List of rulers of Hesse

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Monarchy of Hesse
Wappen Deutsches Reich - Grossherzogtum Hessen-LF.png
Style His Royal Highness
First monarch Henry I (As Landgrave)
Last monarch Ernest Louis (As Grand Duke)
Formation 1264
Abolition 9 November 1918
Pretender(s) Donatus

This is a list of rulers of Hesse (German: Hessen) during the history of Hesse on west-central Germany. These rulers belonged to a dynasty collectively known as the House of Hesse and the House of Brabant,[1] originally the Reginar. Hesse was ruled as a Landgraviate, Electorate and later as a Grand duchy until 1918.

The title of all of the following rulers was "Landgrave" (German: Landgraf) unless otherwise noted.

Landgraviate of Hesse[edit]

Further information: Landgraviate of Hesse

Hesse, 1264–1458[edit]

Lower Hesse (Kassel), 1458–1500[edit]

Upper Hesse (Marburg), 1458–1500[edit]

1500 reunited with Lower Hesse under William II

Hesse, 1500–1567[edit]

Hesse-Kassel, 1567–1803[edit]

Swedish Royalty
House of Hesse
COA country se house of Hesse.svg
Frederick I
Image Name Start term End term Note
Wilhelm-1-.4.jpeg William IV
Wilhelm IV
31 March 1567 25 August 1592 eldest son of Philip the Magnanimous. Called "the Wise."
Moritz Landgraf von Hessen Seite 1 Bild 0001.jpg Maurice
25 August 1592 17 March 1627  
WilhelmV-HK.jpg William V
Wilhelm V
17 March 1627 21 September 1637  
Wilhelm6-HK.jpg William VI
Wilhelm VI
21 September 1637 16 July 1663  
William VII
Wilhelm VII
16 July 1663 21 November 1670  
Charles I of Hesse-Kassel.jpg Charles
21 November 1670 23 March 1730  
Fredrik av Hessen.jpg Frederick I
Friedrich I
23 March 1730 25 March 1751 also King of Sweden from 1720. Hesse-Kassel under the regency of his brother, William, later Landgrave William VIII.
Wilhelmviiiheka.jpg William VIII
Wilhelm VIII
25 March 1751 1 February 1760 brother of Frederick I; already regent from 1730
Friedrich II von Hessen-Kassel.jpg Frederick II
Friedrich II
1 February 1760 31 October 1785  
Wilhelmihessenkassel.jpg William IX
Wilhelm IX
31 October 1785 15 May 1803 created Prince-elector of Hesse as His Royal and Serene Highness William I in 1803.

Hesse-Rotenburg, 1627–1834[edit]

1806 annexed by the Kingdom of Westphalia, 1813 restored under the supremacy of the Elector of Hesse
1834 extinct, reunited with Hesse-Kassel

Hesse-Eschwege, 1632-1655[edit]

  • Frederick, eighth son of Maurice, 1632–1655
1655 extinct, fell to Hesse-Rotenburg

Hesse-Wanfried, ~1700–1755[edit]

  • Charles, Landgrave of Hesse-Wanfried-(Rheinfels) (1649–1711); sovereign ~1700–1711
  • William II, Landgrave of Hesse-Wanfried-(Rheinfels) (1671–1731); sovereign 1711–1731
  • Christian, Landgrave of Hesse-Wanfried-(Rheinfels) (1689–1755); sovereign 1731–1755[2]
1755 united with Hesse-Rotenburg

Hesse-Rheinfels, 1627–1658[edit]

  • Ernest, fifth son of Maurice, 1627–1658
1658 united with Hesse-Rotenburg


1806 annexed by the Kingdom of Westphalia, 1813 restored under the supremacy of the Elector of Hesse
1866 annexed by Prussia


1806 annexed by the Kingdom of Westphalia, 1813 restored under the supremacy of the Elector of Hesse
1866 annexed by Prussia

Hesse-Marburg, 1567–1604[edit]

Image Name Start term End term Note
LudwigIVHessMarb.JPG Louis IV
Ludwig IV
31 March 1567 9 October 1604 second son of Philip the Magnanimous.
1604 extinct and disputed between Hesse-Kassel and Hesse-Darmstadt, 1648 divided between the two lines

Hesse-Rheinfels, 1567–1583[edit]

Image Name Start term End term Note
Philip II 31 March 1567 20 November 1583 third son of Philip the Magnanimous. Called "the Younger."
1583 extinct and divided between Hesse-Kassel, Hesse-Marburg and Hesse-Darmstadt

Hesse-Darmstadt, 1567–1806[edit]

Image Name Start term End term Note
Landgraf-Georg-I.-von-Hessen-Darmstadt.png George I
Georg I
31 March 1567 7 February 1596 fourth son of Philip the Magnanimous
L kilian landgraf ludwig 1615.png Louis V
Ludwig V
7 February 1596 27 June 1626 son of George I.
Georg-II-HD.jpg George II
Georg II
27 June 1626 11 June 1661 son of Louis V.
1630 Ludwig.JPG Louis VI
Ludwig VI
11 June 1661 24 April 1678 son of George II
Ludwig-VII-HD.jpg Louis VII
Ludwig VII
24 April 1678 31 August 1678 first son of Louis VI
Landgraf Ernst Ludwig von Hessen-Darmstadt.jpg Ernest Louis
Ernst Ludwig
31 August 1678 12 September 1739 second son of Louis VI
Landgraf Ludwig VIII. von Hessen-Darmstadt.JPG Louis VIII
Ludwig VIII
12 September 1739 17 October 1768 son of Ernest Louis
Ludwig IX von Hessen-Darmstadt.JPG Louis IX
Ludwig IX
17 October 1768 6 April 1790 son of Louis VIII
Ludwig X. (Hessen-Darmstadt).jpg Louis X
Ludwig X
6 April 1790 13 August 1806 son of Louis IX. Became Grand Duke of Hesse 1806.

Hesse-Butzbach, 1609–1643[edit]

  • Philip III, second son of George I of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1609–1643

Hesse-Homburg, 1622–1866[edit]

  • Frederick I, third son of George I of Hesse-Darmstadt, 1622–1638
  • William Christoph, 1638–1681, sold Homburg to his brother George Christian in 1669, but retained Bingenheim (Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg-Bingenheim)
    • Margareta Elisabetha of Leiningen-Westerburg-Schaumburg, Regent 1638–1648
  • George Christian, 1669–1671 Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg
Under mortgage to two merchants (1671–1673) and the Landgraves of Hesse-Darmstadt (1673–1679)
1806 Annexed by Hesse-Darmstadt, 1815 restored by the Congress of Vienna
1866 annexed by Prussia

Hesse-Braubach, 1625–1651[edit]

  • John, son of Louis V, 1626–1651

Hesse-Itter, 1661–1676[edit]

  • George III, second son of George II, 1661–1676

Electors of Hesse (-Kassel), 1803–1866[edit]

Image Name Start term End term Note
Wilhelmihessenkassel.jpg William I
Wilhelm I
15 May 1803 28 August 1807 previously Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel as William IX; deposed
to the Kingdom of Westphalia, 1807-1813
Wilhelmihessenkassel.jpg William I
Wilhelm I
30 October 1813 27 February 1821 restored
William II, elector of hesse.jpg William II
Wilhelm II
27 February 1821 20 November 1847 His son Frederick William acted as regent from 30 September 1831
Friedrich-Wilhelm-Hessen.jpg Frederick William
Friedrich Wilhelm
20 November 1847 20 September 1866 regent for his father from 30 September 1831. The electorate was annexed by Prussia in 1866
1866 annexed by Prussia

Grand Dukes of Hesse (-Darmstadt) and by Rhine, 1806–1918[edit]

Image Name Start term End term Note
Ludwig X. (Hessen-Darmstadt).jpg Louis I
Ludwig I
13 August 1806 6 April 1830 previously Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt as Louis X from 1790
Luis ii de hesse.jpg Louis II
Ludwig II
6 April 1830 16 June 1848  
LudwigIII-Hessen.jpg Louis III
Ludwig III
16 June 1848 13 June 1877  
Grand Duke Ludwig IV of Hesse-Darmstadt and by Rhine.jpg Louis IV
Ludwig IV
13 June 1877 13 March 1892  
Ernst Ludwig von Hessen 1905 Foto Jacob Hilsdorf.jpeg Ernest Louis
Ernst Ludwig
13 March 1892 9 November 1918  

Heads of the non-reigning House of Hesse[edit]

Hesse-Kassel since 1866[edit]

Hesse-Philippsthal 1866-1925[edit]

Standard of the Grand Duke of Hesse 1903–1918

1925 the Line of Hesse-Philippsthal became extinct

Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld since 1866, Hesse-Philippsthal since the extinction of the main line 1925[edit]

  • Alexis the former Landgrave, 1866–1905
  • Chlodwig 1905-1954, head of the house of Hesse-Philippsthal since 1925
  • Wilhelm 1954–present

Hesse-Darmstadt 1918–1968[edit]

In 1968 the Line of Hesse-Darmstadt became Hesse-Nassau and Hesse-Kassel (1969 - present)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burke's Royal Families of the World Volume I Europe & Latin America ISBN 0-85011-023-8, London 1977 p. 202
  2. ^ Christian died childless and the lands passed to his second cousin Constantine (d. 1778)

External links[edit]