Frederick Augustus, Duke of Nassau

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Frederick Augustus
Friedrich August (Nassau-Usingen).jpg
Frederick Augusts, Duke of Nassau
Duke of Nassau
Reign30 August 1806 – 24 March 1816
PredecessorNone. New Title
SuccessorWilliam
Prince of Nassau-Usingen
Reign17 May 1803 – 24 March 1816
PredecessorCharles William
SuccessorNone. Incorporated into the Duchy of Nassau
Born(1738-04-23)April 23, 1738
Usingen, Principality of Nassau-Usingen
DiedMarch 24, 1816(1816-03-24) (aged 77)
Schloss Biebrich, Wiesbaden, Duchy of Nassau
SpousePrincess Louise of Waldeck and Pyrmont
IssuePrincess Christiane Luise
Princess Karoline Friederike
Princess Augusta
Prince Friedrich Wilhelm
Princess Lousie Maria
Princess Friederike Victoria
Prince Frederick Charles
Full name
Friedrich August
HouseHouse of Nassau-Usingen
FatherCharles, Prince of Nassau-Usingen
MotherPrincess Christiane Wilhelmine of Saxe-Eisenach
ReligionCalvinism

Friedrich August, Duke of Nassau, Prince of Nassau-Usingen (23 April 1738 in Usingen – 24 March 1816 in Wiesbaden) was the last Prince of Nassau-Usingen and, jointly with his cousin, Friedrich Wilhelm of Nassau-Weilburg, first Duke of Nassau. He died without surviving male issue and was succeeded by his cousin's son, Wilhelm.

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Friedrich August, born in Usingen, was a younger son of Prince Charles of Nassau-Usingen and Princess Christiane Wilhelmine of Saxe-Eisenach (daughter of John William III, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach). From 1744, he lived with his parents in Schloss Biebrich in Wiesbaden. He followed a military career in the army of the Holy Roman Empire and served in the Seven Years' War. In 1790, he became a Field Marshal.

Ruler of Nassau[edit]

On 17 May 1803, he succeeded as the Prince of Nassau-Usingen when his elder brother, Charles William, died without male heirs. On 6 July 1806, he joined the Confederation of the Rhine in order to prevent Napoleon from annexing the principality. Shortly thereafter, on 30 August 1806, he agreed with his cousin Friedrich Wilhelm of Nassau-Weilburg that their territories should be united into a single Duchy of Nassau with Frederick Augustus as the first duke and Frederick William as co-ruler. Since Friedrich August's sons had died young, it was also agreed that the combined duchy and sole rulership would pass to the heir of the Nassau-Weilburg line.

After Napoleon's defeat at the Battle of Leipzig, Friedrich August joined in the allies fighting against the French emperor. Nassau's troops fought under the command of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. At the Congress of Vienna, the unification of the Duchy of Nassau was approved and the duchy joined the German Confederation.

Friedrich August was an enlightened and liberal ruler who established reforms such as the elimination of tax privileges for the nobility, the introduction of press freedom and the constitution for a modern state. His court at the Biebrich Castle was praised by visitors for its serenity and hospitality.[according to whom?]

Marriage and children[edit]

On 9 June 1775, Friedrich August married Princess Luise of Waldeck and Pyrmont (born 29 January 1751 in Arolsen, died 17 November 1816 in Frankfurt am Main), daughter of Karl August, Prince of Waldeck and Pyrmont and Countess Palatine Christiane Henriette of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld. The couple had seven children (5 daughters and 2 sons), but only their daughters survived infancy.

  • Christiane Luise (Biebrich, 16 August 1776 - Karlsruhe, 19 February 1829). Married on 29 November 1791 to Margrave Friedrich of Baden (29 August 1756 - 28 May 1817), son of Grand Duke Karl Friedrich of Baden.
  • Karoline Friederike (Usingen, 30 August 1777 - Hochheim am Main, 28 August 1821). Married on 9 February 1792 to Christian August, Duke of Anhalt-Köthen (18 November 1769 - 5 May 1812), divorced 1803.
  • Augusta (Usingen, 30 December 1778 - Wildbad, 16 July 1846). First married on 2 August 1804 to Ludwig of Hesse-Homburg (29 August 1770 - 29 January 1839) son of Frederick V, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, divorced 1805. Married secondly on 7 September 1807 to Friedrich Wilhelm von Bismarck (28 July 1783 - 18 July 1860).
  • Friedrich Wilhelm (Biebrich, 30 July 1780 - Biebrich, 18 August 1780).
  • Luise Maria (Usingen, 18 July 1782 - Biebrich, 27 June 1812).
  • Friederike Victoria (Usingen 21 February 1784 - Hannover, 18 July 1822), married to the count Ludwig Heinrich Klaus von Burgund.
  • Friedrich Karl (Usingen, 17 June 1787 - Frankfurt am Main, 29 September 1787)

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 23 April 1738 – 17 May 1803: His Serene Highness Prince Frederick Augustus of Nassau-Usingen.
  • 17 May 1803 – 24 March 1816: His Serene Highness The Prince (Fürst) of Nassau-Usingen.
  • 30 August 1806 – 24 March 1816: His Highness The Duke of Nassau.

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

Frederick Augustus, Duke of Nassau
Cadet branch of the House of Nassau
Born: April 23 1738 Died: March 24 1816
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Charles William
Prince of Nassau-Usingen
1803–1806
Principality incorporated
into the Duchy of Nassau
Duchy created by merger
of Nassau-Usingen
and Nassau-Weilburg
Duke of Nassau
1806–1816
Succeeded by
William