Eberhard III. (Württemberg, Duke)

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Eberhard III. (* December 16, 1614 in Stuttgart ; † July 2, 1674 there ) was the eighth Duke of Württemberg (reigning since 1633) from 1628 to 1674 .

Eberhard III. circa 1670
Eberhard III. of Württemberg


Eberhards III. The reign began in 1628 during the Thirty Years' War at the age of 14 after the death of his father, Duke Johann Friedrich ( House of Württemberg ). At first he was under the guardianship of his father's brother, Ludwig Friedrich von Württemberg-Mömpelgard . After his death on January 26, 1631, Julius Friedrich von Württemberg-Weiltingen took over the guardianship together with Eberhard's mother Barbara Sophie von Brandenburg .

With the Edict of Restitution by Emperor Ferdinand II on March 6, 1629, Württemberg had lost about a third of its territory. All spiritual goods that had been secularized after the Passau Treaty in 1552 were returned. Eberhard's guardian Julius Friedrich took part in the Thirty Years' War on Sweden's side after the Battle of Lützen at the end of 1632 . His goal was to clear the country from enemy troops and the Catholic owners of the secularized church property. Despite his successes, he was accused of selfishness. He was therefore ousted from Eberhard's guardianship by the privy councilors and estates.

Taking office, fleeing and returning

After Eberhard had been declared of legal age by Emperor Ferdinand II , he took over the government on May 8, 1633 with the assistance of Chancellor Jakob Löffler . He first joined the Heilbronner Bund of Protestant estates of the Franconian, Swabian and Rhenish imperial circles founded by the Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna . Württemberg troops were also affected by the defeat in the Battle of Nördlingen on September 6, 1634. Wuerttemberg was then looted and pillaged.

Eberhard fled into exile in Strasbourg . There he married on February 26, 1637 the Wild and Rhine Countess Anna Katharina Dorothea von Salm-Kyrburg (1614–1655), a daughter of the Swedish general Johann Kasimir von Salm-Kyrburg .

The emperor gave away large areas of Württemberg to his relatives and favorites:

Return and end of the war

After long negotiations with Emperor Ferdinand III. Eberhard was able to return to Württemberg on October 20, 1638, but had to acknowledge the restitution of the monasteries and the assignment of the possessions that had been given away. Nevertheless, the duke began to regain control of the monasteries through violence and reprisals. The beleaguered monasteries turned to the emperor for protection. The question was dealt with at the Westphalian Peace Congress , where Eberhard's envoy Johann Konrad Varnbuler was able to prevail thanks to the support from Sweden, France and the Protestant imperial estates.


Württemberg was depopulated during the war - especially in 1635 and 1636 - due to poverty, hunger and the plague epidemic (around 120,000 inhabitants in 1648 after 350,000 in 1618), so that after the peace agreement, the reconstruction and restoration of economic and administrative structures the most important tasks were.

In 1649, Eberhard concluded an inheritance settlement with his younger brother Friedrich . Friedrich received the offices of Neuenstadt , Möckmühl and Weinsberg and became the founder of the Württemberg-Neuenstadt branch . In 1651 an agreement followed with another brother, Ulrich , who received the Neuenbürg Castle .

In the spirit of mercantilism, Eberhard III. intensively about the economic rehabilitation of his country.


Anna Katharina von Salm-Kyrburg (1614–1655)

After the death of his first wife Anna Catharina von Salm-Kyrburg on June 7, 1655, Eberhard married Countess Maria Dorothea Sophia von Oettingen on July 20, 1656 . The first marriage had 14 children, the second 11. Eberhard died of a stroke on July 2, 1674 and was buried on July 21 in the collegiate church in Stuttgart .

The following children emerged from the marriage with Anna von Salm-Kyrburg:

  • Johann Friedrich von Württemberg-Winnental (born September 9, 1637)
  • Ludwig von Württemberg-Stuttgart (born November 2, 1638)
  • Christian of Württemberg-Stuttgart (born November 29, 1639)
  • Eberhard von Württemberg-Stuttgart (* December 12, 1640)
  • Sophie Luise von Württemberg (born February 19, 1642 in Stuttgart) - married on February 8, 1671 to Margrave Christian Ernst von Bayreuth (1644–1712)
  • Dorothea of ​​Württemberg-Stuttgart (born February 13, 1643)
  • Christine Friederike von Württemberg-Stuttgart (born February 28, 1644 in Stuttgart) - married on June 7, 1665 to Prince Albrecht Ernst I of Oettingen-Oettingen (1642–1683)
  • Christine Charlotte von Württemberg (born October 21, 1645) - married on May 10, 1662 to Prince Georg Christian von Ostfriesland (1634–1665)
  • Wilhelm Ludwig von Württemberg (born January 7, 1647 in Stuttgart), Duke of Württemberg - married on November 6, 1673 to Magdalena Sibylla of Hesse-Darmstadt
  • Anna of Württemberg-Stuttgart (born November 27, 1648)
  • Karl von Württemberg-Stuttgart (born January 28, 1649/50)
  • Eberhardine von Württemberg-Winnental (born April 12, 1651) - married on April 30, 1682 to Prince Albrecht Ernst I of Oettingen-Oettingen (1642–1683)
  • Friedrich Karl von Württemberg-Winnental (born September 12, 1652 in Stuttgart)
  • Karl von Württemberg-Winnental (born September 28, 1654)
Maria Dorothea Sophia von Oettingen (1639–1698)

The following children emerged from the second marriage with Maria Dorothea Sophia von Oettingen:

  • Georg Friedrich (1657–1685), fallen
  • (Son) (* / † 1659)
  • Albrecht Christian (1660–1663)
  • Ludwig (1661–1698)
  • Joachim Ernst (1662–1663)
  • Philipp Siegmund (1663–1669)
  • Karl Ferdinand (1667–1668)
  • Johann Friedrich (1669–1693)
  • Sophie Charlotte (1671–1717) - married on September 20, 1688 to Duke Johann Georg II of Saxony-Eisenach (1665–1698)
  • Eberhard (* / † 1672)
  • Emanuel Eberhard (1674–1675)


  • Paul Friedrich von StälinEberhard III., Duke of Würtemberg . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 5, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1877, pp. 559-561.
  • Robert Uhland:  Eberhard III .. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1959, ISBN 3-428-00185-0 , p. 236 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Joachim Fischer: Duke Eberhard III. (1628-1674). In: Robert Uhland (Hrsg.): 900 years House of Württemberg. Life and Achievement for Country and People 3rd, reviewed edition. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart a. a. 1985, ISBN 3-17-008930-7 , pp. 195-209.
  • Albrecht Ernst: Württemberg politics from exile in Strasbourg. Duke Eberhard III. during his escape in the Thirty Years' War (1634–1638). In: Geschichtsverein Leinfelden-Echterdingen (Hrsg.): 20 years Geschichtsverein Leinfelden-Echterdingen eV Leinfelden-Echterdingen 2005, pp. 187–210.
  • Andreas Neuburger: Confessional conflict and end of war in the Swabian Empire. Württemberg and the Catholic imperial estates in the south-west from the Peace of Prague to the Peace of Westphalia (1635–1651) (= publications of the Commission for historical regional studies in Baden-Württemberg. Series B: Research. Volume 181). Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2011. ISBN 978-3-17-021528-3 .
  • Gerhard Raff : Hie good Wirtemberg all the way. Volume 2: The House of Württemberg from Duke Friedrich I to Duke Eberhard III. With the Stuttgart, Mömpelgard, Weiltingen, Neuenstadt am Kocher, Neuenbürg and Oels lines in Silesia. 4th edition. Landhege, Schwaigern 2014, ISBN 978-3-943066-12-8 , pp. 356–388.

Web links

Commons : Herzog Eberhard III (Württemberg)  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. List based on Neuburger, Konfessionskonflikt , pp. 34–36.
predecessor Office successor
Johann Friedrich Duke of Württemberg
Wilhelm Ludwig