Charles Eugene, Duke of Württemberg
Charles Eugene Reign 12 March 1737 - 24 October 1793 (56 years, 226 days) Predecessor Karl Alexander Successor Louis Eugene Spouse Elisabeth Fredericka Sophie of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Franziska von Hohenheim
Father Karl Alexander, Duke of Württemberg Mother Maria Augusta of Thurn and Taxis Born 11 February 1728
Died 24 October 1793(aged 65)
Charles Eugene (German: Carl Eugen), Duke of Württemberg (11 February 1728 – 24 October 1793) was the eldest son of Duke Karl I Alexander and Princess Maria Augusta of Thurn and Taxis (11 August 1706 – 1 February 1756).
Born in Brussels, he succeeded his father as ruler of Württemberg at the age of 9, but the real power was in the hands of Administrators Carl Rudolf, Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt (1737–1738) and Carl Frederick von Württemberg-Oels (1738–1746).
He was educated at the court of Frederick II of Prussia. In the Seven Years' War against Prussia, Charles Eugene advanced into Saxony. He ruled until his death in 1793, when he was succeeded by his younger brother.
He was an early patron of Friedrich Schiller. In 1765, Charles Eugene founded a public library in Ludwigsburg (now the Württembergische Landesbibliothek, Stuttgart) and was responsible for the construction of a number of other key palaces and buildings in the area including the New Palace which still stands at the centre of Schlossplatz, Castle Solitude and Castle Hohenheim.
Charles Eugene married twice, first to Elisabeth Fredericka Sophie of Brandenburg-Bayreuth with whom he had one daughter who died after 13 months. Elisabetha left Charles Eugene in 1756 to return to her parents' court in Bayreuth although they never divorced. In the meantime, Charles Eugene kept a string of mistresses and fathered eleven children by them. The last of these mistresses was Franziska von Hohenheim, whom he raised to the status of Countess and married in 1785.
Charles Eugene was known for his interest in agriculture and travel and is considered the inspiration behind today's Hohenheim university. His original botanical gardens form the basis for today's Landesarboretum Baden-Württemberg and Botanischer Garten der Universität Hohenheim, which still contain some of the specimens he planted. He also built a large number of palaces and bankrupted his lands through courtly extravagance, accepting huge French government loans in exchange for maintaining large numbers of support troops in Württemberg.
In his early years he ruled with an iron fist. However, he also displayed humanist tendencies. For example in 1744 he ordered that the corpse of Joseph Süß Oppenheimer - the executed Jewish financial advisor of his father, Charles Alexander - whose decaying corpse had been suspended in an iron cage by Stuttgart's Prag gallows for six years - be taken down and given a decent burial. He was also well known for his extensive library and interest in large scale horticulture for the feeding of the masses.
Between 1751 and 1759 Karl Eugen was involved in an increasingly bitter struggle with his adviser, the eminent Liberal jurist Johann Jakob Moser who strongly opposed the Duke's absolutist tendencies. In 1759 Charles Eugene had Moser charged with authoring "a subversive writing" and cast into prison for the next five years. However, in 1764 Moser was released, due in part to the intercession of Friedrich the Great of Prussia, and was rehabilitated and restored to his position, rank and titles.
Charles Eugene died in Hohenheim.
Ancestors of Charles Eugene, Duke of Württemberg 16. John Frederick, Duke of Württemberg 8. Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg 17. Princess Barbara Sophie of Brandenburg 4. Frederick Charles, Duke of Württemberg-Winnental 18. Johannes Casimir, Wild-and Rhinegrave of Salm-Kyrburg 9. Wild-and Rhinegravine Anna Catharina of Salm-Kyrburg 19. Countess Dorothea of Solms-Laubach 2. Charles Alexander, Duke of Württemberg 20. Joachim Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 10. Albrecht II, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach 21. Countess Sophie of Solms-Laubach 5. Margravine Eleonore Juliane of Brandenburg-Ansbach 22. Joachim Ernst, Count of Oettingen-Oettingen 11. Countess Sophie Margarethe of Oettingen-Oettingen 23. Countess Anna Sibila of Solms-Sonnenwalde-Pouch 1. Charles Eugene, Duke of Württemberg 24. Claudius Lamoral II, Count of Thurn and Taxis 12. Eugen Alexander Franz, 1st Prince of Thurn and Taxis 25. Countess Anne Françoise Eugénie of Hornes 6. Anselm Franz, 2nd Prince of Thurn and Taxis 26. Herman Egon, Landgrave of Fürstenberg 13. Princess Anna Adelheid of Fürstenberg 27. Countess Franziska of Fürstenberg-Stühlingen 3. Princess Maria Augusta of Thurn and Taxis 28. Václav Eusebius Frantiek, Prince of Lobkowicz 14. Ferdinand August Leopold, Prince of Lobkowicz, Duke of Sagan 29. Countess Palatine Augusta Sophie of Sulzbach 7. Maria Ludovika Anna Franziska, Princess of Lobkowicz 30. William, Margrave of Baden-Baden 15. Margravine Maria Anna Wilhelmine of Baden-Baden 31. Countess Maria Magdalene of Oettingen
Charles Eugene, Duke of WürttembergHouse of WürttembergBorn: 11 February 1728 Died: 24 October 1793
- ^ (German) Brockhaus Geschichte Second Edition
Regnal titles Preceded by
Duke of Württemberg
1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation 4th generationEberhard · Louis III, Duke of Württemberg · Maximilian · Ulrich · John Frederick, Duke of Württemberg · Georg Frederick · Ludwig Frederick · Joachim Frederick · Julius Frederick · Philipp Frederick · Frederick Achilles, Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt · Magnus · August 5th generation 6th generationJohn Frederick · Louis Frederick · Christian Eberhard · Eberhard · William Louis, Duke of Württemberg · Karl Christof · Frederick Charles, Duke of Württemberg-Winnental · Karl Maximilian · George Frederick · Albrecht Christian · Louis · Joachim Ernst · Philipp Siegmund · Karl Ferdinand · John Frederick · Eberhard · Emanuel Eberhard · Frederick Augustus, Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt · Ulrich · Eberhard · Albrecht · Ferdinand Willem, Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt · Anton Ulrich · Christoph · Carl Rudolf, Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt 7th generation 8th generation 9th generation 10th generation 11th generation 12th generation 13th generation 14th generationFerdinand Eugen · Eugen Eberhard · Alexander Eugen · Ludwig Albrecht · Carl, Duke of Württemberg 15th generationFriedrich · Eberhard · Phillipp · Michael 16th generationWilhelm · Carl Theodor
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