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William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel

William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel

Landgrave of hesse-kassel
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Landgrave of hesse-kassel
A.K.A. Wilhelm VIII von Hessen-Kassel
Gender male
Birth 10 March 1682 (Kassel, Kassel Government Region, Hesse, Germany)
Death 1 February 1760 (Rinteln, Schaumburg, Lower Saxony, Germany)
Star sign Pisces
Mother: Maria Amalia of Courland
Father: Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
Siblings: George Charles of Hesse-KasselFrederick I of SwedenMaximilian of Hesse-KasselSophie Charlotte of Hesse-KasselLandgravine Marie Louise of Hesse-Kassel
Spouse: Dorothea Wilhelmine of Saxe-Zeitz
Children: Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel
The details

William VIII (10 March 1682 – 1 February 1760) ruled the German Landgraviate Hesse-Kassel from 1730 until his death, first as regent (1730–1751) and then as landgrave (1751–1760).


Born in Kassel, he was the seventh son of Charles I, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel and Maria Amalia of Courland. After his elder brother Frederick became King of Sweden in 1720 and his father died in 1730, he became de facto ruler of Hesse-Kassel. He officially became landgrave after his brother's death on 25 March 1751.

Five years later, the Seven Years' War began and William joined with the Prussian and British forces. Hesse-Kassel became an important battlefield and was occupied by France on several occasions. He had a deep, personal friendship with Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, and Roman-German emperor Charles VII.

His second son and successor, Frederick, became a Catholic, which led to restrictions on Catholicism in the Calvinist landgraviate and the transfer of the Principality of Hanau to his Protestant son William.

During his reign, William started building Schloss Wilhelmsthal in Calden and collected paintings, including works by Rembrandt.


In 1717, William married Dorothea Wilhelmina (20 March 1691 – 17 March 1743), eldest daughter of Maurice William, Duke of Saxe-Zeitz.
They had three children: Charles (21 August 1718 – 17 October 1719); Frederick, his successor; and Maria Amalia (7 July 1721 – 19 November 1744). He died at Rinteln in 1760.


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