Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover

Ernest Augustus (German: Ernst August; 20 November 1629 – 23 January 1698) was ruler of the Principality of Lüneburg from 1658 and of the Principality of Calenberg from 1679 until his death. He was appointed as the ninth prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692, but died before the appointment became effective.

Ernest Augustus
ErnstAugustKurfürst.JPG
Elector-designate of Hanover
Reign19 December 1692 – 23 January 1698
SuccessorGeorg Ludwig
Prince of Calenberg
Reign18 December 1679 – 23 January 1698
PredecessorJohn Frederick
SuccessorGeorg Ludwig
Prince of Lüneburg
Reign1658 – 23 January 1698
PredecessorGeorge William
SuccessorGeorg Ludwig
Born(1629-11-20)20 November 1629
Herzberg am Harz, Göttingen, Germany
Died23 January 1698(1698-01-23) (aged 68)
Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, Germany
Burial18 March 1698
Hanover, Germany
Spouse
(m. 1658)
Issue
more...
HouseHanover
FatherGeorge, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
MotherAnne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt

He was also ruler of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück from 1662 until his death.

BiographyEdit

Ernest Augustus was born on 20 November 1629 at Herzberg Castle near Göttingen, Principality of Calenberg, the youngest son of George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Prince of Calenberg, and Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt.

On 30 September 1658, he married Sophia of the Palatinate in Heidelberg.[1] She was the daughter of Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Elizabeth Stuart of England, and granddaughter of King James I of England. Sophia had been betrothed to Ernest Augustus's older brother, George William, who did not want her. When she married Ernest Augustus instead, releasing George William from this obligation, George WIlliam ceded to Ernest Augustus his claim to Lüneburg.

As the fourth son, Ernest Augustus had little chance of succeeding his father as ruler. Therefore, the couple had to live in the Leineschloss at the Hanover court of Ernest Augustus' eldest brother Christian Louis. However, in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, it had been agreed between the Catholic and Protestant powers that the rulership of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück should alternate between the two churches, and that the respective Protestant bishops should be members of the House of Welf. When the Osnabruck throne became vacant in 1662, the family appointed Ernest Augustus Prince-Bishop. Ernest Augustus and Sophia moved to Iburg Castle, together with their two living sons and Sophia's niece Princess Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate (future sister-in-law of Louis XIV of France). In 1667 they began to build a more up-to-date residence, Osnabruck Palace, and in 1673 they moved there. Their youngest son was born there in 1674.

Christian Louis died childless in 1665, leaving Lüneburg to the second brother, George William, who had ceded his right to Ernest Augustus, who thus succeeded to that title. George William kept the district of Celle for himself.

In 1679, Ernest Augustus inherited the Principality of Calenberg from the third brother John Frederick. In 1680 the family moved back to Hanover.

In 1683, against the protestations of his five younger sons, Ernest Augustus instituted primogeniture, so that his territory would not be further subdivided after his death, and also as a pre-condition for obtaining the coveted electorship. He participated in the Great Turkish War on the side of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1692, he was appointed Prince-elector by the Emperor, thus raising the House of Hanover to electoral dignity; however, the electorship did not come into effect until 1708.[clarification needed] He was nonetheless recognized as Elector of Hanover, the very first. Ernest Augustus died in 1698 at Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover. He was succeeded as ruler by his eldest son, George Louis, later King George I of Great Britain.

His main residences were the Leineschloss, in Hanover, and the Herrenhausen, a summer residence a short distance outside the city. Ernest Augustus and Sophia had the Great Garden at Herrenhausen enlarged after Italian and Dutch models, creating one of the most distinguished baroque formal gardens of Europe.

Arms of Ernest as Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg 1661–1692
Arms of Ernest August as Elector-designate 1692–1698

AncestryEdit

IssueEdit

Name Birth Death Notes
By his wife, Sophia of the Palatinate:
George Louis 28 May 1660 11 June 1727 Firstly, succeeded his mother Sophia as heir presumptive to the throne of Great Britain; secondly, succeeded Anne, Queen of Great Britain as King George I of Great Britain, the first member of the Hanoverian Dynasty to rule Britain.
Frederick Augustus 3 October 1661 10 June 1691 Died at the Battle of St. Georgen
Stillborn son February 1664 February 1664
Maximilian William 13 December 1666 27 July 1726
Stillborn son 13 December 1666 13 December 1666 Twin of Maximilian
Sophia Charlotte 2 October 1668 21 January 1705 Married King Frederick I of Prussia
Charles Philip 13 October 1669 1 January 1690 Died at the Battle of Pristina
Christian Henry 29 September 1671 31 July 1703 Died during the Battle of Munderkingen when drowned in the Danube
Ernest Augustus 7 September 1674 14 August 1728 Duke of York and Albany
By his mistress, Clara Elisabeth von Platen:
Ernest August von Platen 1674 1726 had issue
Sophie Charlotte von Platen 10 April 1675 1 May 1725 married 1701 Johann Adolf Baron von Kielmansegg, had issue

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Cavendish, Richard. "Sophia of Hanover Dies". History Today, Vol. 64 Issue 6, June 2014
Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover
Cadet branch of the House of Welf
Born: 20 November 1629 Died: 23 January 1698
Religious titles
Preceded by
Francis William, Count of Wartenberg
Administrator of the
Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück

1662–1698
Succeeded by
Charles Joseph
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John Frederick
Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Prince of Calenberg

1679–1698
Succeeded by
George I Louis
Preceded by
New Creation
Elector-designate of Hanover
1692–1698
Succeeded by
George I Louis