecklenburg-Schwerin.
Francis II, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg
Born: 10 August 1547 in Ratzeburg Died: 2 July 1619 in Lauenburg upon Elbe
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Francis I of Saxe-Lauenburg
Vicegerent of Saxe-Lauenburg
1578–1581
with his father Francis I (Duke: 1543–1571 and 1574–1581)
Succeeded by
Francis II and
Maurice

as administrators
Preceded by
Duke Francis I with his son
Francis II

as vicegerent
Administrators of Saxe-Lauenburg
1581–1586
with his brother Maurice (1581–1586)
Succeeded by
Francis II
Maurice

as dukes
Preceded by
Francis II with his brother
Maurice

as administrators
Dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg
1586–1619
with his brother Maurice (1586–1612)
Succeeded by
Augustus