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

"The Younger"

Duke of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel (1514-1568)

In 1514 Duke Heinrich took up the rule in the principality of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel.  His reign lasted over fifty years.  The government under duke Heinrich was tightly organized, and he introduced the chancellery and the high court. Against the will of his brother Wilhelm, the rule of primogeniture was established in the principality.  Consequently, in the future the principality was not to be divided further.

He remained devoted to the emperor and to the Catholic faith his entire life, which brought him into the Order of the Golden Fleece.  He enlarged his territory after the Hildesheimer Stiftsfehde (1519-1523), although he suffered a crushing defeat in the battle at Soltau on 28 June 1519 and fell into captivity.  However, his defeat came at the conclusion of a great political victory, and the adversaries of the new emperor Karl V. (1500-1558) had to flee.  In 1524-1525 he actively took part in the suppression of the peasant uprising.  In 1538 duke Heinrich supported the union of Catholic princes into a league against the Schmalkaldic League of reformed princes.  With that his principality was occupied with the support of the cities of Goslar and Brunswick, and the Reformation was inaugurated.  Heinrich was thereupon taken into custody in Ziegenberg (Hesse).  The victory of the Catholic League under emperor Karl V. in the battle at Mühlenberg in 1547 against the League of Schmalkalden first made possible the return of duke Heinrich the Younger.  The Counter-Reformation that was begun by him was successfully resisted only by the city of Brunswick.  In the battle at Sievershausen in 1553 he achieved his last great success.  However, he thereby lost his two eldest sons.  Nevertheless, this victory finally secured the succession in the principality of Calenberg - Göttingen for his son Julius (1528-1589) from the Wolfenbüttel line.

Duke Heinrich was married twice.  His secret liaison with Eva of Trott brought him scorn.  When Heinrich died, he left behind only a single titled son, Julius (1528-1589).

--Adapted from the website, Die Welfen


  • Fürst, R. and W. Kelsch. Wolfenbüttel: Ein Fürstenhaus und seine Residenz. Wolfenbüttel, 1990.
  • Judge, Harry, ed. Oxford Illustrated Encyclopedia. 3 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • Britannica article