Juliane of Nassau-Siegen (1587–1643)

Countess Juliane of Nassau-Siegen (3 September 1587 – 15 February 1643), German: Juliana Gräfin von Nassau-Siegen, official titles: Gräfin zu Nassau, Katzenelnbogen, Vianden und Diez, Frau zu Beilstein, was a countess from the House of Nassau-Siegen, a cadet branch of the Ottonian Line of the House of Nassau, and through marriage landgravine of Hesse-Kassel.

Juliane of Nassau-Siegen
Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel
Juliana van Nassau-Siegen (1587-1643).jpg
Landgravine Juliane of Hesse-Kassel, nee Countess of Nassau-Siegen with her youngest daughter. Detail of a painting by August Erich.
Coat of armsNassau-Dillenburg 1559-1739 groot.svg
Full name
Juliane Countess of Nassau-Siegen
Native nameJuliana Gräfin von Nassau-Siegen
BornJuliana Gräfin zu Nassau, Katzenelnbogen, Vianden und Diez, Frau zu Beilstein
(1587-09-03)3 September 1587
Dillenburg Castle
Died15 February 1643(1643-02-15) (aged 55)
Buried23 March 1643
Noble familyHouse of Nassau-Siegen
Spouse(s)Maurice of Hesse-Kassel
FatherJohn VII of Nassau-Siegen
MotherMagdalene of Waldeck-Wildungen


Juliane was born at Dillenburg Castle[1] on 3 September 1587[1][note 1][3][4] as the fifth child and second daughter of Count John VII the Middle of Nassau-Siegen and his first wife, Countess Magdalene of Waldeck-Wildungen.[5]

Juliane was brought up in the strict Calvinist tradition, but was also taught old and new languages. In addition to her siblings, the stepbrothers and -sisters from her mother’s first marriage also lived in the child-rich household at Dillenburg Castle. The marriage of her eldest stepbrother, Count Philip Louis II of Hanau-Münzenberg, to Countess Catherine Belgica of Nassau, a daughter of Prince William I the Silent of Orange, was also celebrated here in 1596, a festive highlight of Juliana’s childhood.[6]

In February 1603, only three months after the death of his first wife Agnes of Solms-Laubach, Landgrave Maurice of Hesse-Kassel made a marriage proposal to the fifteen-year-old Juliane. The marriage took place three months later at Dillenburg Castle.[6]

Through his marriage to Juliane, Maurice’s religious policy was influenced as he forged the closest of alliances with the House of Nassau-Siegen, which practised an outspoken Calvinist policy in the Holy Roman Empire. In domestic politics, Juliane strengthened the weight of the Calvinist party in Kassel, thus sharpening Maurice’s aversion to the nobility, which was already dissatisfied with his policies. Soon after his marriage, the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel was considered in imperial politics as a protagonist of the Calvinist cause, alongside the Electoral Palatinate, who also belonged to the relatives of the House of Nassau.[7]

Despite her Calvinist upbringing, Juliane led a fairly representative court life with Maurice, but she always valued her financial independence and kept careful track of her expenses. As Maurice had three sons from his first marriage, Juliane soon sought to pass on income and property rights to her children.[6]

In the autumn of 1623, troops of the Catholic League under Tilly were quartered in Hesse-Kassel. Maurice’s diplomatic trips to the Protestant courts in Northern Germany were, despite the hectic schedule, clearly escapist. Not only the Hessian estates of the realm, but also Juliane publicly accused him of having led the country to ruin and then abandoned it. When the estates independently entered into negotiations with Tilly to obtain the withdrawal of the troops of the Catholic League or at least a reduction in the war burden, Maurice accused them of treason. The breach that thus occurred was definitive. The estates, the councillors and Juliane in particular urged Maurice to resign from government. On 17 March 1627, he was forced to resign in favour of his son William V. Prior to this, Juliane had managed to secure a quarter of Hesse-Kassel – the so-called Rotenburger Quart – for her and her children in the House Treaty of 12 February 1627, in order to secure their income.[7] From this quarter, after her sons Herman and Frederick died without heirs, emerged the cadet branch Hesse-Rheinfels-Rotenburg, founded by Landgrave Ernest.[6]

In the family conflict with Maurice, who fought with her over money, household goods and the education of the children,[7] Juliane first defended her own interests and then those of her children, but without coming to a confrontation with her stepson, the ruling Landgrave William V. But she was also very active in the conflict within her own Nassau-Siegen family. She stood up for the Calvinists in the county of Nassau-Siegen who suffered from the recatholicisation attempts of her brother John VIII, who had converted to the Catholic Church and was in Spanish service.[6]

Juliane was able to put her interest in state administration into practice after she had gained the relevant knowledge in the Rotenburger Quart, which she initially managed together with her eldest son Herman. When Maurice had to resign, Juliane initially stayed at Kassel Castle [de] and moved with her children to Rotenburg an der Fulda in 1629, while Maurice lived first in Frankfurt and later in Eschwege. Faced with the threat of war, Juliane again sought brief shelter at Kassel Castle in 1631 and then lived until her death in the Nassauer Hof at the River Fulda, later called Packhof vor der Schlagd, which Maurice had already given her in 1617.[6]

Juliane was self-confident even in foreign policy; she attended the Electors’ Day in Mulhouse in 1627 and contributed to the rapprochement between the branches Hesse-Kassel and Hesse-Darmstadt in the so-called ‘Main Agreement’. Of far-reaching significance was the contact with Sweden that she initiated in 1630 through the mediation of her relatives from the House of Orange-Nassau, which led to the Swedish-Hessian Covenant of Werben in the following year, firmly binding the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel to Sweden.[6]

Juliane died in Eschwege on 15 February 1643.[1][note 2][3][4] She was buried in Kassel on 23 March 1643.[3] Adolphus Fabritius wrote a Leichenpredigt for her, which was published in Kassel in 1643.[8][9][10]

Marriage and childrenEdit

Juliane and Maurice with all their 14 children, some of whom, however, never met, as they had already died before the birth of the youngest. Painting by August Erich, 1618–1628, Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Museumslandschaft Hessen Kassel.

Juliane married Landgrave Maurice of Hesse-Kassel (Kassel, 25 May 1572 - Eschwege, 15 March 1632[3][4]). The Beilager took place at Dillenburg Castle[6] on 21 May 1603Jul.[1][note 3] and the Heimführung in Kassel on 4 June 1603Jul..[11] From this marriage, the following children were born:[12]

  1. Philip (Kassel, 26 November 1604 – killed at the Battle of Lutter, 17 August 1626), was an officer in the Danish Army.
  2. Agnes (Kassel, 13/14 May 1606 – Dessau, 28 May 1650), married in Dessau on 18 May 1623 to Fürst John Casimir of Anhalt-Dessau (Dessau, 7 December 1596 – Dessau, 15 September 1660).
  3. Herman (Kassel, 15 August 1607 – Rotenburg an der Fulda, 25 March 1658), Landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg. Married:
    1. in Waldeck on 31 December 1633 to his first cousin Countess Sofia Juliana of Waldeck-Wildungen (Wildungen, 1 April 1607 – Ziegenhain, 15 September 1637).
    2. in Weimar on 2 January 1642 to Princess Cunegonda Juliane of Anhalt-Dessau (Dessau, 17 February 1608 – Rotenburg an der Fulda, 26 September 1683).
  4. Juliane (Marburg, 7 October 1608 – Kassel, 11 December 1628).
  5. Sabine (Kassel, 5 July 1610 – Kassel, 21 May 1620).
  6. Magdalene [de] (Kassel, 25 August 1611 – Bedburg, 12 February 1671), married in Rotenburg an der Fulda on 27 April 1646 to Count Erik Adolf of Salm-Reifferscheid (1 February 1619 – 18 April 1678).
  7. Maurice (Kassel, 13 June 1614 – Kassel, 16 February 1633), was Rittmeister in the Swedish Army.
  8. Sophie (Kassel, 12 September 1615 – Bückeburg, 22 November 1670), married in Stadthagen on 12 October 1644 to Count Philip I of Schaumburg-Lippe (Brake Castle [de] near Lemgo, 18 July 1601 – 10 April 1681).
  9. Frederick (Kassel, 9 May 1617 – killed in battle, Kosten, 24 September 1655), Landgrave of Hesse-Eschwege. Married in Stockholm on 6 September 1646 to Countess Palatine Eleonore Catherine of Zweibrücken-Kleeburg (Stegeborg Castle, 17 May 1626 - Osterholz near Bremen, 3 March 1692).
  10. Christian (Kassel, 5 February 1622 – Bückeburg, 14 November 1640), was commander of a company in the Swedish Army. He died after an altercation with General Johan Banér and some other officers; he was probably poisoned.[13]
  11. Ernest (Kassel, 17 December 1623 – Cologne, 12 May 1693), Landgrave of Hesse-Rheinfels. Married:
    1. in Frankfurt on 10 June 1647 to Countess Mary Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms (16 December 1632 – Cologne, 12 August 1689).
    2. (morganatically) in Rheinfels Castle on 3 February 1690 to Alexandrina Ernestina Maria Juliana von Dürnizl (Straubing, c. 1673 – Cologne, 22 December 1754).
  12. Christine (Kassel, 9 July 1625 – Kassel, 25 July 1626).
  13. Philip (Kassel, 28 September 1626 – Rotenburg an der Fulda, 8 July 1629).
  14. Elisabeth (Kassel, 23 October 1628 – Kassel, 10 February 1633).


Ancestors of Juliane of Nassau-Siegen
Great-great-grandparents John V of Nassau-Siegen
⚭ 1482
Elisabeth of Hesse-Marburg
Bodo III of Stolberg-Wernigerode
⚭ 1500
Anne of Eppstein-Königstein
John IV of Leuchtenberg
⚭ 1502
Margaret of Schwarzburg-Blankenburg
Frederick V the Elder of Brandenburg-Ansbach
⚭ 1479
Sophia of Poland
Philip I of Waldeck-Waldeck
⚭ 1464
Joanne of Nassau-Siegen
William of Runkel
⚭ 1454
Irmgard of Rollingen
Gerlach II of Isenburg-Grenzau
⚭ 1455
Hildegard of Sierck
Henry of Hunolstein-Neumagen
⚭ 1466
Elisabeth de Boulay
Great-grandparents William I the Rich of Nassau-Siegen
⚭ 1531
Juliane of Stolberg-Wernigerode
George III of Leuchtenberg
⚭ 1528
Barbara of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Henry VIII of Waldeck-Wildungen
⚭ before 1492
Anastasia of Runkel
Salentin VII of Isenburg-Grenzau
(before 1470–1534)

Elisabeth of Hunolstein-Neumagen
(ca. 1475–1536/38)
Grandparents John VI the Elder of Nassau-Siegen
⚭ 1559
Elisabeth of Leuchtenberg
Philip IV of Waldeck-Wildungen
⚭ 1554
Jutta of Isenburg-Grenzau
Parents John VII the Middle of Nassau-Siegen
⚭ 1581
Magdalene of Waldeck-Wildungen


  • Lemberg, Margret: Juliane Landgräfin zu Hessen (1587–1643), published as: Quellen und Forschungen zur hessischen Geschichte, vol. 90, Darmstadt, Marburg, 1994.


  1. ^ “Birthplace in Dek (1962), with the date 3-9 also found in Europäische Stammtafeln I, 98, while Europäische Stammtafeln I, 117 states 8-9. We have chosen the first of these two dates because the Personalia in the funeral sermon (quoted by Knetsch (1931)) says that she was born at Dillenburg Castle on 3 September 1587 «abends zwischen 7 und 8 Uhr».”[2]
  2. ^ “See Dek (1962) and Knetsch (1931). The latter mentions as sources: a) Schminke, Geschichte von Eschwege, 1857, p. 14; b) «Personalia» in the funeral sermon: «abends zwischen 5 und 6 Uhr»; c) Notification of Landgravine Amelia Elisabeth, Kassel 16‑2‑1643; d) Notification of Landgrave Herman of Hesse-Rotenburg (Dresden Archive N. 8658).”[2]
  3. ^ “On 21‑5‑1603, in Europäische Stammtafeln I, 117. On 22‑5‑1603 in Europäische Stammtafeln I, 98 and in Dek (1962) and Dek (1970) (place of marriage: Dillenburg). Knetsch (1931) also indicates Dillenburg 22-5 (according to the Annals of the University of Marburg). According to this author (who refers to the Hessian matrimonial affairs) was it the marriage contract (pactum dotale) that was signed on 21-5; but he adds that the «présent du lendemain» (Morgengabeverschreibung) was signed on the 22nd. This information confirms that the marriage was celebrated religiously on the 21st (and was consummated on the night of the 21st to the 22nd): as we find in the State Archives Wiesbaden (130II 2380II d) a letter of invitation sent from Dillenburg on 11-5-1603 in which the Count of Nassau-Ottweiler was asked to arrive in Dillenburg on the 18th to attend the wedding «zur Vollziehung des ehelichen BEYLAGERS auff Sambstag den 21 hujus alhier». So there is no doubt that the date of the religious ceremony is Saturday 21-5-1603 (thus old style).”[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Huberty, et al. (1981), p. 233.
  2. ^ a b c Huberty, et al. (1981), p. 249.
  3. ^ a b c d Dek (1970), p. 87.
  4. ^ a b c Dek (1968), p. 248.
  5. ^ All sources that mention both parents, name these parents.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "Hessen-Kassel, Juliane Landgräfin von". Hessische Biografie (in German). 15 April 2021. Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Wolff (1997), p. 136–139.
  8. ^ "Gesamtkatalog deutschsprachiger Leichenpredigten" (in German). Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Gesamtkatalog deutschsprachiger Leichenpredigten" (in German). Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  10. ^ "Gesamtkatalog deutschsprachiger Leichenpredigten" (in German). Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  11. ^ Textor von Haiger (1617), p. 153.
  12. ^ Dek (1968), p. 275–276.
  13. ^ Schlotter, Acta, p. 327. - also: Thirty Years' War (in German) [Retrieved 15 June 2014].


  • Dek, A.W.E. (1962). Graf Johann der Mittlere von Nassau-Siegen und seine 25 Kinder (in German). Rijswijk: Krips Repro.
  • Dek, A.W.E. (1968). "De afstammelingen van Juliana van Stolberg tot aan het jaar van de Vrede van Münster". Spiegel der Historie. Maandblad voor de geschiedenis der Nederlanden (in Dutch). 1968 (7/8): 228–303.
  • Dek, A.W.E. (1970). Genealogie van het Vorstenhuis Nassau (in Dutch). Zaltbommel: Europese Bibliotheek.
  • Huberty, Michel; Giraud, Alain; Magdelaine, F. & B. (1976). l’Allemagne Dynastique (in French). Vol. Tome I: Hesse-Reuss-Saxe. Le Perreux: Alain Giraud.
  • Huberty, Michel; Giraud, Alain; Magdelaine, F. & B. (1981). l’Allemagne Dynastique (in French). Vol. Tome III: Brunswick-Nassau-Schwarzbourg. Le Perreux: Alain Giraud.
  • Joachim, Ernst (1881). "Johann der Mittlere von Nassau-Siegen". Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (in German). Vol. Band 14. Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot. pp. 265–266.
  • Knetsch, Carl (1931). Das Haus Brabant. Genealogie der Herzoge von Brabant und der Landgrafen von Hessen (in German). Vol. II. Teil: Die Nachkommen Philipps des Grossmütigen. Darmstadt: Historischer Verein für das Großherzogtum Hessen.
  • Lück, Alfred (1981) [1967]. Siegerland und Nederland (in German) (2nd ed.). Siegen: Siegerländer Heimatverein e.V.
  • Menk, Friedhelm (1971). Quellen zur Geschichte des Siegerlandes im niederländischen königlichen Hausarchiv (in German). Siegen: Stadt Siegen/Forschungsstelle Siegerland.
  • Textor von Haiger, Johann (1617). Nassauische Chronik (in German). Herborn: Christoph Raab.
  • Vorsterman van Oyen, A.A. (1882). Het vorstenhuis Oranje-Nassau. Van de vroegste tijden tot heden (in Dutch). Leiden: A.W. Sijthoff/Utrecht: J.L. Beijers.
  • Wolff, Fritz (1997). "Moritz der Gelehrte". Neue Deutsche Biographie (in German). Vol. Band 18. Berlin: Duncker & Humblot. p. 136–139. ISBN 3-428-00199-0.

External linksEdit

Juliane of Nassau-Siegen (1587–1643)
Born: 3 September 1587 Died: 15 February 1643
Title last held by
Agnes of Solms-Laubach
Landgravine of Hesse-Kassel
Title next held by
Amelie Elisabeth of Hanau-Münzenberg