John George, Elector of Brandenburg

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John George
Elector of Brandenburg
Johan Georges, Elector of Brandenburg (1525-1598), by Zacharias Wehme (circa 1550-1606).jpg
John George, Elector of Brandenburg
Elector of Brandenburg
Reign 1571–1598
Predecessor Joachim II Hector
Successor Joachim Frederick
Spouse Sophie of Legnica
Sabina of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst
Issue Joachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg
George Albert
Magdalena Sabina
Erdmuthe, Duchess of Pomerania
Anna Maria, Duchess of Pomerania
Sophie, Electress of Saxony
Christian, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Magdalena, Landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt
Joachim Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Agnes, Duchess of Pomerania and Saxe-Lauenburg
Frederick IX, Margrave of Brandenburg
Elisabeth Sophia, Duchess of Saxe-Lauenburg
Dorothea Sibylle, Duchess of Brieg
George Albert II, Margrave of Brandenburg
John, Bishop of Havelberg
John George
House House of Hohenzollern
Father Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg
Mother Magdalena of Saxony
Born (1525-09-11)11 September 1525
Died 8 January 1598(1598-01-08) (aged 72)
John George and his second consort, Sabine of Ansbach

John George of Brandenburg (German: Johann Georg) (11 September 1525 – 8 January 1598) was a Prince-elector of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1571–1598) and a Duke of Prussia. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he was the son of Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg, and his first wife Magdalena of Saxony.

Faced with large debts accumulated during the reign of his father, John George instituted a grain tax which drove part of the peasantry into dependence on a nobility that was exempt from taxation. Though a staunch Lutheran opposed to the rise of Calvinism, he permitted the admission of Calvinist refugees from the wars in the Spanish Netherlands and France. He was succeeded by his son Joachim Frederick.

Upon the death of his kinsman Albert I, Duke of Prussia in 1568, the Duchy of Prussia was inherited by the latter's underage son Albert Frederick. John George's father was a co-inheritor of the Duchy of Prussia. In 1577 the Brandenburg electors became co-regent with Duke Albert Frederick of Prussia.

Family and children[edit]

John George was married three times.

His first wife was Princess Sophie of Legnica (ca. 1525 – 6 February 1546), whom he married in 1545. They had one child together:

  1. Joachim Frederick (27 January 1546 – 1608)

Secondly, he married Margravine Sabina of Brandenburg-Ansbach (12 May 1529 – 2 November 1575), daughter of George, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, in 1548. They had the following children:

  1. George Albert (1555–1557)
  2. John
  3. Albert
  4. Magdalena Sabina
  5. Erdmuthe (26 June 1561 – 13 November 1623), married in 1577 to Duke John Frederick of Pomerania
  6. Marie
  7. Magdalena
  8. Margaret
  9. Anna Maria (3 February 1567 – 4 November 1618), married in 1581 to Duke Barnim X of Pomerania
  10. Sophie (6 June 1568 – 7 December 1622), married in 1582 to Elector Christian I of Saxony

Thirdly, he married Princess Elisabeth of Anhalt-Zerbst (15 September [O.S. 5 September] 1563 – 5 October 1607) in 1577. They had the following children:

  1. Christian (1581–1655)
  2. Magdalena (7 January 1582 – 4 May 1616), married in 1598 to Landgrave Louis V of Hesse-Darmstadt
  3. Joachim Ernest (1583–1625)
  4. Agnes (1584–1629), married:
    1. in 1604 Duke Philipp Julius of Pomerania;
    2. in 1628 Duke Francis Charles of Saxe-Lauenburg
  5. Frederick (1588–1611)
  6. Elisabeth Sophia of Brandenburg (July 13, 1589 – December 24, 1629), married:
    1. in 1613 to Reichsfürst (Prince) Janusz Radziwiłł;
    2. on 27 February 1628 to Duke Julius Henry of Saxe-Lauenburg
  7. Dorothea Sibylle (19 October 1590 – 9 March 1625), married in 1610 to Duke John Christian of Brieg
  8. George Albert (1591–1615)
  9. Sigismund (20 November 1592 – 30 April 1640)
  10. John (1597–1627), Bishop of Havelberg
  11. Joha George (1598–1637)


John George's ancestors in three generations
John George, Elector of Brandenburg Father:
Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Grandfather:
Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John Cicero, Elector of Brandenburg
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Margaret of Thuringia
Paternal Grandmother:
Elisabeth of Denmark
Paternal Great-grandfather:
John of Denmark
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Christina of Saxony
Magdalena of Saxony
Maternal Grandfather:
George, Duke of Saxony
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Albert, Duke of Saxony
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Sidonie of Poděbrady
Maternal Grandmother:
Barbara Jagiellon
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Casimir IV Jagiellon
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elisabeth of Austria

External links[edit]

John George, Elector of Brandenburg
Born: 22 September 1525 Died: 8 January 1598[aged 72]
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Joachim II Hector
Elector of Brandenburg
Succeeded by
Joachim Frederick
Margrave of Brandenburg