William Louis, Prince of Baden

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William Louis of Baden-Durlach
William Louis, Prince of Baden-Durlach.png
Born14 January 1732
Died17 December 1788(1788-12-17) (aged 56)
TitlePrince of Baden
Spouse(s)Wilhelmine Christine Schortmann

William Louis of Baden-Durlach (14 January 1732 – 17 December 1788) was the brother of the first Grand Duke of Baden, Charles Fredrick. In 1753 he became governor of the province of Gelderland based in Arnhem. In 1766 he was appointed by the Netherlands States-General to lieutenant general.[1] After 1769 William Louis was also active as an industrialist.


William Louis was the son of Prince Friedrich von Baden-Durlach and Amalia of Nassau-Dietz, the daughter of Prince John William Friso of Nassau-Dietz-Orange.

After his father died in 1732 and his mother was suffering from a mental illness, his grandmother, Countess Magdalena Wilhelmine of Württemberg, took care of the education of William Louis and his brother Charles Fredrick.

William Louis received his higher education at the Académie de Lausanne from 1743 to 1745. In 1745 and 1746 he traveled to Paris and the Netherlands, where he stayed with his uncle William IV of Orange, the later stadtholder of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces.

His uncle came to the conclusion that the undisciplined William Louis exerted a bad influence on his older brother, the Hereditary Prince Charles Frederick. When Charles Frederick took the journey home to Karlsruhe in order to take over the government, his uncle ordered William Louis to pursue a military career in the Netherlands.[2]

With permission of the Margrave Charles Frederick, William Louis married Wilhelmine Christine Schortmann morganatically. The children from this union were ennobled on January 27, 1777 by Charles Frederick. They were created barons of Seldeneck call and allowed to use the Seldeneck arms. The original Seldenecks were a Frankish noble family already extinct in 1583. The son, Wilhelm Ludwig von Seldeneck. (Born January 14, 1766; † January 10, 1827) is considered the common ancestor of all Seldenecks.[3]

William Louis bought land in Mühlburg and in 1769 he founded a dye plant, which was converted in 1770 into a Brewery and from 1771 also produced brandy. This was the nucleus of the baronial Seldeneck brewery that existed until 1921.


  1. ^ S. Sachs S. 174/175
  2. ^ Borchardt-Wenzel pages 53-55
  3. ^ Becke-Klüchtzner p. 434

Further reading[edit]

  • Annette Borchardt-Wenzel: Karl Friedrich von Baden – Mensch und Legende. Casimir Katz Verlag, Gernsbach 2006, ISBN 3-938047-14-3
  • Johann Christian Sachs: Einleitung in die Geschichte der Marggravschaft und des marggrävlichen altfürstlichen Hauses Baden, Karlsruhe 1764–1770, Bd. 5, S. 173 - 175
  • Edmund von der Becke-Klüchtzner, Stamm-Tafeln des Adels des Großherzogthums Baden: ein neu bearbeitetes Adelsbuch, Baden-Baden, 1886