Ludwig VIII (Hesse-Darmstadt)

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Landgrave Ludwig VIII.
"Jagdtagebuch" Ludwig VIII., Page from November 10th 1756 (drawing by Georg Adam Eger, text by Oberförster Rautenbusch)

Ludwig VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt (born April 5, 1691 in Darmstadt ; † October 17, 1768 there ) was Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt from 1739 to 1768 .



Ludwig VIII was the eldest son of Landgrave Ernst Ludwig von Hessen-Darmstadt (1667–1739) from his marriage to Dorothea Charlotte (1661–1705), daughter of Margrave Albrecht von Brandenburg-Ansbach .

Ludwig married Charlotte (1700–1726), daughter and heiress of Count Johann Reinhard III , on April 5, 1717 in Philippsruhe Palace . von Hanau , who was the only surviving child to bring a rich dowry into the marriage. In 1736 his son, Ludwig IX. the county of Hanau-Lichtenberg , which significantly expanded the territory. In the dispute with Hessen-Kassel about the Babenhausen office from the Hanau inheritance, Hessen-Kassel was able to secure most of the office after a long legal battle before the Reich Chamber of Commerce.

As the grandfather of Friederike Caroline Luise von Hessen-Darmstadt and Friederike Luise von Hessen-Darmstadt , Ludwig VIII is the great-grandfather of King Friedrich Wilhelm III through two tribal lines .


He sided with the emperor in the Seven Years' War and achieved the military rank of field marshal . As a result, Gießen and Upper Hesse in particular became the scene of armed conflicts. In 1764 a meeting between Ludwig and Emperor Joseph II took place in a forest near Heusenstamm , which the Landgrave counted as one of the highlights of his life.

Ludwig was responsible for the Darmstadt street lighting, for which the first ordinance was issued in 1767, but also for ordinances against drinking coffee , whereby it was already a punishable offense to be found with coffee utensils.

In addition, Louis VIII was also considered a great friend of the arts. He is considered a sponsor of the painters Johann Christian Fiedler , Johann Conrad Seekatz and Christian Ludwig von Löwenstern . Ludwig occasionally went to the Darmstadt Opera, where Christoph Graupner and Ernst Christian Hesse worked. Ludwig also composed himself. He finally died in the Darmstadt Opera during a performance in his box.

His care for his country is documented by the construction of a spinning house in 1742 and a state orphanage in 1746. However, the debt burden increased dramatically under Ludwig, especially because of his lavish courtship and passion for hunting. The formation of an imperial rescheduling commission could only be avoided if the state estates approved financial means. Also the calling and the work of Friedrich Karl von Moser , who under Ludwig's son Ludwig IX. rose to First Minister, had a positive effect on the country's financial position.

Until 1766, Ludwig led the reign of the underage Friedrich V together with his mother Ulrike Luise zu Solms-Braunfels in Hesse-Homburg . Ludwig had been in dispute with Hessen-Homburg over the rule of Braubach since 1747 , which could not be settled until 1768.

The Jagdlandgraf

Like his father, Ludwig was a passionate parforce hunter . This preference not only made him known as a hunting landgrave , but also led to long absences from his residence. As a reward for his hunters, Ludwig minted so-called deer guilders and Saudukats . One of his chief forester felt compelled to publish a book containing “all the rare shots that SHD Ludwig VIII [...] took” . Ludwig carried out government affairs primarily at his Kranichstein hunting lodge . Like his father, the landgrave had numerous hunting buildings built, including the Dianenburg hunting lodge and the Griesheimer Haus. Ludwig built the Marstall on Paradeplatz in Darmstadt for the numerous horses that were needed for the par force hunt . The Landgrave used a carriage pulled by white deer for his trips.

The prince, who loves hunting, valued the wind rifles made by his court wind gun maker Friedrich Jacob Boßler the Elder (* 1717, † 1793). His person and work enjoyed an excellent reputation with Ludwig VIII and the entire landgrave's court . So Boßler made some rifles and pistols for the prince as well as in 1750 a wind rifle with a gold mirror monogram of the ruler of Hessen-Darmstadt . Today the public can view these weapons in the Kranichstein hunting lodge .


After his wife Charlotte, the Countess of Hanau, died in 1726, the Landgrave did not enter into another marriage, but had relationships with various ladies of the Darmstadt court . However, no descendants are known from these. Three mistresses have been handed down :

  • The singer Madame Richard met the landgrave in Paris in 1736 and followed him as mistress to Darmstadt in 1737, from where she soon went on to Kassel .
  1. Louis VIII around 1740
  2. Friederike Clotz around 1740
  • After the early death of Friederike Elisabeth Clotz in 1743, the landgrave had a relationship with Helene Martini ( Mamsel Lene ; 1728–1803), the landgrave's silver keeper at the Darmstadt court. With her, the Hessian regent presented himself in the float covered with six stags that Johann Georg Stockmar painted. She often accompanied the prince on his hunting expeditions.


  • Louis IX (1719–1790), Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
⚭ 1. 1741 Countess Palatine Henriette Karoline von Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld (1721–1774)
⚭ 2. 1775 ( morg. ) Marie Adélaïde Cheirouze, "Countess of Lviv" 1775
  • Charlotte Wilhelmine Friederike (1720–1721)
  • Georg Wilhelm (1722–1782)
⚭ 1748 Countess Luise zu Leiningen-Dagsburg (1729–1818)
⚭ 1751 Grand Duke Karl Friedrich of Baden (1728–1811)
  • Auguste (1725–1742)
  • Johann Friedrich Karl (1726–1746)


Georg II Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1605–1661)
Louis VI. Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1630–1678)
Sophie Eleonore of Saxony (1609–1671)
Ernst Ludwig Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (1667–1739)
Ernst I of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1601–1675)
Elisabeth Dorothea of ​​Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (1640–1709)
Elisabeth Sophia of Saxe-Altenburg (1619–1680)
Ludwig VIII Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
Joachim Ernst of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1583–1625)
Albrecht II of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1620–1667)
Sophie von Solms-Laubach (1594–1651)
Dorothea Charlotte of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1661–1705)
Joachim Ernst of Oettingen-Oettingen (1612–1658)
Sophie Margarete of Oettingen-Oettingen (1634–1664)
Anna Sibylle von Solms-Sonnenwalde (around 1615–1635)


  • Heinrich Künzel: History of Hesse in particular the history of the Grand Duchy of Hesse [...] . Scriba, Friedberg 1856, p. 654 ff. ( Digitized version )
  • Karl von Rotteck, Carl Welcker: Staats-Lexikon or Encyclopädie der Staatswissenschaften . Volume 10. Altona, 1840, p. 781 f. ( Digitized version )
  • Philipp Alexander Ferdinand Walther: Darmstadt as it was and how it became . Jonghaus, Darmstadt 1865, p. 179 ff. ( Digitized version )
  • Philipp Alexander Ferdinand Walther: The Darmstadt antiquarian . Jonghaus, Darmstadt 1857, p. 215 ff. ( Digitized version )
  • Steven David Zohn: Music for a mixed taste. Style, genre, and meaning in Telemann's instrumental works . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2008, ISBN 978-0-19-516977-5 , p. 94.
  • Rouven Pons: The Art of Loyalty. Ludwig VIII of Hessen-Darmstadt (1691–1768) and the Vienna Imperial Court , Marburg 2009 (studies and materials on constitutional and regional history 25)

Web links

Commons : Ludwig VIII of Hessen-Darmstadt  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Hans Schneider: The music publisher Heinrich Philipp Bossler 1744-1812. With bibliographic overviews and an appendix by Mariane Kirchgeßner and Boßler. Self-published by Hans Schneider, Tutzing 1985, ISBN 3-7952-0500-X , p. 22 .
  2. Wolfgang Adam and Siegrid Westphal (eds.): Handbook of cultural centers of the early modern period - cities and residences in the old German-speaking area . tape 1 - Augsburg – Gottorf. de Gruyter , Berlin / Boston 2012, ISBN 978-3-11-020703-3 , p. 341 ( digitized version ).
  3. ^ Hesse-Darmstadt, Ludwig VIII Landgrave of. Hessian biography. (As of January 22, 2020). In: Landesgeschichtliches Informationssystem Hessen (LAGIS) .; Wolfgang Eichelmann: Hessian coins and medals , 2017, p. 445.
  4. Hessenland. Illustrated monthly sheets for local research, art and literature , 37th year, issue 1, January 1925, p. 158.
  5. ^ " Clotz, Johannes ", in: Hessische Biographie (as of February 13, 2020); " Dr. Johann Klotz (Clotz) 1588, Wetzlar ”, in: Grabdenkmäler (as of September 2, 2008); his epitaph in the Wetzlar Cathedral .
  6. ^ " Clotz, Siegfried ", in: Hessische Biographie (as of February 13, 2020); his marriage alliance coat of arms Clotz- Heintzenberger on the house he built in 1604 at Silhöfer Strasse 22 in Wetzlar ; Siegfried Clotz was a brother-in-law of Chancellor Reinhard Scheffer the Younger , both were sons-in-law of Chancellor Johannes Heintzenberger; see. Walter Heinemeyer: "Heintzenberger, Johannes" in: Neue Deutsche Biographie 8 (1969), p. 444 f. ( Online version )
  7. ^ Friedrich Wilhelm von Ulmenstein: History and topographical description of the city of Wetzlar , Volume 2, Wetzlar 1806, p. 204 ; Christoph von Rommel: History of Hessen , Volume 6, Kassel 1837, p. 38.
  8. ^ " Clotz, Anton Christian ", in: Hessian Biography (as of November 24, 2019)
  9. " Clotz, Friederica Elisabetha ", in: Hessische Biographie (as of January 14, 2020)
  10. ↑ Half-length portrait, around 1740, in Wolfsgarten Castle . Photograph from around 1865 in the Hessian State Archive in Darmstadt , inventory R 4 No. 23339
  11. German Gender Book , Volume 124, 1960, p. 11.
  12. "Grün, Detmar Heinrich von", in: Hessische Biografie < > (as of October 24, 2019)
  13. "Avemann, Christian Ernst Heinrich von", in: Hessische Biografie < > (as of September 16, 2019)
  14. Wolfgang Eichelmann: Hessian coins and medals , 2017, [1]
predecessor Office successor
Ernst Ludwig Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
Louis IX