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Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld was an Ernestine duchy with Coburg as the royal seat .

Saxony-Saalfeld (around 1680)
Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (1820). The Principality of Lichtenberg is not on the map


Saxony-Saalfeld 1680 to 1735

Saalfeld Castle , built as a ducal residence from 1677

After Duke Ernst I the Pious of Saxe-Gotha died on March 26, 1675 in Gotha, the principality was divided among his seven sons in 1680: Johann Ernst (1658–1729) received Saxe-Saalfeld. The new principality , which did not have full state sovereignty , but was dependent on the higher authorities in Gotha for government affairs, consisted of the offices of Saalfeld , Graefenthal and Probstzella . Saalfeld was a royal seat from 1680 to 1735.

When Duke Albrecht von Sachsen-Coburg died in 1699 without surviving descendants, disputes arose, especially with Bernhard I von Sachsen-Meiningen , which were not settled until 1735. Most of Saxony-Coburg came to the youngest Ernestine line of Saxony-Saalfeld, which gave rise to the principality of Saxony-Coburg-Saalfeld. However, the offices of Sonneberg and Neuhaus had to be transferred to Sachsen-Meiningen and Sonnefeld to Sachsen-Hildburghausen. When the Duchy of Saxony-Römhild was divided up in 1710, the third of the Römhild office and five twelfth of the Themar office remained with Sachsen-Coburg.

Saxony-Coburg-Saalfeld 1735 to 1826

After the death of Duke Johann Ernst in 1729, his sons Christian Ernst and Franz Josias ruled the country, consisting of two separate parts of the country, together, but from different places of residence. Christian Ernst stayed in Saalfeld while Franz Josias chose Coburg as his residence. In 1745 Duke Franz Josias inherited the Saalfeld part of the country from his brother. In 1747 he was able to legally anchor the right of birthright ( primogeniture ) in the succession to the throne and thus ensured the long-term survival of the House of Saxony-Coburg-Saalfeld together with a rapidly growing family. His youngest son, Prince Friedrich Josias , made himself known as Prince Coburg and the principality through his victories as imperial general and field marshal in the Austro-Turkish War and in the first coalition war against France. Brother and regent Duke Ernst Friedrich was better known for the desolate finances of his principality, which from 1773 resulted in compulsory debt management by an imperial debit commission until 1802.

Heller from Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, year 1745

Duke Franz Friedrich Anton , who ruled for only six years, from 1800 to 1806, ensured, in particular through his minister Theodor Konrad von Kretschmann, a renewal of the ailing duchy and in 1805 contractually between Coburg and Saalfeld for a unified state system with a state administration of the principality, the In 1806 with the end of the Holy Roman Empire, full sovereignty was granted. Since 1805, the Themar office belonged completely to Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld.

On December 15, 1806, Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld joined the Rhine Confederation with the other Ernestine principalities . From November 1806 until the Peace of Tilsit in July 1807 the principality was occupied by the French. Duke Ernst I was only able to return to his country afterwards from Königsberg in East Prussia. A border treaty with the Kingdom of Bavaria in 1811 led to a territorial settlement over disputed areas. The places Fürth am Berg , Hof an der Steinach , Niederfüllbach and Triebsdorf came to Saxony-Coburg, Gleußen , the Schleifenhan mill , Buch am Forst and Herreth became Bavarian. After the sovereign fought on the side of the Allies in 1813, the Congress of Vienna brought him territorial growth and membership in the German Confederation in 1815 with an area to the left of the Rhine, later called the Principality of Lichtenberg . On August 8, 1821, the duchy received a constitution .

The extinction of the oldest Saxon-Gotha-Altenburg line in 1825 led again to inheritance disputes in the Ernestine family . On November 12, 1826, the arbitration ruling of the head of the family, King Friedrich August I of Saxony , led to the comprehensive restructuring of the Ernestine duchies. Neuhaus and Sonneberg finally fell to Saxony-Meiningen with the so-called Meininger Oberland . Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld ceded Sachsen-Saalfeld and the Themar office to Sachsen-Meiningen. In return, it received the Duchy of Saxe-Gotha without the offices of Kranichfeld and Römhild, which fell to Sachsen-Meiningen, and without Altenburg (offices of Altenburg, Ronneburg, Eisenberg, Roda and Kahla), which the previous Duke of Saxe-Hildburghausen took over, as well as from previous Sachsen-Hildburghausen the offices of Königsberg and Sonnefeld. The new duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha was thus created as a personal union of the two duchies of Saxe-Coburg and Saxe-Gotha.

coat of arms

A representation of the coat of arms of the Dukes of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld can be found at the former Hotel Victoria in Royal Tunbridge Wells . The coat of arms was affixed in honor of the father of the future Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland, Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn . Some colors were mixed up during later restorations. Left (heraldic right) the royal British coat of arms with the emblems of England, Scotland and Ireland as well as Braunschweig, Lüneburg and the Lower Saxony horse in the heart shield. Right (heraldic left) the family coat of arms of Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld.

Coat of arms Edward Augustus, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, Royal Tunbridge Wells

Blazon : The coat of arms is divided five times and split twice with a central shield on the fifth and eighth field. In the fields:

  • Heart shield (field 5): Divided nine times by black and gold. (Ancestral coat of arms of the Wettins , Ernestine line )
  • Field 1: In blue a lion with a gold crown, divided seven times by silver and red. ( Landgraviate of Thuringia , the seven red stripes are missing in the representation of Royal Tunbridge Wells)
  • Field 2: In red a golden lily reel with eight lilies, covered with a white heart sign. ( Duchy of Kleve , inheritance claim)
  • Field 3: In gold, a black lion. ( Duchy of Jülich , inheritance claim)
  • Field 4: In gold, a black lion. ( Margraviate of Meissen )
  • Field 5: occupied by the center shield
  • Field 6: In silver, a gold-crowned red lion with a double tail. ( Duchy of Berg , inheritance claim)
  • Field 7: In blue a gold crowned golden eagle. ( Pfalzgrafschaft Sachsen , in the representation of Royal Tunbridge Wells in silver a red eagle)
  • Field 8: Two blue posts in gold. ( Margraviate Landsberg )
  • Field 9: In black a golden eagle (Pfalzgrafschaft Thuringia)
  • Field 10: In the field sprinkled with ten red hearts, a black lion with a red crown. ( County of Orlamünde )
  • Field 11: Three blue bars in silver. ( Lordship of Eisenberg in the Stadtroda district).
  • Field 12: Split of silver and blue, occupied by a gold crowned lion in mistaken tincture. ( Principality of Lichtenberg in the Palatinate, colors mixed up in the representation of Royal Tunbridge Wells)
  • Field 13: In silver, a red rose with a golden clasp and green sepals. ( Burggrafschaft Altenburg in Thuringia)
  • Field 14: Red. ( Regalienfeld )
  • Field 15: Three red sea leaves in silver (2: 1). (County of Brehna in the Bitterfeld district)
  • Field 16: In gold, a bar cut 21 times in three rows of silver and red. ( County of Mark in Westphalia, inheritance claim)
  • Field 17: In the divided field on the right in gold on a green three-hill a black rooster with a red comb, on the left in red a silver column with a gold crown on it. (Right: Fürstete Grafschaft Henneberg - Left: Römhild in the Hildburghausen district)
  • Field 18: Three red rafters in silver. ( County of Ravensberg in Westphalia, inheritance claim)

Dynastic connections

The children of Duke Franz Friedrich Anton in particular ensured the dynastic success of the Coburg house. Due to the fame of Prince Friedrich Josias, the daughter Princess Julie (later Grand Duchess Anna Feodorovna) married the Russian Grand Duke Constantin in 1796. Daughter Princess Marie Luise Victoire married Eduard August, Duke of Kent and Strathearn in 1818 , and became the mother of Queen Victoria . The youngest surviving son, Prince Leopold, became King of the Belgians in 1831 as Leopold I. The five years older brother Prince Ferdinand married Maria Antonie Gabriele von Koháry in 1816 , who came from one of the richest aristocratic families in Hungary, and founded the Catholic Line Sachsen-Coburg-Koháry. The son of the same name, Prince Ferdinand, became Dom Fernando II. King of Portugal in 1837 and the other son, Prince August, was the father of Ferdinand I , Prince in 1887 and Tsar of Bulgaria in 1908. In addition, heir to the throne, Duke Ernst I, was the father of Prince Albert , The Prince Consort , who in 1840 became the husband of Queen Victoria, his cousin , of Great Britain .

Dukes of Saxony-Saalfeld, from 1735 of Saxony-Coburg-Saalfeld

Minister of State of Saxony-Coburg-Saalfeld


Web links

Commons : Sachsen-Coburg-Saalfeld  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The Themar office in the Thuringia archive portal