Friedrich Wilhelm I (Saxe-Weimar)

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Friedrich Wilhelm I of Saxe-Weimar in armor
Friedrich Wilhelm I of Saxe-Weimar

Friedrich Wilhelm I of Saxe-Weimar (* 25. April 1562 in Weimar , † 7 July . Jul / 17th July  1602 greg. Ibid) was from 1573 until his death Duke of Saxe-Weimar . He came from the family of the Ernestine Wettins .


Duke of Saxe-Weimar

Friedrich Wilhelm I was the eldest son of Duke Johann Wilhelm I (1530–1573) of Saxe-Weimar from his marriage to Dorothea Susanne (1544–1592), daughter of Elector Friedrich III. from the Palatinate . He was thoroughly trained and due to his talent , he was enrolled at the University of Jena at the age of 12 .

At the time of his father's death, Friedrich Wilhelm I was still a minor, so a custodial government was initially set up for the duchy. In his will, Friedrich Wilhelm's father had designated Elector Ludwig von der Pfalz and Duke Johann Albrecht von Mecklenburg as regents. The regency was claimed by the duchess mother Dorothea Susanne, but she could not prevent the Saxon Elector August from the Albertine relatives from pushing himself into the reign as the next agnate of the prince. August received homage from the Altenburg estates on April 8, 1575 and dismissed numerous clergymen, including the educator of Friedrich Wilhelm Kaspar Bienemann . As guardian, he signed the formula of concord from 1577 and the book of concord from 1580 in Friedrich Wilhelm's name. In 1583 Friedrich Wilhelm I came of age, but did not begin to govern independently until after the death of the elector in August 1586. In 1589 he issued new police and state regulations and the following year he founded the Order against the Abuse of God's Name , which soon came to an end. In 1591 he renewed the privileges and rights of the University of Jena.

Regent of Electoral Saxony

In 1591 the elector Christian I died in Saxony , since his eldest son Christian II was also a minor at the time, Friedrich Wilhelm I was appointed regent for Electoral Saxony according to Christian I's testament. As the “Administrator of the Saxon Electoral State”, he stayed mainly in the Saxon residence of Torgau , where he lavishly held court. He neglected the business of government in Weimar, which was led by his younger brother Johann , who was involved in the government according to the Ernestine house law.

In Saxony, Friedrich Wilhelm pursued cryptocalvinism and had the former Chancellor Nikolaus Krell arrested. Its annual expenditure was 83,000 guilders. Only when he had to intervene because of the mismanagement of his relatives in Coburg did he reduce his own expenses to 8,000 guilders. Friedrich Wilhelm founded a printing company in Torgau.

In the mint Dresden he left with the portraits of the three minor children Christian I. Three Brothers Thaler shape, because of the Elector Moritz repealed Münzgemeinschaft was described as strange stamp change.

In 1601, the custodial reign in Saxony ended when the Elector Christian II came of age and Friedrich Wilhelm I returned to Saxony-Weimar. But since he died a year later, he did not leave much of a mark in the history of the duchy.


Friedrich Wilhelm I married Sophie (1563–1590), the youngest daughter of Duke Christoph von Württemberg , on May 5, 1583 in Weimar . There were five children from this marriage, but only two daughters survived their father:

  • Dorothea Marie (1584–1586)
  • Johann Wilhelm (1585–1587)
  • Friedrich (1586–1587)
  • Dorothea Sophie (1587–1645), Abbess of Quedlinburg
  • Anna Marie (1589-1626)

Friedrich Wilhelm concluded his second marriage on September 9, 1591 in Neuburg an der Donau with Anna Maria (1575–1643), daughter of Duke Philipp Ludwig von Pfalz-Neuburg . Since the Duchy of Saxony-Weimar fell to his younger brother Johann after Friedrich Wilhelm's death , the Duchy of Saxony-Altenburg was divided into an independent principality from Saxony-Weimar in 1603 for Friedrich Wilhelm's sons . Friedrich Wilhelm I is thus the progenitor of the older line of the Altenburg dukes, who ruled Saxony-Altenburg until 1672. From his second marriage he had the following children:

⚭ 1618 Princess Elisabeth of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1593–1650)
⚭ 1618 Duke Karl Friedrich von Münsterberg-Oels (1593–1647)
⚭ 1633 Duke Albrecht of Saxony-Eisenach (1599–1644)
⚭ 1. 1638 Princess Sophie Elisabeth of Brandenburg (1616–1650)
⚭ 2. 1652 Princess Magdalena Sibylle of Saxony (1617–1668)


Web links

Commons : Friedrich Wilhelm I. von Sachsen-Weimar  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. See BSLK , p. 15 and p. 763.
  2. ^ Johann Friederich Klotzsch: Attempt of a Chur-Saxon coin history. (1770), p. 415
  3. On Sophia and the marriage see Gerhard Raff : Hie gut Wirtemberg alleweg. Volume 1: The House of Württemberg from Count Ulrich the Founder to Duke Ludwig. 6th edition. Landhege, Schwaigern 2014, ISBN 978-3-943066-34-0 , pp. 615–618.
  4. ^ Georg Wilhelm Sante (ed.): History of the German Lands - "Territories Ploetz". Vol. 1: The territories until the end of the old empire . A.-G.-Ploetz-Verlag, Würzburg 1964, p. 468.
predecessor Office successor
Johann Wilhelm I. Duke of Saxe-Weimar
predecessor Office successor
Christian I. (as elector) Spa administrator of Saxony
Christian II (as elector)