Philip Louis II, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg

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Philip Louis II, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg
Philipp ludwig ii.jpg
Philip Louis II by Dominicus Custos
Spouse(s) Catherine Belgica
Noble family House of Hanau
Father Philip Louis I, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg
Mother Countess Magdalena of Waldeck
Born (1576-11-18)18 November 1576
Hanau
Died 9 August 1612(1612-08-09) (aged 35)
Hanau

Philip Louis II of Hanau-Münzenberg (18 November 1576, in Hanau – 9 August 1612, in Hanau), was one of the most notable counts of Hanau of the early modern period, his policies bringing about sweeping changes.

Count Philip Louis II of Hanau-Münzenberg was born in the castle at Hanau and baptised two weeks later on 3 December. His parents were Count Philip Louis I of Hanau-Münzenberg (1553–1580) and Countess Magdalena of Waldeck (1558–1599).

Guardianship[edit]

He nominally succeeded his deceased father on 4 February 1580, albeit under the guardianship of Counts John VI, Count of Nassau-Dillenburg (1536–1606), Louis I, Count of Sayn-Wittgenstein (1568–1607) and Philip IV, Count of Hanau-Lichtenberg (1514–1590), who was replaced in 1585 by his son, Count Philip V of Hanau-Lichtenberg (1541–1599).

His widowed mother, Magdalena, remarried on 9 December 1581 to Count Johann VII, the Middle, of Nassau-Siegen (1561–1623), the son of one of the guardians. In consequence Philip Louis II and his younger brother, Count Albert, joined the Nassau-Dillenburg court, a centre of the Reformation movement in Germany and closely tied to the Electorate of the Palatinate of the Rhine. The new ideas he encountered here greatly influenced his life.

The guardianship was ended only in 1608 at the behest of the Elector Palatine Frederick IV (1574–1610).

Family[edit]

During a wedding feast in Dillenburg that lasted from 23 October 1596 - 3 November 1596, he married Catherine Belgica, third daughter of William the Silent, producing the following children:

  1. Charlotte Louise (1597–1649 Kassel), not married
  2. Daughter (29 July 1598 – 9 August 1598), died unbaptised
  3. Philipp Ulrich (2 January 1601 – 7 April 1604 Steinau)
  4. Amalia Elisabeth (1602–1651 Kassel), married to William V, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
  5. Katharina Juliane (1604–1668 Hanau), married first on 11 September 1631 to Count Albert Otto II of Solms-Laubach, Rödelheim and Assenheim and secondly on 31 March 1642 to Maurice Christian of Wied-Runkel
  6. Philip Maurice (1605–1638), who succeeded him, buried in the Marienkirche in Hanau
  7. Wilhelm Reinhard (1607–1630 Aachen), buried in the Marienkirche in Hanau
  8. Heinrich Ludwig (1609–1632) died during the Siege of Maastricht
  9. Friedrich Ludwig (27 July 1610 – 4 October 1628 Paris), buried in the family tomb of the Duke of Bouillon in Sedan
  10. Jakob Johann (1612–1636 Zabern), buried in St. Nicholas in Strasbourg

Policies[edit]

Count Philip Louis II policies are notable for their drive of modernisation for his tiny state. With his marriage, he came of age, although the regency continued for his younger brother Albert. By using his rights under the Cuius regio, eius religio rule, he changed the confession of his county to Calvinism. He succeeded with this nearly eveywhere in his sphere of influence, except in a few villages in the district Bornheimerberg, which surrounded Frankfurt. These villages had strong ties to the (mainly) Lutheran city of Frankfurt and a majority of the villagers just went to Lutheran services in “foreign” Frankfurt territory. Also in the Condominiums Philip Louis II shared with the (Roman Catholic) Archbishopric of Mainz he couldn’t change anything — whether they had become Lutheran during the reformation or had remained Roman Catholic.

The introduction of Calvinism and its location, at only half a day’s journey away from Frankfurt with its trade fair, made Hanau an attractive place to settle for Calvinist refugees from France and later from the Southern Netherlands. They were often wealthy traders and were attractive subjects for a ruler in need of tax revenues. In 1597 and 1604, the count and the refugees entered into two treaties which gave them a large degree of self-government and founded the “New Town” of Hanau, south to the historic mediaeval settlement. This proved to be a big success and initiated an economic growth for Hanau which lasted even into the 19th century.

Philip Louis II also reinstated a Jewish community in Hanau. Space was allocted for the Jews on the southern fortifications of the historic town, which was no longer needed, due to the new town which protected this side of the old town. This Ghetto was not part of one either town, but placed directly under the administrative control of the county.

Count Philip Louis II also tried to found a university. He founded the “Hohe Landesschule” in Hanau. It was modeled on the Herborn Academy, where he had studied himself. Even so, it did not develop into a university and it still exists until today as a secondary school.

Ancestors[edit]

References[edit]

This article incorporates information from the German Wikipedia.
Philip Louis II, Count of Hanau-Münzenberg
House of Hanau
Born: 18 November 1576 Died: 9 August 1612
Preceded by
Philip Louis I
Count of Hanau-Münzenberg
1580-1612
Succeeded by
Philip Maurice