List of counts of East Frisia

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The counts and princes of East Frisia from the noble East Frisian family Cirksena descended from a line of East Frisian chieftains from Greetsiel. The county came into existence when Emperor Frederick III raised Ulrich I the son of a local chieftain to the status of Imperial Count in 1464.

East Frisian coat of arms

The most important ruler from the House of Cirksena was Edzard the Great (1462–1528), under whose leadership the Imperial County of East Frisia reached its greatest extent. During his reign the Reformation spread throughout East Frisia.

In 1654 the Cirksena were elevated to princes by the emperor. Charles Edzard, the last ruler from the House of Cirksena, died without issue during the night of 25/26 May 1744 (reportedly from a glass of buttermilk, which is said to have drunk after a hunt). Immediately thereafter, the county passed to King Frederick II of Prussia.

Name (Lifespan) Reign Title Note
UllrichI.jpg Ulrich I
(*around 1408; †25 or 26 September 1466)
1464–1466 Count First Count of East Frisia. Emperor Frederick III raised Ulrich to the status of Imperial Count in 1464.
Theda.jpg Theda Ukena
(*1432; †16 November 1494)
1466–1480 Regent Widow of Ulrich I, as regent for Enno I.
Энно I (граф Восточной Фрисландии).png Enno I
(*1 June 1460; †19 February 1491)
1480–1491 Count First son of Ulrich I. Didn't have children.
Jacob Cornelisz van Amsterdam.jpg Edzard I the Great
(*1461; †14 February 1528)
1491–1528 Count Second son of Ulrich I and Theda Ukena.
EnnoII-k2.jpg Enno II
(*1505; †24 September 1540)
1528–1540 Count The son of Edzard I.
Annaostf.jpg Anna of Oldenburg
(*14 November 1501; †24 September 1575)
1540-1561 Regent Widow of Enno II, as regent for Johan II and Edzard II.
Johan II
(*29 September 1538; †29 September 1591)
1561–1591 Count The son of Enno II who ruled together with his brother Edzard II.
Edzardii.jpg Edzard II
(*24 June 1532; †1 March 1599)
1561–1599 Count The son of Enno II.
Ennoeastfrisia-optimiert.jpg Enno III
(*30 September 1563; †19 August 1625)
1599–1625 Count The son of Edzard II.
Rudolfchristian.jpg Rudolf Christian
(*2 June 1602; †17 April 1628)
1625–1628 Count The son of Enno III.
Ulrichiiostf.jpg Ulrich II
(*6 July 1605; †1 November 1648)
1628–1648 Count The son of Enno III.
Julianeostf.jpg Juliana of Hesse-Darmstadt
(*4 April 1606; †15 January 1659)
1648-1651 Regent Widow of Ulrich II, as regent for Enno Louis.
Ennoludwig.jpg Enno Louis
(*29 October 1632; †4 April 1660)
1651–1660 Count, after 1654 Fürst (Prince) The son of Ulrich II.
Georgchristian.jpg George Christian
(*6 February 1634; †6 June 1665)
1660–1665 Fürst (Prince) Second son of Ulrich II.
Christianeberhard.jpg Christian Everhard
(*1 October 1665; †30 June 1708)
1690–1708 Fürst (Prince) The son of Georg Christian.
George Albert, Prince of East Frisia.jpg George Albert
(*13 June 1690; †12 June 1734)
1708–1734 Fürst (Prince) The son of Christian Everhard.
Carledzard.jpg Charles Edzard
(*18 June 1716; †25 May 1744)
1734–1744 Fürst (Prince) The son of Georg Albrecht and the last Fürst of East Frisia of the House of Cirksena. He died without issue.
After the death of the last Prince of East Frisia, the state was conquered by King Frederick II of Prussia.

See alsoEdit


  • Tielke, Dr. Martin (Hrsg.): Biographisches Lexikon für East Frisia, Bd. 1 ISBN 3-925365-75-3 (1993), Bd. 2 ISBN 3-932206-00-2 (1997), Bd. 3 ISBN 3-932206-22-3 (2001) Ostfries. Landschaftliche Verl.- u. Vertriebsges. Aurich
  • Martin Jhering: Hofleben in East Frisia. Die Fürstenresidenz Aurich im Jahre 1728, Hannover 2005
  • Heinrich Reimers: East Frisia bis zum Aussterben seines Fürstenhauses, Bremen 1925
  • Ernst Esselborn: Das Geschlecht Cirksena, Berlin 1945
  • F. Wachter: Das Erbe der Cirksena. Ein Stück ostfriesischer Geschichte und des Kampfes um die Vorherrschaft in Norddeutschland., Aurich 1921