Hedwig of Brandenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

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For other people with similar names, see Hedwig of Brandenburg and Margravine Hedwig Sophie of Brandenburg.
Hedwig of Brandenburg
Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg
HedwigBrandBraunWolf.jpg
Hedwig of Brandenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, detail of a family portrait
Spouse(s) Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Noble family House of Hohenzollern
Father Joachim II Hector, Elector of Brandenburg
Mother Hedwig Jagiellon
Born (1540-02-23)23 February 1540
Cölln, Brandenburg
Died 21 October 1602(1602-10-21) (aged 62)
Wolfenbüttel, Brunswick-Lüneburg

Hedwig of Brandenburg (23 February 1540 – 21 October 1602), a member of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was Duchess of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel from 1568 to 1589, by her marriage with the Welf duke Julius.

Life[edit]

Born at the City Palace in Cölln (today part of Berlin), Hedwig was a younger daughter of Elector Joachim II Hector of Brandenburg (1505–1571) from his second marriage with Hedwig Jagiellon (1513–1573), a daughter of King Sigismund I of Poland. Her elder sister Elizabeth Magdalena was married to Duke Francis Otto of Brunswick-Lüneburg in 1559; however, her husband died in the same year.

One year later, on 25 February 1560, Hedwig was married in Cölln on the Spree river to the Welf prince Julius of Brunswick-Lüneburg (1528–1589). The couple had met at the Küstrin court of Margrave John of Brandenburg, where Julius had fled from his wayward father, Duke Henry V

After Julius had reconciled with his father, who had agreed only reluctantly to the marriage of his son with a Protestant princess, the couple received the castles of Hessen and Schladen as residences. As Julius's elder brothers had been killed in the 1553 Battle of Sievershausen, Duke Henry V was alleged to have appeared at Hessen Castle and let himself into the room of his daughter-in-law, took her newborn son Henry Julius from the cradle and exclaimed: You'll now have to be my beloved son!.[1]

In 1568 Julius succeeded his father as ruling Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. He turned out to be a capable ruler; neverhteless, he later came under the fraudulent influence of the alchemists Philipp Sömmering and Anne Marie Schombach (nicknamed Schlüter-Liese), whom he received at the Wolfenbüttel court in 1571, and gradually estranged from his wife.[2]

Hedwig was described as a pious and humble, with preference for domestic activities. In 1598, the theologician Stephan Prätorius dedicated his book Der Witwen Trost ("The Widow's Consolation") to Hedwig.

Issue[edit]

From her marriage to Julius, Hedwig had following children:

married in 1577 Duke Ernest Louis of Pomerania-Wolgast (1545-1592)
  • Henry Julius (1564–1613), Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, married:
    1. in 1585 to Princess Dorothea of Saxony (1563–1587)
    2. in 1590 to Princess Elizabeth of Denmark (1573–1625)
  • Maria (1566–1626)
married in 1582 Duke Francis II of Saxe-Lauenburg (1547-1619)
married in 1621 Duke Otto III of Brunswick-Harburg (1572-1641)

References[edit]

  • Inge Mager: Die Konkordienformel im Fürstentum Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1993, p. 22 ff

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ O. von Heinemann: Das Königreich Hannover und das Herzogthum Braunschweig, 1858, p. 254
  2. ^ Carl Eduard Vehse: Geschichte der deutschen Höfe seit der Reformation, part 5, Hoffman and Campe, 1854, p. 281

External links[edit]

Media related to Hedwig of Brandenburg at Wikimedia Commons