Military Wiki
Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Personal details
Born (1713-08-01)1 August 1713
Died 26 March 1780(1780-03-26) (aged 66)
Spouse(s) Princess Philippine Charlotte of Prussia

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


File:CharlesI Duke of Brunswick.jpg

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 Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel from his father in 1735.

On the suggestion of his court-preacher, 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 Heister 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.[1]

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.

When the American Revolution began in 1775, Prince Charles saw an opportunity to replenish the duchy's treasury by renting its army to Great Britain. In 1776, Duke Charles signed a treaty with his cousin George III of the United Kingdom to supply troops for service with the British armies in America. 4,000 soldiers were dispatched under General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel. The Brunswick troops fought in General John Burgoyne's army at the Battles of Saratoga (1777), where they were taken prisoner as part of the Convention Army. Although the terms of surrender allowed the troops to return to Europe, the American Continental Congress cancelled the convention. The Convention Army was held prisoner in America until the war ended in 1783.

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.



  1. Snijman, Dee (April 2005). "Brunsvigia". South African National Biodiversity Institute. Retrieved 14 April 2016. "The name Brunsvigia was first published in 1755 by Lorenz Heisters (1683-1758), a botanist and professor of medicine at the University of Helmstädt. It honours Karl, the Sovereign of Braunschweig, who promoted the study of plants, including the beautiful Cape species B. orientalis." 

External links

  • Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
    House of Brunswick-Bevern
    Cadet branch of the House of Welf
    Born: 1 August 1713 Died: 26 March 1780
    Regnal titles
    Preceded by
    Ferdinand Albert II
    Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
    Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

    Succeeded by
    Charles William Ferdinand

    This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).