Author Topic: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg  (Read 35096 times)

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Offline kmerov

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The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« on: March 23, 2010, 12:58:59 PM »
A thread to discuss the lesser known Ducal families and branches of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg.

The Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg, founded by Duke Hans The Younger (1545-1622), son of King Christian III of Denmark.
When Hans The Younger died his duchy was divided in to five small Duchies, creating the five main lines of Sonderburg.
1. Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg (with many cadet branches, including the Augustenburg and Beck lines).

2. Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Nordburg.

3. Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg (Elder Line).

4. Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön.

5. Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Aerö (Ærø)

Hans the Younger

Offline kmerov

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2010, 01:46:20 PM »
The last Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön, Duke Friedrich Carl with his family in 1759.



From left; his youngest daughter, Princess Louise Albertine, Princess of Anhalt-Bernburg, Duke Friedrich Carl, his oldest daughter, Princess Friederike Sophie, Countess of Erbach-Schönberg, his wife Duchess Christine, born Reventlow, his mother Dorothea Christine, born Aichelberg, and finally his second daughter, Princess Charlotte Amalie, Duchess of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 01:48:48 PM by kmerov »

Offline Marc

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2010, 06:06:31 PM »
Already love this thread :-) I was looking at almost all lines of this family and I have one question about their religion...the sub-lines of Wiesenburg and Plön-Rethwisch seem to have made marriages only with Catholic families while the other branches did not...were members of this line Catholic and if they were why they changed religion...or if they did not,why marriages only with Catholic noble families?

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2010, 06:12:25 PM »
Yes, a few lines were Catholic. They converted because they were in the Emperor's service and/or in order to ingratiate themselves with the Emperor, I think.

Offline Marc

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2010, 06:28:24 PM »
Well,that makes sense then... were there any confrontations between all these lines?

Offline kmerov

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 01:04:00 PM »
No, I don't think that there were any major confrontations between them, but they could argue over inheritance issues with each other and with the Danish Kings.
Politically all the Sonderburg lines were insignificant, and they were subordinates to the King of Denmark and the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp.

Offline Marc

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 10:16:47 PM »
So,was their treatment special because of that?Were something in between sovereign and mediatized?

Offline kmerov

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 05:59:52 PM »
Responding by recollection to your question; No it's more complex than that. The five Duchies status were "lands providing income to the Dukes", like mayor noble estates. The Dukes however had some rights in their Duchies which made them "Principalities". But they were not (shared) sovereign Dukes of Schleswig and Holstein like the King of Denmark and the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp, so the Dukes were subjects to them and their decisions on a variety of matters. In the legal sence there was ONE Duchy of Schleswig and ONE Duchy of Holstein, the first a Danish land and the latter a German land.   

Offline Marc

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 09:08:07 PM »
Seems very complicated for them...being "the" Duke in the land that someone else rules...in terms of marriage status it seems all branches(more or less) were treated "equally"...Rethwisch line made just marriages to Merode countesses...that is interesting!

Offline kmerov

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2010, 11:55:29 AM »
The line of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön-Rethwisch served the Holy German Emperor and later under the Spanish King in Belgium. They became Catholics as mentioned and the first Duke, joachim Ernst became a "Grande" and got the order of the "Golden Fleece." He and his son married Belgian noble women from the Merode family, which were a famous and prominent family.
As catholics however, they were barred from inheriting the Duchy of Plön when the main line died out.

Offline Marc

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2010, 12:11:11 PM »
So,that was the case...I often wanted to know why Merode?I know that they are old and prominent noble family,but didn't know that Rethwisch line served in Belgium...I assume Merode countesses were rich enough...do you know maybe which of these lines were the richest and which among the poorest?

Offline kmerov

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2010, 11:04:56 AM »
The richest in land and income was the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön-line. All the Sonderburg lines had debts since they all spend more than their small Duchies could provide them in income. The Duchy of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg (the second creation), went bankrupt and was dissolved, and then taken over by the Danish King.

In later years a cadet branch of S-H-Sonderburg, the S-H-S-Augustenburg line was the richest, but they on the other hand did not have a Duchy attached to their line.     

Offline Marc

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2010, 11:17:27 AM »
Did those lines gain some land through marriages?Did they own land outside this region?When for example Rethwisch and Weisenburg lines died out who inherited their land?Sorry for all those questions but those small Principalities and Duchies are very interesting with a unique position...

Offline kmerov

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2010, 05:14:32 PM »
No need to apologize for your questions Marc, that's what the thread is all about.

Speaking of the main five lines. No, they did not get any more land through marriages, but sometimes they would buy or inherit large estates from each other. And only within Schleswig-Holstein.
Cadet branches not having a Duchy would buy estates outside of Schleswig-Holstein, such as the Beck (later Younger Glücksburg), Franzhagen and Wiesenburg lines.   

Rethwisch was inherited by the Duke of Plön and Wiesenburg Castle and Estate was sold to the Elector of Saxony.

Offline Marc

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Re: The Ducal Families of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2010, 10:08:57 PM »
Weisenburg Castle is beautiful...no wonder Elector of Saxony wanted to buy it:

http://burgerbe.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/wiesenburg911.jpg?w=300&h=225

http://burgerbe.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/wiesenburg92.jpg?w=300&h=225


I only found this small palace belonging once to the Rethwitsch line:

http://www.kreis-stormarn.de/freizeit/herrenhaeuser/images/RethwischhofA.jpg


Couldn't find anything about Franzhagen line and their ducal Castle :-(