The Electors of Saxony - Albertine Branch
Written and researched by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska

Saxony was originally held by the descendants of Hermann Billung, but they died out in 1106. In 1137, the Emperor Lothair (who had been the Duke of Saxony), gave the Duchy to Henry the Proud, his brother-in-law, but the next German ruler, Conrad III, transferred the Duchy to Albrecht the Bear. Albrecht's mother was from the Billings family. In 1142, the Duchy was restored to Henry the Lion, son of Henry the Proud, who was also the Duke of Bavaria. In 1180, Henry the Lion was broken by Frederick Barbarossa. The lands were then given to nobles. The House of Ascania gained these lands, as did the Wittelsbachs. The title of Duke of Saxony was then given to Bernard, the son of Albrecht the Bear.

The House of Wettin descends from Wittekind by legend, and by Dietrich, Count of Hassengau in reality. He died in 982. His descendant, Thimo built the Wettin Castle, which gave this dynasty its name. Thimo's son, Conrad, was the Margrave of Meissen circa 1127. Conrad's grandson married the heiress of the Landgrave of Thuringia. This made the Ascanian Dukes of Saxony extinct. After this marriage the Wettin family was put into higher position in Germany.

GENERATION ONE:

Albrecht "the Bear" was the son of Otto (d. 1123) and Elisha of Saxony.
Margrave of Brandenburg and Duke of Saxony
died in 1170
ASCANIAN HOUSE

GENERATION TWO:

Otto I
Margrave of Brandenburg, Duke of Saxony
died in 1184
THE MARGRAVES OF BRANDENBURG were executed in 1317.
Otto I's sons were: Otto II (d. 1205) and Albrecht II (d. 1220)
Otto's siblings were: Hermann I, Count of Orlamunde; Siegfried, Abbott of Bremen; Henry; Adalbert, Count of Ballenstedt; Dietrich, and Barnard, COunt of Anhalt and Duke of Saxony.

HOUSE OF WETTIN.....

GENERATION THREE:

Frederick I
Landgrave of Thuringia and Margrave of Meissen
died in 1323.

GENERATION FOUR:

Frederick died in battle in 1315.

Frederick II, "the Stern"
Margrave of Meissen
died in 1349

GENERATION FIVE:

Frederick III, "The Warlike"
Elector of Saxony
1423-1428

Frederick I, "the Warlike," was first known as the Margrave of Meissen then became known as the Elector of Saxony, after Emperor Sigismund awarded him the Duchy of Saxe-Wittenburg in 1423. All his descendants were then known as "Electors of Saxony."
Siblings were: Bathasar, Landgrave of Thuringia, and William, Margrave of Meissen (d. 1407)

GENERATION SIX:

Frederick II,"The Mild,"
Elector of Saxony
1428-1464
Siblings: Sigismund, Bishop of Wurzburg, and William III, Landgrave of Thuringia (d. 1482)

GENERATION SEVEN:

Ernest, son of Frederick II
1464-1486
ERNESTINE LINE begins.

*Albrecht, "The Brave," son of Frederick II
Duke of Saxony
1464-1500
ALBERTINE LINE begins.

These brothers ruled jointly until their uncle William III's death.

GENERATION EIGHT:

Heinrich, "The Pious," son of Albert
Elector of Saxony
1539-1541
His sibling was George (d. 1539)

GENERATION NINE:

Augustus
Elector of Saxony
1553-1586
Sibling: Maurice, Elector of Savoy in 1547 (d. 1553)

GENERATION TEN:

Christian I
Elector of Saxony
1586-1591

GENERATION ELEVEN:

Johann Georg I married (2) in 1607 to Magdalen Sybilla (1587-1659), daughter of Albert Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia.
Elector of Saxony
1611-1656.
Brother = Christian II (d. 1611) and Augustus (d. 1615)

GENERATION TWELVE:

John George II married Magdalen Sybilla (1612-1687), Princess of Brandenburg Bayreuth.
Elector of Saxony
1613-1680
Brothers= Augustus of Weissenfels (d. 1680); Christian I of Merseburg (d. 1691); and Maurice of Zeitz (d. 1681).

The Thirty Years War lasted from 1618-1648, during the reign and lifetime of John George II, and his father Johann George I. It seems to have begun with a quarrel between the German princes of the Protestant and the Roman Catholic faith. The quarrel was over who should be the next Holy Roman Emperor. The Roman Catholic, Ferdinand, King of Bohemia, was elected in 1617, but was deposed, as king, by the supporters of the Protestant Frederick, the elector Palatine, two years later.

Ferdinand soon crushed Frederick, but Christain IV, the Protestant King of Denmark, intervened in 1625. By 1629, he too was defeated and withdrew from the war.

Gustav Adolphus of Sweden, with the financial backing of the Roman Catholic leader of France, Cardinal Richelieu, intervened in 1630, but was killed two years later after winning several victories.

The Swedes carried on the fight with their military and from Richelieu, who feared the growing power of Ferdinand more than he supported his religion. The political scene grew more confused, with Denmark and Sweden (both Protestant) locked in combat, and France fighting on the same side as the Protestant Netherlands.

War in Germany was ended by the Peace of Westphalia, which gave France the port of Alsace, and Lorraine. Germany was devastated, with cities ruined and millions dead.

GENERATION THIRTEEN:

Johann George III married Anne Sophia of Denmark (1647-1717) in 1665.
Elector of Saxony
1647-1691

GENERATION FOURTEEN:

Frederick Augustus I married Princess Christiane Eberhardine (1671-1727)
(also Augustus II, King of Poland)
He succeeded his brother (John Georg IV) as Elector of Saxony
1670 -1733

GENERATION FIFTEEN:

Frederick Augustus II (1696-1763), Elector of Saxony and King of Poland in 1733. Augustus married (1719) Maria Josepha (1699-1757)
(also Augustus III, King of Poland)
His illegitimate brother was Maurice, Count of Saxony and Marechal de Saxe.

Read more about Augustus II, King of Poland

GENERATION SIXTEEN:

Frederick Augustus III (1750-1827)
Elector and King of Saxony in 1806. Grand Duke of the Duchy of Warsaw (1807-1827).
His siblings were: Charles (1752-1781); Anthony I (1755-1836), King of Saxony in 1827; Maria Amalia (1757-1831); Maximilian (1759-1838); Mary (1797-1965); Leopold II (1797-1870), Grand Duke of Tuscany; Clemont (1798-1822), and Mary Josepha.

GENERATION SEVENTEEN:

Frederick Augustus II
Siblings: John (1801-1873), King of Saxony (in 1854)

RELATED LINKS:

The Thirty Years War ... The Catholic Encyclopedia's Article on the Thirty Year's War

SOURCES:

Franklin, Fay. History's Timeline New York: Crescent Books, 1981.

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