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Hesse-Rotenburg

HESSE-ROTENBURG, a German landgraviate which was broken up in 1834. In 1627 Ernest (1623-1693), a younger son of Maurice, landgrave of Hesse-Cassel (d. 1632), received Rheinsfels and lower Katzenelnbogen as his inheritance, and some years later, on the deaths of two of his brothers, he added Eschwege, Rotenburg, Wanfried and other districts to hi* possessions. Ernest, who was a convert to the Roman Catholic Church, was a great traveller and a voluminous writer. About 1700 his two sons, William (d. 1725) and Charles (d. 1711), divided their territories, and founded the families of Hesse-Rotenburg and Hesse-Wanfried. The latter family died out in 1755, when William's grandson, Constantine (d. 1778), reunited the lands except Rheinfels, which had been acquired by Hesse-Cassel in 1735, and ruled them as landgrave of Hesse-Rotenburg. At the peace of Luneville in 1801 the part of the landgraviate on the left bank of the Rhine was surrendered to France, and in 1815 other parts were ceded to Prussia, the landgrave Victor Amadeus being compensated by the abbey of Corvey and the Silesian duchy of Ratibor. Victor was the last male member of his family, so, with the consent of Prussia, he bequeathed his allodial estates to his nephews the princes Victor and Chlodwig of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfiirst (see HOHENLOHE). When the landgrave died on the 12th of November 1834 the remaining parts of Hesse-Rotenburg were united with HesseCassel according to the arrangement of 1627. It may be noted that Hesse-Rotenburg was never completely independent of Hesse-Cassel. Perhaps the most celebrated member of this family was Charles Constantine (1752-1821), a younger son of the landgrave Constantine, who was called " citoyen Hesse," and who took part in the French Revolution.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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