House of Henneberg

The House of Henneberg was a medieval German comital family (Grafen) which from the 11th century onwards held large territories in the Duchy of Franconia. Their county was raised to a princely county (Gefürstete Grafschaft) in 1310.

Arms of the house of Hennenberg.svg
Parent houseBabenberg in turn from the Robertians
TitlesPrincely Counts of Henneberg
Estate(s)County of Henneberg
(Princely) County of Henneberg
(Gefürstete) Grafschaft Henneberg (de)
c. 1037–1660
Coat of arms of Henneberg
Coat of arms
County of Henneberg around 1350
County of Henneberg around 1350
Common languagesEast Franconian
Historical eraMiddle Ages, Renaissance
• Poppo I, first count
c. 1037
• Internally divided
• Raised to principality
• Joined
   Franconian Circle
• Schleusingen branch
• Divided
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Franconia
Saxe-Weimar Coat of arms of Saxony.svg
Saxe-Gotha Coat of arms of Saxony.svg
Saxe-Zeitz Coat of arms of Saxony.svg

Upon the extinction of the line in the late 16th century, most of the territory was inherited by the Saxon House of Wettin and subsequently incorporated into the Thuringian estates of its Ernestine branch.


The distant origins of this family are speculative yet seem to originate in the Middle Rhine Valley, east of modern-day France. Charibert, a nobleman in Neustria is the earliest recorded ancestor of the family, dating before 636. Five generations pass between Charibert and the next descendant of note, Robert III of Worms. Both the Capetian dynasty and the Elder House of Babenberg (Popponids) are direct male lineal descendants of Count Robert I and therefore referred to as Robertians.

The designation Babenberger, from the castle of Bamberg (Babenberch), was established in the 12th century by the chronicler Otto of Freising, himself a member of the Babenberg family. The later House of Babenberg, which ruled what became the Duchy of Austria, claimed to come of the Popponid dynasty. However, the descent of the first margrave Leopold I of Austria († 994) remains uncertain.

County of HennebergEdit

Henneberg map dated 1594 but probably reflecting an earlier time

In the 11th century, the dynasty's estates around the ancestral seat Henneberg Castle near Meiningen belonged to the German stem duchy of Franconia. They were located southwest of the Rennsteig ridge in the Thuringian Forest, then forming the border with the possessions held by the Landgraves of Thuringia in the north. In 1096 one Count Godebold II of Henneberg served as a burgrave of the Würzburg bishops, his father Poppo had been killed in battle in 1078. In 1137 he established Vessra Abbey near Hildburghausen as the family's house monastery.

The counts lost their position as the bishops were raised to "Dukes of Franconia" in the 12th century. Nevertheless, in the course of the War of the Thuringian Succession upon the death of Landgrave Henry Raspe, Count Herman I of Henneberg (1224–1290) in 1247 received the Thuringian lordship of Schmalkalden from the Wettin margrave Henry III of Meissen. After the extinction of the Bavarian House of Andechs upon the death of Duke Otto II of Merania in 1248, the Counts of Henneberg also inherited their Franconian lordship of Coburg (then called the "new lordship", later Saxe-Coburg).

In 1274 the Henneberg estates were divided into the Schleusingen, Aschach-Römhild and Hartenberg branches. Count Berthold VII of Henneberg-Schleusingen (1272–1340) was elevated to princely status in 1310, his estates comprised the towns of Schmalkalden, Suhl and Coburg. In 1343 the Counts of Hennberg also purchased the Thuringian town of Ilmenau. The Coburg lands passed to the Saxon House of Wettin upon the marriage of Countess Catherine of Henneberg to Margrave Frederick III of Meissen in 1347.

After the Imperial Reform of 1500, the County of Henneberg formed the northernmost part of the Franconian Circle, bordering on the Upper Saxon Ernestine duchies and the lands of the Upper Rhenish prince-abbacy of Fulda in the northwest. A thorn in the side remained the enclave of Meiningen, a fief held by the Bishops of Würzburg, which was not acquired by the counts until 1542.


Whereas the male line of the House of Babenberg became extinct in 1246, the Counts of Henneberg lived on until 1583. In 1554 William IV of Henneberg-Schleusingen had signed a treaty of inheritance with Duke John Frederick II of Saxony. However, when the last Count George Ernest of Henneberg died, both the Ernestine and the Albertine branch of the Wettin dynasty claimed his estates, that were finally divided in 1660 among the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Gotha and the Albertine duke Maurice of Saxe-Zeitz. The Lordship of Schmalkalden fell to Landgrave William IV of Hesse-Kassel, according to an inheritance treaty of 1360.

After the Congress of Vienna (1815), the former Albertine parts around Schleusingen and Suhl fell to the Prussian province of Saxony. King Frederick William III of Prussia assumed the title of a Princely Count of Henneberg, which his successors in the House of Hohenzollern have borne ever since.

Counts of HennebergEdit

Partitions of Henneberg under Henneberg ruleEdit

County of Henneberg
       County of

(Popponian line)
              County of

County of

       County of

Sold to the
Prince-Bishopric of Würzburg
County of Henneberg
(Gotboldian line)
       County of

County of

County of

Annexed to the
Margraviate of
Inherited by the
Stein zu
Nord-Ostheim family
County of Henneberg-Aschach
County of

County of

Sold to the
County of Mansfeld
Sold to the
Electorate of Saxony
(from 1555)
Annexed to the
County of Stolberg
Divided between the
Landgraves of Hesse-Kassel
and Saxony

Table of rulersEdit

(Note: Here the numbering of the counts is the same for all counties, as all (or at least the majority of them) were titled Counts of Henneberg, despite of the different parts of land and its particular numbering of the rulers. The princes are numbered by the year of their succession.)

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Poppo I 1040 1052-1078 7 August 1078 County of Henneberg Hildegard of Thuringia
two children
Founder of the county. Died fighting in the Battle of Mellrichstadt.
Gotebold I c.1040 1078-1091 c.1091 County of Henneberg Unmarried Brother of the predecessor, left no heirs. The county was divided between the sons of Poppo I.
Gotebold II c.1070? 1091-1144 20 October 1144 County of Henneberg-Henneberg
(Goteboldian line)
Lutgard of Hohenberg
six children
Son of Poppo I, inherited Henneberg.
Poppo II c.1040 1091-1118 21 August 1118 County of Frankenstein
(Popponian line)
Beatrix of Gleichen
four children
Son of Poppo I, inherited Frankenstein.
Poppo III c.1100 1118-1156 1156 Frankenstein-Irmelshausen Unknown
three children
Son of Poppo II, inherited Irmelshausen.
Louis I c.1100 1118-1164 1164 County of Frankenstein A woman from Zimmern
five children
Son of Poppo II, inherited Frankenstein.
Poppo IV c.1128 1144-1156 1 September 1156 County of Henneberg-Henneberg Irmgard of Stade
no children
Sons of Gotebold II, probably ruled jointly.
Berthold I c.1130 1156-1159 18 October 1159 County of Henneberg-Henneberg Bertha of Putelendorf
three children
Poppo V c.1150? 1156-1199 29 May 1199 Frankenstein-Irmelshausen Irmgard of Rothausen
one child
Sons of Poppo III, probably ruled jointly.
Henry I c.1150? 1156-1167 1167 Frankenstein-Irmelshausen Unmarried
Poppo VI c.1150? 1159-1190 14 June 1190 County of Henneberg-Henneberg Sophia of Andechs
four children
Louis II c.1150? 1164-1197 1197 County of Frankenstein Unknown
two children
Berthold II c.1170? 1190-1212 24 August 1212 Henneberg-Würzburg Kunigunde of Abensberg
one child

Matilda of Esvelt
no children
Son of Poppo VI, inherited Würzburg.
Poppo VII c.1170? 1190-1245 21 August 1245 County of Henneberg-Henneberg Elisabeth of Wildburg
four children

Jutta of Thuringia
3 January 1223
five children
Son of Poppo VI, inherited Henneberg, and in 1218, Würzburg.
Otto I   c.1177 1190-1234 3/4 October 1244 Henneberg-Botenlauben Beatrix de Courtenay
three children
Son of Poppo VI, inherited Botenlauben. In 1234 sold it to the Diocese of Würzburg.
Otto II c.1200? 1220-1234 22 September 1249 Henneberg-Botenlauben Adelaide of Hildenburg
one child
Son of Otto I, probably co-ruled with his father.
In 1234 Botenlauben was sold to the Diocese of Würzburg
Albert I c.1170? 1197-1233 26 October 1233 County of Frankenstein Unknown
two children
Henry II c.1170? 1199-1228 6 December 1228 Frankenstein-Irmelshausen A woman from Wildberg
five children
Died fighting in Meiningen.
Berthold III c.1190? 1212-1218 1218 Henneberg-Würzburg Matilda of Hachberg
no children
After his death with no heirs, Würzburg returned to Henneberg.
In 1218 Würzburg was annexed to Henneberg.
Albert II c.1190? 1228-1253/55 Between October 1253 and 31 January 1255 Frankenstein-Irmelshausen Matilda of Trimberg
one child
Left a daughter, who married count Henry of Frankenstein and so returned Irmelshausen to Frankenstein.
In 1255 Irmelshausen was annexed to Frankenstein.
Louis III c.1190? 1233-1263 11 January 1263 County of Frankenstein Unknown
two children
Herman I c.1224 1245-1290 18 December 1290 Henneberg-Coburg Margaret of Holland
two children
Son of Poppo VII, inherited Coburg.
Henry III c.1226 1245-1262 9 April 1262 County of Henneberg-Henneberg Elisabeth of Teck
four children

Sophia of Meissen
three children
Son of Poppo VII, inherited Henneberg.
Henry IV c.1250 1262-1317 Between 9 September and 17 December 1317 Henneberg-Hartenberg Margaret of Meissen
no children

Kunigunde of Wertheim
3 May 1287
seven children
Sons of Henry III, inherited Hartenberg, where they probably ruled jointly. Berthold became Bishop of Würzburg in 1267, and possibly abdicated from the co-regency.
Berthold IV   c.1250 1262-1267 29 September 1312 Henneberg-Hartenberg Unmarried
Berthold V c.1245 1262-1284 15 September 1284 Henneberg-Schleusingen Sophia of Schwarzburg
c. or before 7 March 1268
eight children
Son of Henry III, inherited Schleusingen.
Herman II c.1250 1262-1292 9 February 1292 Henneberg-Aschach [de] Adelaide of Trimberg
25 March 1277
six children
Son of Henry III, inherited Aschach.
Henry V c.1230? 1263-1295 22 December 1295 County of Frankenstein Lutgard of Henneberg-Schleusingen
eight children
Son of Poppo II, inherited Frankenstein.
Berthold VI the Younger   c.1280 1284-1330 21 January/August 1330 Henneberg-Schleusingen Unmarried Sons of Berthold V, ruled jointly.[1] Berthold VI was Knight Hospitaller, and Berthold VII was made regent for Louis V of Bavaria between 1323 and 1330.
Berthold VII the Wise[1]   1272 1284-1340 13 April 1340 Henneberg-Schleusingen Adelaide of Hesse
five children

Anna of Hohenlohe
no children
Poppo VIII c.1254 1290-1291 4 December 1291 Henneberg-Coburg Sophia of Bavaria
no children
After his death, his sister Judith inherited the county and so it was annexed to Brandenburg.
In 1291 Coburg was annexed to the Margraviate of Brandenburg-Salzwedel
Henry VI c.1280 1292-1355/6 Between 14 August 1355 and 26 January 1356 Henneberg-Aschach Sophia of Käfernburg
c.3 March 1315
five children
Sons of Herman II, ruled jointly.
Herman III c.1277 1292-1307 12 July 1307 Henneberg-Aschach Katharina of Głogów
no children
Poppo IX c.1280 1292-c.1363 1363 Henneberg-Aschach Unmarried
Berthold VIII c.1280 1292-1329 After 1329 Henneberg-Aschach
Herman IV c.1280 1292-1329 10 December 1329 Henneberg-Aschach
Henry VII c.1270? 1295-1326/7 Between 26 April 1326 and 25 March 1327 County of Frankenstein Elisabeth of Thuringia
11 April 1291
seven children
Sons of Henry V, probably ruled jointly. In 1255 they inherited the county of Irmelshausen by the marriage of Henry VIII with the heiress Lutgard.
Henry VIII c.1270? 1295-1297 c.1297 County of Frankenstein Lutgard of Frankenstein-Irmelshausen
11 April 1291
no children

no children
Poppo X 1286 1317-1349 30 July 1349 Henneberg-Hartenberg Elisabeth of Castell
no children

Richeza of Hohenlohe
6 November 1316
five children
Louis IV c.1270? 1326/7-1334 September/October 1334 County of Frankenstein Adelaide of Weilnau
two children
Brother of the predecessors. Left a daughter, Elisabeth, who later transferred the county to the Von Stein zu Ostheim family.
Siboto c.1290? 1334-1335 Between 26 April 1326 and 25 March 1327 County of Frankenstein Unmarried Son of Henry II.
Dietzel c.1310? 1335-1354 29 September 1354 County of Frankenstein Unmarried Nephew of Siboto. After his death, his second cousin Elisabeth transferred the county to the Von Stein zu Ostheim family.
In 1354 Frankenstein was added to the patrimony of the Von Stein zu Ostheim family
John I 1289 1340-1359 2 May 1359 Henneberg-Schleusingen Elisabeth of Leuchtenberg
four children
Sons of Berthold VII, ruled jointly. Berthold IX was a Knight Hospitaller.
Henry IX the Younger 1288 1340-1347 10 September 1347 Henneberg-Schleusingen Judith of Brandenburg-Salzwedel
1 January 1317 or 1 February 1319
five children
Berthold IX 1300 1340-1356 c.1356 Henneberg-Schleusingen Unmarried
Berthold X[1] c.1330/40 1349-1371 26 May 1378 Henneberg-Hartenberg Unmarried Left no heirs, and in 1371 sold Hartenberg to the Herman V.
In 1371 Hartenberg was sold to Aschach
Herman V c.1330 1355/6-1403 27 January or 28 March 1403 Henneberg-Aschach Adelaide of Zollern
no children

Agnes of Schwarzburg-Blankenburg
four children
Son of Henry VI, probably ruled jointly.
Berthold XI c.1330 1355-1411 1 April 1411 Henneberg-Aschach Unmarried
Henry X c.1340/50 1359-1405 2/3 August 1405 Henneberg-Schleusingen Matilda of Baden
c.4 July 1376
six children
Sons of John I, ruled jointly. Berthold was canon at Bamberg and resigned his noble titles in 1375.[1]
Berthold XII[1] 1356 1359-1375 11 February 1416 Henneberg-Schleusingen Unmarried
Frederick I 1367 1405-1422 24 September 1422 Henneberg-Aschach Elisabeth of Henneberg-Schleusingen
c.4 May 1393
four children
Sons of Herman V, probably rule jointly.
Herman VI c.1370 1405-1416 11 September 1416 Henneberg-Aschach Unmarried
William I 31 July 1384 1405-1426 7 July 1426 Henneberg-Schleusingen Anna of Brunswick-Lüneburg
c.30 May 1413
nine children
George I 1395 1422-1465 25 July 1465 Henneberg-Aschach Katharina of Wertheim
no children

Joanna of Nassau-Saarbrücken
13 May 1423
twelve children
Herman VII c.1430 1450/60-1464 13 February 1464 Henneberg-Aschach Unmarried Probably ruled with his father.
William II 14 March 1415 1426-1444 8 January 1444 Henneberg-Schleusingen Katharina of Hanau
28 February 1433
seven children
William III   12 March 1434 1444-1480 25 May 1480 Henneberg-Schleusingen Margaret of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
5 November 1469
eight children
Sons of William II, probably ruled jointly. Bethold XIII died as a minor, Berthold XIV became canon at Bamberg in 1452, and John II became also canon in the ame year at Strasbourg, so they may have probably resigned co-regency.
John II 2 July 1439 1444-1452 20/26 May 1513 Henneberg-Schleusingen
Berthold XIII 8 January 1441 1444-1446 20 April 1446 Henneberg-Schleusingen
Berthold XIV 4 March 1443 1444-1452 20 April 1495 Henneberg-Schleusingen
Otto III   1437 1465-1502 9 June 1502 Henneberg-Aschach Unmarried Sons of George I, ruled jointly. In 1484 Berthold became Archbishop of Mainz, probably abdicating from co-regency.
Frederick II 1429 1465-1488 7 November 1488 Henneberg-Aschach Elisabeth of Württemberg I
13 September 1469
twelve children
Berthold XV   1442 1465-1484 21 December 1504 Henneberg-Aschach Unmarried
Regency of Margaret of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1480-1492) Sons of William III. Poppo died as an infant, and William IV succeeded; being also a minor, Margaret's regency continued.
Poppo XI 14/17 March 1479 1480-1483 14/24 May 1483 Henneberg-Schleusingen Unmarried
William IV   29 January 1478 1483-1559 24 January 1559 Henneberg-Schleusingen Anastasia of Brandenburg
7 or 16 February 1500
Neustadt an der Aisch
eleven children
John III   30 April 1503 c.1520-1529 20 May 1541 Henneberg-Schleusingen Unmarried Probably co-ruled with his father. Became Prince-abbot in Fulda in 1529, probably abdicating from the co-regency.
Herman VIII   1470 1502-1535 5 April 1535 Henneberg-Aschach Elisabeth of Brandenburg
23 October 1491
nine children
After his death, his sons divided Aschach.
Berthold XVI 1493 1535-1549 23 March 1549 Henneberg-Aschach-Römhild Anna of Mansfeld-Vorderort
17 August 1529
no children
Son of Herman VIII, inherited Römhild. After his death, his county was sold to the County of Mansfeld.
In 1549 Römhild was sold to the County of Mansfeld, and in 1555 it was sold again to the Electorate of Saxony
Albert III 1495 1535-1549 5 May/June 1549 Henneberg-Aschach-Schwarza Katherine of Stolberg
no children
Son of Herman VIII, inherited Schwarza. After his death, his county was annexed to the County of Stolberg.
In 1549 Schwarza was annexed to the County of Stolberg
George Ernest   27 May 1511 1559-1583 27 December 1583 Henneberg-Schleusingen Elisabeth of Brunswick-Calenberg
19 August 1543
one child

Elisabeth of Württemberg II
31 May 1568
no children
Sons of William IV, ruled jointy, and neither of them left descendants. After their death, the county was divided between the Electorate of Hesse and the Electorate of Saxony.
Poppo XII   20 September 1513 1559-1574 4 March 1574 Henneberg-Schleusingen Elisabeth of Brandenburg
30 May 1546
no children

Sophia of Brunswick-Lüneburg
22 June 1562
no children
In 1583 Schleusingen was divided between the Electorate of Hesse and the Electorate of Saxony

Notable members of the Henneberg familyEdit

Family tree (click to enlarge)


Coats of arms incorporating HennebergEdit

See alsoEdit

Monument of Count Otto IV of Henneberg-Münnerstadt +1502


  1. ^ a b c d e Detlev Schwennicke: Europäische Stammtafeln, Neue Folge, Band XVI., Tafel 146, Verlag: Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt a. M. 1995, ISBN 3-465-02741-8
  • Schwennicke, Detlev. Europäische Stammtafeln: Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten, Neue Folge. [European Family Trees: Family Trees for the History of European States, New Series.] BAND II, Tafel 10:Die Robertiner I und die Anfänge des Hauses Capet, 922-923 König der Westfranken, Marburg, Verlag von J.A. Stargardt (1984)
  • Historische Landkarte: Grafschaft Henneberg 1755 mit den Ämtern Schleusingen, Suhl, Kühndorf mit Bennshausen, Reprint 2003, Verlag Rockstuhl, ISBN 3-936030-15-4
  • Johannes Mötsch: Regesten des Archivs der Grafen von Henneberg-Römhild. Volumes 1 und 2. Böhlau, Köln etc. 2006, ISBN 978-3-412-35905-8

External linksEdit