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

Ludwig Rudolf
(Louis Rudolf)

Duke of Blankenburg am Harz (1707-1731)
Duke of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel (1731-1735)

Ludwig Rudolf was the youngest son of duke Anton Ulrich (1633-1714).  Very early in his life he already exhibited a serious propensity for scientific studies.  At the age of 19 he was already employed as a major general in the military service of the emperor.  In 1690 Ludwig Rudolf fell into captivity during the war against the French.  After his return in the same year, Anton Ulrich gave his favorite son the earldom of Blankenburg am Harz.  In 1707, in complete violation of the rule of primogeniture, the earldom was raised to a principality, with all the rights of an independent, sovereign domain.  Duke Ludwig Rudolf established a splendid and costly household in his principality of Blankenburg.  After the death of his childless brother August Wilhelm (1662-1731) in 1731, Ludwig Rudolf took over the rule of the principality of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel, whereby Blankenburg was again unified with Wolfenbüttel after a short separation.  At the beginning of his reign the new duke Ludwig Rudolf had immediately to discharge the corrupt government of his dead brother.  The state treasuries were greatly encumbered and were able to be restored under the cautious rule of Ludwig Rudolf.

After a short reign Ludwig Rudolf died in 1735.  From his marriage with Christine Luise of Öttingen there were four daughters.  Three daughters were married well through the clever marriage politics of their grandfather Anton Ulrich.  Elisabeth Christine (1691-1750) married emperor Karl VI. (1685-1740) and was thus the mother of empress Maria Theresa (1717-1780) in Austria.  Charlotte Christine (1694-1715)—who died after giving birth to her son, the future emperor Peter II. of Russia (1715-1730)—was the consort of czarevitch Alexius Petrovich (1690-1718) in Russia.  Antoinette Amalia (1696-1762) married Ferdinand Albrecht II. (1680-1735) of Bevern, the first duke of Brunswick - Wolfenbüttel from the line of Bevern.

--Adapted from the website, Die Welfen


  • Hohnstein, O.  Braunschweigische Geschichte. Brunswick, 1908.