Anton Ulrich (Saxony-Meiningen)

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Anton Ulrich von Sachsen-Meiningen (born October 22, 1687 in Meiningen ; † January 27, 1763 in Frankfurt am Main ), from the Ernestine line of the House of Wettin, was Duke of Sachsen-Meiningen from 1743 to 1763 .

Duke Anton Ulrich of Saxe-Meiningen


Anton Ulrich was born as the youngest son of Duke Bernhard I of Saxony-Meiningen (1649–1706) and his second wife Elisabeth Eleonore (1658–1729), daughter of Duke Anton Ulrich of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel . When his father died, Anton Ulrich was on his cavalier tour of the Netherlands, which he continued to England, Switzerland and Italy.

He came to the sole government late in 1746 after the death of his eldest half-brother, Duke Ernst Ludwig I and his sons Ernst Ludwig II and Karl Friedrich , as well as the death of his older half-brother Friedrich Wilhelm .

Anton Ulrich had ruled together with his half-brother Friedrich Wilhelm since 1743, as there was no primogeniture order in the country . Therefore, after the death of his father, there had been considerable quarrels. His eldest half-brother strove for sole rule and was able to get his brother Friedrich Wilhelm to renounce his government, but Anton Ulrich litigated for years for his share in the government. When his brother Ernst Ludwig I died, he knowingly excluded him as regent for his sons. Anton Ulrich therefore withdrew to Frankfurt am Main in 1742.

Never intended for the line of succession, he did not marry the captain's daughter Philippine Elisabeth Caesar (1686–1744) appropriately in 1711 , which in turn led to considerable tension with relatives. Although he was able to obtain legal recognition of his marriage at the Reichshofrat in Vienna in 1727, the ten children of this morganatic wife were declared in 1744 in the year of death of Philippine Elisabeth and again in 1747 as not entitled to succeed.

With the neighboring duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg , he led a military dispute ( Wasunger Krieg ) in 1747/1748 , which was sparked by a dispute between two ladies-in-waiting at the Meiningen court. Again in conflict with Saxe-Gotha, he was defeated in the claim to the reign for the underage Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach .

Even as sole ruler, he had not given up his residence in Frankfurt, but carried out the most important government business from there. He ran a hospitable house here and was frequently visited by generals in their winter quarters. Anton Ulrich founded a collection of art and natural objects in Meiningen together with his sister Elisabeth Ernestine , abbess of Gandersheim Monastery.

The extinction of the Sachsen-Meiningen line had to be expected when Anton Ulrich, at the age of 63, married Charlotte Amalie , 43 years his junior , daughter of Landgrave Karl I of Hesse-Philippsthal in 1750 and had eight children with her until 1762.

Only rarely present in his duchy, the Duke, who was described as strong-willed, intelligent and worldly, but also quick-tempered, wasteful and contentious, barely succeeded in rebuilding the depressed state administration. This would only succeed after his wife's death.


His children from the second marriage were:

⚭ Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1745–1804)
⚭ 1781 Landgrave Adolf von Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld (1743–1803)
  • Elisabeth (1753–1754)
  • Karl (1754–1782), Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
⚭ 1780 Princess Luise zu Stolberg-Gedern (1764–1834)
  • Friedrich Franz (1756–1761)
  • Friedrich Wilhelm (1757–1758)
  • Georg I (1761–1803), Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
⚭ 1782 Princess Louise Eleonore von Hohenlohe-Langenburg (1763–1837)
⚭ 1783 Prince Heinrich Karl Erdmann zu Carolath-Beuthen (1759–1817)


  • Hannelore Schneider: The Duchy of Saxony-Meiningen under its first dukes. In: 300 years of Elisabethenburg Palace. South Thuringian Research, Issue 27, Meiningen 1994.
  • L. Hertel: Meiningische history from 1680 to the present. Writings of the Association for Saxony-Meiningen History and Regional Studies, Issue 47, Hildburghausen 1904.
  • G. Brückner:  Anton Ulrich (Duke of Saxony-Meiningen) . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1875, pp. 493-496.
  • Friedrich Bulau: Secret stories and enigmatic people , Volume 3, Leipzig, 1851, p. 208 ff. ( Digitized version )

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predecessor Office successor
Friedrich Wilhelm Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Georg I.