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Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
The basics
AKA Karl I.
Date of birth Braunschweig
Date of death Mar 26, 1780 Braunschweig
Mother: Princess Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Brother(s): Duke Anthony Ulrich of Brunswick Friedrich Franz von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel Duke Louis Ernest of Brunswick-Lüneburg Duke Ferdinand of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Albrecht Braunschweig
Children: Charles William Ferdinand Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Duchess Sophie Caroline Marie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Frederick Augustus Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Oels Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Crown Princess of Prussia Leopold of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Auguste Dorothea von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel Albrecht Heinrich von Braunschweig Wilhelm Adolf von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel
Sister(s): Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern Duchess Luise of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Princess Sophie Antoinette of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Juliana Maria of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Therese of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Spouse: Princess Philippine Charlotte of Prussia
Father: Ferdinand Albert II Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Authority Library of congress id ISNI id VIAF id
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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