Heinrich Ludwig von Galen zu Assen

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Coat of arms of the von Galen family

Heinrich Ludwig von Galen zu Assen , also known as Heinrich Ludger von Galen zu Assen (born January 16, 1675 , † July 11, 1717 in La Valletta / Malta ) was a knight of the Order of Malta , captain of the galley, general of the foot soldiers and commander of several comedians of the order.


Origin and family

Numerous prominent and well-known personalities have emerged from the ancient Westphalian noble family von Galen , which is one of the most important in the Duchy of Münster . In the 16th century it partially sympathized with the Reformation , but later became Catholic again . Heinrich Ludwig von Galen zu Assen grew up as the son of Johann Heinrich von Galen (November 15, 1609 - September 17, 1694, treasurer, imperial baron and official in Vechta) and his wife Anna Elisabeth von der Recke zu Steinfurt together with his eight siblings (four Sisters and the brothers Wilhelm Goswing Anton (1678–1710, Canon in Münster), Christoph Heinrich , Ferdinand Benedikt and Karl Anton ). Franz Wilhelm was his half-brother. The Münster prince-bishop Christoph Bernhard von Galen was his uncle.


Heinrich Ludwig was accepted into the Order of Malta on August 6, 1682 at the age of seven with a papal dispensation . In principle, early admission was only permitted between the ages of eight and ten and was associated with the payment of a certain amount of money. The prerequisite for admission to the order was proof of noble origin over four generations of noble descent on the paternal or maternal side. and 200 years of nobility. In a letter dated August 26, 1682, the family informed the order administration (Fra Ferdinand von Korff-Schmising) in Malta about the dispensation granted and on December 19, 1683 paid the fixed amount of 1,314 Reichstalers as "entry fee". The official recording was officially registered with the notary Detten in Münster on December 19, 1682. In Germany, Heinrich Ludwig led the religious branches combined to three benefices in Trier , Adenau and Niederbreisig , Mainz and Niederweisel (1715 to 1717) as well as Frankfurt, Rüdigheim and Mosbach.

Working in Malta

On October 24, 1691, Heinrich Ludwig took his religious vows to work in Malta , and lived permanently in Malta at the end of the 17th and beginning of the 18th centuries. He held some important and honorable offices, that's what he was like

  • 1702, 1710 and 1715 Council of the German tongue in the Consilium completum
  • Representative of the "Association" for the galleys, seagoing ships, armament and fortifications
  • 1704 Captain of the galley “S. Petro ".
  • Member of the judging panel for nobility issues
  • Member of the General Chapter (did not meet during his term of office)
  • 1708 General of the foot soldiers
  • 1707, 1709 and 1711 deputy of the Großballi .

He suffered from health problems and therefore stayed in France for a cure in 1715. He led a dedicated life in the convent.


Under tragic circumstances, Heinrich Ludwig died late in the evening on July 11, 1717 while riding a horse-drawn carriage with a mule. For some unknown reason, the mule shied away. who pulled the carriage and ran without control. The coachman fell from the box and two knights also sitting in the coach jumped off and injured themselves slightly. Heinrich Ludger von Galen fell headlong out of the carriage, fell so miserably and was immediately dead. On July 12, 1717, the body was laid to rest in the Chapel of the Three Kings in the great St. Johannes convent church . Here is his ornate marble tombstone, which his brother Prince-Bishop Christoph Heinrich von Galen had made. The production took six months and cost 200 ducats. It was finally completed in October 1719. It bears the certificates of nobility of the deceased and the symbols of triumph and virtues.


Heinrich Ludwig was a lover of the hunt and organized hunting tours. He was helpful and generous to the poor with whom he kept company.


  • Joseph August Ebe: Graves of German knights of the Order of St. John / Maltese in St. John's Church in Valletta on Malta. Melitensia, Paderborn, 1987 ISBN 3-9801071-2-4 (in the following abbreviated Ebe, graves of German knights with corresponding page number)
  • Michael Galea: Heinrich Ludger von Galen . In: Contributions to Westphalian family research . tape 41 , 1983, pp. 345-357 . Digitized version (supplemented by documents from the von Galen family archive) (hereinafter abbreviated to Galea, Heinrich Ludger von Galen with the corresponding page number)
  • Helmut Hartmann: The Commander of the Mainz Johanniter commander. Mainzer Zeitschrift, 76: 103–124, Mainz 1981 (hereinafter abbreviated to Hartmann, Commander with corresponding page number)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hubert Graf von Waldburg-Wolfegg: The order on Malta. In: Adam Wienand (ed.): The Order of St. John, the Order of Malta. The knightly order of St. John from the hospital in Jerusalem. Pp. 191–225, Wienand Verlag, Cologne, 1988, here p. 191.
  2. a b Galea, Heinrich Ludger von Galen, p. 355.
  3. ^ Walter Gerd Rödel: The Grand Priory Germany of the Order of St. John in the transition from the Middle Ages to the Reformation. Wienand Verlag, Cologne, 1972, p. 296ff. (Trier), 263ff. (Frankfurt), 252ff. (Mainz)
  4. Hartmann, Commander, p. 118.
  5. a b Ebe, Graves of German Knights, p. 73.