Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover
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|Elector of Hanover|
|Reign||19 December 1692 – 23 January 1698|
|Successor||Georg I Louis|
|Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg|
Prince of Calenberg
|Reign||18 December 1679 – 23 January 1698|
|Successor||Georg I Louis|
|Born||20 November 1629|
Herzberg am Harz, Göttingen, Germany
|Died||23 January 1698 (aged 68)|
Herrenhausen Palace, Hanover, Germany
|Burial||18 March 1698|
|Father||George, Duke of Brunswick-Calenberg|
|Mother||Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt|
Ernest Augustus (German: Ernst August; 20 November 1629 – 23 January 1698) was ruler of the Principality of Lüneburg from 1658 and of the Principality of Calenberg from 1679 until his death, and father of George I of Great Britain. He was appointed as the ninth prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692, but died before the appointment became effective.
He was also ruler of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück from 1662 until his death.
Early life and marriage
Ernest Augustus was born on 20 November 1629 at Herzberg Castle near Göttingen, Principality of Calenberg, the youngest son of George, Duke of Brunswick-Calenberg and Prince of Calenberg, and Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt.
On 30 September 1658, he married Sophia of the Palatinate in Heidelberg. She was the daughter of Frederick V, Elector Palatine and Elizabeth Stuart of England, and granddaughter of King James I of England. Sophia had been betrothed to Ernest Augustus's older brother, George William, who did not want her. When she married Ernest Augustus instead, releasing George William from this obligation, George William ceded to Ernest Augustus his claim to Lüneburg.
As the fourth son, Ernest Augustus had little chance of succeeding his father as ruler. Therefore, the couple had to live in the Leineschloss at the Hanover court of Ernest Augustus' eldest brother Christian Louis. However, in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, it had been agreed between the Catholic and Protestant powers that the rulership of the Prince-Bishopric of Osnabrück should alternate between the two churches, and that the respective Protestant bishops should be members of the House of Welf. When the Osnabruck throne became vacant in 1662, the family appointed Ernest Augustus Prince-Bishop. Ernest Augustus and Sophia moved to Iburg Castle, together with their two living sons and Sophia's niece Princess Elizabeth Charlotte of the Palatinate (future sister-in-law of Louis XIV of France). In 1667 they began to build a more up-to-date residence, Osnabruck Palace, and in 1673 they moved there. Their youngest son was born there in 1674.
Christian Louis died childless in 1665, leaving Lüneburg to the second brother, George William, who had ceded his right to Ernest Augustus, who thus succeeded to that title. George William kept the district of Celle for himself.
In 1683, against the protestations of his five younger sons, Ernest Augustus instituted primogeniture, so that his territory would not be further subdivided after his death, and also as a pre-condition for obtaining the coveted electorship. He participated in the Great Turkish War on the side of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1692, he was appointed Prince-elector by the Emperor, thus raising the House of Hanover to electoral dignity, the elevation becoming effective in 1708 when confirmed by the Imperial Diet. He was nonetheless recognized as Elector of Hanover, the very first.
Death, succession, and legacy
His main residences were the Leineschloss, in Hanover, and the Herrenhausen, a summer residence a short distance outside the city. Ernest Augustus and Sophia had the Great Garden at Herrenhausen enlarged after Italian and Dutch models, creating one of the most distinguished baroque formal gardens of Europe.
|By his wife, Sophia of the Palatinate|
|George Louis||28 May 1660||11 June 1727||First, succeeded his mother Sophia as heir presumptive to the throne of Great Britain|
Second, succeeded Anne, Queen of Great Britain as King George I of Great Britain, the first member of Britain's Hanoverian dynasty.
|Frederick Augustus||3 October 1661||10 June 1691||Died at the Battle of St. Georgen|
|Stillborn son||February 1664||February 1664|
|Maximilian William||13 December 1666||27 July 1726|
|Stillborn son||13 December 1666||13 December 1666||Twin of Maximilian|
|Sophia Charlotte||2 October 1668||21 January 1705||Married King Frederick I of Prussia|
|Charles Philip||13 October 1669||1 January 1690||Died at the Battle of Pristina|
|Christian Henry||29 September 1671||31 July 1703||Died during the Battle of Munderkingen when drowned in the Danube|
|Ernest Augustus||7 September 1674||14 August 1728||Duke of York and Albany|
|By his mistress, Clara Elisabeth von Platen|
|Ernest August von Platen||1674||1726||Had issue|
|Sophie Charlotte von Platen||10 April 1675||1 May 1725||Married 1701 Johann Adolf Baron von Kielmansegg, had issue|
|Ancestors of Ernest Augustus, Elector of Hanover|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ernst August, Elector of Hannover.|
- Cavendish, Richard. "Sophia of Hanover Dies". History Today, Vol. 64 Issue 6, June 2014