Johann Ludwig, Reichsgraf von Wallmoden-Gimborn
He was an illegitimate son of George II of Great Britain by his mistress Amalie von Wallmoden. She was legally married to Adam Gottlieb, Graf von Wallmoden (1704−1752), but for a payment of 1000 Ducats Adam was ready to defer his marital claims to George. Adam and Amalie finally separated in 1740.
On the death of Queen Caroline (1683−1737) the Prime Minister Robert Walpole suggested that Amalie be brought over from Hanover to Britain to take her place as maîtresse en titre to George II. In the meantime Lady Deloraine, a loquacious but not very intelligent courtesan, with whom George had a distant relationship, functioned as a stopgap. Thus Johann Ludwig grew up at St. James's Palace and Kensington Palace. As an illegitimate son of the king he received a comprehensive education, after which he went on a Grand Tour to Italy, where he acquired an extensive collection of classical statues, busts and reliefs. On his return he entered the Hanoverian army and rose to the rank of major general.
Around 1700 several noblemen's country estates were established in the former flood plain of the Leine. In 1768 Wallmoden-Gimborn acquired some of these gardens and merged them into the Wallmodengarten (later to become the Georgengarten). In 1782 he built the Wallmoden-Schloss to house his antiquities collection. In 1782 he bought the Reichsherrschaft Gimborn in Westphalia from prince Johann I. zu Schwarzenberg and on 17 January 1783 was raised to the nobility by emperor Joseph II, with the title Wallmoden-Gimborn and with a corresponding coat-of-arms increase to Reichsgraf.
Simultaneously he attained a seat and a voice on the Westphalian Reichsgrafenkollegium (College of Reichsgrafs) and therewith on the Reichsstandschaft. After the death of count Philipp II of Schaumburg-Lippe (1723−1787), Wallmoden-Gimborn acted for his widow (princess Juliane of Hesse Philippsthal) as guardian of her younger son and heir George William (1784−1860). From 1790 to 1811, he was an honorary member of the Prussian academy of the arts in Berlin.
On 5 July 1803, as Oberbefehlshaber of the Hanoverian army, he signed the convention of Artlenburg and thus capitulated before the Napoleonic troops arrived.
After Wallmoden-Gimborn's death, his nephew George III acquired his collection of antique sculpture and books (over 8000 volumes). The collection is still in the possession of the Welfen and since 1979 as a collection of the Archeological Institute in Göttingen.
Marriages and issue
Johann Ludwig von Wallmoden-Gimborn first marriage occurred on 18 April 1766 in Hanover, to Charlotte Christiane Auguste Wilhelmine von Wangenheim (1 March 1740−21 July 1783). They had 5 children:
- Ernst Georg August (8 May 1767−1 January 1792)
- Ludwig Georg Thedel (6 February 1769−20 March 1862), Austrian "General of Cavalry"
- Georgine Charlotte Auguste (1 February 1770−13 August 1859)
- Wilhelmine Magdalene Friederike (22 June 1772−15 September 1819) ∞ 1793 Freiherr Heinrich Friedrich Karl vom Stein
- Friedrike Eleonore Juliane (12 July 1776−18 February 1826) ∞ Ludwig Friedrich Graf von Kielmansegg; parents of Eduard
His second marriage, on 3 August 1788 in Bückeburg, was to Baroness Luise Christiane von Lichtenstein (10 April 1763−25 February 1809), daughter of Freiherr Friedrich Karl von Lichtenstein and Charlotte Ernestine von Berckefeld. They had 3 children:
- Karl August Ludwig (4 January 1792−28 February 1883), Austrian Geheimrat and Feldmarschallleutnant ∞ 1833 Zoe Gräfin von Grünne (daughter of Philipp Ferdinand); From him is descended the Oberhaus Wallmoden line.
- Adolf Franz James Wilhelm (25 December 1794−3 December 1825)
- Luise Henriette (1796−1851)