Johann Ernst III, Duke of Saxe-Weimar

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John Ernst III
Johann Ernst III.jpg
Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Reign 1683–1707
Predecessor Johann Ernst II
Successor Ernst August I
Born (1664-06-22)22 June 1664
Died 10 May 1707(1707-05-10) (aged 42)
Spouse Sophie Auguste of Anhalt-Zerbst
Charlotte Dorothea Sophia of Hesse-Homburg
Issue Prince Johann Wilhelm, Hereditary Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Ernst August I
Princess Eleonore Christiane
Princess Johanna Auguste
Princess Johanna Charlotte
Prince Karl Frederick
Prince Johann Ernst
Princess Marie Luise
Princess Christiane Sophie
House House of Wettin
Father Johann Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Mother Christine Elisabeth of Holstein-Sonderburg
Religion Lutheranism

Johann Ernst III, Duke of Saxe-Weimar (Weimar, 22 June 1664 – Weimar, 10 May 1707), was a duke of Saxe-Weimar.


He was the second son of Johann Ernst II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar, and Christine Elisabeth of Holstein-Sonderburg.

After the death of his father in 1683, he inherited the duchy of Saxe-Weimar with his older brother Wilhelm Ernst as co-ruler (Mitherr).

Johann Ernst was an alcoholic; this, and his non-interest in the government, was taken advantage of by his brother, who became the only, autocratic, ruler of the duchy. However, until the time of his death, Johann Ernst served as co-duke, without any significant influence on the government.

From March to July 1703, J. S. Bach was appointed to be court musician at Weimar.[1][2] He wrote the Organ Concerto No.1 in G Major, BWV 592, and Concerto for Organ solo in C major, BWV 595, after a theme by his son, Johann Ernst of Saxe-Weimar.[3]


In Zerbst on 11 October 1685 Johann Ernst married firstly Sophie Auguste of Anhalt-Zerbst. They had five children:

  1. Johann Wilhelm (b. Weimar, 4 June 1686 - d. Weimar, 14 October 1686).
  2. Ernst August I, Duke of Saxe-Weimar (b. Weimar, 19 April 1688 - d. Eisenach, 19 January 1748), later inherited Eisenach and Jena.
  3. Eleonore Christiane (b. Weimar, 15 April 1689 - d. Weimar, 7 February 1690).
  4. Johanna Auguste (b. Weimar, 6 July 1690 - d. Weimar, 24 August 1691).
  5. Johanna Charlotte (b. Weimar, 23 November 1693 - d. Weimar, 2 March 1751).

In Kassel on 4 November 1694 and only two months after the death of his first wife, Johann Ernst married secondly Charlotte Dorothea Sophia of Hesse-Homburg. They had four children:

  1. Karl Friedrich (b. Weimar, 31 October 1695 - d. Weimar, 30 March 1696).
  2. Johann Ernst (b. Weimar, 25 December 1696 - d. Frankfurt, 1 August 1715), a composer who studied with Bach and of whose concertos Bach made transcriptions .
  3. Marie Luise (b. Weimar, 18 December 1697 - d. Weimar, 29 December 1704).
  4. Christiane Sophie (b. Weimar, 7 April 1700 - d. Weimar, 18 February 1701).

After Johann Ernst's death, his successor and eldest son, Ernst August, was nominally given his father's power, but the real power was retained by his uncle, Wilhelm Ernst, until his death in 1728, when Ernst August became the sole reigning duke of Saxe-Weimar.



  1. ^ "Johann Sebastian Bach". HOASM. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  2. ^ "Bach, J. S.: Weimar I (1703)". Retrieved 2010-08-18. 
  3. ^ "Bach: Orgelkonzerte BWV 592-596 / Johannes-Ernst Köhler". HBDirect. 1998-05-19. Retrieved 2010-08-18. 

External links[edit]

Johann Ernst III, Duke of Saxe-Weimar
Born: 22 June 1664 Died: 10 May 1707
Preceded by
Johann Ernst II
Duke of Saxe-Weimar
With: Wilhelm Ernst
Succeeded by
Ernst August I