Leopold I (Lippe)

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Leopold I.
Monument to Simon August by the sculptor Schlupf

Wilhelm Leopold I (born December 2, 1767 in Detmold ; † April 4, 1802 there ) was the first Prince of Lippe .


Leopold I was a son of Count Simon August from his second marriage to Maria Leopoldine von Anhalt-Dessau . His mother died on April 15, 1769, his stepmother became the social reformer Kasimire , her sister. She died in 1778. When his father died (1782), Leopold I was only 14 years old. He was seen as a difficult child who learned with difficulty; he rebelled against upbringing and was stubborn. To improve his health, he was given to his uncle Leopold III in Dessau . Friedrich Franz (Anhalt-Dessau) , the eldest brother of Leopoldine and Kasimire. There he was sent to Basedow's famous philanthropist , then at 18 to the University of Leipzig . The same unfavorable judgment was everywhere: lack of strength of character, stupidity , slackness, unsteadiness in diligence, lack of interest, lack of concentration, tendency to mental disorders.

On November 5, 1789, the 21-year-old took over the government. The first thing he did was to redeem the Prince's Letter, which his grandfather Simon Heinrich had applied for in 1720, by paying the required costs. In December, the young prince had the memorial created by sculptor Schlupf from Teutoburg Forest sandstone ( crying putti on a base with a relief portrait ) erected in the pleasure garden in honor of his deceased father - today's location: Parkallee Bad Meinberg at the entrance to the spa gardens.

In 1790 the mental disorder diagnosed above broke out and he was incapacitated by the Reich Chamber of Commerce ; In 1795 the guardianship was conditionally lifted after an improvement occurred. On January 2, 1796, he married Pauline von Anhalt-Bernburg . In this marriage the prince recovered and became the father of two sons. Pauline became his adviser and colleague, arranging it wisely, mostly staying in the background and avoiding anything that could be interpreted as exceeding her duties. After barely six years of marriage, the prince died of intestinal tuberculosis in 1802 , under the influence of which mental disorders and memory loss finally set in again.

Pauline took over the reign of the still underage hereditary prince, the later Prince Leopold II. And was considered an excellent mother of the country.


Leopold I had two children with Pauline von Anhalt-Bernburg :


  • Johannes Arndt : The Principality of Lippe in the age of the French Revolution 1770-1820 , Waxmann, Münster et al. 1992, ISBN 3-89325-090-5 .
  • Johannes Arndt: Cabal and love in Detmold. On the history of a court intrigue and a deposition of a prince in Lippe at the end of the 18th century , in: Lippische Mitteilungen 60, 1991, pp. 27–74.
  • Willi Gerking: The Counts of Lippe-Biesterfeld . 1st edition. heka-Verlag, Bad Oeynhausen 2001, ISBN 3-928700-62-6 .
  • Wilhelm van Kempen: The correspondence of the Detmold general superintendent Ewald with Prince Leopold Friedrich Franz von Anhalt-Dessau 1790–1794 / 1798 , in: Lippische Mitteilungen 33, 1964, pp. 135–177. (Ewald describes in detail the changing state of health of Prince Leopold in his letters)
  • Mighty voice of justice to the high imperial assembly in Regensburg regarding the usurpation case perpetrated against the ruling Prince of Lippe-Detmold. An important counterpart to the Fürst Neuwied appeals files. 1795. ( LLB Detmold )
  • Rotberg: Real illness and curatel story of the reigning Prince zur Lippe. With certificates. In addition to a brief discussion of the question: When and how did a Curatel arrangement over a German Imperial estate take place? 1795. ( MDZ Munich )
  • Messages from Lippe's history and regional studies , volumes 10-13, Meyersche Hofbuchhandlung Verlag., 1914, p. 61 (on the history of the monument)


  1. Schliepstein area near Holzhausen
  2. Possibly inspired by the Gellert monument from 1774 by the sculptor Adam Friedrich Oeser , at that time in sight of the Leipzig University campus in the Lustgarten on the Schneckenberg near the swan pond (today's location: Schillerpark), of which several engravings and a porcelain miniature were also in circulation
predecessor Office successor
Simon August Prince of the Lippe
Leopold II (Prince) Pauline (Regent)