Löwenstein-Wertheim

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Arms of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg
Arms of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg

Löwenstein-Wertheim was a county of the Holy Roman Empire, part of the Franconian Circle. It was formed from the counties of Löwenstein (based in the town of Löwenstein) and Wertheim (based in the town of Wertheim am Main) and from 1488 until 1806 ruled by the House of Löwenstein-Wertheim who are morganatic descendants of the Palatinate branch of the House of Wittelsbach.

History[edit]

The county of Löwenstein belonged to a branch of the family of the counts of Calw before 1281, when it was purchased by the German king Rudolph I of Habsburg, who presented it to his natural son Albert. In 1441 Henry, one of Albert's descendants, sold it to the Frederick I, Count Palatine of the Rhine, head of the Palatine branch of the house of Wittelsbach, and later it served as a portion for Louis (1494-1524), a son of the elector by a morganatic marriage, who became a count of the Empire in 1494. Louis obtained Löwenstein in Suabia and received from Emperor Maximilian I the title of Count of Löwenstein.

The family lost Löwenstein to Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg, but Louis III, Count of Löwenstein, through his marriage to Anna, heiress of the Count of Wertheim, obtained that territory. Louis III left two sons: Christopher Louis, a Lutheran, and John Dietrich, who remained a Catholic, so the family was divided in two: Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, a Lutheran branch, and Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, a Catholic one. With the dissolution of the German Empire in 1806 and the protocol of Frankfurt on 20 July 1819 all the family lands were mediatised. The county was disbanded in 1806 and its territory was split among Bavaria, Baden, Württemberg, and Hesse.

The current monarchs of Belgium, Luxembourg, and Liechtenstein, as well as the pretenders to the thrones of Portugal, Italy (Naples branch), Bavaria, and Austria–Hungary are descended (not in the male line) from the Rosenberg branch. Rupert zu Löwenstein, the longtime financial manager of the Rolling Stones, was a member of the Freudenberg branch.

Rulers of Löwenstein[edit]

Counts of Löwenstein (1494–1571)[edit]

Ruins of Löwenstein Castle

Counts of Löwenstein-Scharffeneck (1571–1633)[edit]

George Louis survived his only son. His daughter and heiress Maria Christina of Löwenstein-Scharffeneck (1625–1673) married Gabriel Oxenstierna, Count of Korsholm and Vaasa (1619–1673). The further Counts of Korsholm and Vaasa were their descendants.

Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim (1571–1636)[edit]

Louis IV has no known descendants. Wolfgang Ernest only had one daughter, Dorothea Walpurga of Löwenstein-Wertheim (1628–1634) who predeceased him. Their lines were extinct with their own deaths.

Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Virneburg (1611–1812)[edit]

Counts of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort (1611–1712)[edit]

Princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort (1712–1803)[edit]

Princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg (1803–present)[edit]

Kleinheubach Castle, residence of the princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg since 1720
  • Dominick Constantine, 4th Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg 1803–1814. The last Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rochefort following a change of title.

Princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg (1812–present)[edit]

Kreuzwertheim Castle, residence of the princes of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg since 1736

References[edit]

External links[edit]