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The Landgraviate of Hessen-Marburg was a short-lived, Hessian Landgraviate that emerged from the Landgraviate of Hessen in 1567 .


In his will, Landgrave Philip I of Hesse decreed the division of his inheritance among the four sons from his first marriage. His second-born son Ludwig IV received about a quarter of the landgraviate in Upper Hesse , the so-called "Land an der Lahn". He resided in Marburg Castle and thus founded the Hessen-Marburg line of the Hessian Princely House , which, however, died out again with his death in 1604.

Ludwig IV was able to expand his territory considerably through inheritance and acquisitions. By 1599 came the Itter rule , the missing parts of the Bingenheim community (excluding Reichelsheim), 1/4 of the rule over the city of Butzbach , the city and office of Lißberg and Ulrichstein, the court of Lollar , the villages of Heuchelheim, Rodheim, Fellingshausen and Großen-Linden added. Furthermore Rosenthal (Hessen) , Battenberg (Eder) , Mellnau and half of Wetter (Hessen) , furthermore the villages Moischeid , Winterscheid , Lischeid and Heimbach of the office Schönstein as well as the inheritance of the Busecker valley .

Marburg succession dispute

Due to his childlessness, Ludwig IV's territories went to his two nephews, the Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel and Hesse-Darmstadt , in 1604 , but under the condition he had decreed that the Lutheran denomination should be preserved. Disputes about this division as well as the change to the Reformed Confession made by Landgrave Moritz von Hessen-Kassel resulted in a decade-long inheritance dispute between Hessen-Kassel and Hessen-Darmstadt. In the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) the two landgraves fought on different sides. In this context, the unbalanced comparison of September 24, 1627 came about. As a result, Hessen-Darmstadt received most of the former Landgraviate of Hessen-Marburg. But that did not last, rather it led to further military clashes between the two Hessian states, the Hessian War, a war within the Thirty Years' War. The dispute was only settled with a treaty dated April 14, 1648, which was confirmed by the Peace of Westphalia concluded shortly afterwards . Hessen-Kassel received about a quarter of Hessen-Marburg with the "capital" Marburg , the rest of the inheritance remained with Hessen-Darmstadt, whose "capital" became Giessen .


In the 19th century, two provinces emerged on the former territory of the Landgraviate of Hesse-Marburg in the region of Upper Hesse, the Province of Upper Hesse in the Electorate of Hesse and the Province of Upper Hesse in the Grand Duchy of Hesse .

Former Landgraves of Upper Hesse

The "Land an der Lahn", later Upper Hesse, was already an independent Landgraviate that was separated from Lower Hesse twice :

  • In 1308 the sons of the first Hessian Landgrave Heinrich I had shared the inheritance, Otto I had become Landgrave of Upper Hesse in Marburg , and his half-brother Johann had ruled in Kassel as Landgrave of Lower Hesse . After Johann's death in 1311, however, both parts of the country were reunited in Otto's hands.
  • In 1458 Hesse was under the sons of Ludwig I , Ludwig II and Heinrich III. , has been divided into two again. Ludwig II ruled in Lower Hesse, his brother Heinrich III. in Upper Hesse. After the heirless death of Heinrich III. only surviving son Wilhelm III. Both areas came back into one hand around 1500 under Ludwig II's son Wilhelm II .


  • Arthur Benno Schmidt : The historical foundations of civil law in the Grand Duchy of Hesse . Curt von Münchow, Giessen 1893.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Schmidt, p. 7, note 13.
  2. ^ Schmidt, p. 8.