Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg

Eberhard III, Duke of Württemberg (16 December 1614 – 2 July 1674) ruled as Duke of Württemberg from 1628 until his death in 1674.Eberhard III became the heir under guardianship in 1628 during the Thirty Years War at the age of 14 after the death of his father, Johann Frederick, 7th Duke of Württemberg. His guardian at first was his father's brother Ludwig Frederick of Württemberg-Mömpelgard and after his death in 1631 Julius Frederick of Württemberg-Weiltingen.

Württemberg lost around one third of its territory in 1629. Julius Frederick was removed as guardian in 1633 when Eberhard was declared of full age at which point he assumed full rule of the Duchy. Following a major defeat of Württemberg troups in the battle of Nördlingen on 6 September 1634, Württemberg was severely looted and plundered.

Eberhard fled to Strasbourg where he married in 1637, returning to Württemberg in 1638 after long negotiations with Ferdinand III of the Holy Roman Empire. By this time many territories had already been passed on by the Emperor to other parties to push forward Catholicism in the region.

The Duchy of Württemberg was reinstated after long negotiations resulting in the Peace of Westphalia of 1648, despite or maybe because of the effects of war, poverty, hunger and the Bubonic plague all of which reduced the population from 350,000 in 1618 to 120,000 in 1648.

Eberhard III entered into an inheritance agreement with his younger brother Frederick thereby handing over ownership of the Duchy of Württemberg-Neuenstadt and thus establishing a new branch line of the duchy. In 1651, Eberhard came to a similar agreement with another brother, Ulrich affecting the Castle of Neuenbürg.

Family and children

Eberhard III was the second son of Johann Friedrich, 7th Duke of Württemberg and Barbara Sophia of Brandenburg. He married twice, first on 26 February 1637 with Anna Katharina, Wild- and Rheingraefin of Salm-Kyrburg (27 January 1614 – 27 June 1655). They had the following children:
# John Frederick (9 September 1637 – 2 August 1659)
# Louis Frederick (2 November 1638 – 18 January 1639)
# Christian Eberhard (29 November 1639 – 23 March 1640)
# Eberhard (12 December 1640 – 24 February 1641)
# Sofie Luise (19 February 1642 – 3 October 1702), married 8 February 1671 to Christian Ernst, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
# Dorothea Amalie (13 February 1643 – 27 March 1650)
# Christine Friederike (1644 – 1674), married in 1665 to Count Albrecht Ernst I of Oettingen-Oettingen
# Christine Charlotte (21 October 1645 – 16 May 1699), married in May 1662 to Prince Georg Christian I of Ostfriesland
# Duke Wilhelm Ludwig of Württemberg-Stuttgart (7 January 1647 – 23 June 1677)
# Anna Katharine (27 November 1648 – 10 November 1691)
# Karl Christof, born and died in 1650
# Eberhardine Katharine (12 April 1651 – 19 August 1683), married on 30 April 1682 to Count Albrecht Ernst I of Oettingen-Oettingen
# Duke Frederick Charles of Württemberg-Winnental (September 1652 – December 1698)
# Karl Maximilian (28 September 1654 – 9 January 1689)

Secondly, he married on 20 July 1656 with Countess Marie Dorothea Sofie of Oettingen (29 December 1639 – 29 June 1698). They had the following children:
# George Frederick (24 September 1657 – 18 October 1685)
# Albrecht Christian (13 June 1660 – 20 January 1663)
# Louis (14 August 1661 – 30 November 1698)
# Joachim Ernst (28 August 1662 – 16 February 1663)
# Philipp Siegmund (6 October 1663 – 23 July 1669)
# Karl Ferdinand (13 October 1667 – 13 June 1668)
# John Frederick (10 June 1669 – 15 October 1693)
# Eberhard, born and died in 1672
# Emanuel Eberhard (11 October 1674 – 1 July 1675)

External links

* [http://mdz.bib-bvb.de/digbib/lexika/adb/images/adb005/@ebt-link?target=idmatch(entityref,adb0050561) Article in the ADB]


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