Christian William of Brandenburg

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Christian William of Brandenburg
Born(1587-08-28)28 August 1587
Died1 January 1665(1665-01-01) (aged 77)
Zinna Abbey
Noble familyHouse of Hohenzollern
Spouse(s)Dorothea of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Barbara Eusebia of Martinice
Maximiliane Salm-Neuburg
IssueSophie Elisabeth
FatherJoachim Frederick, Elector of Brandenburg
MotherCatherine of Brandenburg-Küstrin

Christian Wilhelm of Brandenburg (28 August 1587 in Wolmirstedt – 1 January 1665 in Zinna Abbey) was a titular Margrave of Brandenburg, and from 1598 to 1631 Archbishop of Magdeburg.


Christian Wilhelm was a son of Elector Joachim Frederick of Brandenburg (1546-1608) from his first marriage with Catherine (1549-1602), a daughter of Margrave John of Brandenburg-Küstrin (1513-1571). He was elected as Archbishop of Magdeburg in 1598.[citation needed] However, the city of Magdeburg did not recognize him as Prince-Bishop, because his election had not been confirmed by the emperor. When he married in 1614, he assumed the title of Lutheran administrator on. That same year, he also became coadjutor of Halberstadt. In 1624, he became administrator of Halberstadt. During the Thirty Years' War, he entered into an alliance with Denmark. In 1626, he led an army from Lower Saxony into the Battle of Dessau Bridge. After Wallenstein won this battle, he fled abroad. In 1629, he fled to the court of King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden.

In 1630, he returned to Germany. The cathedral chapter of Magdeburg formally deposed him in 1631. Sweden promised to assist him when he attempted to reconquer his Archbishopric. Nevertheless, the reconquest failed and he was badly injured during the siege of Magdeburg in 1631. He was taken up in the army camp Pappenheim, where his wounds were tended and Jesuits persuaded him to convert to Catholicism. A pamphlet with the title Speculum veritatis was published in his name, and he was released. Under the Peace of Prague of 1635, he received an annual sum of 12000 taler from the revenues of the archbishopric of Magdeburg, plus the districts Loburg and Zinna. In 1651, he purchased the Nový Hrad estate in Bohemia. He died at Zinna Abbey in 1665.

Marriage and issue[edit]

Christian William married three times.

His first wedding took place on 1 January 1615 in Wolfenbüttel, where he married Dorothea (1596-1643), a daughter of the Duke Henry Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. From this marriage, he had a daughter, Sophie Elisabeth (1616-1650), married in 1638 to Duke Frederick William II of Saxe-Altenburg (1603-1669). On 22 February 1650 in Prague, he married Barbara Eusebia (d. 1656), a daughter of Count Jaroslav Borzita of Martinice and Maria Eusebie von Sternberg. On 28 May 1657, he married, again in Prague, to Countess Maximiliane (1608-1663), daughter of Count Weichard of Salm-Neuburg and Sidonia von Minckwitz.


  • Berent Schwineköper (1957), "Christian Wilhelm", Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German), vol. 3, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, p. 226; (full text online)
  • Karl Janicke (1876), "Christian Wilhelm", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), vol. 4, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 164–168

External links[edit]

Christian William of Brandenburg
Born: 28 August 1587 Died: 1 January 1665
Preceded by Archbishop and later
Administrator of Magdeburg

Succeeded by
Preceded by Administrator of Halberstadt