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Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
The basics
Quick Facts
A.K.A. Karl I.
Gender male
Birth August 1, 1713 (Braunschweig)
Death March 26, 1780 (Braunschweig)
Mother: Princess Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Father: Ferdinand Albert IIDuke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Siblings: Duke Anthony Ulrich of BrunswickFriedrich Franz von Braunschweig-WolfenbüttelDuke Louis Ernest of Brunswick-LüneburgDuke Ferdinand of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelAlbrecht BraunschweigElisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-BevernDuchess Luise of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelPrincess Sophie Antoinette of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelJuliana Maria of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelTherese of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Spouse: Princess Philippine Charlotte of Prussia
Children: Charles William FerdinandDuke of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelDuchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelDuchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelFrederick AugustusPrince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-OelsElisabeth Christine of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelCrown Princess of PrussiaLeopold of Brunswick-WolfenbüttelAuguste Dorothea von Braunschweig-WolfenbüttelAlbrecht Heinrich von BraunschweigWilhelm Adolf von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
The details

Charles (German: Karl; 1 August 1713, Braunschweig – 26 March 1780, Braunschweig), Duke of Brunswick-Lunenburg (Bevern line), was ruling as Prince of Wolfenbüttel from 1735 until his death.


Silver coin of Charles I, dated 1764.
Painting by Antoine Pesne.

Charles was the eldest son of Ferdinand Albert II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg. He fought under Prince Eugene of Savoy against the Ottoman Empire before inheriting the Principality of Wolfenbüttel from his father in 1735.

On the suggestion of his priest, Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Jerusalem, in 1745 he founded the Collegium Carolinum, an institute of higher education which is today known as the Technical University of Brunswick. He also hired Gotthold Ephraim Lessing as the librarian for the Bibliotheca Augusta, the ducal library. Lorenz Heisters of the University of Helmstedt named the botanical genus Brunsvigia in his honour, in recognition of his encouragement of botany and the study of B. orientalis.

Charles attempted to promote the economic development of his state; for example, he founded the Fürstenberg Porcelain Company, and he installed mandatory fire insurance. However, he did not manage to keep the state finances in check. As a consequence, in 1773 his eldest son Charles William Ferdinand took over government.

Marriage and children

In 1733, Charles married Philippine Charlotte, daughter of King Frederick William I of Prussia. They had the following children that reached adulthood:

  • Charles William Ferdinand (1735–1806)
  • Sophie Caroline Mary (1737–1817), married Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
  • Anna Amalia (1739–1807), married Ernest Augustus II, Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
  • Frederick Augustus (1740–1805)
  • Albert Henry (1742–1761), died childless
  • William Adolf (1745–1770), died childless
  • Elizabeth Christine Ulrike (1746–1840), married King Frederick William II of Prussia (divorced)
  • Augusta Dorothea, Abbess of Gandersheim (1749–1803)
  • Maximilian Jules Leopold (1752–1785), died childless

Charles also had a child out of wedlock, Christian Theodor von Pincier (1750–1824), the adopted son of Baron von Pincier of Sweden.


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