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Frederick Charles, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Frederick Charles, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

German natural history collector and Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
The basics
Date of birth Rudolstadt, Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany
Date of death Apr 13, 1793 Rudolstadt, Saalfeld-Rudolstadt, Thuringia, Germany
Spouse: Friederike Sophie Auguste of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt Princess Auguste Louise of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Children: Louis Frederick II, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Father: Louis Günther II, Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
Authority VIAF id
The details

Prince Frederick Charles of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (7 June 1736 in Rudolstadt – 13 April 1793) was a German Natural History collector, and from 1790 until his death the reigning Prince of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt.


Frederick Charles of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt was the son of Prince Louis Günther II of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt and his wife Sophie Henriette, born Countess Reuss of Untergreiz (1711–1771). As a child, he began his natural history collection, which later went to the Natural History Museum of Rudolstadt. In 1757, he created the Princely Natural History Collection at the Ludwigsburg Castle in Rudolstadt. The collection was later enlarged, and in the 19th century, it occupied seven rooms in the castle. One of the first supervisors of the collection was Christoph Ludwig Kämmerer. In 1919, the collection was moved to Heidecksburg Castle.

Frederick Charles of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt corresponded with Johann Heinrich Merck, among others, and let him have some rhinoceros bones and other pieces from his collection for research. Frederick Charles also corresponded with Johann August Ephraim Goeze (1731–1793), with the physician Friedrich Martini, with the vicar Johann Samuel Schröter (1735–1808) and with Johann Ernst Immanuel Walch (1725–1778). He had personal and scientific relationships with his corresponcents and kept their writings in the library of his Cabinet. Some of these writings were dedicated to him, for example the third volume of Martini's conchology text, published in 1777, was dedicated to His Princely Highness, the Crown Prince Frederick Charles of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, dedicated by his humble subject, the author. The second edition of Jacob Theodor Klein's Naturalis Dispositio; Echinodermatum was edited and revised by Nathaniel Gottfried Leske and was also dedicated to Frederick Charles.

In 1792, Frederick Charles built a theatre on the green in Rudolstadt. It was inaugurated a few weeks after his death. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was its director from 1793 to 1803. It later evolved to form the Thuringia State Theatre in Rudolstadt.

Marriage and issue

Friederike Sophie Auguste of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt

Frederick Charles married his first wife, Princess Friederike Sophie Auguste of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt (1745–1778), in 1763. They had six children:

In 1780, Frederick Charles married his second wife, Princess Louise Friederike Auguste (1752–1805), the daughter of Prince John August of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. This marriage was childless.


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