Monday, September 23, 2013

german Houses: The Ducal House of Brunswick

The Ducal House of Brunswick 

House of Guelf

The House of Guelf is the older branch of the House of Este, a dynasty whose earliest known members lived in Lombardy in the 9th century. For this reason, it is sometimes also called Guelf-Este. The first member of this branch was Welf IV. he was the son of Azzo II., Margrave of Este and Kunigunde of Altdorf from the elder House of Guelf. From his father second marriage Gersende du Maine the house of Este, which ruled in Ferrare and Modena and became extinct in male line in 1803 is descending. When his maternal uncle Welf, Duke of Carinthia died in 1955 without leaving Issue he inherited the property of the Elder House of Guelf. In 1070, Welf IV. was created Duke of Bavaria by King Henrich II. Welf IV founded in 1056 after the transfer of the ancestral castle of Altdorf on the adjacent Veitsburg in Ravensburg Martinshill, a new Benedictine abbey which is the present Abbey Weingarten. He increased his holdings with those of Count Otto of Buchhorn and count Luitolt of Achalm.  With him and his sons Welf V. and Heinrich the Black began the period in which the family in opposition to the Hohenstaufen played the central role in the Empire. His two sons Welf V and Heinrich split the inheritance, with the duchy of Bavaria going first to Welf VI. , who died without issue in 1120. Therefore his brother Heinrich the Black became Duke of Bavaria  and inherited through his wife Wulfhild of Saxony, heiress of the Billung dynasty, Lüneburg and its region.  He left two sons, Heinrich the Proud and Welf VI. They split the inheritance, with the lands in Saxony and Bavaria going to Heinrich, and the lands west of the Lech in Swabia to Welf VI.  Heinrich the Proud followed his father as Duke of Bavaria, and married Gertrud, daughter of Emperor Lothar III and heiress of the Supplinburg, who brought him Brunswick, Wolfenbüttel and Nordheim.  This made the Welfs the most important family in Saxony, and in 1137 Heinrich became Duke of Saxony, and also Margrave of Tuscany.  In 1138 Lothar III died and Heinrich unsuccesfully contested the imperial crown with the Hohenstaufens; Conrad III became Emperor and Heinrich was banned in 1138, lost his two duchies, and died the following year.   Welf VI, meanwhile, married the heiress of the count palatine Gotfried von Calw and greatly increased his possessions in Swabia. After the death of his  brother he initially took over  the leadership of the House and the administration of the guelf family estates in Swabia, as Heinrich the Lion, the only son of Heinrich the Proud, was not yet of age. In 1142, he succeeded by Konrad III. the return of the Duchy of Saxony to Heinrich  the lion. Margrave Welf VI. founded in 1147  the Premonstratensian monastery Steingaden as House monastery and grave lay. Already around 1120 was Judith, sister of Heirnich the Proud and Welf VI. married to Friedrich von Staufen, Duke of Swabia  to effect a balance between the Hohenstaufen and Guelf. From this marriage the future Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa was born, who in 1151 reached 1151 a reconciliation between his uncle Konrad III. and his  Guelf  cousins. Konrad III. had died in 1152 and his successor was Friedrich. As part of the reconciliation Heinrich the Lion in 1156 received the duchy of Bavaria back. Welf VI. became Duke of Spoleto and thus the most powerful man in the Italian part of the empire, since he ruled because of its relationship with the house of Este via Sardinia and Margrave about Tuscia. When in 1167 the only son of Welf VI. Welf VII died from malaria, he lost interest in politics and bequeathed to Friedrich I. Barbarossa through inheritance contract the Guelf house estates in Swabia, including Ravensburg and Altdorf, which have now been added to the Hohenstaufen house goods. As a result, there was renewed conflicts between the Emperor and his cousin Heinrich the Lion , in the course of which this is not only his duchies of Bavaria and Saxony lost (1179 outlawry, 1180 withdrawing the imperial fief), but also to England to his relatives from the house of Plantagenet to had to go in exile - his wife Matilda was the sister of Richard the Lionheart. The power of the Guelf's in Germany was broken, the Duchy of Bavaria fell to the Wittelsbach family, who ruled there until 1918.
After a reconciliation with the Emperor in 1194 he was indeed given part of his estates and title back, the struggle between Hohenstaufen (allied with the French royal house of Capet and with Aragon) and Guelph (allied with the House of Anjou-Plantagenet) but took on, reflects is mainly reflected in the conflicts within the Italian loyal to the emperor and the pope loyal party of the Ghibellines and Guelfs. Heinrich the Lion died in 1195 and left three sons who in 1203 dividded the inheritance:

  • Heinrich received Ditmarsen, Hadeln, Wursten, Stade, Hannover with the lands on the left bank of the Leine, Nordheim, Göttingen, the western half of Lüneburg with Celle, Homburg, Eimbeck, part of the Eichsfeld and the possessions in Westphalia. He also inherited the palatinate from his wife Agnes, daughter of Konrad (brother of the Emperor Friedrich I. Barbarossa) but left no male issue
  • Otto received Brunswick and the regions west to Hanover and north to Hankensbüttel, half of the Harz, the lands between the Leine and the Aller, Sommereschenburg, the castles of Lichtenberg, Asselburg, Schiltberg, Staufenburg, Herzberg, Scharzfeld, Hohenstein, Osterode and the possessions in Thuringia. In 11898 he elected as opposide Anti-King against Philipp of Swabia. After the assassination of Philipp of Swabia in 1208 Otto was in 1209 by Pope Innocent III. crowned as the first and only Guelf  Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire, but made ​​shortly thereafter because of his attempt to integrate into the kingdom of Sicily, under excommunication. 1214 Otto defeated in the Battle of Bouvines the French King Philip II Augustus and the Hohenstaufen Friedrich II, who in 1215 was elected Anti-King. Otto IV died in 1218 at the Harzburg, and was succeeded by Friedrich II.
  • Wilhelm (d. 1213) received the lands beyond the Elbe, the eastern half of the Lüneburg region with Lüneburg, the other half of the Harz and most of the possessions in the Altmark; he also received the overlordship over Lauenburg, Blankenburg, Hitzacker, Lüchow, Dannenberg
As the two oldest sons left no Issue the Dynasty continued with Wilhelm's son Otto the child. He had been named as Heir by his uncle Heinrich, but Heirnich's  daughters married to the Margrave of Baden and the Duke of Bavaria made claims to the allodial lands, and asked for the help of the Emperor, Friedrich  II, who had an interest in reducing the powers of the Guelf family.  The matter was resolved in 1235 when Otto renounced any claims to Bavaria and the Palatinate, and gave Lüneburg to the Empire.  Conversely Friedrich II. renounced any claims to Brunswick and united Brunswick and Lüneburg into an imperial fief with the rank of duchy, which he conferred on Otto.  This put an end to the feud between the Guelf's and the Hohenstaufens and permanently settled the legal situation of the Guelfs in the Empire.

Duchy of Brunswick and Lüneburg

In 1235 Otto the child was given Brunswick and Lünenburg as new created Duchy of Brunswick and Lüenburg by Emperor Friedrich II. which ended the feunds between the Guelf's and the Hohenstaufen's.Otto promoted his residence Brunswick confirmation by the city rights for the citizens of the old town in 1227 ("Ottonianum"). In 1241 he confirmed the pre-existing rights of Hanover. After the death of Otto his oldest son Albrecht received the territory. But Duke Albrecht I. could not prevail against his brother Johann, so that there was a division of the inheritance of the territory in 1267.
  • Albrecht got the lands around Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel with Gifhorn and Helmstädt, the Eichsfeld, Grubenhagen, the lands between Deister and Leine (Kalenberg), the Oberwald (Göttingen)
  • Johann got  Lüneburg and Celle, Lichtenberg, Twiflingen, Hanover. He was succeeded by his only son Otto the Strong,  who in turn had  four sons; two were made clerics and the other two ruled jointly at first, then after the death without issue of one, the other, Wilhelm, ruled alone.  At his death in 1369, the inheritance (increased meanwhile with the counties of Lüchow, Dannenberg, Wölpe, and the castles of Hallermund, Bleckede, Hitzacker and Neubrück) became the subject of a long-running dispute. Wilhelms's Elisabeth, and her son Albrecht of Saxony claimed the inheritance in spite of the rights of the Guelf agnates.  The Emperor considered that the fief should return to the Emperor.  In 1355 he had invested Albrecht of Sacony  with the eventual fief.  The same year, Wilhem had signed an agrement with his cousin Magnus of Brunswick to name a son of Magnus, Ludwig, as his heir and promise him his other daughter Mechthild.  Magnus himself promised to leave Brunswick to his son Ludwig, so that the two halves of the Welf inheritance should be united again, and should Ludwig predecease Wilhelm of Lüneburg, the claims would be transferred to another son of Magnus.  When Ludwig died in 1367, his brother Magnus Torquatus was appointed heir.  The disputed dragged on until 1389 when the Saxon family agreed to abandon its claims in exchange for an Erbverbrüderung giving reciprocal claims in case of male-line extinction of either family:
Duke Albrecht was the ancestor of the first House of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. He in turn had six sons from which three where clerics and the other three, Heinrich, Albrecht, Wilhelm, ruled jointly for a while and then split their inheritance at an unknown date which is assumed to be 1286
  • Heinrich received Grubenhagen, Salzderhelden, Eimbeck, half of Hameln, Catlenburg, the castles and cities of Herzberg, Scharzfeld, Bodenstein, Osterode, Duderstadt, the mines and forests of Clausthal
  • Albrecht received Oberwald with Göttingen and Münden, the palatinate of Grona and the castles of Niedeck, Friedland, Brackenberg, Sichelstein, and also Uslar, Nordheim, and the territory between the Deister and the Leine
  • Wilhelm received the fortress and city of Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel, Asseburg, Scheningen, Harzburg, Gandersheim, Staufenburg and Seesen. He died in died in 1292 without issue and his brothers argued over the inheritance, with the larger share going in the end to the Göttingen line. 
The Grubenhagen line

The founder of the line Heinrich left four sons, the last of which was a cleric.  The three other sons divided the inheritance after a period of joint rule: Heinrich II receiving possessions around the Eichsfeld, Ernst the region around Eimbeck, and Wilhelm the castle and region of Herzberg.  Wilhelm died unmarried, Heinrich II's line ended with his son Otto in 1398, so that Ernst's line was the only one to continue.  Ernst's three sons Albrecht II, Johann and Friedrich ruled jointly, with the eldest effectively in charge.  Johann died without children, Friedrich's only son Otto died in 1452 without issue, and the line continued with Albrecht II, whose residence was Salzderhelden, and his only son Erich.  In 1402, Erich reached an agreement with his uncle Friedrich that each line would keep its lands undivided.  Erich left three sons Heinrich, Ernst and Albrecht, who were first under the guardianship of their cousin Otto, then ruled jointly.   In 1463 Heinrich died leaving a young son Heinrich, and Ernst ceded the government and guardianship of young Heinrich to his brother Albrecht.  In 1481 Albrecht and his nephew Heinrich divided the lands, with Albrecht taking  Herzberg and Heinrich Salderhelden, and Grubenhagen divided equally.  Heinrich died without issue in 1526 and the Grubenhagen inheritance was once again reunited in Albrecht's line.

Albrecht left in 1486 three sons, two of which, Philipp and Erich, survived to rule jointly until Erich became bishop of Paderborn and Philipp ruled alone.  He became a Protestant in 1534 and died in 1551 leaving four sons.  Although no known law of primogeniture was introduced, only his eldest son Ernst succeeded; he died without issue in 1567 and his two brothers Wolfgang and Philipp divided the inheritance, and each died without issue (in 1595 and 1598 respectively), ending the Grubenhagen line.

Julius of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel claimed the whole inheritance and seized it, but the Celle line sued in the Reichshofrat, being closer in degrees (15 against Julius's 16 degrees) and being the senior line.  A ruling in 1617 forced Julius to cede the inheritance.

The Göttingen line

Albrecht the founder of the line, initially had his residence at Göttingen, then moved to Dankwarderoda.  He made a pact in 1292 with his cousin Otto of Lüneburg, providing for reciprocal rights of guardianship for the children of the other until the age of 12, and resolution of disputes between them by a council of their vassals.  His sons Magnus and Ernst divided the inheritance in 1345:
Ernst received Göttingen, founding a line of Göttingen that ended with Otto in 1463 who ceded in 1442 his lands with the exception of Uslar to his cousin Wilhelm of Brunswick.

Magnus received Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel: his sons were Magnus II Torquatus and Ludwig, and Ludwig (as explained above) was intended to inherit Lüneburg but died too soon, and the long-running dispute over Lüneburg ended only to the advantage of Magnus II's sons Friedrich, Bernhard, Heinrich and Otto.  These brothers had made an agreement in 1374 providing for the rule of an undivided Brunswick by the eldest brother Friedrich, to be followed by his brothers one after the other, and only at the death of the last would the eldest son of Friedrich succeed.  This was not lineal primogeniture, but a form of seniorat (similar to the one in the house of Württemberg in 1482).  When the brothers received Lüneburg in 1389, it was given to the two younger brothers Bernhard and Heinrich to rule jointly.  In 1394 the brothers agreed never to divide Brunswick-Lüneburg.  But these agreements were not enforced: at the death of Friedrich in 1400 without issue the two brothers Bernhard and Heinrich divided the lands in 1409: Bernhard as the eldest divided, and Heinrich chose.  Heinrich took Lüneburg, leaving Brunswick, Hanover, Everstein, and the territory between Deister and Leine to Bernhard, with the cities of Brunswick and Lüneburg remaining in common.  In 1415 they returned to joint rule, but in 1428 a final partition was carried out, this time with Bernhard receiving Lüneburg and the sons of Heinrich taking Brunswick, Calenberg and Hanover. 

The second House of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel
Heinrich, the founder of the line, left two sons who shared the inheritance in 1432: Wilhelm took Calenberg and  Heinrich took Wolfenbüttel (he died in 1473 without issue).  Wilhelm increased his holdings, inheriting from the Göttingen line in 1442.  Wilhelm left two sons who prepared to divide the inheritance but one died soon and the survivor, Wilhelm the younger, kept all the lands.  He in turn had two sons, between whom he arranged a partition before abdicating in their favor in 1495: the older, Heinrich, drew the partition, the younger son Erich chose.  Erich took Calenberg and Göttingen, Heinrich received Wolfenbüttel.    The Calenberg line ended with Erich's son Erich II in 1584.Heinrich zu Wolfenbüttel had six sons.   They made a pact to avoid partition and let the eldest brother rule for the other, and the four younger brothers received ecclesiastical benefices, but later Wilhelm, the second oldest brother, asked for a partition; in response the older brother locked him up for 12 years.  This seemed sufficient to persuade Wilhelm to come to an agreement, the "Pactum Henrico-Wilhelminum" of 1535, which instituted indivisibility and lineal primogeniture, with monetary pension for younger brothers and dowries for daughters.  From this point on, primogeniture was observed in the house of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Heinrich, a stalwart of the Catholic party, was succeeded by his protestant son Julius, who confirmed primogeniture in his testament of 1582, approved by the emperor on 13.09.1582.  Julius was followed by his son Heinrich Julius and the latter's son Friedrich Ulrich, the last of the second house of Brunswick who died in 1634.The inheritance naturally passed to the Lüneburg branch; but it had split in three branches: Harburg (Wilhelm and Otto, childless grandchildren of Otto of Harburg and Metta von Campen), Dannenberg (the brothers Julius Ernst and August the younger) and Cella (the brothers August the elder, Friedrich and Georg).  The Harburg line was not a major player because of its lack of issue.  The Dannenberg and Cella lines fought over the way in which to divide the inheritance: August zu Dannenberg demanded the whole inheritance, or at least division by lines (in stirpes, making two equal shares); Georg zu Cella demanded division in capita (making 5 lots, 2 for Dannenberg and 3 for Cella).  Ultimately, in 1635 and 1636, the division went as follows: Harburg received the county of Hoya and Reinstein-Blankenburg, Dannenberg received Wolfenbüttel, Cella received Calenberg.  The university of Helmstädt and the mines of the Harz remained joint property.

The second House of Lüneburg

The founder of the line Bernhard left the government to his sons Otto and Friedrich, who ruled jointly even after his death until Otto died without issue.  Friedrich the Pious abdicated in 1457 to retire in a convent in favor of his sons, but both sons Bernhard II. (who had no Issue) and Otto the Magnanimous died before their father. As only Otto left a minor child Heinrich, Bernhard  returned from his retirement to rule again until his death in 1478, leaving the whole duchy to his minor grandson Heinrich under the guardianship of the council and magistrates of Lüneburg.
During his reign Heinrich  increased his possessions somewhat, and obtained eventual rights to Hoya (Sept 1501) and Diepholz (1517).  But his territories were devastated by the Hildesheim feud (Hildesheimer Stiftsfehde), which raged from 1519 to 1523 between the bishop of Hildesheim aided by the Duke of Lüneburg on one hand, the nobility of Hildesheim aided by the bishop of Minden and the dukes Heinrich of Wolfenbüttel and Erich of Calenberg on the other hand.  Heinrich also took sides with king François I of France in the imperial election of 1519, and after Karl V. was elected he was put under the ban of the Empire and had on 22.07.1522 to go in exile in France, leaving his sons Otto and Ernst to rule. In 1527 Ernst secured from his brothers Otto and Franz renunciations to the rule of the duchy in exchange for Harburg (for Otto) and Gieffhorn (for Franz, who died childless in 1549).   Otto's line of Harburg is descended from his marriage to Metta von Campen. Ernst, who was a nephew of the Elector of Saxony at whose court in Wittenberg he had learned Luther's doctrine, introduced the reformation in Lüneburg (in spite of his father's unexpected return from France and attempt to regain the government of the duchy). When Ernst died in 1546, he left a number of sons, for whom the Emperor appointed the Elector of Cologne and the count of Schaumburg as guardians, who in 1555 turned over the duchy to the eldest son Franz Otto; he died in 1559 without issue, at which time only two brothers remained, Heinrich  and Wilhelm.  They initially agreed to rule jointly for 5 years, but the younger brother Wilhelm was doing all the work, and Heinrich was only getting married while Wilhelm had three sons; on  13.09.1569 Heinrich agreed to renounce his rights except upon extinction of his brother's line or of the Brunswick line, in exchange for Dannenberg as indemnity (augmented in 1592 with Hitzacker, Lüchow and Werpke), a lump sum of 4000 Thaler and an annual payment of 500 Thaler.  The agreement was approved by the estates and by the emperor.  
  • Heinrich zu Dannenber's line in 1634 inherited Wolffenbüttel when this line became extinct and became the Ducal House of Brunswick-Wolffentbüttel and in 1814 Duke of Brunswick.
  • Wilhelm's line became later the Electoral and Royal House of Hannover. 

The third House of Brunswick, Principality of Brunswick-Wolffenbütel from 1634

When in  1634 the line of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel became extinct in the male line the apanaged line of Dannenberg succeeded with Duke Julius Ernst as reigning Fürst As he had no male Issue he ceded his rights to his younger brother August who those became the sole ruler in 1635.  In a Succession Agreement dated 14.12.1635 August at the age of 56 years was finally officially named heir to the  throne. However, due to the still raging war he had to endure nine more years in Brunswick on the Dankwarderode before he finally was able to move his badly drawn affected residence in Wolfenbüttel 1644. He already brought 55 boxes of books weighing 470 quintals, the foundation of his Bibliotheca Augusta. He led in Wolfenbüttel extensive reforms, so he went first to the development of a functioning church, school and judicial system and recorded systematically every war damage in all the churches of his principality to create his financial plan for the reconstruction . Substantial income from mining in the Harz and its comparatively modest royal household enabled the country's rapid recovery. One of his most important government measures was the planning and execution of a craft suburb west of the castle fortress Wolfenbüttel, the Wolfenbüttler Auguststadt.
Fürst August II. was married three times. First  he married Clara Maria of Pommern, a daughter of Duke Bogislaw XIII. of Pommern. Second he married Princess Dorothea of Anhalt-Zerbst and his third marriage was with Princess Elisabeth Sophie of Mecklenburg-Güstrow. 
He had the following children:
from his first marriage:
  • a son and a daughter who both died at birth
from his second marriage
  • Heinrich August, died young
  • Rudolf August, who succeeded his father as Fürst
  • Sibylle Ursula, married to Fürst Christian of Schleswig-Hosltein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg
  • Clara Augusta, married to Duke Friedrich of Württemberg-Neuenstadt
  • Anton Ulrich, who succeeded  his brother, Fürst Rudolf August as Fürst
from his third marriage:
  • Ferdinand Albrecht I., Fürst of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel-Bevern, he got Bevern Castle near Holzminden anf founded the junio line Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel-Bevern, married to Princess Christine of Hesse-Eschwege
    • Leopold Karl, died young
    • Friedrich Albrecht, died young
    • Sophie Eleonore, Canonoess at Gandersheim
    • Claudia Eleonore, died young
    • August Ferdinand, imperial General Mayor
    • Ferdinand Albrecht, succeeded his cousin and Fürst Ludwig Rudolf as Fürst of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel
    • Ernst Ferdinand, married to Princess Eleonore Charlotte of Kurland
      • August Wilhelm
      • Christiane Sophie, married to Margrave Friedrich Ernst of Brandenburg-Kulmbach
      • Friederike
      • Gerog Ludwig
      • Ernestine
      • Friedrich Georg
      • Amalie
      • Karl Wilhelm
      • Friedrich August
      • Marie Anna
      • Friedrich Karl Ferdinand, married to Princess Anna Karoline of Nassau-Saarbrücken
      • Johann Anton
    • Ferdinand Christian
    • Heinrich Ferdinand 
  • Maria  Elisabeth, married to Duke Adolf Wilhelm of Saxe-Eisenach
  • Christoph Franz, died young
When Fürst August II. died in 1666 he was succeeded by his oldest son Rudolf August. However, Rudolf August was devoted to his studies and the hunting. He createf a comprehensive library and had been appointed in 1663 by his father to "Jägermeister" . However, even before his accession , he proved that he wants to help the citizens. According to regulation by him of 24.12.1660 he released the Calvördern to obtain the necessary construction and firewood from the Calvörder forest. In 1667 , a year after he took office , he appointed his younger , power-conscious brother Anton Ulrich  as governor . Rudolf August withdrew more and more from government transactions to which he gave to his brother . 1671 succeeded Rudolf August and Anton Ulrich to occupy the city Brunswick after about three weeks of siege. Thus ended the era of the independent city of Braunschweig . In 1685, he appointed his brother Anton Ulrich and equal co-regent . In 1650, he married Countess Elisabeth Christiane of Barby. The couple had three daughters, one of whom died before their first birthday . To ensure the family inheritance he agreed to the marriage of his daughter Christine Sophie  with her cousin August Wilhelm the son of Anton Ulrich . August Wilhelm therefore followed in 1714 his father, Anton Ulrich, who had in 1704 , assumed the sole rule after the death of Rudolf August. Fürst Rudolf August themselves married in the  1681  a few weeks after the death of his first wife  in morganatic marriage, just eighteen years old Rosine  Elisabeth Menthe, daughter of a barber and surgeon . The marriage remained childless. During his reign of thirty-eight Rudolf August developed a construction boom . After 1671 he made his way through the wood between Lechlumer Wolfenbüttel and Braunschweig invest today as " New Way " is a section of National Highway 79 This so-called " Stately Way" led , in parallel to the old trade route ( " Old Way " ) , in a straight line from the later summer residence Antoinettenruh about the baroque palace , the later " Star House " , to the Great walk home in Stöckheim . In the years 1695-1702 he let go of his military architect Caspar Peoples ( built the Seesener Court and Castle Church of St. Andrew . For Rosine Elisabeth he led the  the water castle in Vechelde near Brunswick, converted to the princely castle Vechelde. His private library  the Bibliotheca Rudolphea  gave Rudolf August in 1702 , two years before his death to the University Library Helmstedt . He caused a significant enhancement of the Bibliotheca Julia .
His daughters from his first marriage:
  • Dorothea Sophie, married to Duke Johann Adolf of Holstein-Plön
  • Chrstine Sophie, marrited to her cousin Fürst August Wilhelm of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel
After the death of Fürst Rudolf August in 1704 his younger brother Anton Ultrich became the sole ruler. His minister, chancellor Probst of Wendhausen managed in 1706 to bring a complete reconciliation between the older and younger Brunswick line to pass. Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel renounced his claims to the Duchy of Saxe-Lauenburg which had fallen to the entire  House of Brunswick, recognized the Electorate of Hanover and received Campen Castle and the villages belonging to Gifhorn Bevenrode , Waggum and Bienrode.  Anton Ulrich sought compensation for his losses to the younger House  Brunswick by close connection with Austria means to an end was the marriage of his granddaughter Elizabeth Christine.  the daughter of his second son Rudolf Ludwig to Archduke Karl  the future Emperor Karl VI. and brother of Emepror Joseph I. The at the Protestant faith hanging granddaughter struggled a long time, but had to comvert on 01.051707 to the Catholic Church in the Dome of Bamberg. 1708 followed her marriage to Archduke Karl. The close relationship to the Austrian empire motivated Anton Ulrich of new ambitions. His hopes for acquisition of part of the ancient possessions of the Guelfs , the Countries of 1706 outlawed Elector of Bavaria, were fulfilled just as on the acquisition of the diocese of Hildesheim , and especially of the Archdiocese of Cologne and its related Elector.  To continue his  expansion plans, Anton Ulrich converted to Catholicism in 1709 secretly . Until the following year he put in the Dome of Baamberg  before the Elector of Mainz, a public profession of faith . He assured his subjects freedom of religion. To justify his change of faith to him politically non-user , he published the font Fifty motives . Anton Ulrich lived to see that the husband of his granddaughter was elected Emperor in 1711 and to be situated in the same year his second granddaughter Charlotte Christine married the Grand Duke Alexei of Russia, the son of Emperor Peter I. and therefore the possibility to became Empress opened for her. 
Fürst Anton Ulrich was married to Princess Elisabeth Juliane of Schleswig-Holstein-Norburg. They had the following children
  • August Friedrich, died in action
  • Elisabeth Eleonore, married first to Prince Johann Georg zu Mecklenburg-Schwerin, second to Duke Bernhard I. of Saxe-Meiningen
  • Anna Sophie, married to Prince Karl Gustav of Baden-Durlach
  • Leopold August, died young
  • August Wilhelm, succeded his father as Fürst
  • August Heinrich, died young
  • August Karl, died young
  • August Franz, died young
  • Augusta Dorothea, married to Fürst nton Günther II. zu Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
  • Amalia Antonia, died young
  • Henriette Christine, Abbess of Gandersheim
  • Ludwig Rudolf, succeeded his brother, F+rst August Wilhelm as Fürst
  • Sibylle Rosalie, died young 
When Fürst Anton Ulrich died on 27.03.1714 he was succeeded by his oldest surving son August Wilhelm. He had already in 1681 been adopted by his uncle, Fürst Rudolf August and thosse became officially the Heir. Anton Ulrich displeased, the cohesion between his son and his brother, which led to constant friction between father and son. Then August Wilhelm was more on trips to Italy, France and Schleswig-Holstein to avoid these conflicts. Nevertheless, he was informed by a confidant of the events at courtWhen he was in the country, he retired often after a long life in Elm, where he had received in 1686 the cabin as fee simple. There he settled in the years of 1689 to 1707 built a small castle, probably by architect Hermann basket. Despite all the arguments with his father, August Wilhelm went for him on diplomatic trips abroad. So he helped him including his lucrative relationship with France against Rudolph August to cover up.  In its dispute with Hanover on his side Prussia, Wolfenbüttel tried by offering the Hereditary Prince  Halberstadt.  In Sweden campaigned August Wilhelm for Wolfenbüttel policiy  and in Denmark he received in 1699 by the Danish King Christian V. the Order of the Elephant. His first birthday as reigning Duke  was in 1715 magnificently celebrated in Jena. While there was no real relationship between the city and Duke August Wilhelm. But 16 students from Braunschweig - among them aristocrats - celebrated the great day of their father's land. They arranged for speeches, in which also involved the University, and a torchlight, who had the beautifully decorated market square to the target. The windows of the building on the market square were decorated with paintings of Fürst August Wilhelm and his wife Elisabeth Sophie Marie. Praise and hopes for a fruitful government were also read on the paintings. The special hope for fertility should not be fulfilled. The Fürst and Fürstin remained childless. He completed the planned and begun by his father buildings in the Principality. Brunswick Palace before 1830 . From 1717, the Gray Court was converted into a luxurious castle in Brunswick. But during August Wilhelm's lifetime  the castle in Wolffenbüttel remained the residence. The splendor of his court was more expensive underlined by the collection of furniture and silver purchases. In 1727 he founded the Wilhelmshütte, an ironworks in Bornum on the resin at Bockenem. August Wilhelm's motto "Parta tueri" - get acquired - was probably mainly the preservation of the Protestant faith. To eliminate the irritation that had caused his father with his move to the Catholic faith, ordered August Wilhelm after his accession immediately that all the preachers of the country would have to preach about the Augsburg Confession. Every Wednesday so they should explain the basics of traditional Lutheranism. When that was processed, it went on with the justification of this doctrine, then with the other confessional writings of the Church of Brunswick. The Reformation jubilee festivals were celebrated with great effort, and with a large available in 1725 was a reorganization of the teaching catechism and the catechism sermons instead. Shortly after his accession he provoked the Catholics with the purchase of land in the neighborhood of the Catholic Nicolai Church in Brunswick. He built there Hussars barracks to restrict the view of the church. From his father August Wilhelm took over Philipp Ludwig, Probst of Wendhausen  as Chancellor ,who led the government with a strong hand . After his death in November 1718 was followed the next day by Urban Dietrich of Luedecke  but he was unable to replace his  predecessor. Much influence had the Duke's favorite Konrad Detlev von Dehn , who as Page came to the Wolfenbüttel court before 1703 and after the accession of William August in 1714 was made  Kammerjunker. In  1720 August Wilhelm gave him the double signature. This meant that he now had actually for the treigning Prince reserved the right to countersigne  ordinances of the Privy Council and the chamber and thus make it legally binding. As deputy to the duke went from stretching when traveling to other European royal courts , but where he performed not only as a diplomat but also the courtly ceremonial, customs, fashion and architecture studied . He also sent detailed reports to Wolfenbüttel and was thus a useful interlocutor for August Wilhelm , to all interested in what could perfect his ducal court in its representation. When it came to disputes between Prussia and Hanover, it was mainly to August Wilhelm's credit that these disputes did not lead to armed conflict . Friedrich Wilhelm I. had sent his recruiters to find tall men for the guard of the " long guy " . These advertisers were not squeamish before they even roamed foreign territory and lured the men with promises about the border. You do not even made ​​a stop in front of the soldiers of the neighboring countries. George II.  then issued an edict that the advertisers should be taken so that they could be severely punished . The matter escalated , there were concentrated troops who advanced to Magdeburg and Halberstadt . By Brunswick mediation but it did not the extreme. Also, the duel between the two rivals could be prevented. As President of the Chamber Hieronymus von Munchausen introduced strict order and repeatedly insisted on restrictions , blackened him to stretch the Fürst by letters procured in which Munchausen complained about the Fürst ostentation and extravagance . An investigation authority under Dehn and chaired a saying of the dependent Dehn University of Helmstedt , the Speaker of Augustin Leyser Munchausen was a personal enemy , condemned Munchausen goodbye without pension . Younger brother of the Fürst Ludwig Rudolf procured the Reichshofrat that Munchausen gained neither dishonorable nor leave the fiscal process.On 21 02.1731 von Dehn was dismissed from all offices of stretching . He had made ​​fraudulent financial manipulation with the Kammerrat of Rhetz and the manager of the orphanage Lutterloh and had to go. He did not fall straight out of favor with August Wilhelm , because this secured him an annual pension of 1000 crowns to . His goods he could also keep all . However, August Wilhelm died a few weeks after the release of Dehn and the new reigning Fürst Ludwig Rudolf refused stretch of the continued payment of the pension funds because of the poor financial situation of the Duchy. 
Fürst August Wilhelm was married three times but he no children from either of his marriages. First he married in 1681 his 8 years older cousin Princess Christine Sophie of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel, the daughter of his uncle, Duke Rudolf August. After her death in 1695 he married in the same year Princess Sophie Amalie of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorf. She died in 1710 and a half year later August Wilhelm married in September 1710 Princess Elisabeth Sophie Marie of Schleswig-Holstein-Norburg.
After the death of Fürst August Wilhelm on 23.03.1731 his younger brother Ludwig Rudolf became reigning Fürst . Because as youngest son he was excluded from the succession he went abroad to pursue hi interest in scientic studies. In addition to the sciences was his continued interest in warfare , so he was already established as a major general with 19 years in the military service of Emperor Leopold I. . 1690 he got into battle of Fleurus (Fleury) in French captivity after he was slain in battle with the troops of King Louis XIV. Ludwig Rudolf but was allowed to return because of his background in the same year back home. His father was so happy that he gave Blankenburg over the county to his son as a welcome gift to the resin . This did not meet the principle of primogeniture , after his brother August Wilhelm preference should get . In 1707, the County of Blankenburg was then also charged to a principality, which meant the final break of primogeniture , because now the youngest son of the ruler had an independent principality . However, there was a restriction that the voice was not hereditary and borrowed only by the Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg ( Grubenhagensche voice ) in the Imperial Council of the Holy Roman Empire . Ludwig Rudolf, who was now Fürst of Blankenburg was therefore  only a sovereign ruler  depending on Electoral Hannover . Ludwig Rudolph built after his military career, a costly and brilliant court . Aftther the death of his childless brother Fürst  August Wilhelm,  Ludwig Rudolf took over the government of the Principality of Brunswick- Wolfenbüttel. But the excitement was short lived because his brother had left an indebted and highly corrupt country . Ludwig Rudolf dismissed the Minister responsible of his predecessor and focused on the rehabilitation of the state budget , with the result that its prudent policy , which consisted largely of a frugal court life , the Treasury began to slowly fill again .  Ludwig Rudolf could possibly do more , but he died after a short reign in 1735.. 
Fürst Ludwig Rudolf was married to Princess Christine Luise zu Oettingen. They had three daughters
  • Elisabeth Chrstine, married to Emperor Karl VI., Archduke of Austria, King of Hugnary and Bohemia etc.
  • Charlotte Christine, married to Grand Duke and Tsarevitch Alexej Petrovich of Russia
  • Antoinette Amalie, married to Duke Ferdinand Albrecht II. of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel.
Successor of Fürst Ludwig Rudolf was his cousin and son-in-law Ferdinand Albrecht from the junior line Bevern. He had succeeded his father in Bevern in 1687 and fought after the outbreak of the Spanish war of succession with the imperial army in Swabia and Bavaria. In 1704 he lived as an imperial aide at the meeting on Schellenberg, was thereupon Imperial Adjutant General and as such severely wounded before Landau, 1707 Major General and Lieutenant Field Marshal in 1711. Under Prince Eugene, he fought against the Turks, was given the governorship of Komárom fortress and distinguished himself particularly at Petrovaradin, at the siege of Temesvár and Belgrade. Since 1723 imperial field marshal, he was 1727 Empire General of the Ordnance and 1733 Empire Field Marshal, moved the following year the Imperial War peoples in Pilsen together, went with them to the Rhine, and led to Eugene's arrival supreme command of the army. The death of his father - the Duke Ludwig Rudolf of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel - on 01.03.1735 called him to the vacant chair Duke, but he died as early as 13.09.1735.
Fürst Ferdinand Albrecht II. was married to Princes Antoinette Amalie of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel. They had the following children:
  • Karl, who succeeded his father as Duke
  • Anton Ulrich, married to Duchess Anna Leopoldvna zu Mecklenburg
    • Ivan VI., he was named as Heir by his maternal great-aunt Empress Anna Ivanovna of ÄRussia and therefore became Empeor of Russia. Short afterward he ws deposed by Empress Elisabeth I. Petrovna
    • Katharina
    • Elisabeth
    • Peter
    • Alexej
  • Elisabeth Christine, married to King Friedrich II. of Prussia
  • Ludwig Ernst, Captain General of the Netherlands
  • August, died young
  • Friederike
  • Ferdinand, Field Marshal
  • Luise Amalie, married to Prince August Wilhelm of Prussia
  • Sofie Antoinette, married to Duke Ernst Friedrich of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld
  • Albrecht, General Mayor
  • Charlotte
  • Therese, Abbes of Gandersheim
  • Julaine Marie, married to King Frederik V. of Denmark and Norway
  • Friedrich Wilhelm, died young
  • Friedrich Franz, diedin action.
After the unexpected of Fürst Ferdinand Albrecht II. his oldest son Karl became the reigning Fürst. He had made a military career in imperial Service. so he had in 1733 became Holder of a Cürassier Regiment and on 04.04.1735 he was appointed imperial general field sergeant during the War of the Polish Succession. After his accession as reigning Fürst he remained in imperrial Service but received but now as owner the regiment of his late father's  the Imperial "Infantry Regiment Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel". Domestically devoted Karl comprehensive reforms in his Principality, guided by principles of enlightenment and mercantilism and supported by his senior minister Heinrich Bernhard Schrader of Schliestedt. Externally Karl gradually losed the close ties to the imperial Family, after his father had turned his neighbors Prussia by marriage policy. In 1750, he handed over the ownership of his imperial regiment, another sign of alienation from Vienna. During the Seven Years War (1756-1763) Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel closely fought at the side of Prussia against Empress Maria Theresia, the Empire and France. After the war, brought the duchy to the brink of disaster, Karl continued the reforms, as well as the Prussian-friendly policies continue. Karl founded the Collegium Carolinium 1745 in Brunswick and the Fürstenberg porcelain manufactory. He also established a fire cash . In 1753 he moved the residence of Wolfenbüttel to Brunswick , which became an intellectual center. Kar I. had just not understood, despite or because of his reform zeal to keep the finances of the Principality in order and was led in 1773 to hand over the affairs of state to his eldest son Karl.
Fürstr Karl I. was married to Princess Charlotte of Prussia, a daughter of King Friedrich Wilhelm I. and sister of KIng Friedrich II. the Great. They had 13 children
  • Karl, who succeeded his father as Fürst
  • Georg Franz, died young
  • Sophie Caroline Marie, married to Margrave Friedrich III. of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
  • Christian Ludwig, died young
  • Anna Amalie, married to Duke Ernst August II. of Saxe-Weimer-Eisenach
  • Friedrich August, married to Princess Friederike of Württemberg-Oels
  • Albrecht Heinrich
  • Luise Friederike
  • Wilhelm Adolf
  • Elisabeth Christine, married to King Friedrich Wilhelm II. of Prussia
  • Friederike Wilhelmine
  • Auguste Dorothea, Abbes of Gandersheim
  • Leopold, prussian Major General
Successor Fürst Karl I. became his oldest son.  Due to the close family ties to the Prussian royal house and a Subsidiencontradt in which the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel put troops at disposal of  Prussia the young Karl fought during the Seven Years' War in the battles of Hastenbeck, Minden and Warburg on the Allied side against France . It even came to a violent conflict between him and his father, who told him to leave the army. Of his uncles Ludwig  and Ferdinand he was just overwhelmed with the opposite cheers. The unfortunate Prince was finally released from his dilemma by King Friedrich II. who brougth Karl  with gentle force again towards the North German coalition. On 16.01.1764 he Princess August of Great Britain, the eldest sister of King George III. of Great Britain. The ratio of the spouses was conventional and preserved the court forms. The marriages of the daughters Caroline and  Auguste failed, and of his three sons was only the youngest, Frederick William, physically and mentally healthy enough to become the successor of his father in 1806. On a trip to Italy in 1766 Karl got to know 1766 his longtime mistress Marie Antoinette of Branconi. From this relationship sprang a son, Karl Anton Ferdinand, Count of Forstenburg.
In 1773 he became as successor of his father Fürst of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel.  His government was initially sent out . Successful reforms could flourish the small principality of Brunswick . Under the influence of Abbot Jerusalem and the pedagogue Joachim Heinrich Campe , the Duke was a real enlightened Fürst. In 1777 he split from Maria Antoinette of Branconi and replaced it with Louise of Hertefeld . This mistress he lived nearly 30 happy years (and separated from his own wife) . But his greatest passion was the military. In 1773 he took over the former regiment, " Schwerin walk " in Halberstadt . In 1787, Karl II. was appointed Prussian field marshal . In the summer of 1787 he moved with an army to Wesel, and in September he occupied Holland, as the governor Willem V. and his wife Wilhelmina were in trouble for a year and threatened a civil war . His adversary , the Patriotten , fled to Amsterdam , and the city surrendered on 10 October . Probably the Brandenburg Gate was for this reason afterwards erected in Berlin , in this order of King Friedrich Wilhelm II, who came  an army of 26,000 men to help his sister. During the first coalition war he received the command of the Prussian and Austrian troops, who should defeat the French revolutionary army . With the clumsy formulated manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick , 25.07.1792 , which announced the bombardment of Paris, the royal family should be hurt , he provoked the Tuileries and thus contributed to the end of the monarchy in France . The plan failed with the cannonade of Valmy . He won in 1793 in the Battle of Kaiserslautern. The Fürst laid in 1794 the Office of the Commander- down . In the course of the fourth coalition war Karl II.  was reactivated in 1806 in a questionable decision as commander of the Prussian army . For some, it was through a hymnal praise of Friedrich II. the Great of Prussia , the largest military commander of the late 18th Century , others criticized its still growing at age indecision. During the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt 14.10,1806 crashed close to him Hassenhausen a bullet coming from the side of both eyes. On a stretcher , he reached Brunswick on 20 October . Waiving the handicapped by poor eyesight older sons he appointed the youngest Friedrich Wilhelm  heir to the throne . In a message to Napoleon, he begged for mercy for his neutral country and for themselves about to let him die in peace . Since Napoleon refused, he left Brunswick on 25 October and reached again - about Celle and Harburg - Altona and thus neutral Danish territory . In the guest house on field 5 in Ottensen he took up his quarters . It was granted to him to take you there by his wife, his sister and the two oldest sons farewell before he died on 10.11.1806 of his injuries .Fürst Karl I. and his wife August had the following children:
  • Auguste, married to King Friedrich I. of Württemberg
  • Karl Georg August, married to Princess Friederike of Orange-Nassau
  • Karoline, married to King Georg IV. of Great Britain, King of Hannover etc.
  • Georg, renounced his succession rights in 1806
  • August, renounced his succession rights in 1806
  • Friedrich Wilhel, who succeeded his father as Fürst
  • Amalie

Successor of Fürst Karl I. became his youngest of four sons, Friedrich Wilhelm.
He had joined the Prussian army in 1789, became captain in an infantry regiment in 1792 and took part in the first coalition war against France. In 1800 he became chief of the regiment Kleist on foot . The highlight of his military career was his appointment to the Prussian Major General by King Friedrich Wilhelm III. in July 1801. He was a member of the Military Company. In 1806 he fought in the Battle of Jena and Auerstedt where his father was mortally wounded . From this he was appointed to the throne , as his three older brothers were incapable of governing . A little later he took part in the Battle of Lübeck in the Corps Blücher . Since then , the ratio of Blucher , who attributed his defeat to tactical error Frederick William , tarnished . Both were pressured by the surrender of Ratekau in French captivity .The government in the Duchy could Friedrich Wilhelm not compete  as Napoleon had declared it off and assigned to his territory in the Peace of Tilsit in 1807 the newly created Kingdom of Westphalia under the reign of his brother Jérôme Friedrich Wilhelm withdrew into the Prussian Oels. He participated in planning rebellion against the rule of Napoleon and maintained contacts with Ferdinand von Schill and William of Dörnberg . As Austria in 1809 was headed for a war against France in the form of a German national survey , he went to Vienna in January 1809 . In February 1809 came the Vienna Convention between Austria and he concluded that regulated the task force , uniforms , insignia , minimum number and grade of a ducal Brunswick Corps in the now beginning Fifth Coalition War . The Free Corps was under the protection of Austria, but remained independent , was built at the expense of the Duke and well maintained. Use it was against France. The principalities Oels and Bern city with debt engaging, he was able to finance his troops. In Bohemia , near the Prussian border , on the Castle Náchod, which provided him the Duchess  Wilhelmine of Sagan available, and in Braunau Friedrich Wilhelm stated by 01.04.1809 , the 2300 -strong corps. The Corps , also known for his black uniform "Black Focus " , fell, acting independently , in Saxony , but could the desired uprising , despite the good will of the inhabitants , not trip. The Znojmo ceasefire in July 1809 in the Austria acknowledged his defeat, was Friedrich Wilhelm, who regarded himself as a belligerent sovereign, not accept for themselves. While the Austrians returned under Karl Friedrich at the end of Bohemia, his corps moved struggling with the battle cry " Victory or Death " via Halle , Halberstadt , Brunswick, Burgdorf , Hanover , Delmenhorst and Elsfleth to Brake , where the embarkation of the British Isle of Wight succeeded . Particularly the storming of Halberstadt on 29 07.1809 and the Battle of Ölper outside Braunschweig on 1 August 1809 , in the Friedrich Wilhelm stood up to a threefold superiority , were celebrated in the German public in poems and songs. Great Britain took the "black band " in wages and put them on the Iberian theater of war. Frederick William chose as a close relative of the British royal family , supported by the British Parliament with a stately guesthouse, London for the seat from where he entertained through the secret envoy Gneisenau connect to the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III. During the War of Liberation Frederick William met on 22.12.1813 after the expulsion of the French rulers in Brunswick and took over the cheers of the people as the sovereign government

Duchy of Brunswick

During the War of Liberation Frederick William met on 22.12.1813 after the expulsion of the French rulers in Brunswick and took over the cheers of the people as the sovereign government. During the congress of Vienna the Duchey of Brunswick was in 1814 createdagain in the borders of Brunswick-Wolffenbüttel
Against the from Elba returning Napoleon drew Duke Friedrich Wilhelm with the newly formed British and Prussian troops to help. On 16.06.1815 , two days before the battle of Waterloo , he fell at the Battle of Quatre Bras in close combat with French Cuirassiers by a bullet that went through hands , lungs and liver. 
Duke Friedrich Wilhelm was married to Princess Marie of  Baden. They had 2 sons:
  • Karl, who succeeded his father as Duke
  • Wilhelm, who became in 1832 Regent
Duke Friedrich Wilhelm was succeeded by his son 10 years olf son Karl.  Because of his youth, he was first under the guardianship and regency of King George IV of Great Britain, King of  Hannover, who used the Hannoverian diplomat Friedrich Wilhelm Alexander Linsingen as educator. On 16.06.1815 became Karl II. Duke of Brunswick and Fürst of Oels;, he handed control of the Principality  in January 1826 over to his brother Wilhelm. On 30.10,1823 Karl II. took over the reins of government in Brunswick. In 1827 he refused to recognize the government decisions and regulations taken by King George IV fully. He therefore caused a dispute inside the home UK-Hanover, the (German Confederation) came up before the Bundestag in Frankfurt. Until 1830 this dispute was settled by a revocation of Karl II.  Furthermore Karl II.  refused to acknowledge the introduced in 1820 "Renewed countryside order", which in turn led to conflict with the Brunswick Estates. Even within the city of Brunswick, the opposition of feudal nobles, officials and citizens against the Duke grew and eventually led on 07.09.1830 a revolt against the "diamonds Duke", which he was called by the population because of his ostentation. During this "revolution" the old Baroque residence burned to the ground. Karl II. fled the same day from the city, accompanied by his private secretary Bitter and parts of his court. His brother Wilhelm was Karl, initially succeeded with his consent. With his deposition, however, Karl II. did not resign. In view of the pending dispute commissioned a Federal Decree of 02.12.1830 that Wilhelm, provisionally lead the country's government. His opponents sought to explain Karl II. absolutely incapable of governing. Wilhelm took over on 20.04.1831 under the Note, the peaceful settlement efforts have remained fruitless, the government officially completed the Duchy. The disempowerment of Karl II. was confirmed in July 1832. Since then, Duke Wilhelm was considered a leading member of the German vote. Karl was active politically continue to seek advice from his private secretary Georg Bitter and the State Council Klindworth. His continued efforts to return to the Brunswick throne, but found no effective political support in Germany and other European capitals. Karl had the reputation of an eccentric, spent the rest of his life, Spain, England, France and Switzerland.
During the  the turmoil of the revolutionary uprisings of 1830 in the country's most infamous Karl II. his younger brother Wilhelm came II to the throne of Brunswick. He never married and died without legitimate offspring in 1884. With him the "New Brunswick House," which reigned since 1533 in Guelph ancestral country and next to the "New Luneburg" (later House of Hanover) represented the older Guelf line died out.  Wilhelm celibacy seems to be based on, among other things in the rivalry with his brother Karl . Karl lived after his expulsion mainly in Geneva. In Brunswick, it was considered likely that the embittered Karl would challenge a succession of descendants of his brother to the last instance. It is said that Wilhelnm had fathered several illegitimate children in Brunswick and in the Duchy. A marriage was not possible (age difference, not belonging to the nobility). It was paid "hush money" from the Duke. A particularly well-known family kept over generations to the code of silence.

After Wilhelm 's death, a Regency took over the reins of government in Brunswick. Since the House of Hanover and Prussia were enemies since the annexation of the Kingdom of Hanover in 1866, it was the actual heir apparent Ernst August of Hanover, Duke of Cumberland failed to rule the country Brunswick. From 1885-1913,  Princes of other reigning Houses took over the government. Only in 1913 after the reconciliation with the result of the Hohenzollern wedding of Prince Ernst August of Hannover, the son of the Duke of Cumberland, with Princess Viktoria Luise of Prussia, the only daughter of Emperor Wilhelm II, returned with the Guelf selfsame ruling as the last Duke of Brunswick back.