Christian, Count of Waldeck

Christian, Count of Waldeck (25 December 1585 in Eisenberg – 31 December 1637 in Waldeck), was Count of Waldeck-Wildungen and also imperial chamberlain.

Christian, Count of Waldeck
Born(1585-12-25)25 December 1585
Died31 December 1637(1637-12-31) (aged 52)
BuriedMarienthal Abbey, Netze (now part of Waldeck)
Noble familyHouse of Waldeck
Spouse(s)Elisabeth of Nassau
FatherJosias I, Count of Waldeck
MotherMarie of Barby


Christian was the son of Count Josias I of Waldeck-Eisenberg (1554-1588) and his wife Marie of Barby (1563-1619). He was guardian for his nephew Simon Louis (1627-1631) and later for his nephew's son Simon Philip (1636-1637) in the County of Lippe.

He loved the arts and sciences, and was kind to all scholars. He loved the Word of God and diligently supported churches, schools and hospitals provided and promised that he would eagerly stay with the Protestant religion. But after all, he could not resist the insistence of the clergy, and in 1630 he gave the order to apply extreme measures eradicate the 'vice that is magic'

— Klettenberg, Eichler, p. 123

Christian died in 1637 and was succeeded as Count of Waldeck-Wildungen by his son Philip VII. His younger son John became Count of Waldeck-Landau as John II.

Witch TrialsEdit

Christian I, Count of Waldeck was responsible for the particularly violent series of witch trials in Wildungen, which began in 1629. Until 1632, the trials cost the lives of 29 victims, including Elisabeth Kotzenberg, the wife of Günther Samuel, who was Christian's secretary. She was tortured and died at City Hall on 3 July 1630.

Marriage and issueEdit

On 18 November 1604, he married Countess Elisabeth (1584-1661), daughter of Count John VII of Nassau and his wife Magdalena of Waldeck-Wildungen. Christian and Elisabeth had 16 children:

  • Mary Magdalene (1606-1671), married in 1623 Count Simon VII of Lippe
  • Sophie Juliane (1607-1637), married in 1633 Herman of Hesse-Rotenburg, the son of Landgrave Maurice of Hesse-Kassel
  • Anna Augusta (1608-1658), married 1627 Count John of Sayn-Wittgenstein
  • Elizabeth (1610-1647), married in 1634 Count William Wirich of Daun-Falkenstein
  • Maurice (1611-1617)
  • Catherine (1612-1649), married:
    1. in 1631 Count Simon Louis of Lippe
    2. in 1641 Duke Philip Louis of Holstein-Wiesenburg
  • Philipp VII (1613-1645), Count of Waldeck-Wildungen, married in 1634 Countess Anna Catherine of Sayn-Wittgenstein
  • Christine (1614-1679), married in 1642 Count Ernest of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Homburg
  • Dorothea (1616-1661), married in 1641 Count Emich XIII of Leiningen-Falkenburg
  • Agnes (1617-1651), married in 1650 Count John Philip III of Leiningen-Dagsburg
  • Sibylle (1619-1678), married in 1643 Count Frederick Emich of Leiningen-Dagsburg
  • Johanna Agathe (1620-1636)
  • Gabriel (1621-1624)
  • John II (1623-1680), Count of Waldeck-Landau, married:
    1. in 1644 Countess Alexandrine Marie of Veblen-Meggen
    2. in 1655 Landgravine Dorothea Henriette of Hesse-Darmstadt
  • Louisa (1624-1665), married in 1647 Baron Gerhard Louis of Effern


  • Karl Eichler: Die Wildunger Hexenprozesse, in: Geschichtsblätter für Waldeck und Pyrmont, issue 24, 1927, p. 103–126 (in particular pp. 104, 106, 111 and 112)
  • Klettenberg: Waldeckischer Helden- und Regentensaal, manuscript, c. 1850, Online at Verein für hessische Geschichte und Landeskunde