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Rudolph Augustus, Duke of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel

Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Prince of Wolfenbüttel
The basics
Date of birth Hitzacker, Elbtalaue, Lüchow-Dannenberg, Lower Saxony
Date of death Jan 26, 1704 Hedwigsburg, Kissenbrück, Wolfenbüttel, Lower Saxony
Brother(s): Anthony Ulrich Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Ferdinand Albert I Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Sister(s): Klara Augusta Brunswick-Luneburg Marie Elisabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Sibylle Ursula of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Mother: Dorothea of Anhalt-Zerbst
Spouse: Christine Elisabeth von Barby und Mühlingen Rosine Elisabeth Menthe
Children: Dorothea Sophie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel Christine Sophie of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Father: Augustus the Younger, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Authority Library of congress id VIAF id
The details

Rudolph Augustus (May 16, 1627 – January 26, 1704), a member of the House of Welf, was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruled as Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel from 1666 until his death. In 1685 he made his younger brother Anthony Ulrich co-ruler.


Reverse of a one-twelfth thaler coin of Rudolph Augustus

He was born in Hitzacker, then the residence of his father Duke Augustus the Younger of Brunswick-Lüneburg and his second wife Princess Dorothea of Anhalt-Zerbst. His father assumed the rule in the Principality of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, after his Welf cousin Duke Frederick Ulrich had died childless in 1634.

Rudolph Augustus succeeded his father as ruling Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1666. More interested in his studies and hunting, he soon after appointed his politically astute younger brother Anthony Ulrich governor. In 1671 both besieged and finally occupied the city of Braunschweig, ending about 250 years of local autonomy.

During his reign, Rudolph Augustus concentrated on the Baroque expansion of his ducal residence, including the Alter Weg ("Old Way"), a road connecting the cities of Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel. He died in 1704 at the Hedwigsburg hunting lodge.

Marriage and issue

In 1650 Rudolph Augustus married Christine Elizabeth (1634–1681), daughter of Count Albert Frederick of Barby and Mühlingen. They had two daughters that reached adulthood:

  • Dorothea Sophia (1653–1722), married Duke John Adolphus of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön
  • Christine Sophia (1654–1695), married her cousin Duke Augustus William of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the son of Duke Anthony Ulrich who succeeded his father as Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1714.

Upon the death of his first wife, Rudolph Augustus entered into a morganatic marriage with Rosine Elisabeth Menthe (1663–1701), which remained childless.


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