Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein

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The Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein were titles of the Frankish Empire. The dynastic family came from the County of Schauenburg near Rinteln (district Schaumburg) on the Weser in Germany. Together with its ancestral possessions in Bückeburg and Stadthagen, the House of Schauenburg ruled the County of Schauenburg and the County of Holstein. The comital titles of Holstein were subject to the liege lord, the Dukes of undivided Saxony till 1296, and thereafter the Dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg.

Jutland and Northernmost Germany showing Schleswig and Holstein in today's German Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein.

The counties of Schauenburg and HolsteinEdit

The County of Schaumburg originated as a medieval county, which was founded at the beginning of the 12th century. It was named after Schauenburg Castle, near Rinteln on the Weser, where the owners started calling themselves Lords (from 1295 Counts) of Schauenburg. Adolf I probably became the first Lord of Schauenburg in 1106. In 1110, Adolf I, Lord of Schauenburg was appointed by Lothair, Duke of Saxony to hold Holstein and Stormarn, including Hamburg, as fiefs.[1]

In a battle with Denmark, however, Adolf III became prisoner of the king Valdemar II, to whom he had to give Holstein in exchange for his freedom. In 1227 Adolf III's son, Adolf IV, recovered the lost lands from Denmark. Subsequently, the House of Schaumburg were also counts of Holstein and its partitions Holstein-Itzehoe, Holstein-Kiel, Holstein-Pinneberg (till 1640), Holstein-Plön, Holstein-Segeberg and Holstein-Rendsburg (till 1460) and through the latter at times also the dukes of Schleswig.

Partitions of HolsteinEdit

Holstein partitions of 1261 and 1273Edit

After 1261 the previously jointly ruling brothers Gerhard I and the elder John I divided the Counties of Holstein and Schauenburg (Schaumburg). Gerhard I received the Counties of Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg, whereas John received the County of Holstein-Kiel. After the death of John I, his sons Adolphus V and John II reigned jointly in Holstein-Kiel. In 1273 they partitioned Holstein-Kiel and John II continued ruling over Kiel; Adolphus V the Pomeranian then received Segeberg (aka County of Stormarn). After the death of Adolphus V, Holstein-Segeberg was reincorporated into Holstein-Kiel.

Holstein partition of 1290 and reversions of 1350 and 1390Edit

After Gerhard I's death in 1290 his three younger sons partitioned Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg into three branches, with Adolph VI the Elder, the third brother, getting Holstein-Pinneberg and Schaumburg south of the Elbe, the second brother Gerhard II the Blind getting Holstein-Plön, and the fourth Henry I receiving Holstein-Rendsburg. The eldest brother John was Canon at the Hamburg Cathedral.

After the death of Gerhard II his sons Gerhard IV and his younger half-brother John III the Mild inherited and ruled in Holstein-Plön together. In 1316 the brothers militarily seized the possessions of John II the One-Eyed (d. 1321) in Holstein-Kiel, whose sons had been killed. John III the Mild, before a second-born co-ruling count in Plön, then received Kiel from the deposed John II the One-Eyed, a cousin of his father Gerhard II the Blind. Gerhard IV continued ruling Holstein-Plön as sole count.

After the death of John III's nephew Gerhard V, Count of Holstein-Plön in 1350, who had succeeded Gerhard IV, the Plön line became extinct and John III re-inherited their possessions. In 1390 his son Adolphus IX (aka VII)[2] ruling since 1359 Kiel including Plön, died without issue and thus Nicholas (Claus) of Holstein-Rendsburg and his nephews Albert II and Gerhard VI (jointly ruling till 1397) succeeded to the territories of Holstein-Kiel and Holstein-Plön.

Holstein partition of 1397 and the extinction of the Rendsburg line in 1459Edit

In 1390 the Holstein-Rendsburg line had assembled the larger part of the partitioned Holstein counties, to wit Kiel, Plön and Segeberg, but not Holstein-Pinneberg, which existed until 1640. Members of the Rendsburg family branch were often also simply titled as Counts of Holstein after 1390. For the Pinneberg family branch, usually residing in the County of Schaumburg, the titling after Schaumburg started to prevail.

In 1397 after the death of their uncle Nicholas (Claus), with whom the nephews Albert II and the elder Gerhard VI had jointly ruled Holstein-Rendsburg, they partitioned Holstein-Segeberg (aka county of Stormarn) from Holstein-Rendsburg, with Albert receiving the new branch county in return for waiving his co-rule in Rendsburg. After Albert's death in 1403 Segeberg reverted to Rendsberg. In 1459, with the death of Adolphus XI (aka VIII),[2] the Rendsburg branch was extinct in the male line and the nobility of Holstein-Rendburg and of Schleswig then assigned the succession to his sister's son King Christian I of Denmark, House of Oldenburg.

The last Schauenburg line ruling Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg till 1640Edit

After King Christian I of Denmark, House of Oldenburg had been chosen as heir to the County of Holstein-Rendsburg Christian ascended to the comital throne in 1460. In 1474 Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, elevated Christian I from Count of Holstein-Rendsburg to Duke of Holstein. For his succession in the Duchy of Holstein see List of rulers of Schleswig-Holstein#House of Oldenburg (1460–1544). The Schauenburg line in the Counties of Holstein-Pinneberg and Schaumburg persisted until its extinction in the male line in 1640. This line is also known as Holstein-Schauenburg. The Counts were elevated to Princes of Schaumburg in 1619/1620, however, the Dukes of Holstein opposed the transition of that title to the County of Holstein-Pinneberg.

Schaumburg partition of 1640Edit

After the death in 1640 of Count Otto V without children, the rule of the House of Schaumburg ended in Holstein. The County of Holstein-Pinneberg was merged under Christian IV with his royal share in the Duchy of Holstein, which is now part of the state of Schleswig-Holstein. For Christian IV and his successors see List of rulers of Schleswig-Holstein#House of Oldenburg (1640–1713)

The Principality of Schaumburg proper, however, was partitioned among the agnatic Schauenburg heirs into three parts, one incorporated into the Principality of Lüneburg of the Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg, the second becoming the County of Schaumburg-Lippe and the third continuing the name County of Schaumburg, ruled in personal union by Hesse-Cassel. All the three are now part of the state of Lower Saxony. The Sovereign Lordship of Gemen, in 1531 acquired for Schaumburg through marriage by Jobst I, and ruled by his second-born son of Jobst II (ca. 1520–1581, regnant since 1531), passed on to the family of Limburg Stirum. Gemen is in today's North Rhine-Westphalia.

House of SchauenburgEdit

Partitions of Holstein and Schauenburg under Schauenburg ruleEdit

County of Holstein-Schauenburg
Duchy of Schleswig
Under domain
of Schauenburg family
(Holstein-Rendsburg branch)
(1325–1330 and 1375–1433)
County of Holstein
County of Schauenburg
County of Holstein-Schauenburg
Annexed by Denmark County of Schauenburg
County of Holstein-Schauenburg
       Holstein-Itzehoe and Schauenburg
(1st creation)
       Holstein-Pinneberg and
(2nd creation)
Annexed by Denmark

Table of rulersEdit

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Adolph I ? 1106–1110 13 November 1130 Schauenburg Hildewa
before 1128
four children
First count of Schauenburg, in 1110 becomes count of Holstein.
1110–1130 Schauenburg and Holstein
Adolph II c.1128 1130–1137 6 July 1164 Schauenburg and Holstein Mechthild of Schwarzburg-Käfernburg
before 1160
one son
In 1137 Henry of Badewide occupied Holstein.
1137–1143 Schauenburg
Henry of Badewide ? 1137–1143 1164 Holstein A relative of the King of Denmark
before 1164
at least two children
Non-dynastic. Restrained in 1139 to Wagria.
Adolph II c.1128 1143–1164 6 July 1164 Schauenburg and Holstein Matilda of Schwarzburg-Käfernburg
before 1160
one son
Reunites Holstein and Schauenburg.
Adolph III

Under regency of
Matilda of Schwarzburg-Käfernburg
1160 1164–1203 3 January 1225 Schauenburg and Holstein Adelaide of Assel
no children

Adelaide of Querfurt
Before 10 May 1189
four children
Count of Schauenburg and Holstein, ceding the latter to Valdemar II in 1203 in order to be released from his captivity.
1203–1225 Schauenburg
Valdemar II of Denmark 9 May or 28 June 1170 1203–1208 28 March 1241 Holstein Dagmar of Bohemia
one son

Berengaria of Portugal
four children
From the House of Estridsen. Non-dynastic as invader of Holstein. Probably delivered the rule of Holstein to the count of Orlamunde.
Albert I c.1184 1208–1227 before 22 October 1245 Holstein Hedwig of Thuringia
no children
From the House of Ascania, he's generally included in the numbering of the counts as I. Count of Weimar-Orlamünde, as Albert II, from 1206, he appears since 1208 with the additional title of Count of Holstein, holding residence at Stormarn.
Adolph IV Before 1205 1225–1227 8 July 1261 Schauenburg Heilwig of Lippe
four children
Count of Holstein by military victory over Valdemar II; he later resigned and became a monk.
1227–1238 Schauenburg and Holstein
John I

Under regency of
Heilwig of Lippe
1229 1238–1261 20 April 1263 Schauenburg and Holstein Elisabeth of Saxe-Wittenberg
1249 or 1250
four children
Sons of Adolph IV, ruled jointly. On the aftermath of the death of their father in self-retirement, they divided their possessions: John received Holstein-Kiel; Gerhard received Holstein-Itzehoe and also the county of Schauenburg. After Gerhard's death in 1290 his sons partitioned Holstein-Itzehoe and Schaumburg into three branches, with Adolph getting Holstein-Pinneberg and Schaumburg, Gerhard getting Holstein-Plön, and Henry getting Holstein-Rendsburg.
1261–1263 Holstein-Kiel
Gerhard I

Under regency of
Heilwig of Lippe
1232 c.1243–1261 21 December 1290 Schauenburg and Holstein Elizabeth of Mecklenburg
eleven children

Alexia of Montferrat
no children
1261–1290 Holstein-Itzehoe and Schauenburg
John II the One-Eyed 1253 1263–1316 1321 Holstein-Kiel Margareta of Denmark
two children
Sons of John I, ruled jointly. In 1273 divided the land: John II kept Holstein-Kiel; Adolph received Holstein-Segeberg. After the death of Adolph in 1308 without descendants, Holstein_Segeberg returned to Holstein-Kiel. In 1316, John II was deposed by his cousin John III from Holstein-Plön.
Adolph V the Pomeranian 1252 1263–1273 10 April or 11 November 1308 Holstein-Kiel Euphemia of Pomerania-Wolgast
1273 or 1278
one child
1273–1308 Holstein-Segeberg
Gerhard II the Blind 1254 1290–1312 28 October 1312 Holstein-Plön Ingeborg of Sweden
12 December 1275
four children

Agnes of Brandenburg
one child
First son of Gerhard I, ruled in -Plön.
Adolph VI the Elder 1256 1290–1315 13 May 1315 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Helen of Saxe-Lauenburg
14 February 1294
seven children
Second son of Gerhard I, ruled in -Pinneberg and also received Schauenburg.
Henry I 1258 1290–1304 5 August 1304 Holstein-Rendsburg Heilwig of Bronckhorst
four children
Third son of Gerhard I, ruled in -Rendsburg.
Gerhard III the Great 1292 1304–1340

1 April 1340 Holstein-Rendsburg

Sophia of Werle
four children
Profited from the minority of the duke of Schleswig to take over the duchy to himself, but handed it over in 1330.
Adolph (VII) c.1276 1308–1315 1315 Holstein-Segeberg Luitgard of Mecklenburg
no children
Son of John II, succeeded his uncle Adolph V at Segeberg. Died assassinated and without heirs.
Gerhard IV 1254 1312–1323 1323 Holstein-Plön Anastasia of Schwerin
30 July 1313
two children
Sons of Gerhard II, ruled jointly. In 1316, John III deposed John II of Holstein-Kiel and took over the duchy, leaving sole rule of Plön to his brother Gerhard IV. John III also served, alongside Gerhard III, as lord ruling in guardianship the Danish Duchy of Schleswig 1332–1340.
John III the Mild 1297 1312–1316 27 September 1359 Holstein-Plön Catherine of Głogów
25 December 1317 or 27 January 1319
three children

Miroslawa of Schwerin-Wittenburg
three children
1316–1359 Holstein-Kiel
Adolph VII 1295 or 1297 1315–1354 9 October 1354 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Hedwig of Schwalenberg
by 1301
three children

Helwig of Lippe
eight children
Gerhard V 1315 1323–1350 22 September 1350 Holstein-Plön Unmarried After his death, his uncle John III, ruler of -Kiel and previous co-ruler in -Plön, reunites both lands.
Nicholas I 1321 1340–1397

8 May 1397 Holstein-Rendsburg

Elisabeth of Brunswick-Lüneburg
one child
Nicholas and Henry ruled jointly as sons of Gerhard III. In 1375 they inherited the Duchy of Schleswig from the House of Estridsen. In 1384, with the death of his brother, Nicholas associated his nephews (Gerhard and Albert, sons of Henry) to power. In 1386 he abdicated of Schleswig to his older nephew Gerhard, who assumed alone this lands. In 1390 Nicholas inherited Holstein-Kiel. After Nicholas' death in 1397, the co-ruling nephews, Gerhard and Albert, divided the land.
Henry II of Iron 1317 1340–1384

1384 Holstein-Rendsburg

Matilda of Lippe
one child

Ingeborg of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
before 1374
four children
Adolph VIII the Younger After 1301 1354–1370 13 October 1370 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Unmarried
Adolph IX the Mild 1327 1359–1390 26 January 1390 Holstein-Kiel Anne of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
4 December 1362 or 21 September 1365
no children
Received from inheritance of his father -Kiel and also -Plön, incorporated in 1350. After his death in 1390 without descendants, -Kiel and its patrimony is inherited by Holstein-Rendsburg.
Otto I 1330 1370–1404 After 16 March 1404 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Mechtild of Brunswick-Lüneburg
25 June 1368
ten children
Gerhard VI 1367 1386–1404

5 August 1404 Schleswig

Catherine Elisabeth of Brunswick-Lüneburg
six children
Co-rulers in Rendsburg with their uncle Nicholas since 1384. After the abdication of Nicholas in Schleswig, Gerhard took over the duchy, and assumed Rendsburg only after the former's death. Gerhard's brother Albert revived in 1397 the duchy of Segeberg, making official the new division, but after his death in 1403, Segeberg merged again in Rendsburg, still in hands of Gerhard, who died in the following year.
Albert II 1369 1397–1403 28 September 1403 Holstein-Segeberg Agnes of Saxe-Lauenburg
before 23 March 1399
no children
Henry III c.1372 1404–1421 February 1421 Holstein-Rendsburg Unmarried Also Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück as Henry I (1402–1410), and regent in Schleswig.
Adolph X 1375 1404–1426 9 October 1426 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Helena of Hoya
three children
Henry IV

Under regency of
Catherine Elisabeth of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Henry, Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück
1397 1404–1427

28 May 1427 Schleswig

Unmarried Died without descendants. Passed the land to his brothers.
Otto II 1400 1426–1464 2 June 1464 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Elisabeth of Hohnstein
ten children
Adolph XI 1401 1427–1459 4 December 1459 Holstein-Rendsburg and Schleswig Matilda
before 1433
no children

Margareta of Mansfeld
no children
Sons of Gerhard VI, ruled jointly in Holstein-Rendsburg. As Gerhard also wanted to rule in Schleswig he claimed (unsuccessfully) this duchy for himself against his brother. Adolph was the mightiest vassal of Danish crown at his time, gaining royal Danish recognition in 1440. After Adolph's death his patrimony is annexed by Denmark.
Gerhard VII 1404 1427–1433 24 July 1433 Holstein-Rendsburg and Schleswig Agnes of Baden
2 June 1432
ten children
Adolph XII 1419 1464–1474 9 October 1474 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Irmgard of Hoya
no children
First son of Otto II. Left no descendants.
Eric I 1420 1474–1492 24 or 25 March 1492 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Heba of East Frisia
no children
Second son of Otto II. Left no descendants.
Otto III 1426 1492–1510 1510 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Unmarried Third son of Otto II. Left no descendants.
Anton I 1439 1510–1526 22 December 1526 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Sophia of Saxe-Lauenburg
29 November 1492
no children

Anna of Schönburg
before 25 September 1497
no children
Sixth son of Otto II and the fourth ruling. Left no descendants.
John IV 1449 1526–1527 30 March 1527 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Cordula of Gehmen
one child
Jobst I 1483 1527–1531 5 June 1531 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Maria of Nassau-Dietz
eight children
Adolph XIII 19 January 1511 1531–1544 20 September 1556 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Unmarried Joint rule with his brother John IV. Abdicated in 1544. Later he became Archbishop of Cologne as Adolph III (1547–1556).
John V 1512 1531–1544 1560 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Elisabeth of East Frisia
no children
Joint rule with his brother Adolphus XIII. Abdicated in 1544.
Otto IV 1517 1544–1576 21 December 1576 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Maria of Pomerania-Stettin
before 1545
four children

Ursula of Brunswick-Lüneburg
three children
In 1559 he officially began the Reformation in Schauenburg and Holstein-Pinneberg.
Adolph XIV 27 February 1547 1576–1601 2 July 1601 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Elisabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
6 May 1583
one child
Ernest 24 September 1569 1601–1622 17 January 1622 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Hedwig of Hesse-Kassel
11 September 1597
ten children
Brother of Adolphus XIV. Was elevated to "Prince of Schaumburg" in 1619.
Jobst Herman 6 October 1593 1622–1635 5 November 1635 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Unmarried Cousin of his predecessor. Died without descendants.
Otto V 1 March 1614 1635–1640 15 November 1640 Holstein-Pinneberg and Schauenburg Unmarried Cousin of his predecessor. Died without descendants.

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

  • Marek, Miroslav. "List of rulers of Holstein". Genealogy EU.
  • Marek, Miroslav. "Genealogy of Schauenburg". Genealogy EU.
  • (in German) Dukes of Schleswig-Holstein


  1. ^ Lemma Schauenburg/Schaumburg. In: Klaus-Joachim Lorenzen-Schmidt, Ortwin Pelc (Hrsg.): Schleswig-Holstein Lexikon. 2. Aufl., Wachholtz, Neumünster, 2006.
  2. ^ a b The numbering varies; some authors count all namesakes within the House of Schauenburg, here put in front, others count only the namesakes within any branch line, here given in parenthesis.