Duke Francis Henry of Saxe-Lauenburg

Francis Henry of Saxe-Lauenburg (born: 9 April 1604; died: 26 November 1658) was a Prince of Saxe-Lauenburg

Duke Francis Henry of Saxe-Lauenburg
Born(1604-04-09)9 April 1604
Died26 November 1658(1658-11-26) (aged 54)
Spouse(s)Marie Juliane of Nassau-Siegen
Issue
FatherFrancis II, Duke of Saxe-Lauenburg
MotherMaria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

LifeEdit

Francis Henry, was the ninth and youngest son of Duke Francis II of Saxe-Lauenburg (1547–1619) from his second marriage to Maria (1566–1626), daughter of Duke Julius of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Prince of Wolfenbüttel. King Henry IV of France was his godfather. In a contract of inheritance dated 1619, Francis Henry recognized his elder brother Augustus as sovereign, in exchange for an annual appanage of 2500 thaler.

When King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden landed in Peenemünde in 1630, Francis Henry entered his service and earned his affection. He fought as colonel and regiment commander under general Johan Banér and was victorious in the Battle of Wittstock in 1636. Gustav Adolf gave Francis Henry the estates of the nunnery of Marienfließ Abbey in Pomerania.[1] On 28 June 1643 Gustav Adolf's daughter, Christina of Sweden, leased Marienfließ to Francis Henry for 10 years, after which it reverted to the new ruler of Pomerania, Frederick William, the Great elector, on 12 December 1653, rewarding Francis Henry's improvements to the estate.[2]

After his mother's death in 1635, he received Franzhagen in a division of her property among her sons. When his brother Augustus died, Francis Henry received Wangelau and Rothenbeck (a part of today's Grande) in addition. While in Swedish service and thereafter he spent a lot of time with Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg (1579–1658), dowager of Philip II, Duke of Pomerania. Sophia's and Francis Henry's fathers were cousins. It was at her dower in Treptow upon Rega, a former nunnery which she had converted into a castle, where Francis Henry and Marie Juliane of Nassau-Siegen (1612–1665) married on 13 December 1637.[3] Their first child was born in Treptow in 1640.[4]

Francis Henry also served Sophia as administrator of the estates pertaining to her dower.[4] Francis Henry and his brother Francis Charles objected the planned succession of their brother Julius Henry as sole ruler of Saxe-Lauenburg. However, when Julius Henry succeeded their late elder half-brother Augustus, deceased in 1656, this dispute was finally resolved.

Later Francis Henry resided at Franzhagen Castle. Due to his miserliness, his subjects gave him the nickname Francis Drybread (Low German: Franz Drögbrod).

Marriage and issueEdit

Francis Henry married on 13 December 1637 in Treptow upon Rega with Marie Juliane (1612–1665), a daughter of Count John VII of Nassau-Siegen, with whom he had the following children:

  • Catherine Marie (1640–1641)
  • Christine Juliane (1642–1644)
  • Erdmuthe Sophie (1644–1689), married in 1665 Duke Gustav Rudolph of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1632–1670), son of Adolf Frederick I, Duke of Mecklenburg
  • Francis (1645–1645)
  • Eleanore Charlotte (1646–1709), married in 1676 Duke Christian Adolph of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Franzhagen (1641-1702)
  • Erdmann (1649–1660)

Francis Henry had two more children born out of wedlock.

AncestryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Johann Samuel Ersch: Allgemeine Encyclopädie der Wissenschaften und Künste in alphabetischer Folge, vol. 48, J. F. Gleditsch, 1848, pp. 92 ff (Digitized)

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Bernd Warlich, "Sachsen-Lauenburg, Franz Heinrich von", on: Der Dreißigjährige Krieg in Selbstzeugnissen, Chroniken und Berichten, retrieved on 13 October 2011.
  2. ^ Christian Friedrich Wutstrack, Nachtrag zu der Kurzen historisch-geographisch-statistischen Beschreibung des königlich-preussischen Herzogthums Vor- und Hinter-Pommern, Stettin: Johann Samuel Leich, 1795, p. 179.
  3. ^ N.N., "VII. Sophie von Schleswig-Holstein, Witwe Herzog Philipps II. von Pommern, auf dem Schlosse in Treptow an der Rega", in: Baltische Studien (1832 to date), vol. 1, Gesellschaft für Pommersche Geschichte und Alterthumskunde and Historische Kommission für Pommern (eds.), vol. 1: Stettin: Friedrich Heinrich Morin, 1832, pp. 247–259, here pp. 250 and 257.
  4. ^ a b N.N., "VII. Sophie von Schleswig-Holstein, Witwe Herzog Philipps II. von Pommern, auf dem Schlosse in Treptow an der Rega", in: Baltische Studien (1832 to date), vol. 1, Gesellschaft für Pommersche Geschichte und Alterthumskunde and Historische Kommission für Pommern (eds.), vol. 1: Stettin: Friedrich Heinrich Morin, 1832, pp. 247–259, here p. 257.