Charlotte Amalie of Hessen-Philippsthal

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Charlotte Amalie

Charlotte Amalie von Hessen-Philippsthal (born August 11, 1730 in Philippsthal (Werra) , † September 7, 1801 in Meiningen ) was duchess and regent of Saxony-Meiningen from 1763 to 1782 .


Charlotte Amalie was a daughter of Landgrave Karl I von Hessen-Philippsthal and his wife Christine von Sachsen-Eisenach . In 1750, at the age of 20, she was married to Duke Anton Ulrich von Sachsen-Meiningen , 43 years her senior , to whom she bore eight children.

In his will, the Duke designated Charlotte Amalie as sole regent and guardian of her sons. Anton Ulrich had withdrawn to Frankfurt am Main before the family quarrels and lived there with his family. After the death of her husband, Charlotte Amalie first traveled to Philippsthal to await an imperial decision, which confirmed her as guardian. At that time, Anton Ulrich's relatives in Gotha were staying in Meiningen in anticipation of the inheritance. After the decision was issued and her confirmation as regent and guardian she was able to move to Meiningen.

When she took over the reign in 1763, the country was financially and economically ruined. With tight reforms and austerity measures, economic reconstruction and promotion of intellectual life, she is considered the "savior of the duchy". Thanks to the deployment of new ministers like Adolf Gottlieb von Eyben , the central administration was able to work effectively again within a year. With a sophisticated savings and analysis system for the courtly finances, she even drew the attention of Emperor Joseph II , who appointed her director of the Debit Commission for the even more hopelessly indebted Duchy of Saxony-Hildburghausen .

Since both sons were entitled to joint government, she gave up her government entirely in 1782 when George I came of age. As early as 1775, she ruled together with her eldest son Karl.

Her reign marked the breakthrough of enlightened absolutism in Sachsen-Meiningen, in the sense of which she had raised her children. So, under her protection, the Freemason Lodge named after her, Charlotte, was founded for the three carnations .

In 1785 she acquired the Amalienruh estate named after her as a widow's residence and had it magnificently expanded. Charlotte Amalie was not buried in the princely crypt, but in accordance with her wishes in the municipal cemetery in Meiningen.


From their marriage, Charlotte Amalie had the following children:

⚭ 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)


  • L. Hertel: Meiningische history from 1680 to the present. Writings of the Association for Saxony-Meiningen History and Regional Studies, Issue 47, Hildburghausen 1904.

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