Hans Christoph von Königsmarck (Field Marshal)

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Hans Christoph von Königsmarck 1651, by Matthäus Merian the Younger

Hans Christoph Graf von Königsmarck (also Hans Kristoffer, Hans Christoff, Hans Christopher or Hans Christoffer; * March 4, 1600 in Kötzlin in the Prignitz ; †  March 8, 1663 in Stockholm ) was a German military leader in the Swedish service.


Königsmarck came from an old Brandenburg family. He is the son of the Imperial Rittmeister Konrad von Königsmarck and his wife Beatrix von Blumenthal . He received his education as a page at the court of Duke Friedrich Ulrich von Braunschweig-Lüneburg .

In 1620 he was enlisted as a foot soldier and in 1625 as a rider at the beginning of the Thirty Years War in the imperial regiment of Sachsen-Lauenburg, where he was soon promoted to Rittmeister . When Gustav Adolf appeared in Germany in 1630, he was transferred to the Swedish service and in 1635 became a colonel in a regiment .

In 1636 he defeated the imperial family at Rodkirchen and was then Swedish commander in Westphalia for a long time , from where he roamed half of Germany on raids amid relentless, wild devastation.

In 1642 he accompanied General Torstensson to Silesia , led the first attack at the meeting near Schweidnitz , then passed through Saxony , commanded the left wing in the second battle near Leipzig on November 2, and then took part in the siege of this place and that of Freiberg . When Torstensson went to Bohemia , Königsmarck stayed in Central Germany and conquered Mellrichstadt , Aschersleben , Halberstadt and Osterwieck , then blocked Magdeburg , expelled the imperial family from Pomerania and moved into the Duchy of Bremen and Verden .

In 1644 he was again in Saxony, defeated General Rekowitz at Zeitz and forced the elector to agree to an armistice and to evacuate Leipzig and Torgau . After several campaigns through Saxony, the Electoral Palatinate , Lower Saxony , where he besieged the place Fürstenau in 1647 , and Westphalia , he united in Franconia in 1648 with Carl Gustav Wrangel , decided the victory of Zusmarshausen on May 17th and marched against Prague , from which he also conquered the Lesser Town on July 26th and made enormous booty. The Prague art theft on the orders of Queen Christina of Sweden was largely organized by him.

On July 5, 1648 he appeared in the northern Upper Palatinate in front of Falkenberg and besieged Falkenberg Castle . The castle was under fire with two guns. Only large-caliber cannons brought in from Eger forced surrender after three days of bombardment on July 10, 1648. Two Swedish crosses by the castle chapel are a reminder of this. Among the extensive loot there were five kegs of good beer . The castle Beschau in the Imperial Forest in Bohemia was conquered by the Swedes under Königsmarck in 1648 and badly damaged.

Probably on the recommendation of Lieutenant Colonel Wilhelm von Micrander, Prince Ludwig I of Anhalt-Köthen accepted Count Hans Christoffer into the Fruit Bringing Society in June 1648 . The prince gave the count the company name of the quarrel and the motto to get a better man . As an emblem he was given the large five-finger herb (Potentilla recta L.). Königsmarck's entry can be found in the Köthen society book under no. 515. The rhyme law is also recorded here, which he wrote on the occasion of his recording:

It is a beautiful plant and is called five-finger herb of
the great kind so only argues with evil slime.
The arguing 'is my take', it was entrusted to me
Because often in the war a slime is prepared
To hinder a good cause, To overthrow what is being built;
Here then a hero argues until he deduces
the hindrance, and a bit better is achieved,
who is emblazoned in what they do for common benefit.

He became a Swedish Field Marshal under the title Count of Westerwik and bridge rail to Governor General of Bremen and Verden appointed and settled for this task, the Agathe castle building, he also received the offices Amt Neuhaus and Rotenburg an der Wümme . When war with Poland broke out in 1656, he was captured by the Danzigers while sailing to Prussia and held in the fortress of Weichselmünde until the Peace of Oliva in 1660 .

At the age of 63, Hans Christoph von Königsmarck died on March 8, 1663 in Stockholm and was buried in Stade .

“Hans Christoph, Swedish field marshal and Count zu Westerwyk and Stegholm, was appointed governor of the Swedish duchies of Bremen and Verden after the peace agreement had been concluded and he built a residential palace in Stade, which he honored his wife, the beautiful Agathe von Leesten which called Agathenburg. His death, however, did not take place in Stade, but in Stockholm on February 20, 1663 . He died there of the effects of a corn operation, after having successfully escaped all danger in forty battles and sieges. He is said to have had an annual pension of 130,000 thalers. An enormous sum for that time. "


Beate Elisabeth, daughter of Hans Christoph and Agathe von Königsmarck

He was married to Agathe von Leesten († December 5, July / December 15, 1671 greg. ). She was the daughter of the Brandenburg nobleman Christoph von Leesten. The couple had the following children:


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Memory of a siege . NOZ.de
  2. ^ Anton Böhm: Falkenberg in the Upper Palatinate . Falkenberg 1999
  3. ↑ Tourist guide Marienbad and Kaiserwald, Prague 1998
  4. ^ Theodor Fontane : Walks through the Mark Brandenburg . Five castles , 5th chapter, Plaue from 1839 until now , Count Königsmarcksche time