Preceeded by: Charles II, Duke of Brunswick
Reign: 9/9/1830-18/10/1884
Succeeded by: Prince Albert of Prussia

1866 1 Thaler
Silver 0.9000
mintage: 107,000
Mint: B - Hannover
MM:Theodor Wilhelm bruel

Titles: His Serene Highness Duke William of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (25/4/1806-9/9/1830)
His Highness The Duke of Brunswick (9/9/1830-18/10/1884)
Born: 25/4/1806
Died: 18/10/1884
Father: Frederick William, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Married to:
Home: Oels

Flag of Brunswick 1831-1918 Location of Brunswick
Coat of arms of Brunswick

Willian was born on April 25th 1806 and ruled Brunswick from 1830 until his death on Octopber 18th 1884. Initially William was a supporter of his brother Charles's rule, but after a year he named himself duke. His brother made several unsucessful attempts to depose his brother. He spent most of his time at his estate in Oels, and left the administration of state to his officials. He joined the Norther german Confederation in 1866 though his relationship with Prussia was strained as Prussia did not recognise hes nearest male relative as rightful heir. William managed to keep Brunswick independent when Prussia annexed Hanover in 1866, and it became a member of the German Empire in 1871. The Ducal house of Brunswick was one of the most ancient and illustrious of the Germanic Confederation. Its ancestor, Henry the Lion, possessed, in the 12th century the united duchies of Bavaria and Saxony with other territorier in the north of Germany. However, having refused to aid the Emperor Friederich Barbarossa in his wars with the Pope, he was by decree of the Diet, deprived of the whole of his territories with the sole exception of the principalities of Brunswick and Luneburg. Their possessions were on the death of Ernst the confessor, divided between the two sons of the latter who became the founders of the lines of Brunswick-wolfenbuttel and Brunswick-Lunburg, the former of which is represented by William in the House of Brunswick and the latter by the royal family of the UK. William was one of the wealthiest of German soverigns, being in possession of immense private estates, including the principality of Oels, in Silesia and large domains in the district of Glatz, in Prussia.

His civil list amounted to some 220,722 thalers and was not set down in budget but paid from a special fund called the "Kammercasse", the revenues of which were derived from the State domains.

At the time 220,722 thalers was equivalent to £33,108 (the exchange rate was 6.66 thalers to the pound). Accounting for inflation this equates to £3,100,000 in todays money.

The army commanded by William in 1863 consisted of: Click here

The entire duchy at the time consisted of 1,526 square miles and had a population of 282,400 inhabitants in 1861.
Religion Number
Lutherans 277,669
Roman Catholics 2,458
Calvinists 1,107
Other Christian sects 88
Jews 1,078

The latter had full equality with other denominations.
Because William had no heir the his house (the House of Wolfenbuttel, senior branch of the house of Welf) would pass to the House of Hannover, but Prussia did not want George V of Hanover or his son to take this throne without swearing allegiance to the German constitution. While the Duke of Cumberland proclaimed himself duke after Williams death, the lenghty negotiations were never fully resolved.

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