Gregory Brown
513 Agnes Arnold Hall
Department of Philosophy
University of Houston
Houston, TX 77204-3004

August Wilhelm
(Augustus William)

Duke of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel

     August Wilhelm did not have the intellectual weight of his father Anton Ulrich (1633-1714), but after the death of his two older brothers he came to the rule in Wolfenbüttel in 1714.  The reign of August Wilhelm was marked by unrestrained favoritism, which manifested itself in an expensive royal household and made known the obvious indifference of the ruler to his duty.  The buildings in the principality that were planned and already begun under his father were completed under August Wilhelm by building director Hermann Korb.  August Wilhelm was not interested in politics, and he fostered an expensive passion for collecting.  The courtly display of magnificence was emphasized by the acquisition of costly furniture and silver.

     When duke August Wilhelm died without heirs  in 1731 after three marriages, a splendid funeral service was arranged that was appropriate to his style of ruling. He left behind a highly encumbered land.  The citizens could scarcely defray the taxes that were imposed on them.  The successor and brother of August Wilhelm, duke Ludwig Rudolf (1671-1735), discharged the government and used the transfer of power to reestablish order in the land.

--Adapted from the website, Die Welfen


  • Fürst, R. and W. Kelsch.  Wolfenbüttel: Ein Fürstenhaus und seine Residenz. Wolfenbüttel, 1990.