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

Ferdinand Albrecht I.
(Ferdinand Albert I.)

Duke of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel - Bevern

Ferdinand Albrecht was the third son of duke August the Younger (1579-1666), from August's second marriage.  Thus Ferdinand Albrecht was a half-brother of duke Rudolf August (1627-1704) and duke Anton Ulrich (1633-1714).  The two older brothers of Ferdinand Albrecht ruled together in the principality of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel.  Because of his position within the family, Ferdinand Albrecht felt neglected.  His life was marked by family conflict and intrigue.  In 1667, after vigorous arguments about inheritance, he received the renaissance castle of Bevern at Holzminden, with a yearly appanage and landlord's rights as a prince resident, for which he resigned all claims to the rule in Wolfenbüttel.  He withdrew more and more from reality and became a figure of derision.  In the castle at Bevern the withdrawn Duke devoted himself completely to his art gallery, which—in the baroque style—included curiosities of all sorts, nearly worthless exotic exports as well as precious pieces of furniture, rare books, and graphics.  Again and again it resulted in conflict with his brothers in Wolfenbüttel.  Finally his brothers dispatched military units to Bevern, in order to reestablish order at the castle.

At the age of fifty-one, duke Ferdinand Albrecht I. died as the result of increasing mental disorder. From his unhappy marriage to Christine, princess of Hesse, there were four sons.  In 1735 the second son, Ferdinand Albrecht II. (1680-1735), continued the New House of Brunswick from the line of Bevern.

--Adapted from the website, Die Welfen


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