Augustus the Elder, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

Augustus the Elder, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg (18 November 1568 – 1 October 1636) was the Lutheran Bishop of Ratzeburg from 1610 to 1636 and the Prince of Lüneburg from 1633 to 1636.

Augustus the Elder
Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Born18 November 1568 (1568-11-18)
Died1 October 1636 (1636-11) (aged 67)
Noble familyHouse of Welf
Eva Margaretha, Frierich, and 10 others
FatherWilliam the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
MotherDorothea of Denmark


Augustus was born in 1564 as the fifth of fifteen children and the son of William the Younger and his wife Dorothea of Denmark. As a young man he was a colonel in the service of Rudolf II and fought in the campaigns against France and Turkey. In 1610 Augustus became the Lutheran administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Ratzeburg.

In order to prevent hereditary aspirations the Ratzeburg cathedral chapter, the elective body, insisted that on ascending to power in the prince-bishopric (an elective monarchy), Augustus committed himself in his election capitulation not to marry. Nevertheless he lived with Ilse Schmidtchen, a commoner, in a 'marriage-like relationship'[1] and had 12 children by her; he built her a house near his residence, Celle Castle. The children were later elevated to the hereditary peerage under the name von Lüneburg; this surname still exists.

In 1633 Augustus succeeded his brother, Christian, who had died, as Prince of Lüneburg. During the Thirty Years War he continued the policy of neutrality started by his brother. He died in Celle in 1636.

Since 1831, the family descended from Augustus has resided at Essenrode Manor. The last male heir (who died in 1961) adopted his great-nephew, Baron Ernst Bussche, heir of the manor, who took on the name von Lüneburg.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Christa Geckler, Die Celler Herzöge - Leben und Wirken 1371-1705, p. 73


  • Geckler, Christa (1986). Die Celler Herzöge: Leben und Wirken 1371–1705. Celle: Georg Ströher. ISBN 3-921744-05-8. OCLC 255990175.

External linksEdit

Augustus the Elder, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Cadet branch of the House of Este
Born: 1568 Died: 1636
German nobility
Religious titles
Preceded by
Administrator of the
Prince-Bishopric of Ratzeburg

Succeeded by
Gustavus Adolphus of Mecklenburg
German nobility
Preceded by
Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Prince of Lüneburg

Succeeded by
Frederick IV