HISTORY OF HOUSE OF WITTELSBACH
Catholic: Once thought to have descended from the family of Lords of Babenberg (modern Bamberg), rulers or MarkGrafs of the Ostmark, the Wittelsbach line was founded by Luitpold (d 5 Jul 907), cousin and General of the Carolingian Emperor Arnulf, m to Kunigunde, dau of Cout Palatine Berthold of Swabia. He had with other issue (1) Arnulf, Duke of Bavaria 907-37, who was succ by his son Eberhard, whose 2nd son Arnulf, Count Palatine of Bavaria (d 954), whose male line became extinct with Konrad, Count of Diesen (d 1258); (2) Luitpold, MarkGraf of the Ostmark (d 984), father of Ernst, Duke of Swabia (d 1015), whose 2nd son Ernst (d 1030) was ancestor of MarkGraf Leopold IV, Duke of Bavaria (1108-1141), and his brother Heinrich II, Duke of Austria (1112-1177), this male line extinct with Duke Friedrich of Austria (d 1246); (3) Berthold, MarkGraf in Bavaria (d 980), was ancestor of Otto I, Count of Scheyern (d 1072), whose 3rd son Otto II, Count of Dachau acquired the castle of Wittelsbah, and was father of Otto IV, Count Palatine in Bavaria (d 1156), whose son Otto V was invested with the Duchy of Bavaria as Otto I, after the fall of Henry the Lion, 16 Sep 1180. Otto V's 2nd son Ludwig I (1174-1231) was father of Otto II (1206-1253) invested as Count Palatine of the Rhine (PfalzGraf bei Rhein) 1214 following his m to Agnes (1201-1267), dau and heiress of Heinrich I, Count Palatine of the Rhine, giving him sovereign privileges in parts of the ancient Duchy of Franconia west of the Rhone, centered around Heidelberg. Ludwig III, Duke of Bavaria (1229-1294), divided his inheritance with his younger brother Henry (1235-1290) but these possessions returned to the senior line on the extinction of Henrys male line in 1339.
Ludwig III was appointed an Elector of the Empire as Count Palatine of the Palatinate 15 May 1275, had with other issue two sons, Rudolf (1274-1319) who succeeded him as Elector, and founder of the Electoral Branch A (Palatinate, see later), and Ludwig III or IV (1282-1347), Duke of Bavaria, who succeeded to the entire Bavarian estates after the extinction of the line of Heinrich, and was founder of Branch B (Bavaria); he was elected King of the Romans (Germany) in 1314 and crowned Emperor 1328. The junior Bavarian line B continued to rule in Bavaria, and remained Catholic at the reformation; William V, Duke of Bavaria (1546-1628), named his elder son Maximilian (1573-1651) co-Duke of Bavaria 1594, and abdicated as ruler in his sons favour 15 Oct 1597. Maximilian was elevated to the dignity of Elector of the Empire with the deprivation of that title from the Elector Palatine 25 Feb 1623 (this title restored by the Treaty of Westphalia 1648, increasing the number of Electors). Charles VII (1697-1745), Elector of Bavaria, was elected King of Bohemia 7 Dec 1741 (in opposition to the Archduchess Maria Theresia) but never took possession, and was elected Emperor 24 Jan 1742 (crowned 12 Feb 1742); his son Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria, died without male issue 30 Dec 1777 when the junior line became extinct in the male line. The Electorate of Bavaria passed to the Elector Palatine, head of the senior line, by the terms of the Treaty of Westphalia.
Branch A (Palatinate, now Bavaria): Rupert III, Elector, Count Palatine (1352-1410) was father of four surviving sons of whom the elder, Ludwig III, Elector, Count Palatine (1378-1436) was father of two surviving sons (1) Ludwig IV (1424-1449) succeeded as Elector, and left issue, Philip (1448-1508), who succeeded his cousin Otto II as Elector 1499 and whose male line became extinct with the death of Elector Otto III, 1559. The younger son (2) Frederick (1425-1476) succeeded his brother as Elector 1449, agreeing to remain unmarried to insure the succession of Philip; in 1471 he secretly married his mistress, Clara Tott, mother of two sons, Frederick b 1461, and Ludwig (1463-1524) who were legitimated thereby, with the verbal (and possibly written) consent of his nephew and eventual heir as Elector, Philip. Authorisation for this marriage was apparently renewed in act of 24 Jan 1472, while the issue of this marriage were also declared legitimate by Papal Bull issued before 9 Oct 1470 (when it was deposited with the Bishopric of Strasburg). This line has since 1559 been the primogeniture line of the House of Wittelsbach, see under LINE B: LÖWENSTEIN below.
LINE A: Stephen (1385-1459), 3rd son of Rupert III, acquired the Counties of Simmern and Zweibrücken, had issue (I) Frederick, Count Palatine of Simmern (1417-1480), whose grt-grandson Frederick (1515-1576) succeeded as Elector, Count Palatine of the Rhine 1559 and was grandfather of Frederick V (1596-1632), Elector Palatine (deprived of his Electorate 25 Feb 1623, and much of his lands 1628) crowned King of Bohemia 4 Nov 1619 (who m 1613 Princess Elizabeth of England, Scotland and Irleand, and whose youngest daughter Sophia, 1630-1714, was declared heiress of the British Crown 1701 and was ancestress of the present British Royal House, see GREAT BRITAIN); his eldest surv son, Charles-Ludwig (1618-1680) restored as Elector 24 Oct 1648, father of Charles II, Elector, on whose death without issue 26 May 1685 the Electorate passed to the line descended from (II) Ludwig (1424-1489), Count Palatine of Zweibrücken, whose grt-grandson Wolfgang (1526-1569), was Duke of Neuburg 1557, and father of (1) Philip-Ludwig (1547-1614), succ his father as Duke of Neuburg and recognized as heir of Juliers and Berg and of the Grand Magistery of the Order of Saint Hubert 1609, see (a) below, (2) John (1550-1604), Count Palatine at Zweibrücken, see (b) below, and (3) Charles (1560-1600), Count Palatine at Birkenfeld, see (c), below.
(a): Philip-Ludwigs son Philip William (1615-1690) succeded as Elector 1685, his grandson Charles III died 31 Dec 1742, when the Electorate passed to his cousin Charles-Philip, Count Palatine of Sulzbach (10 Dec 1724 - 16 Feb 1799), confirmed as Elector Palatine 1 Jan 174, and succeeded as Elector of Bavaria on the extinction of that line (see above) 30 Dec 1777, ceded Duchy of Zweibrücken to the Count Palatine at Birkenfeld, but died without surviving issue when both Electorates passed to Line 3, Birkenfeld, see below. (b): John Casimir, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken at Neukstadt (1589-1652), m 1615 Princess Catherine of Sweden, dau of Charles IX, and left with other issue Charles-Gustave, Count Palatine at Cleeburg, crowned King of Sweden as Charles X 16 Jun 1654. His son, Charles XI, succ as King of Sweden and in 1681 as Duke of Zweibrücken and head of line 2 of this branch; he was succ by Charles XII, King of Sweden and Duke of Zweibrücken, killed at siege of Frederikshald 11 Dec 1718 when Sweden passed to his sister Ulrika (see SWEDEN) and Zweibrücken to his cousin Gustave Samuel (1670-1731), at whose death Zweibrücken passed to the line of Birkenfeld, see below. (c): Christian I, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld (b 5 Sep 1598; d 6 Sep 1654) was father of (1) Christian II, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld at Bischwiller (1637-1717), see Line I (Royal) and (2) John Charles (1638-1704), Count Palatine of Birkenfeld at Gelnhausen see Line II (Ducal), below.
Arms: Quarterly: 1st sa a lion rampant or, armed, langued and crowned gu (Palatine of the Rhine); 2nd parted per fesse dancetté gu and arg (Franconia); 3rd bendy sinister of six arg and gu a pale or (Burgau); 4th arg a lion az, armed and langued gu, crowned or (Veldenz); and over all an escutcheon of pretence, paly, bendy, arg and az. Supporters:- Two lions reguardant crowned or, armed and langued gu. Motto:- In Trau Vast. The achievement is borne on a mantle purpure, fringed and tasselled or, doubled ermine and surmounted by the Royal Crown of Bavaria.
LINE I: (Royal)
Founded by Christian II, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Bischweiler (b 22 Jun 1637; d 26 Apr 1717); Count Palatine of Birkenfeld 31 Mar 1671, father of Christian III (1674-1735), Duke of Zweibrücken 1731, was father of Christian IV (1722-1775), Duke of Zweibrücken m morganatically and was ancestor of the line of Counts and Countesses of Forbach, Barons and Baronesses of Zweibrücken, extinct 1859. He was succ by his nephew Charles-Augustus (1746-1795), who died without issue and was succeeded as Duke of Zweibrücken by his brother Maximilian-Joseph (1756-1825), reigning Count of Rappolstein 1778, succ as Duke of Zweibrücken 1795, and Elector Palatine of Bavaria 1799. A series of treaties and agreements between the powers in the years 1802-1806 consolidated the Bavarian territories, declared the Kingdom of Bavaria 26 Dec 1805; further exchanges between 1809 and 1819. Abdication of the dynasty 7/8 Nov 1918.
Members of the Royal Family bear the title of Prince or Princess of Bavaria with the qualification of Royal Highness, they are by right Duke or Duchess of Bavaria, Count or Countess Palatine of the Rhine.
LINE II: (Ducal)
Founded by Johann Karl, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld at Gelnhausen (b 17 Oct 1638; d 21 Feb 1704). His grandson Johann, Count Palatine of Birkenfeld at Gelnhausen (1698-1780) was father of William, Count Palatine b 10 Nov 1752 d 8 Jan 1837), created Duke in Bavaria 16 Feb 1799, and received the Duchy of Berg 30 Nov 1803 (exchanged for the Margravate of Ansbach, from Prussia, 10 Dec 1805, and incorporated into Bavaria).
LINE 1: LOWENSTEIN-WERTHEIM-FREUDENBERGEvangelical and Catholic: Founded by Count Christoph Ludwig (b 3 May 1568; d 17 Feb 1618), a Protestant, who m 1592, Elisabeth, Countess of Manderscheid-Schleiden-Virneburg (1569-1626) heiress in 1600 of the County of Virneburg in the Eifel; this line Counts co-regnant of the immediate County of Werthem, title confirmed by the Emperor 4 Mar 1613. Friedrich-Ludwig, Count of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Virneburg (1598-1657) lost his entire estates 1622 (for siding with the Elector Palatine), but was reinstated by the Treaty of Westpahlia 1648 (with the exception of Abstatt and Wildeck ceded to the junior Rochefort line). Primogeniture succession established by family convention 14 April 1767, confirmed 15 Feb 1781, by which the possession and government held in common by the two lines would be shared by the head of each line. Count Johann-Karl-Ludwig (b 10 Jan 1740; d 16 Feb 1816), received the Bailiwick of Freudenberg am Main (nr Mosbach, Baden) as indemnification for loss of the County of Virneburg, as Count co-regnant of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg 25 Feb 1803, and received full possession of the secularized sovereign abbey of Grünau. Count Johann-Karl, who remained in possession of most of Löwenstein (under the sovereignty of Württemberg), most of Wertheim (under the sovereignty of Baden), Obersontheim and Michelbach (parts of the County of Limpurg, whose sovereignty passed to Württemberg) and the Bailiwick of Triefenstein (first part of the principality of Aschaffenburg and later Bavaria) was created, with his cousin Count Friedrich-Karl (b 29 Jul 1743; d 3 Aug 1825, this line extinct 1852), Fürst (Prince) zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg by the King of Bavaria, Munich 19 Nov 1812 and recognized as Standesherren of the Kingdom; created Fürst by the King of Württemberg 27 Feb 1813, confirmed by the Grand Duke of Hesse 17 Dec 1812, the Grand Duke of Frankfurt Dec 1812, the Grand Duke of Wurzburg 24 Jan 1813 and the Grand Duke of Baden 3 Apr 1813 (but with a declaration that he would not recognize the right of seniority claimed by the Virneburg/Freudenberg line). Hereditary Member of the Bavarian "Reichsräte" Hereditary Member of the First Chambers of the Kingdom of Württemberg and of the Grand Duchy of Baden; qualification of "Durchlaucht" (primogeniture) by the German Diet 18 Aug 1825.
The head of the Line has the title Fürst, and Durhclaucht (Serene Highness); cadets are Princes or Princesses zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg with the qualification by courtesy of Serene Highness.
The head of the Line has the title Fürst, and Durchlaucht (Serene Highness); cadets are Princes or Princesses zu Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg with the qualification by courtesy of Serene Highness.