Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg

Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg (16 December 1614, in Stuttgart – 2 July 1674, in Stuttgart) ruled as Duke of Württemberg from 1628 until his death in 1674.

Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg
900-203 Herzog Eberhard III.jpg
Eberhard III ca. 1670
Born(1614-12-16)16 December 1614
Stuttgart, Germany
Died2 July 1674(1674-07-02) (aged 59)
Stuttgart, Germany
Noble familyHouse of Württemberg
Spouse(s)Anna Katharina, Wild- and Rheingräfin of Salm-Kyrburg
Countess Marie Dorothea Sofie of Oettingen
FatherJohn Frederick, Duke of Württemberg
MotherBarbara Sophie of Brandenburg

Eberhard III became the heir under guardianship in 1628 during the Thirty Years' War at the age of 14 after the death of his father, Johann Frederick, 7th Duke of Württemberg. His guardian at first was his father's brother Louis Frederick, Duke of Württemberg-Montbéliard and after his death in 1631 Julius Frederick, Duke of Württemberg-Weiltingen.

Württemberg lost around one third of its territory in 1629. Julius Frederick was removed as guardian in 1633 when Eberhard was declared of full age at which point he assumed full rule of the Duchy. Following a major defeat of Württemberg troops in the battle of Nördlingen on 6 September 1634, Württemberg was severely looted and plundered.

Eberhard fled to Strasbourg where he married in 1637, returning to Württemberg in 1638 after long negotiations with Ferdinand III of the Holy Roman Empire. By this time many territories had already been passed on by the Emperor to other parties to push forward Catholicism in the region.

The Duchy of Württemberg was reinstated after long negotiations resulting in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, despite or maybe because of the effects of war, poverty, hunger and the Bubonic plague all of which reduced the population from 350,000 in 1618 to 120,000 in 1648.

Eberhard III entered into an inheritance agreement with his younger brother Frederick thereby handing over ownership of the Duchy of Württemberg-Neuenstadt and thus establishing a new branch line of the duchy. In 1651, Eberhard came to a similar agreement with another brother, Ulrich affecting the Castle of Neuenbürg.

Family and childrenEdit

Eberhard III of Württemberg
Engraving of Eberhard

Eberhard III was the second son of John Frederick, 7th Duke of Württemberg and Barbara Sophie of Brandenburg. He married twice, first on 26 February 1637 with Anna Katharina, Wild- and Rheingräfin of Salm-Kyrburg (27 January 1614 – 27 June 1655). They had fourteen children:

Secondly, he married on 20 July 1656 with Countess Marie Dorothea Sofie of Oettingen (29 December 1639 – 29 June 1698). They had eleven children:

  • George Frederick of Württemberg-Stuttgart (24 September 1657 – 18 October 1685), killed in the Battle of Kassa against the Ottomans.
  • Stillborn son (12 April 1659).
  • Albrecht Christian of Württemberg-Stuttgart (13 June 1660 – 20 January 1663).
  • Louis of Württemberg-Stuttgart (14 August 1661 – 30 November 1698).
  • Joachim Ernst of Württemberg-Stuttgart (28 August 1662 – 16 February 1663).
  • Philipp Siegmund of Württemberg-Stuttgart (6 October 1663 – 23 July 1669).
  • Karl Ferdinand of Württemberg-Stuttgart (13 October 1667 – 13 June 1668).
  • John Frederick of Württemberg-Stuttgart (10 June 1669 – 15 October 1693). Died in duel with count János Pálffy near Herrenberg.
  • Sophie Charlotte of Württemberg-Stuttgart (22 February 1671 – 11 September 1717); married on 20 September 1688 to John George II, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach.
  • Eberhard of Württemberg-Stuttgart (1 July 1672 – 27 November 1672).
  • Emanuel Eberhard of Württemberg-Stuttgart (posthumously, 11 October 1674 – 1 July 1675).



External linksEdit

Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg
Born: 16 December 1614 Died: 2 July 1674
Regnal titles
Preceded by Duke of Württemberg
Succeeded by