Maria von Mansfeld-Hinterort

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Maria von Mansfeld-Hinterort (* after March 3, 1567 ; † between 1625 and 1635 ), was the second wife of Landgrave Ludwig IV of Hesse-Marburg (* May 27, 1537; † October 9, 1604). The marriage remained childless. After the death of her husband, she was embroiled in a serious inheritance dispute by his nephews, Landgrave Moritz von Hessen Kassel and Ludwig V von Hessen-Darmstadt , which ended with a settlement that was less advantageous for her . She entered into a second marriage in 1611, with Count Philip III, 22 years her junior . (V.) von Mansfeld-Vorderort zu Bornstedt (1589–1657). When and where she died is unknown.


Maria was the eighth and youngest child of Count (Hans) Johann I von Mansfeld-Hinterort († March 3, 1567) and his second wife, Princess Margarete of Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Celle , daughter of Duke Ernst I of Braunschweig-Lüneburg (July 12, 1534 - September 24, 1596). On July 4, 1591, she married Landgrave Ludwig IV in Marburg , whose first wife Hedwig von Württemberg (1547–1590), daughter of Duke Christoph , died on March 4, 1590 after a childless marriage.



At the time of their marriage, the fun-loving Maria was 24 years old, 30 years younger than her husband. In view of the considerable age difference, the marriage was rather problematic and remained childless, but the wealthy Ludwig IV was extremely generous towards his wife. This was already evident in the amount of their morning donation of 5000 guilders , which were prescribed to the city and the office of Butzbach , and continued in the many times significantly increased amount of their Wittum . In addition, a few years after the wedding, Ludwig also waived the dowry, which her heavily indebted family, which had been under sequestration since 1570, had still not paid for .

Maria quickly developed a keen interest in the young Philipp Ludwig von Baumbach († 1618), a favorite of the Landgrave, who was in 1591 went up to Hofmeister of females and in 1593 as a successor to the late in November this year Johann Scheuer Castle to Hachborn steward was. A close relationship developed between the two at the court and among the relatives of the Landgrave, which Ludwig IV either did not notice or did not want to notice. When the Landgrave gave his wife the Rodenhof on the castle wall in Marburg in 1597, Baumbach immediately moved from his city apartment there and thus into her immediate vicinity on Maria's orders. The house burned down in March 1598, but was immediately rebuilt at Maria's instigation.

Baumbach received ample gifts from the Landgrave and even more so from Landgrave Ludwig IV. In particular, in 1602 he received the former fiefdom of the Johann Scheuertschloss, the former Hachborn monastery with all its accessories, which the previously practically incapable courtier quickly expanded and furnished at the expense of the landgrave and landgrave. Baumbach had many of his valuable gifts gradually brought to his parents for safekeeping at Tannenberg Castle near Nentershausen . It is unknown whether Ludwig IV was ultimately urged by his nephews, Landgrave Moritz in Kassel and Ludwig V in Darmstadt , to put his wife's favorites in certain places; in any case, at the beginning of June 1603, Baumbach was replaced as steward by Hans (Johann) Philipp von Buseck . Ludwig IV, however, did not drop his favorite and even issued him with relevant “letters of justification”.

Inheritance dispute

When Ludwig IV died in 1604 without descendants entitled to inheritance, the northern part of his landgraviate fell to Moritz von Hessen-Kassel on the basis of his will , the southern part to Ludwig V of Hessen-Darmstadt. Both were careful not to let their inheritance be diminished by their uncle's extremely generous gifts to his wife or her alleged lover, and Maria her Wittum and Baumbach denied his fiefdom. The landgrave widow was represented in this dispute by her brother-in-law , Count Hermann Adolf von Solms-Hohensolms-Lich (1545–1613), who had married her sister Anna Sophie (1562–1601) in 1589. The Wittum Marias included, in addition to the city and office of Butzbach , which was assigned to her as a morning gift , from 1591 castle , city and office Grünberg with an annual pension of 3000 guilders, from 1595 also the Merlau Castle , built 1583–1591 with all accessories, from 1601 also that entire office of Bingenheim plus the Fulda mark , the latter, however, subject to an early redemption (with 121,000 guilders) or the purchase by Ludwig IV. Universal heirs Moritz in Kassel and Ludwig V in Darmstadt. as well as a large part of Ludwig IV's fortune in money, jewelry, other valuables and furniture.

In order to put Maria, who was initially relentlessly fighting for her Wittum, under pressure, Baumbach was accused of having had an improper relationship with her during Ludwig IV's lifetime. Maria was placed under supervision and her servants were imprisoned and, like Baumbach, threatened with charges of various offenses, while incriminating statements in the case of adultery were hoped for. These measures called the relatives of the widow, in particular the Guelph dukes August the Elder and August the Younger of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, and other advocates of Mary on the scene, who vigorously advocated her. Even Emperor Rudolph II took them under his protection and threatened Moritz and his Darmstadt cousins ​​on May 2, 1605 with a fine and even an imperial ban if they withheld their legacy from the landgrave widow or continued to harass her.

In view of the imminent danger to her reputation, and thus to her Wittum, Maria became more indulgent. Darmstadt's Landgrave Ludwig V, who had less to gain or lose, was less persistent than Moritz, and the servants were eventually released. Under the pressure of circumstances, Maria agreed to a settlement with Landgrave Moritz on March 27, 1605: For a sum of 54,500 guilders, less than half of the actual value, she waived Moritz's claim to her Wittum for herself and her descendants ( Grünberg, Merlau, Butzbach, Fuldische Mark, Rodenhof in Marburg and all prescriptions from her deceased husband). A corresponding comparison with Ludwig V of Hessen-Darmstadt soon followed.

However, Baumbach's procedure dragged on even further. On April 14, 1605, Landgrave Moritz had him imprisoned in the Ziegenhain Fortress . There he was in June 1605 by a court chaired by the Marburg court judge Johann Schwertzell the Elder . Ä. (1549-1614) subjected to a process in which he u. a. Adultery, witchcraft , poisoning and unlawful eviction from the country of alleged accomplices or witnesses of his reprehensible relationship with the landgrave were accused. None of the charges were based on conclusive evidence or testimony, and Landgrave Moritz and his cousins ​​in Darmstadt were more concerned with Maria's Wittum and Baumbach's property than with Baumbach himself. Baumbach became the first after Maria renounced her Wittum and on June 5th It is no longer known whether the court had been held against him, whether on the basis of a settlement or because no guilty verdict was foreseeable. He received his confiscated movable property back, but not Hachborn and the other goods with which Ludwig IV had enfeoffed him; these were confiscated by Moritz. He married Louise von Bran a little later, settled in Homberg (Efze) and died there in 1618. His brother Ewald Jost , Hessian chief forest and land hunter, gave up all claims to Hachborn on April 16, 1625 in return for a severance payment .

Next life

On the basis of an agreement with Landgrave Ludwig V, Maria took her widow's seat in Merlau Castle and maintained a small court there with around two dozen servants. However, their annual salaries approved by Ludwig V and the income from the estate in Merlau did not cover their expenses. Repeatedly, merchants and craftsmen demanded their considerable debts from the Darmstadt Landgrave. Ludwig V always helped out, probably also because he hoped that by caring for this aunt by marriage, the support of her mostly Lutheran relatives, the Guelphs and the Counts of Mansfeld , in the Marburg inheritance dispute , which began in 1605 with religious arguments . In any case, Maria cleverly used the religious differences between the two landgrave cousins ​​to protect her own interests.

In November 1611 Maria, now 44 years old, married Count Philipp von Mansfeld (1589–1657), only 22 years old, whose brother Wolfgang V (1575–1638) was in the service of Ludwig V from around 1610 until at least 1616. and who probably played a role in initiating this connection. The couple initially lived in Merlau, accumulated high debts again in Merlau, Marburg, Grünberg and Alsfeld and only moved to Mansfeld Castle in late summer 1612 .

After that, little is known about Maria von Mansfeld. In March 1614, her husband Philipp, on behalf of his wife in Kassel, demanded the payment of her seven-year annuity of 1,600 guilders a year. Landgrave Moritz referred to Maria's resignation from 1605, but nevertheless approved the one-off payment of these 11,200 guilders, of which around 8,500 guilders were to be paid to Maria's creditors in Eschwege and Marburg. Another 2,000 guilders were owed to Philipp Ludwig von Baumbach, so that Philipp von Mansfeld returned to Mansfeld with only 2,750 guilders.

Philip entered the army service of the Swedish King Gustav II Adolf in 1614 and was still the owner of a Swedish infantry regiment in 1622 . In June 1622 he was in Spanish captivity in the army of his cousin, the mercenary general Peter Ernst II von Mansfeld (1580–1626), during the battle of the Lorsch Heide , from which he was not until 1624, probably thanks to the influence of his brothers in Vienna , was released. During his captivity, his wife Maria von Mansfeld traveled to Brussels to stand up for her imprisoned husband. Her last sign of life was a letter from there to Landgrave Ludwig V on November 11, 1624, in which she congratulated him on taking possession of Marburg and then asked for 2,000 florins. The landgrave approved half.

After his release, Philip converted to Catholicism and, like his two brothers, entered the Habsburg service, where he succeeded. In 1628 he commanded the Habsburg Baltic Sea fleet under Wallenstein , in 1631 he became court counselor and imperial chamberlain, in 1632 field warden and in 1633 field marshal . He fought in Silesia and Poland , from 1633 in the Rhineland and Westphalia , 1634 in the Wetterau and on the Main , and in March / April 1635 in the Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel.

It is not known where Maria von Mansfeld stayed after 1624 and how long she lived. In 1625 she was probably still alive, because Landgrave Ludwig V mentioned her in his will. Since Philip later entered into a second marriage, which resulted in four children born between 1635 and 1642, and a previous divorce from Maria would have been on record, it is assumed that she died between 1625 and 1635. It is also not known whether this happened in Brussels or whether she went to Vienna, where her two brothers-in-law held high offices and a niece was lady-in-waiting to Empress Eleonora Gonzaga.


Individual evidence

  1. Rommel, p. 52
  2. a b c Gräf, p. 118
  3. Reinhold Drusel: A castle and 13 courtyards: A historical report from Marburg's forgotten history . epubli, Berlin, 2012, pp. 22-25
  4. Johann Schüstenschloss von Hachborn died on November 2nd, 1593 as the last male representative of his sex and Hachborn fell as a settled fiefdom to Landgrave Ludwig IV, who gave it as a fiefdom on August 1st, 1602 to Baumbach. ( Peter Unglaube: Das Haus Hachborn; A lost castle in the Marburger Land . In: Journal of the Association for Hessian History , Volume 106, 2001, pp. 59–85 )
  5. Rommel, p. 59
  6. Rommel, p. 53
  7. Rommel, p. 57
  8. ↑ With the exception of Reichelsheim , which belonged to Nassau-Weilburg- Saarbrücken as a Fulda fief .
  9. Rommel, p. 56
  10. Rommel, p. 62
  11. Landau, pp. 135-136
  12. Rommel, p. 63
  13. Rommel, pp. 60-61
  14. Landau, p. 137
  15. Peter Unbelief: Das Haus Hachborn; A lost castle in the Marburger Land . In: Journal of the Association for Hessian History , Volume 106, 2001, pp. 59–85
  16. Philip's brother Wolfgang V had left Darmstadt, converted to Catholicism and in 1622 became Imperial Field Marshal and Councilor. Another brother, Bruno II (1576-1644), had long served in Prague and Vienna and was a war councilor in 1603 and a chamberlain at the imperial court in 1607 .