List of rulers of Schleswig-Holstein

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The following is a list of rulers, usually dukes, who ruled both Schleswig and Holstein, starting from the first Holstein count who received Schleswig, until both provinces were annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia; and afterwards, titular dukes.

Dynasty of Schauenburg[edit]

In the course of history the County of Holstein was several times partitioned among the inheriting sons into up to six lines. In 1386 King Oluf II of Denmark and his mother-regent, Queen Margaret I, enfeoffed in Nyborg Gerhard VI, Count of Holstein-Rendsborg and his cognatic successors with the Duchy of Schleswig.[1] He was as Gerhard II duke of Schleswig. Until 1390 the Rendsborg branch united by inheritance all branches except of that of Holstein-Pinneberg. It remaining a separately ruled territory in Holstein until its line was extinct in 1640, when Holstein-Pinneberg was merged into the then Duchy of Holstein. Furthermore, the here mentioned rulers of course only reigned Holstein and Schleswig in their respective territorial composition of the time, thus without states and territories only merged later in what became today's State of Schleswig-Holstein, such as Ditmarsh, conquered and annexed in 1559, Saxe-Lauenburg merged in 1876, Heligoland (British rule 1807–1891), Free and Hanseatic City of Lübeck, Region of Lübeck, together with some Hamburgian exclaves in 1937. In turn much of the current westerly, northerly and easterly suburbs within Greater Hamburg were ceded from Holstein on 1 April 1937 (Cf. Greater Hamburg Act). North Schleswig had merged into Denmark in 1920. Some Lauenburgian and Mecklenburgian municipalities were exchanged by the Barber Lyashchenko Agreement in 1945.

Portrait Reign Name
Grevgerhardssegl.jpg
1332–1340 Gerhard III, Count of Holstein-Rendsburg, as Gerhard I also Duke of Jutland
Seal Heinrich II. (Holstein-Rendsburg) 01.jpg
1375–1384 Henrik Jern and Klaus (joint rule)
Seal Nikolaus (Holstein-Rendsburg) 01.jpg
1384–1386 Nicholas, Count of Holstein-Rendsburg (aka Klaus),
Seal Gerhard VI. (Holstein-Rendsburg) 01.jpg
1386–1404 Gerhard VI, Count of Holstein-Rendsborg, as Gerhard II also Duke of Sønderjylland, a Danish fief later called Schleswig after its capital.
1404–1427 Henry IV
Seal Adolf VIII. (Holstein) 01.jpg
1427/40-1459 Adolf VIII, Count of Holstein as Adolf I Duke of Schleswig

The House of Oldenburg ruling Schleswig, and ruling Holstein besides the House of Schauenburg[edit]

Christian I inherited the Duchy of Schleswig, a Danish fief, and the County of Holstein-Rendsburg, a Saxe-Lauenburgian subfief within the Holy Roman Empire, following the death of his maternal uncle Adolf I (and VIII as Count of Holstein-Rendsburg). In 1474 Lauenburg's liege lord Emperor Frederick III elevated Christian as Count of Holstein-Rendsburg to Duke of Holstein, thus becoming an immediate imperial vassal (see imperial immediacy). The smaller Holstein-Pinneberg remained a county further ruled by the House of Schauenburg.

House of Oldenburg (1460–1544)[edit]

Further information: House of Oldenburg
Joint rule in the Duchy of Schleswig and the County of Holstein-Rendsburg (= Duchy of Holstein as of 1474).
Portrait Reign Name
Christian-I-DenmarkNorwaySweden.JPG
1460–1481 Christian I (Christian 1.), elevated to Duke of Holstein by Emperor Frederick III in 1474
1455 Johann.JPG
1481–1513 John I (Hans), with Frederick I since 1482
ChristianII of denmark.jpg
1513–1523 Christian II (Christian 2.), deposed, died 1559; with Frederick I
Frederik1dk.jpg
1490–1533 Frederick I (Frederik 1.), as administrator 1482–1490, thereafter co-ruling
Christian III of Denmark.jpg
1523–1544 Christian III (Christian 3.), with his father until 1533

House of Schauenburg (1460–1544)[edit]

Further information: House of Schauenburg
Joint rule in the Counties of Holstein-Pinneberg and of Schaumburg.
Image Reign Name
Seal Otto II. (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
1426–1464 Otto II
1464–1474
Adolphus X
1474–1492
Eric
Seal Otto III. (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
1492–1510 Otto III
1510–1526

Anthony

1492–1510

John IV

1527–1531

Jobst I

1531–
1560


John V

The Houses of Oldenburg, Gottorp, Haderslev, and Schaumberg ruling in Holstein and Schleswig[edit]

The House of Schauenburg (Schaumburg) continued its rule only in the County of Holstein-Pinneberg. Independent of that county Christian III ruled the entire Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig also in the name of his then still minor half-brothers John II the Elder and Adolf between 1533 and 1544. In 1544 they partitioned the Duchies of Holstein (a fief of the Holy Roman Empire) and of Schleswig (a Danish fief) in an unusual way, following negotiations between the brothers and the Estates of the Realm of the duchies, which opposed a factual partition. They determined their youngest brother Frederick for a career as Lutheran administrator of an ecclesiastical state within the Holy Roman Empire.[2]

So the revenues of the duchies were divided in three equal shares by assigning the revenues of particular areas and landed estates to each of the elder brothers, while other general revenues, such as taxes from towns and customs dues, were levied together but then shared among the brothers. The estates, whose revenues were assigned to the parties, made Holstein and Schleswig look like patchwork rags, technically inhibiting the emergence of separate new duchies, as intended by the estates of the duchies. The secular rule in the fiscally divided duchies thus became a condominium of the parties. As dukes of Holstein and Schleswig the rulers of both houses bore the formal title of "Duke of Schleswig, Holstein, Dithmarschen and Stormarn".

The dynastic name Holstein-Gottorp comes as convenient usage from the technically more correct Duke of Schleswig and Holstein at Gottorp. Adolf, the third son of Duke and King Frederick I and the second youngest half-brother of King Christian III, founded the dynastic branch called House of Holstein-Gottorp, which is a cadet branch of the then royal Danish House of Oldenburg. The Danish monarchs and the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp listed below ruled both duchies together as to general government, however, collected their revenues in their separate estates. John II the Elder conveniently called Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Haderslev produced no issue, so no branch emerged from his side.

Similar to the above-mentioned agreement Christian III's youngest son John the Younger gained for him and his heirs a share in Holstein's and Schleswig's revenues in 1564, comprising a third of the royal share, thus a ninth of Holstein and Schleswig as to the fiscal point of view. John the Younger and his heirs, however, had no share in the condominial rule, they were only titular partitioned-off dukes.

The share of John II the Elder, who died in 1580, was halved between Adolf and Frederick II, thus increasing again the royal share by a fiscal sixth of Holstein and Schleswig.[3] As an effect the complicated fiscal division of both separate duchies, Holstein and Schleswig, with shares of each party scattered in both duchies, provided them with a condominial government binding both together, partially superseding their legally different affiliation as Holy Roman and Danish fiefs.

House of
Oldenburg
(1544–1580)
[edit]

Further information: House of Oldenburg
Condominial rule in the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig.

Portrait Reign Name
Christian III of Denmark.jpg
1523–
1559
Christian III – with his brothers Adolf and John II
Frederik 2.jpg
1559–
1588
Frederick II (Frederik 2.)

House of Schleswig-
Holstein-
Haderslev
[edit]

Further information: Schleswig-Holstein-Haderslev
Condominial rule in the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig.

Portrait Reign Name
Hans den Eldre.JPG
1544–
1580
John II the Elder – with his brothers Adolf and Christian, and then the latter's son Frederick.
In 1580 Frederick II and Adolf halved John's share among each other.

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (1544–80)[edit]

Further information: House of Holstein-Gottorp
Condominial rule in the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig.

Portrait Reign Name
Adolf I. von Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf.jpg
1544–
1586
Adolf – with his brothers John II and Christian and then the latter's son Danish Frederick II



House of Schauenburg
(1544–80)
[edit]

Further information: House of Schauenburg
Joint rule in the Counties of Holstein-Pinneberg and of Schaumburg.
Image Reign Name
1531–
1560
John V – with Otto IV since 1544
Stadthagen StMartini Grabmal.JPG
1544–
1576
Otto IV – till 1560 with his brother John V
Seal Adolf XI. (XIV.) (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
1576–
1601
Adolphus XI

House of Oldenburg (1580–1640)[edit]

Condominial rule in the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig.
Portrait Reign Name
Frederik 2.jpg
1559–1588 Frederick II (Frederik 2.)
Christian 4 som gammel.jpg
1588–1648


Christian IV – He acquired Holstein-Pinneberg and merged it with his share of Ducal Holstein in 1640



House of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (1580–1640)[edit]

Condominial rule in the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig.
Portrait Reign Name
Adolf I. von Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf.jpg
1544–1586 Adolf
1586–1587 Frederick II
1587–1590 Philip
Johann Adolf von Holstein Gottorp.jpg
1590–1616 John Adolf
Friedrich III Herzog von Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf.jpg
1616–1659 Frederick III

House of Schauenburg (1580–1640)[edit]

Joint rule in the Counties of Holstein-Pinneberg and of Schaumburg.
Portrait Reign Name
Seal Adolf XI. (XIV.) (Schaumburg) 01.jpg
1576–1601 Adolphus XI
ErnstHolsteinSchaumburg.JPG
1601–1622 Ernest – elevated to Prince of Schaumburg in 1619
1622–1635 Jobst Hermann
1635–1640 Otto V
With Otto's death the main line of Schauenburg was extinct and Holstein-Pinneberg was acquired by Christian IV for the royal share of the Holstein duchy.

House of Oldenburg (1640–1713)[edit]

Condominial rule in the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig.
Portrait Reign Name
Christian 4 som gammel.jpg
1588–1648 Christian IV
Frederik 3 by window.jpg
1648–1670 Frederick III (Frederik 3.)
Christian V of Denmark.jpg
1670–1699 Christian V (Christian 5.)
Frederik den 4.jpg


1699–1730


Frederick IV (Frederik 4.)
In 1713 Frederick IV united all of Schleswig/Sønderjylland in one hand.

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp (1640–1713)[edit]

Condominial rule in the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig.
Portrait Reign Name
Friedrich III Herzog von Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf.jpg
1616–1659 Frederick III
Christian Albrecht.jpg
1659–1694 Christian Albert
Friedrich IV. Gottorf.jpg
1694–1702 Frederick IV
1700 Karl Friedrich.JPG
1702–1713 Charles Frederick
In 1713 Frederick IV, being as King of Denmark also the liege lord of Schleswig, deposed Charles Frederick as co-ruling Duke of Schleswig, who, however, remained co-ruling Duke of Holstein as a vassal of the Holy Roman Empire. Frederick IV of Denmark and Norway continued as the sole Duke of Schleswig.

The House of Oldenburg ruling Schleswig and co-ruling Holstein with the House of Gottorp[edit]

House of Oldenburg (1713–1773)[edit]

Portrait Reign Name
Frederik den 4.jpg
1699–1730 Frederick IV (Frederik) (united Schleswig under the Danish crown in 1721. Holstein's partition continued.)
Christian 6.jpg
1730–1746 Christian VI
1723 Frederik.JPG
1746–1766 Frederick V (Frederik V)
1749 Christian VII.JPG
1766–1808 Christian VII
In 1773 Christian VII united entire Holstein and Schleswig in one hand.

House of Holstein-Gottorp (1713–1773)[edit]

Portrait Reign Name
1700 Karl Friedrich.JPG

1702–1739

Charles Frederick
(unti 1713 also co-ruling in Schleswig)
Peter III of Russia by Rokotov.jpg
1739–1762 Charles Peter Ulrich (later Peter III of Russia)
Borovikovsky Pavel I.jpg
1762–1773 Paul (later Paul I of Russia)
In 1773 Paul waived his co-rule in Holstein in return for the prior Danish County of Oldenburg.

House of Oldenburg (1773–1863)[edit]

Portrait Reign Name
1749 Christian VII.JPG
1766–1808 Christian VII (Christian 7.) sole ruler in both duchies since 1773
Fiedrichvidenmark.jpg
1808–1839 Frederick VI (Frederik 6.), in 1815 he acquired the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg ruled in personal union since
1786 Christian VIII.jpg
1839–1848 Christian VIII (Christian 8.)
Frederik VII af August Schiøtt.jpg
1848–1863 Frederick VII (Frederik 7.)
rivalled by: Christian August II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg 1848–51

House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (1863–1865)[edit]

Portrait Reign Name
1818 Christian-05.jpg
1863–1864/65 Christian IX of Denmark
rivalled by duke Frederick VIII, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein in the Holstein and Schleswig; the Saxe-Lauenburgian estates of the realm conveyed the Lauenburg ducal throne to William I of Prussia in personal union in 1865. In 1876 Lauenburg merged into Schleswig-Holstein.
In 1864, following the Second Schleswig War, the Duchies of Holstein and of Schleswig became an occupied territory of the German Confederation and two years later, following the Austro-Prussian War, part of the new Prussian Province of Schleswig-Holstein.

Titular dukes[edit]

Prussia, the annexing state, recognized the head of the House of Oldenburg as mediatized duke of this duchy/these two duchies, with the rank and all the titles pertaining:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Esben Albrectsen, "Das Abel-Geschlecht und die Schauenburger als Herzöge von Schleswig", Marion Hartwig and Frauke Witte (trls.), 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. 52–71, here pp. 63seq. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5
  2. ^ In 1551 Frederick became administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Hildesheim, comprising ecclesiastical and secular power, and, however, lacking secular power Bishop of Schleswig with the pertaining revenues from episcopal estates.
  3. ^ Cf. Carsten Porskrog Rasmussen, "Die dänischen Könige als Herzöge von Schleswig und Holstein", Frauke Witte and Marion Hartwig (trls.), 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. 73–109, here pp. 87seq. ISBN 978-3-529-02606-5