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Anna of Saxony (1567–1613)

Anna of Saxony (1567–1613)

The basics
Quick Facts
Gender female
Birth 18 November 1567 (Dresden, Dresden Directorate District, Saxony, Germany)
Death 27 January 1613 (Veste Coburg, Coburg, Upper Franconia, Bavaria)
Star sign Scorpio
Mother: Anne of DenmarkElectress of Saxony
Father: AugustusElector of Saxony
Siblings: Alexander von SachsenChristian IElector of Saxony
Spouse: John CasimirDuke of Saxe-Coburg
The details

Anna of Saxony (16 November 1567 - 27 January 1613), was a German noblewoman member of the House of Wettin (Albertine branch) and by marriage Duchess of Saxe-Coburg-Eisenach.

Born in Dresden, she was the twelfth of fifteen children born from the first marriage of Augustus, Elector of Saxony and Anna, Princess of Denmark. From her fourteen older and younger siblings, only three survived to adulthood: Elisabeth (by marriage Countess Palatine of Simmern), Christian I, Elector of Saxony and Dorothea (by marriage Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel).


On 4 May 1584 and without the consent of her father, Anna became engaged with John Casimir, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Eisenach. The marriage finally took place in Dresden on 16 January 1586, and she received 30,000 talers as a dowry and the city of Römhild as her Wittum (Dower land). The cheerful and high-spirited Duchess soon produced magnificent festivities in her new court.

However, the marriage soon failed: John Casimir preferred more hunting and therefore spend several weeks far away. By the end of September 1593 the Duchess was caught in adultery by her husband; John Casimir immediately orders the arrest of Anna and her lover, Ulrich of Lichtenstein. Despite letters who Anna wrote to her husband and her relatives asking for mercy, on 12 December the Schöppenstuhl (High Court Chamber) in Jena formally annulled her marriage and sentenced both lovers to beheading by sword. John Casimir at the last moment change the death sentence to life imprisonment. Anna's brother Elector Christian I confirmed the sentence and refused to help her, sharing the same fate of their sister Elisabeth.

Anna was sent firstly to Eisenach, then to Kahlenberg Castle, in 1596 to the former Sonnefeld Monastery and finally (1603) to the Veste Coburg, where she died in 1613, aged 45. She was buried in the Klosterkirche, Sonnefeld. Ulrich of Lichtenstein died in prison twenty years later, on 8 December 1633, just three days after was announced to him his freedom.

In 1599 John Casimir contracted a second marriage with Anna's maternal first-cousin Margaret of Brunswick-Lüneburg; to humiliated his first wife, he celebrated this occasion with the famous Coburg Taler: on the obverse showed a kissing couple with the inscription WIE KVSSEN SICH DIE ZWEY SO FEIN (A well kiss between two), while on the reverse, showed Anna dressed as a nun with the inscription: WER KVST MICH - ARMES NVNNELIN (who kiss you now, poor nun?).

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