Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen

Georg I Frederick Karl, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (4 February 1761 in Frankfurt – 24 December 1803 in Meiningen), was Duke of Saxe-Meiningen from 1782 to 1803. He was known as a reformer and considered a model prince by many of his peers.

Georg I
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
PredecessorKarl Wilhelm
SuccessorBernhard II
Born(1761-02-04)4 February 1761
Meiningen, Saxe-Meiningen, Holy Roman Empire
Died24 December 1803(1803-12-24) (aged 42)
Meiningen, Saxe-Meiningen, Holy Roman Empire
SpouseLuise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
IssueAdelaide, Queen of the United Kingdom
Ida, Princess Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Bernhard II
Georg I Friedrich Karl
FatherAnton Ulrich, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
MotherCharlotte Amalie of Hesse-Philippsthal


Georg was born on 4 February 1761 at Frankfurt as the fourth but second surviving son of Anton Ulrich, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Philippsthal. His father was 73 years old at the time and died two years later in 1763.[1]


Georg succeeded his older and childless brother, Karl Wilhelm in the Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen in 1782. He ruled based on the principles of "enlightened absolutism" emphasizing in particular the importance of education. He initiated the building of the Gymnasium later named Bernhardinum after his son. Georg I also opened the ducal library to the public, reformed the (Protestant) church practices in his princedom and initiated new social policies. Under a nom-de-plume he published philosophical treatises. As a result, many of his fellow princes considered him a model ruler and his duchy as the German state where enlightened absolutism reached its apogee.[1]

Marriage and heirEdit

In Langenburg on 27 November 1782, Georg married Luise Eleonore of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. After ten years they began to have children, finally having four:

  1. Adelaide Luise Therese Karoline Amalie (b. Meiningen, 13 August 1792 - d. Bentley Priory, Middlesex, 2 December 1849), married on 11 July 1818 to the Duke of Clarence, later King William IV of the United Kingdom.
  2. Ida (b. Meiningen, 25 June 1794 - d. Weimar, 4 April 1852), married on 30 May 1816 to Bernhard of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.
  3. stillborn daughter (Meiningen, 16 October 1796).
  4. Bernhard II Erich Freund, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen (b. Meiningen, 17 December 1800 - d. Meiningen, 3 December 1882).


Georg I died of a fever on 24 December 1803 at Meiningen.[1]

See alsoEdit



  • Andrea Jakob, Meininger Museen: Herzog Georg I. von Sachsen-Meiningen - Ein Präzedenzfall für den aufgeklärten Absolutismus 2005, Südthüringer Forschungen Heft 33, ISBN 3-910114-06-7
  1. ^ a b c "Biografie Georg I (German)". Meininger Museen. Archived from the original on 15 September 2011. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  2. ^ 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. 104.
Georg I, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Cadet branch of the House of Wettin
Born: 4 February 1761 Died: 24 December 1803
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Karl Wilhelm
Duke of Saxe-Meiningen
Succeeded by
Bernhard II