County of Schwerin

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
County of Schwerin
coat of arms
Coat of arms of the county of Schwerin, as used by the Mecklenburg dukes in their great coat of arms
Location of the County of Schwerin (red) in northeast Germany around 1250
County of Schwerin around 1250 (shown in red)

Form of rule monarchy
Ruler / government Count

Language / n German

Incorporated into Duchy of Mecklenburg

The county of Schwerin was established in 1161 after Heinrich the Lion had conquered the Wendish castle of Schwerin in 1160. He handed the area over to his follower Gunzelin von Hagen (am Elm), who consolidated his rule here over the next few years. The areas of Wittenburg and Boizenburg were added from the former county of Ratzeburg as a Danish fiefdom in 1203 or 1204.

In 1227 the county of Schwerin again became a Saxon fiefdom; three years later, a treaty regulated the border line to neighboring Mecklenburg .

The older line of the family of the Counts of Schwerin died out in 1344, the younger line in Wittenburg also remained without direct male heirs in 1357. The attempt of the younger brother (Nikolaus I. Graf von Tecklenburg ) of the last Count Otto I, who was married to Tecklenburg , to preserve the family property failed in 1358 when the pressure from the Dukes of Mecklenburg became too great. He sold the county to the neighbors and from then on the county of Schwerin was one of the main estates of the Mecklenburg (grand) dukes , who were now also called Counts of Schwerin, until the end of the monarchy .

The medieval Counts of Schwerin are not related to the tribes of the Mecklenburg Counts of Schwerin , who were first raised to the rank of count on September 11, 1700.

List of the Counts of Schwerin

Schwerin House

Ancestral Arms of the Counts of Schwerin with the original crest ...
... as already mentioned in a seal of Count Heinrich III. von Schwerin appears.
  • 1167–1185: Gunzelin (Günzel) I. von Hagen († 1185)
  • 1185–1194: Helmold I († before 1206), his son
  • 1195–1220: Gunzelin II. († after 1220), his brother
  • 1200–1228: Heinrich I, the Black († 1228), his brother
  • 1228-1274: Gunzelin III. († 1274), his son
  • 1262-1295: Helmold III. († after 1297), his son
  • 1296–1307: Gunzelin V. († after 1307), his son
  • 1296–1344: Heinrich III. († 1344), his uncle
  • 1344–1357: Otto I († 1357), his great-nephew

House of Mecklenburg

Family list of the Schwerin house

  1. Gunzelin (Günzel) I. von Hagen († 1185), 1167–1185 Count of Schwerin
    1. Helmold I. († before 1206), Count of Schwerin 1185–1194
    2. Hermann , Bishop of Schwerin, provost in Hamburg
    3. Gunzelin II. († after 1220), 1195–1220 Count of Schwerin
    4. Heinrich I, the Black († 1228), 1200–1228 Count of Schwerin, ⚭ Audacia († 1270 or 1287)
      1. Gunzelin III. († 1274), 1228–1274 Count of Schwerin, ⚭ Margarete von Mecklenburg († after August 18, 1267), daughter of Heinrich Borwin II.
        1. Helmold III. († after 1297), 1262–1295 Count of Schwerin, ⚭ I) (NN), Countess von Dannenberg; II) Mechthild; ⚭ III) Margaret of Schleswig († around 1315)
          1. I) Gunzelin V. († after 1307), 1296–1307 Count of Schwerin
          2. III) Henry III. († 1344), 1296–1307 Count of Schwerin, Boizenburg and Crivitz 1298–1344
        2. Gunzelin IV. († after 1283), Canon of Schwerin (1273–1283)
        3. Heinrich II. († before 1267)
        4. Johannes († after 1300), 1294–1300 Archbishop of Riga
        5. Nikolaus I († 1323), Count of Wittenburg, Boizenburg and Crivitz with Silesen; → Descendants see below, Wittenburg line
        6. Mechtild von Schwerin; mated with Abel (II.) of Denmark (Abel II. of Schleswig)
      2. Helmold II, † after 1267, Count of Boizenburg
    5. Oda, † after 1283, ⚭ 1217 Nikolaus (Niels) von Halland, illegitimate son Waldemar II of Denmark
      1. Niels von Halland-Schwerin

Wittenburg line

Large seal of Merislava (Miroslawa) born of Pomerania, wife of Count Nicholas I of Schwerin, with married and father's coat of arms, 1317
  1. Nikolaus I († 1323), Count of Wittenburg, Boizenburg and Crivitz with Silesen, ⚭ I) Elisabeth; ⚭ II) Miroslawa, daughter of Barnim I of Pomerania-Stettin; → For ancestors see above
    1. I) Gunzelin VI. († 1327 or after April 23, 1338), 1323–1327 Count zu Wittenburg, ⚭ Richardis (Rixe) von Tecklenburg, daughter of Otto VII. Von Tecklenburg
      1. Otto I. († 1357), Count of Wittenburg 1328, Count of Schwerin 1344–1356, ⚭ Mechthild von Werle-Goldberg, daughter of Johann III. to Werle-Goldberg and Mechtild from Pomerania
        1. NN
        2. Richardis † 1377, ⚭ 1359 Albrechts III. , † March 1, 1412, King of Sweden, Duke of Mecklenburg
      2. Nikolaus (III.) († after 1367), 1356-1358 Count of Tecklenburg
        1. Otto VI./II. , Count of Tecklenburg; → For offspring see line Tecklenburg-Schwerin
      3. Mechthild († after 1378), ⚭ Count Henning von Gützkow
      4. Beate († before 1340), ⚭ Duke Albrecht IV of Saxony-Lauenburg
      5. Rixe († before 1386), ⚭ Duke Waldemar V of Schleswig
    2. I) Audacia, abbess in the Zarrentin monastery
    3. I) Kunigunde, nun in the Zarrentin monastery
    4. I) Agnes, nun in the Zarrentin monastery
    5. I) Nikolaus II. († 1349/1350), 1345–1349 Count of Wittenburg, 1323 Count of Boizenburg and Crivitz
    6. II) Barnim
    7. II) Mechthild, nun in the Cistercian monastery in Stettin
    8. II) Beatrix, nun in the Cistercian monastery in Stettin
    9. II) Anastasia, ⚭ I) Duke Waldemar IV. Of South Jutland to Schleswig († 1312); ⚭ II) Count Gerhard IV of Holstein-Plön

coat of arms

The family coat of arms of the old Counts of Schwerin was divided in red and gold. On the helmet with red and gold covers since around 1300 an open flight marked like the shield.

The dukes of Mecklenburg, as legal successors of the Schwerin counts, took their coat of arms in theirs, as well as the crest on a specially reserved helmet. In 1530, Duke Heinrich der Friedfertige had the princely family tree designed by the princely councilor Marschalk Thurius , which was extravagant beyond all due, illustrated with painted coats of arms by the well-known heraldist and so-called heraldic king Georg Rixner . This work also contains the complete five-field coat of arms with three helmets. So it is very likely that it was introduced on Rixner's recommendation. However, there was a change in color with the crest belonging to the Rostock rulership - two buffalo horns - so that golden-red buffalo horns were mistakenly mistaken for the original crest of the county of Schwerin since that time. The fields in this coat of arms from 1530 are painted as they have remained for centuries: at Rixner, the bull heads have red crowns, the Mecklenburg bull head a nose ring, the Stargard arm a sleeve.

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Georg Christian Friedrich Lisch : On the genealogy of the Counts of Schwerin and on the sale of the County of Schwerin , in: Yearbooks of the Association for Mecklenburg History and Archeology, Volume 15 (1850), pp. 23-42 ( digitized version )
  2. Georg Christian Friedrich Lisch: Document on the purchase of the County of Schwerin on December 7, 1358, in memory of the re-acquisition of the county by the Dukes of Meklenburg five hundred years ago , in: Year books of the Association for Mecklenburg History and Archeology, Volume 24 ( 1859), pp. 197–211 ( digitized version )
  3. ^ Georg Christian Friedrich Lisch, addendum 2. The helmets for the rulership of Rostock and the county of Schwerin , in: Yearbooks of the Association for Mecklenburg History and Antiquity, Volume 25 (1860), pp. 126–128


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