Sophia of Holstein-Gottorp
Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp
Duchess Sophia of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
|Born||1 June 1569|
|Died||14 November 1634 (aged 65)|
|Noble family||House of Oldenburg|
|Spouse(s)||John VII, Duke of Mecklenburg|
|Father||Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp|
|Mother||Christine of Hesse|
Sophia was the eldest daughter of Duke Adolph of Holstein-Gottorp and his wife Christine of Hesse. She married on 17 February 1588 in Reinbek to Duke John VII of Mecklenburg. John was a weak ruler who was unable to rule his indebted and corrupt country. Sophia almost lived in poverty.
In 1592, her husband stabbed himself with seven stab wounds. Initially, Duke Ulrich of Mecklenburg took up the regency and Sophia retreated to her widow's seat in Lübz. The country visibly declined during the administration of governors sent by Duke Ulrich.
Sophia administered her wittum, the districts of Rehna and Wittenburg very cautiously, economically and carefully. After Duke Ulrich died in 1603, Duke Charles I asked Sophia to administer Mecklenburg-Schwerin on behalf of her underage sons. She took up the challenge and acted energetically against the abuses of the previous administration. She managed to improve the Duchy's financial situation.
In 1608, Duke Charles I asked the emperor to declare Sophia's eldest son an adult. Her sons had been estranged from her for some time. During their reign, the country descended into financial chaos again. Sophia returned to Lübz. In 1628, Wallenstein conquered Mecklenburg and forced her sons to leave the country. However, he left her in peace.
Sophia died on 14 November 1634. The later Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg-Strelitz all descend from her.
|Ancestors of Sophia of Holstein-Gottorp|
- Krause (1892), "Sophie", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 34, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 674–676
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