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Frederick Augustus II of Saxony

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Frederick Augustus II
King of Saxony
Reign6 June 1836 – 9 August 1854
Born(1797-05-18)18 May 1797
Pillnitz, Dresden, Electorate of Saxony, Holy Roman Empire
Died9 August 1854(1854-08-09) (aged 57)
Karrösten, Austrian Empire
(m. 1819; died 1832)
(m. 1833)
IssueTheodor Uhlig (illegitimate)
German: Friedrich August Albrecht Maria Clemens Joseph Vincenz Aloys Nepomuk Johann Baptista Nikolaus Raphael Peter Xaver Franz de Paula Venantius Felix
English: Frederick Augustus Albert Maria Clement Joseph Vincent Aloysius Nepomuk John Baptista Nicholas Raphael Peter Xaver Francis de Paula Venantius Felix
FatherPrince Maximilian of Saxony
MotherPrincess Caroline of Parma
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureFrederick Augustus II's signature

Frederick Augustus II (German: Friedrich August II.; 18 May 1797 in Dresden – 9 August 1854 in Brennbüchel, Karrösten, Tyrol) was King of Saxony and a member of the House of Wettin.

He was the eldest son of Maximilian, Prince of Saxony – younger son of the Elector Frederick Christian of Saxony – by his first wife, Caroline of Bourbon, Princess of Parma.


Early years[edit]

From his birth, it was clear that one day Frederick Augustus would become the ruler of Saxony. His father was the only son of the Elector Frederick Christian of Saxony who left surviving male issue. When King Frederick Augustus I died (1827) and Anton succeeded him as King, Frederick Augustus became second in line to the throne, preceded only by his father Maximilian. However, he took no part in the administration of the country.[1]

He was an officer in the War of the Sixth Coalition. However, he had little interest in military affairs.

Co-Regent to the Kingdom[edit]

The July Revolution of 1830 in France marked the beginning of disturbances in Saxony that autumn. The people claimed a change in the constitution and demanded a young regent of the kingdom to share the government with the King Anton. On 1 September the Prince Maximilian renounced his rights of succession in favor of his son Frederick Augustus, who was proclaimed Prince Co-Regent (de: Prinz-Mitregenten) of Saxony. On 2 February 1832 Frederick Augustus brought Free Autonomy to the cities. Also, by an edict of 17 March of that year, the farmers were freed from the corvée and hereditary submission. His popularity and liberal reforms quickly ended the discontent.[1]

King of Saxony[edit]

On 6 June 1836, King Anton died and Frederick Augustus succeeded him. As an intelligent man, he was quickly popular with the people as he had been since the time of his regency. The new king solved political questions only from a pure sense of duty. Mostly he preferred to leave these things on the hands of his ministers.

A standardized jurisdiction for Saxony created the Criminal Code of 1836. During the Revolutionary disturbances of 1848 (March Revolution), he appointed liberal ministers in the government, lifted censorship, and remitted a liberal electoral law. Later his attitude changed. On 28 April Frederick August II dissolved the Parliament, and in 1849 he was forced to flee to the Königstein Fortress. The May Uprising was crushed by Saxon and Prussian troops and Frederick was able to return after only a few days.

From that time onward his reign was tranquil and prosperous. Later Count Beust, leader of the Austrian and feudal party in Saxony, became his principal minister and guided his policy on most occasions.[1]

Journey through England and Scotland[edit]

In 1844 Frederick Augustus, accompanied by his personal physician Carl Gustav Carus, made an informal (incognito) visit to England and Scotland. Among places they visited were Lyme Regis where he purchased from the local fossil collector and dealer, Mary Anning, an ichthyosaur skeleton for his own extensive natural history collection. It was not a state visit, but the King was the guest of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Windsor Castle, visited many of the sights in London and in the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge, and toured widely in England, Wales and Scotland.[2]

In addition to his interest in fossils, Frederick Augustus devoted his leisure hours chiefly to the study of botany. He made botanical excursions into different countries, and his Flora Marienbadensis, oder Pflanzen und Gebirgsarten, gesammelt und beschrieben was published in Prague in 1837.[1]

Accidental death[edit]

During a journey in Tyrol, he had an accident in Brennbüchel in which he fell in front of a horse that stepped on his head. On 8 August 1854, he died in the Gasthof Neuner. He was buried on 16 August in the Katholische Hofkirche of Dresden. In his memory, the Dowager Queen Maria arranged to establish the Königskapelle (King's Chapel) at the accident place, which was consecrated one year later, some of the last members of the Saxon royal family, including Maria Emanuel, Margrave of Meissen, are buried beside the chapel.


In Vienna on 26 September 1819 (by proxy) and again in Dresden on 7 October 1819 (in person), Frederick Augustus married firstly with the Archduchess Maria Caroline of Austria (Maria Karoline Ferdinande Theresia Josephine Demetria), daughter of Emperor Francis I of Austria. They had no children.

In Dresden on 24 April 1833 Frederick Augustus married secondly with the Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria (Maria Anna Leopoldine Elisabeth Wilhelmine), daughter of the King Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. Like his first marriage, this was childless.

The musician Theodor Uhlig (1822–1853) was an illegitimate son of Frederick Augustus.[3]

Without legitimate issue, after his death Frederick Augustus was succeeded by his younger brother, Johann.



  1. ^ a b c d  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHashagen, Justus (1911). "Frederick Augustus II.". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 11 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 61.
  2. ^ C.G.Carus, The King of Saxony's Journey through England and Scotland, 1844, english edition, London, Chapman and Hall, 1846 [1]
  3. ^ John Warrack, Uhlig, Theodor, Oxford Music Online,consulted 23.6.2010
Frederick Augustus II of Saxony
Born: 18 May 1797 Died: 9 August 1854
Regnal titles
Preceded by King of Saxony
Succeeded by