Frederick William II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck

Frederick William II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck (18 June 1687 – 11 November 1749) was a Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. He served as Prussian field marshal and was appointed Governor of Berlin, but never filled the latter position.

Frederick William II
Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck
Born(1687-06-18)18 June 1687
Potsdam, Brandenburg
Died11 November 1749(1749-11-11) (aged 62)
Königsberg, Prussia
SpouseLouise Felicity Eleonora of Loß
Ursula Anna of Dohna-Schlobitten
HouseHouse of Oldenburg
FatherFrederick Louis, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck
MotherLouise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg

Frederick William II was the eldest son of Duke Frederick Louis (1653–1728) and his wife Louise Charlotte of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg (1658–1740). His siblings included Dorothea, Peter August, Charles Louis. In 1728, Frederick William II succeeded his father as Duke of Beck. After his death, he was succeeded by his son Frederick William III, who fell in battle in 1757. The title was then inherited by Frederick William II's brother, Charles Louis.


Although he was born in Potsdam, Frederick William was raised in Königsberg[1] and studied in Halle. He served in the Prussian Army as a captain in his father's regiment in 1703[1] and as a lieutenant colonel in 1704.[2] He distinguished himself during the Siege of Stralsund (1711–1715) and was promoted to colonel in 1713, when he served in the Regiment Holstein.[1] In 1717, King Frederick William I of Prussia rewarded him with Friedrichshof Palace in Ludwigswalde, East Prussia (now in Lesnoye, Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia). In 1719 the king granted the duke another East Prussian manor, also named Friedrichshof, in Kasebalk. Duke Fredrick William subsequently renamed the second manor Holstein (now in Pregolskiy, Kaliningrad). From 1721, he led the infantry regiment #11, which his father had led before.

In 1725, the king invested the duke with the Riesenberg estate, however, he sold it off. In 1732, he purchased Haus Beck, near Ulenburg, Minden-Ravensberg, after which the Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck line was named, from Maria Antonia, the widow of his cousin Frederick William I (1682–1719), who had converted to Catholicism and had become a field marshal in the Army of the Holy Roman Empire. Frederick William I fell in the Battle of Francavilla, at Francavilla di Sicilia, Sicily.[3]

In 1733 Frederick William II was promoted to lieutenant general.[1] He participated in campaigns along the Rhine in 1734 and 1735 during the War of the Polish Succession. King Frederick II of Prussia was displeased with Frederick William after the Battle of Mollwitz during the First Silesian War in 1741. His regiment had been held in reserve and arrived on the battlefield too late to contribute to the battle. Unaware of the situation, he passed by several Austrian units. Nevertheless, King Frederick the Great was fond of the duke, whom he referred to as gute alte Holsteiner ("good old Holsteiner").[1] The duke was promoted to field marshal later that year and posted in Königsberg, the capital of East Prussia. He was also a recipient of the Order of the Black Eagle.[4]

In 1745, Frederick William II re-sold Haus Beck to Magdalena, Baroness von Ledebur-Königsbrück, but retained the title Duke of Beck. In 1747, he was appointed governor of Berlin. However, due to illness, he was unable to take up this post. He died in Königsberg.

Marriage and issueEdit

Frederick William was married twice. His first wife was Louise Felicity Eleonora of Loß, Countess of Dabrova (d. 1715). She was the widow of a member of the Czartoryski family and a daughter of the Polish treasurer Wladislav of Loß. This marriage remained childless.

He married his second wife on 3 December 1721. She was Ursula Anna (31 December 1700 – 17 March 1761), the daughter of Burgrave Christopher I, Burgrave and Count of Dohna-Schlodien. This marriage produced two children:



  1. ^ a b c d e Albinus, p. 131
  2. ^ Meerheimb
  3. ^ Huberty, Michel; Alain Giraud; F. and B. Magdelaine (1994). L'Allemagne Dynastique Tome VII Oldenbourg (in French). France. pp. 79, 97, 118, 141. ISBN 2-901138-07-1.
  4. ^ Krebel
  5. ^ Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 75.


Frederick William II, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck
Born: 18 June 1687 Died: 11 November 1749
Preceded by Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck
Succeeded by