Dorothea Hedwig of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Norburg
Dorothea Hedwig of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Norburg (born April 18, 1636 in Norburg , † September 23, 1692 in Hamburg ) was a princess from the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Norburg . From 1665 to 1678 she was abbess of Gandersheim and thus imperial princess .
Dorothea Hedwig was the second daughter of Duke Friedrich from his second marriage to Eleonore von Anhalt-Zerbst (born November 10, 1608 in Zerbst; † November 2, 1681 in Osterholm), daughter of Rudolf von Anhalt-Zerbst . She got her name after her maternal grandmother, Dorothea Hedwig von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel . She had an older half-brother from her father's first marriage, Johann Bogislaw , and two younger brothers, Christian August and Rudolf Friedrich (1645–1688). Her older sister Elisabeth Juliane (* May 24, 1633; † February 4, 1704 in Wolfenbüttel) married Duke Anton Ulrich von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1633-1714) in 1656 .
At the age of 15, Dorothea Hedwig was presented by Duke Rudolf August , her mother's cousin, on August 13, 1651, a preamble as canoness in the imperial free secular imperial monastery Gandersheim , the Dorothea Augusta of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Franzhagen (1636– 1662), the later short-term wife of Landgrave Georg III. von Hessen-Itter , had resigned. As early as February 28, 1652, she was postulated as dean and thus deputy to the abbess. Their election and introduction took place on April 27, 1652.
From then on Dorothea Hedwig resided permanently in the monastery, apart from a few trips to Zerbst (1660, 1661, 1664). After the death of Abbess Maria Sabina Countess zu Solms in 1665, Dorothea Hedwig was elected as her successor by the monastery chapter on March 15, 1665 on the ducal recommendation. Her enthronement in the presence of her Wolfenbüttel relatives Rudolf August and Anton Ulrich , who was also her brother-in-law, took place on April 6, 1665. On February 11, 1667, Emperor Leopold I awarded her the regalia .
Dorothea Hedwig was an energetic regent. One of their first official acts was the initiation of a process against the foundation council and canon Michael Büttner , which ended in 1667 with a settlement. After she had previously lived mainly in the monastery, she traveled a lot as abbess or stayed at her country estate at Schloss Hachenhausen . There, in February 1670, her liegeman Thomas Ludolf von Campen broke into her bedroom and injured her with a blow of a stick. Von Campen wanted to take revenge on her brother Christian August for an insult. Their way of life and baroque court keeping aroused offense.
In June 1677 she traveled to Hamburg to see Duke Christian Albrecht of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf , who lived there in exile. Here she attended a Catholic mass in the chapel of the Spanish legation and socialized with the Jesuits . This led to her conversion to the Roman Catholic Church. She took this step formally on July 7, 1678 in the Hildesheim Jesuit College . With that she could not stay abbess of Gandersheim. Duke Rudolf August moved them to resign on July 14, 1678. For Dorothea Hedwig this meant that she lost her financial basis, because the Duchy of Norburg had gone bankrupt in 1669. She tried to get her reinstatement before the Reichshofrat by filing a spoof suit , but this was unsuccessful. At the same time she turned to Pope Innocent XI. and Emperor Leopold with the request for protection and help. Duke Rudolf August used her departure to present his daughter Christine Sophie (1654–1695) as abbess to the collegiate chapter. She was also elected, but left office in 1681 to marry her cousin August Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel .
In 1679 Dorothea Hedwig married Christoph von Rantzau , for whom this was his second marriage. His first wife, Salome Rantzau von Gut Knoop , died around 1675. Christoph von Rantzau had already converted in 1650. However, they did not live together for long, but went on trips separately. For a while she lived with her sister in Salzdahlum Castle . Via Vienna, where she arrived in May 1681, she traveled to Rome . The former Swedish Queen Christina , who also lives in Rome , took her in.
In November 1681, Hedwig Dorothea, now 45 years old, reported the birth of her son Alexander Leopold Anton († 1747) from Rome . He received his first name in honor of his godmother Christina of Sweden, who called herself Maria Alexandra after her conversion. The other two godparents were Emperor Leopold and Duke Anton Ulrich. Despite the assurances of his brother-in-law Anton Ulrich, Rantzau remained suspicious of whether the child was really his son. Although Dorothea Hedwig swore on her return from Rome that the child was marital, the couple fell apart. Dorothea Hedwig moved with her son to Hamburg, where she died in 1692. Shortly before his death in 1695, Christoph von Rantzau denied paternity and excluded the boy from inheritance. It was even alleged that he was a foundling from the Santo Spirito Hospital for Foundlings in Rome . After long disputes, Alexander was accepted into the court of the Duke of Braunschweig from April 1699 and in 1713 received part of his father's fortune.
- Andreas Räß : The convertites since the Reformation are represented by their lives and from their writings. Volume 8: From 1670 to 1699, Freiburg: Herder 1868, pp. 158–166
- Kurt Kronenberg: Abbesses of the Baroque: Lives in Gandersheim, 1665–1713. Bad Gandersheim: Hertel 1961 (From Gandersheim's great past 3)
- Hans Goetting : The dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Mainz. The Diocese of Hildesheim I. The imperial canonical monastery Gandersheim. (Germania Sacra NF 7) Berlin: de Gruyter 1971 ISBN 978-3-11-004219-1 ( digitized version )
- Wolfgang Prange : Christoph Rantzau on Schmoel and the Schmoel bondage trials. Neumünster 1965 (sources and research on the history of Schleswig-Holstein 49)
- Hans Goetting : The dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Mainz. The Diocese of Hildesheim I. The imperial canonical monastery Gandersheim. (Germania Sacra NF 7) Berlin: de Gruyter 1971 ISBN 978-3-11-004219-1 ( digitized ), S. 136f
- See Räß (Lit.)
- Hans Goetting : The dioceses of the ecclesiastical province of Mainz. The Diocese of Hildesheim I. The imperial canonical monastery Gandersheim. (Germania Sacra NF 7) Berlin: de Gruyter 1971 ISBN 978-3-11-004219-1 ( digitized version), p. 350f
|SURNAME||Dorothea Hedwig of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Norburg|
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||Princess from the house of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Norburg, Abbess of Gandersheim|
|DATE OF BIRTH||April 18, 1636|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Norburg|
|DATE OF DEATH||September 23, 1692|
|Place of death||Hamburg|