Hans Karl von Königsmarck

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Contemporary copper engraving, portrait of Hans Karl von Königsmarck

Hans Karl Graf von Königsmarck , including Karl Johann , (born May 5 . Jul / 15. May  1659 greg. In Nyborg on Funen , † 28 August 1686 in front of Nafplio di Romania , today Nafplion ) was a German-Swedish officer, Protestant Knight of the Order of Malta and adventurer from the Altmark noble family Königsmarck .


Hans Karl von Königsmarck was the eldest son of Count Kurt Christoph von Königsmarck (1634–1673) and Maria Christine von Wrangel (1638–1691). He was born on Funen in 1659 during his Danish captivity.

He was brought up first in Hamburg , then stayed with his mother in Stade until 1674 and, when she moved to Stockholm , did the Grand Tour with his court master Walther.

When Sweden declared war on the Great Elector in 1675 , his mother refused the 16-year-old boy entry to the army.

For this he went to Malta and fought in the ranks of the order. Despite his Protestantism and even though he was the grandson of Hans Christoph von Königsmarck , one of the greatest Protestant heroes of the Thirty Years' War, he was made a Knight of Malta . Then I traveled all over southern Europe again .

Fontane writes in his wanderings : “A French writer says:“ By the size of this reward one can judge what service the young Königsmarck must have rendered to the order. ““ Later, in French service, Königsmarck refused to Louis XIV “despite the most brilliant offers” (Fontane) to lead a command against the Huguenots and convert to Catholicism .

Sent to the court of Charles II of England on a Swedish mission, he volunteered as a Maltese to take part in the planned train to Tangier , where the Christian occupation was hard pressed by the Moors , and then went there on his own via Spain , worked in a victorious sortie and in the fighting which resulted in the abandonment of the siege, and returned to England as a favorite of Charles II with the English fleet now arriving and cruising against corsairs .

In the Netherlands he met the young Elizabeth Percy , who had just fled from her husband Thomas Thynne . Königsmarck instigated three assassins who murdered Thynne on the evening of February 12, 1682. The murderers could be arrested the next day. In court, Königsmarck was named as the commissioner of the murder, but while the three assassins were convicted and hanged on March 10, 1682, the count was acquitted, but had to leave England.

On August 10, 1680 he was in French service Mestre de camp and regiment owner of the Régiment de Königsmarck - he held this position until 1685. He then served in Morea under his uncle Otto Wilhelm as a "volunteer". He fought with distinction here in May 1686 at Navarino and Modon . During the bloody conquest of Nauplia di Romania , on August 28, 1686 he succumbed to a "hot fever". His body was transferred to Stade with that of his uncle Otto Wilhelm in 1690, there on January 19th July. / January 29, 1691 greg. solemnly buried in the hereditary burial and then suffered the same vandalism as that of his grandfather Hans Christoph von Königsmarck .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Foreigners who murdered Thomas Thynn