John Casimir, Count Palatine of Lautern

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John Casimir (German: Johann Casimir) (7 March 1543 – 16 January 1592) was the Count Palatine of Lautern from 1576 until 1593.


John Casimir was born in Simmern as the third son of Frederick III, Elector Palatine. In 1570 John Casimir was married to Elizabeth of Saxony, daughter of Duke Augustus and a granddaughter of King Christian III of Denmark. The marriage was purely political as Frederick wanted to spread Calvinism in Lutheran Saxony, and was unhappy. Elizabeth was placed under house arrest and was banned from walking outside in the sun. She eventually died in Kaiserslautern on 2 April 1590.

His father sent him to France in 1567 to assist the Huguenots. In March 1571 John Casimir moved to Kaiserslautern. In 1576 John Casimir was again sent to France. His father died that year and John Casimir succeeded him in his territories around Kaiserslautern. John Casimir was Calvinist like his father, but his elder brother Louis who succeeded as Elector Palatine was raised a Lutheran. Many theologians at the University of Heidelberg moved to Kaiserslautern, and in 1578 John Casimir founded the Collegium Casimirianum for them. Philip Sidney, an ambassador of Queen Elizabeth I of England, convinced John Casimir to begin the formation of a league of the Protestant states of the Holy Roman Empire.


With Elizabeth of Saxony:

  1. unnamed son (15 September 1573)
  2. Maria (26 June 1576 - 22 February 1577)
  3. Elizabeth (5 May 1578 - 27 October 1580)
  4. Dorothea (6 January 1581 - 18 September 1631)
  5. unnamed daughter (28 February 1584)
  6. unnamed daughter (2 February 1585)

Preceded by:

John Casimir

Succeeded by:

Frederick III
of the Electoral Palatinate
Count Palatine of Lautern
1576 - 1592
Frederick IV
of the Electoral Palatinate
royal demesne Duke of Étampes
1576 - 1577
royal demesne