Duchy of Brunswick-Lueneburg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
|Duchy of Brunswick-Lueneburg|
|coat of arms|
|Alternative names||Duchy of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, Duchy of Braunschweig and Lüneburg|
|Arose from||Tribal Duchy of Saxony|
|Ruler / government||
|Denomination / Religions||Roman Catholic until the Reformation , Lutheran since then|
|Language / n||
Middle Low German
Duchy of Braunschweig , Kingdom of Hanover
The Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg was an imperial principality of the Holy Roman Empire on the territory of today's state of Lower Saxony . In 1235 Otto the child was enfeoffed with the newly founded Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg at the Mainz Hoftag. This was based on the two castles in Braunschweig and Lüneburg and the associated household of the Welfs . In 1269 there was a first division between the brothers Albrecht and Johann . The resulting principalities of Braunschweig and Lüneburg continued to form the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. The further history of the duchy and the partial principalities was characterized by further divisions and amalgamations of the principalities. The partial principalities existed until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806. At the Congress of Vienna , the Kingdom of Hanover and the Duchy of Braunschweig emerged as successor states . Up to the present day the members of the House of Hanover call themselves Duke of Braunschweig and Lüneburg .
History of the duchy
Prehistory of the Duchy
The territory of the later Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg was part of the Tribal Duchy of Saxony until the 12th century . In the 1170s, tensions arose between the Saxon Duke Heinrich the Lion and Emperor Friedrich “Barbarossa” . This conflict culminated in 1180 with the imposition of the imperial ban on Henry the Lion and the smashing of the duchy at the court in Gelnhausen . The Saxon duchy went to the Ascanians , who, however, could only gain control over a small part of the old duchy. Instead of the duchy, a large number of imperial rulers established themselves in the following decades . After several years of exile, Henry the Lion was able to return to his maternal property and stay there until the end of his life.
The disputes between the Guelphs and the Hohenstaufen dynasty continued in the following years. The marriage of Heinrich , a son of Henry the Lion, with the Staufer Agnes and the reconciliation between the Staufer Heinrich VI. and Heinrich the Lion in March 1194 in the Palatinate Tilleda defused the conflict only temporarily. From 1198 the conflict in the German throne controversy continued. Both the Guelph Otto IV and the Staufer Philip of Swabia were elected Roman-German king . Otto was able to prevail against Phillip, but not against his nephew and successor Friedrich II. After the battle of Bouvines in 1214 Otto withdrew to his own property in Saxony.
The property of the Guelphs in Saxony was still unsecured. In 1219 Otto's brother Heinrich initially secured the Guelph allodes . In return for the handover of the imperial insignia , which were still in Guelph hands after Otto IV's withdrawal, Frederick II confirmed the Guelphs' ownership. After Henry's death in 1227, however, the Duke of Bavaria and Henry VII , the son of Frederick II, raised claims to the Guelph property. When the inheritance was passed to Otto the child in 1223, the daughters of Heinrich the Elder, Agnes and Irmgard , were passed over. Heinrich VII had acquired Irmgard's share in the meantime, while Agnes' share was claimed by her father-in-law Ludwig von Bayern . When Otto was captured by the Count of Schwerin in the same year, Ludwig von Bayern and Heinrich VII tried to conquer Braunschweig. With the military support of Otto's Ascanian brothers-in-law, the Margraves of Brandenburg, the city managed to repel the attack.
The position of the Guelphs under imperial law remained unclear at this time. Wilhelm called himself Duke of Lüneburg in 1200 , Heinrich held the title of Duke of Saxony in 1219 and Otto the child had dubbed himself Duke of Braunschweig since 1226 . The papal, Danish and English chancelleries also used the title of duke for Otto, only the imperial chancellery avoided any status in their letters and simply dubbed Otto Otto von Lüneburg .
Enfeoffment with the duchy in 1235
A final reconciliation did not come about until 1235, when Otto the child was enfeoffed with the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. On the Mainzer Hoftag of 1235 Otto transferred the Lüneburg castle with all rights to Emperor Friedrich II. The latter transferred the castle with the rights to the city of Braunschweig, which the Staufer emperor had in the meantime acquired from Heinrich's daughters Agnes and Irmgard, and transferred the entire property on the empire and raised it to an imperial principality . Then he enfeoffed Otto the child with the newly created duchy and expanded the property to include the tithe of Goslar and the Wildbann in the Harz Mountains. In addition, he took over the Guelph ministerial office in the Reich ministerial office . The two castles in Braunschweig and Lüneburg and the associated rights formed the center of the duchy; the basis of ducal power was thus the former property of the Guelphs. Any further territorial rule in the Saxon states was not associated with the award of the ducal dignity . The essential consequence of the enfeoffment was therefore not an increase in Guelph property, but a clarification of the Guelphs' position under imperial law .
The duchy until the partition of 1269
Otto pursued a targeted acquisition policy, concentrating on the one hand on the Weser region and on the other hand on "rounding off the rights of rule in Lüneburg with the aim of gaining the Elbe as a border". So he acquired the county of Lauenrode , the Leineberg court and received the Mark Duderstadt as a fief from the Quedlinburg Abbey . He also pursued an active urban policy and granted a large number of municipalities city rights . However, imperial political ambitions did not show up in Otto the child's politics.
After his death in 1252 he was followed by his son Albrecht . Under Albrecht, courtly culture flourished in the duchy, he designed his court according to knightly ideals and used knight tournaments and court festivals to strengthen his ducal power. His rule was marked by numerous wars and feuds , which were mostly unsuccessful. His involvement in the Thuringian War of Succession in the years 1260 to 1263 ended for him with one year imprisonment and the payment of a large ransom. During his reign Albrecht managed to acquire several cities and thus to expand his domain. In addition to Gieselwerder in 1257 and Hameln in 1260, he acquired the cities of Uslar and Einbeck in 1269 . He promoted economic development in the duchy through a variety of measures. In addition to the granting of protection and escort promises for merchants, he concluded, among other things, trade agreements with foreign princes.
After reaching the age of majority in 1258, Albrecht's brother Johann also entered the government and led it together with him in the following years. Since Albrecht did not spend long periods of time in the country, for example due to his capture in the Thuringian War of Succession , Johann led the government alone at times. From 1263 Johann set up his own office in Lüneburg ; Whether the division that took place in 1269 was de facto anticipated here is disputed. After Johann's marriage in 1265, the duchy was divided. In 1267 a partition agreement was signed, which was carried out in 1269. Albrecht received the southern part of the country with areas around Braunschweig and Johann received the northern part with possessions in the Lüneburg area.
The duchy after the division of 1269
The further history of the duchy and the sub-principalities was marked by numerous divisions and reunions of the sub-principalities. However, there was no unification of the entire Guelph property in the form that it existed until 1269. In the treaty of 1269, a number of possessions and rights remained in the possession of the entire house. The common rights to the castle in Braunschweig were essential , as the ducal dignity was connected with this. The rights of the dukes in the cities of Höxter and Hameln and on the island of Gieselwerder remained in common ownership . The goods remaining in the house as a whole were also dealt with separately in the later division agreements. Another part of the contract of 1269 was the agreed use of the name Braunschweig by both lines, through which the reference to the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg should be maintained. With the exception of the Grubenhagener , all lines of the Guelphs from 1269 until the end of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806 carried the title of Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg . Even after the end of the duchy, the title was still used by the Guelphs: They call themselves Duke of Braunschweig and Lüneburg to this day .
The Guelph dukes were enfeoffed in the 13th and 14th centuries separately for the individual principalities. In 1414 there was a contractual agreement between the Guelph lines in Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel and Lüneburg, on the basis of which in 1420 King Sigismund made a total loan for the first time. At this time, the principalities of Göttingen and Grubenhagen , which had been split off from the Principality of Brunswick in 1291 , were not included in the overall lending . The Principality of Göttingen fell back to the Brunswick Guelphs a few years later and was also included in the overall lean-back. In 1566, Grubenhagen sought to be included in the overall loan association, which also took place. Since then, the Guelphs have been enfeoffed for the principalities again at the hands of the entire house.
The inheritance agreements made between the various lines were essential for the further history of the duchy. These led to the fact that when one line became extinct, the principalities were inherited to the other Guelph lines and were not reassigned by the emperor as repealed imperial fiefs . Inheritance agreements were both a component of all partition contracts from 1345 onwards, as well as the subject of separate hereditary brotherhood agreements .
History of the partial principalities
Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
In 1269, when the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg was divided, the Principality of Braunschweig was established. Due to increasing tensions with the Braunschweiger city population, the Braunschweiger Linie moved their residence in 1432 to Wolfenbüttel in a moated castle , which was expanded as a castle and the town into a royal seat. The name Wolfenbüttel gave this part of the principality its name. In 1635, Duke August the Younger from the Lüneburg-Dannenberg branch line took control of the principality and founded the New House of Braunschweig. After the partial dynasty died out again, another branch line had to step in in 1735, this time the Braunschweig-Bevern line founded in 1666. In the years 1753/1754 the residence of the Dukes of Wolfenbüttel was moved back to the newly built Braunschweig Castle in Braunschweig. A branch line existed for a time in Bevern , but this did not achieve complete sovereignty . In 1814, the Duchy of Braunschweig was established as the successor state .
Principality of Calenberg
The Principality of Calenberg bordered the County of Hoya in the north near Nienburg , the area stretched up the line via Wunstorf and Hanover like a hose to the south, where it bordered the Principality of Wolfenbüttel. In 1432, the lands between Deister and Leine that had been acquired by the Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel split off as the Principality of Calenberg. 1495 expanded to include Göttingen, it came back to the Wolfenbüttler line in 1584. As a result of inheritance disputes, it fell to the House of Lüneburg in 1634, formed an independent principality again from 1635 and was expanded to include Grubenhagen in 1665 and the Principality of Lüneburg in 1705. Duke Ernst August from the Calenberger line, who used to reside in Hanover and was eponymous, acquired in 1692 , the Electorate as Elector of Brunswick-Luneburg . Colloquially, the electorate was also called the Electorate of Hanover or Kurhannover for short. The Kingdom of Hanover was established in 1814 as the successor state .
Principality of Göttingen
The Principality of Göttingen was created in 1345 when the Principality of Brunswick was divided. It extended south from Münden down the Weser to around Holzminden . In the east, the area extended via Göttingen on the Leine line via Northeim to Einbeck. The first Duke, Ernst I, was followed by his son Otto, known as "the Quade" , who fought against the emerging urban population, especially against Göttingen. At the height of this dispute, the people of Göttingen occupied his castle, the Ballerhus, in the city in 1387 and then defeated him in an open field battle. Otto Cocles took over the government of the principality in 1394. In contrast to his father, he allied himself again with the cities against the robber barons powerful in the region. Otto withdrew from the government in 1435 and left the government to the estates. In 1442 Wilhelm the Elder , who had already taken over the government in the Principality of Calenberg, took over the government until Otto Cocles' death. With Otto's death in 1463, the Göttingen line of the Guelphs died out and the principality was united with Calenberg.
Principality of Grubenhagen
After an inheritance division between the sons of Albrecht I , Duke of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, in 1291 Heinrich the Wonderful received the newly founded principality of Grubenhagen. The principality of Grubenhagen is named after the castle of the same name, the ruins of which are located near Rotenkirchen south of Einbeck. The Grubenhagen territory was divided into smaller and smaller principalities during its history, but they did not achieve complete sovereignty. This is how the branch lines in Osterode , Herzberg , Salzderhelden and Einbeck were created . With the death of Philip II , the youngest son of Philip I , in 1596, the Grubenhagen line died out. The Principality of Grubenhagen was then occupied by Duke Heinrich Julius from Wolfenbüttel . The Lüneburg line of the Guelphs protested against the annexation to Wolfenbüttel and won the right at the Imperial Court of Justice in 1617 and received the principality in the same year. In 1665 Grubenhagen was united with Calenberg .
Principality of Lüneburg
The Principality of Lüneburg emerged in 1269 from the division of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. After the Lüneburg line of the Welfs died out in 1369, the succession in the principality of the Lüneburg War of Succession developed . The Brunswick line of the Guelph dynasty that would have been entitled to inherit according to the Guelph house laws, was here to askanischen against Dukes of Wittenberg, in the meantime by Emperor Charles IV. Had been invested with the Principality. In 1388 the conflict was finally decided in favor of the Guelphs. In 1428 there was a renewed division of the Guelph principalities of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, in which the principality of Lüneburg essentially received the boundaries that were to last for the next centuries. In 1705 the principality of Lüneburg fell to the electoral line of the Guelphs in Hanover . Side lines of the principality existed at times in Harburg, Dannenberg and Gifhorn, but they did not achieve complete sovereignty.
Timeline of the Guelph territorial history
Duchy of Saxony
7th century to 1180
|Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg
Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
Principality of Lüneburg
Principality of Göttingen
Principality of Grubenhagen
Principality of Calenberg
Principality of Calenberg-Göttingen
1617 to Lüneburg
1665 then to Calenberg
Principality of Calenberg-Göttingen-Grubenhagen
Electorate of Braunschweig-Lüneburg
Duchy of Brunswick
Kingdom of Hanover
- Wilhelm Havemann : History of the Lands Braunschweig and Lüneburg. 3 volumes. Emphasis. Hirschheydt, Hannover 1974/75, ISBN 3-7777-0843-7 (original edition: Verlag der Dietrich'schen Buchhandlung, Göttingen 1853–1857 - online at Google Books: Volume 1 , Volume 2 , Volume 3 )
- Hans Patze (term): History of Lower Saxony. In 7 volumes (= publications of the Historical Commission for Lower Saxony and Bremen 36). Hahnsche Buchhandlung, Hanover 1977 ff. .
- Gudrun Pischke: The divisions of the Guelphs in the Middle Ages. Lax, Hildesheim 1987, ISBN 3-7848-3654-2 .
- On the disputes about Heinrich the Lion and the loss of the ducal dignity, see: Bernd Schneidmüller : The Guelphs: Lordship and Memory (819–1252). Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-17-014999-7 , pp. 224-240.
- On the Staufer-Welf disputes and the German controversy for the throne see: Ernst Schubert : History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3–904, here: pp. 494–500.
- He exercised the government already in 1218, in the rule he was introduced in 1223 in a solemn ceremony in Braunschweig. See: Ernst Schubert: History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3–904, here: p. 518.
- On the Staufer-Welf disputes after 1219 see: Bernd Schneidmüller: The Welfs: Lordship and Memory (819-1252). Stuttgart 2000, ISBN 3-17-014999-7 , pp. 268-279.
- On the position of the Guelphs under imperial law see: Ernst Schubert: History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3–904, here: pp. 500–504; Egon Boshof : The emergence of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. In: Wolf-Dieter Mohrmann (Hrsg.): Heinrich the lion. Vandenhoeck & Ruperecht, Göttingen 1980, ISBN 3-525-35520-3 , pp. 264-265.
- For the award of the ducal dignity see: Bernd Schneidmüller: Die Welfen: Herrschaft und MEMORY (819–1252). 2000, ISBN 3-17-014999-7 , pp. 279-284; Ernst Schubert: History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3-904; here: pp. 504-507 and pp. 518-525; Egon Boshof : The emergence of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. In: Wolf-Dieter Mohrmann (Hrsg.): Heinrich the lion. Vandenhoeck & Ruperecht, Göttingen 1980, ISBN 3-525-35520-3 , pp. 270-275.
- Ernst Schubert: History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3-904; here: p. 524.
- For Otto's policy see: Ernst Schubert: History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3-904; here: pp. 504–507 and pp. 518–525.
- On Albrecht's reign see: Ernst Schubert: History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3–904, here: pp. 706–718.
- For the establishment of the office, see: Gudrun Pischke: Die Landesteilungen der Welfen im Mittelalter. Lax, Hildesheim 1987, ISBN 3-7848-3654-2 , p. 40.
- For the reign of Johann see: Ernst Schubert: History of Lower Saxony from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. In: Ernst Schubert (Ed.): History of Lower Saxony. Volume 2. Part 1. Politics, constitution, economy from the 9th to the end of the 15th century. Hannover 1997, ISBN 3-7752-5900-7 , pp. 3–904, here: pp. 706–718.
- For the link between the ducal dignity and the Brunswick castle, see: Gudrun Pischke: The divisions of the Welfs in the Middle Ages. Lax, Hildesheim 1987, ISBN 3-7848-3654-2 , p. 39.
- For the division of land in 1267/1269 see: Gudrun Pischke: The divisions of the Welfen in the Middle Ages. Lax, Hildesheim 1987, ISBN 3-7848-3654-2 , pp. 35-44.
- For the feudal situation after 1269 see: Gudrun Pischke: Die Landesteilungen der Welfen in the Middle Ages. Lax, Hildesheim 1987, ISBN 3-7848-3654-2 , pp. 206-210.
- For the inheritance contracts see: Gudrun Pischke: Die Landesteilungen der Welfen im Mittelalter. Lax, Hildesheim 1987, ISBN 3-7848-3654-2 , pp. 196-203.