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

"The Younger"

Duke of Brunswick - Lüneburg

After the short reign of the eldest brother Franz Otto from 1555-1559, duke Heinrich (1533-1598) and duke Wilhelm the Younger together ruled the principality of Lüneburg in Celle.  Beginning in 1569 Wilhelm the Younger ruled alone in Celle.  In return for his renunciation of a more extensive rule, his older brother Duke Heinrich received in settlement the castle and court of Dannenberg and the monastery of Scharnebeck, which produced a high revenue.  After 1569 duke Wilhelm the Younger supported the Reformation in his principality with the "Corpus Doctrinae Wilhelminum."  Under his authority legal procedures were reformed by means of introducing a high court of justice, and by means of commerce the prosperity of the realm increased.  Beginning in 1577 Wilhelm the Younger suffered from mental disorder.  Again and again the regency council in Celle had briefly to take over the rule.

Wilhelm the Younger had eight daughters and seven sons from his marriage with Dorothea of Denmark (1546-1617).  In 1611 the six surviving sons of duke Wilhelm agreed not to implement any further inheritance division of the principality of Lüneburg.  Who would be permitted to enter into a legal marriage was to be decided by lot.  The sixth son, Georg (1582-1642), won, and so only his sons were one day to carry on the new house of Lüneburg.  Duke Georg is not portrayed in the engraving of 1576 because he was born in 1582.

--Adapted from the website, Die Welfen


  • Hohnstein, O.  Brauschweigische Geschicte.  Brunswick, 1908.