Sophie of Pomerania, Duchess of Mecklenburg

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Sophie of Pomerania-Stettin
Spouse(s) Magnus II, Duke of Mecklenburg
Noble family House of Griffins
Father Eric II, Duke of Pomerania
Mother Sophia of Pomerania-Stolp
Born c. 1460
Died 26 April 1504(1504-04-26)
Wismar
Buried Wismar

Sophie of Pomerania-Stettin (c. 1460 – 26 April 1504, Wismar), was Duchess of Mecklenburg by marriage from 1478 to 1504.

She was the daughter of Eric II of Pomerania-Wolgast († 1474) and his wife Sophia of Pomerania-Stolp († 1497).

Her brother was Bogislaw X (1454-1523), who ruled the country for almost fifty years as a unified territory. Under Bogislaw X, Pomerania experienced a golden age: Szczecin was made the residence in 1491, the ducal administration was organised in a chancery, a well-regulated tax collection was introduced and peace and stability were maintained. For political reasons, the Duchy of Mecklenburg was anxious to see a merger with the House of Pomerania.

Sophie of Pomerania was the fiancee of Duke John V of Mecklenburg, the brother of her later husband Magnus II of Mecklenburg. After John's death, Sophie went into a convent, and vowed of perpetual chastity. But Magnus II was very attached to securing the border with Pomerania and therefore interested in a marriage with Sophie. He asked several priests for advice on how to set aside the vow, but this was in vain. He married Sophie on 29 May 1478 anyway, against the ecclesiastical laws. The pope did not sentence Magnus for this transgression; instead he awarded him the Golden Rose of Virtue, the highest ecclesiastical honors. On 3 April 1486 Sophie finally got dispensation from her vow, on the condition she provide three poor people annually with white woolen clothes in memory of the Virgin Mary.

Like her daughter Anna of Mecklenburg-Schwerin over two decades later, Sophie insisted on being buried far from home. Whereas all her relatives on the Mecklenburg side, including her husband, had been buried in Doberan Abbey, she chose the Dominican monastery in Wismar as the final resting place. Sophie's funeral was the first of the ducal house in Wismar and - apart from her sister Margaret, the widow of Balthasar, on 27 March 1526 - also the last.

The bronze grave slab with the life-sized image of the Duchess resting on a Pomegranate blanket, first covered her tomb at the main altar of the church of the Black Monastery in Wismar until 1880. It was then moved to St. Mary's Church, also in Wismar, and after its destruction to the northern side chapel of the Nikolai Church, also in Wismar.

References[edit]

  • Friedrich Schlie: The Art and Historical Monuments of the grand duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, second volume, The district courts Wismar, Grevesmühlen, Rehna, Gadebusch and Schwerin, Schwerin 1898, reprint Schwerin 1992, p. 54ff, ISBN 3-910179-06-1