Sunday, November 19, 2023

You know your Great-Grandfather? You know you are better off than he?

Which one of them? You have one father, two grand-fathers, four great-grandfathers. I know two of mine, though I never met them.

Do you know your great-great-grandfather? You have 8 of those, so do I, and I know one, whom I also never met.

I bet you don't know your great-grandfather's great-grandfather (any of the 32) or such a one's great-grandfather (any of the 128). Neither do I.

But Charles III of the United Kingdom knows his great-grandfather's great-grandfather (on a purely paternal line) was Friedrich Karl Ludwig, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck.

Or if you prefer, Frederick Charles Lewis. (20 August 1757 – 24 April 1816)*

Friedrich Karl Ludwig was born in Königsberg, Kingdom of Prussia. At the age of two he lost his father who died from wounds he received in the battle of Kundersdorf. He joined the Prussian Army in 1777 upon the request of King Frederick the Great. By 1781 he was a staff officer in the Regiment von Schlieben and by 1787 he commanded a grenadier battalion based in Königsberg. He assisted in the suppression of the 1794 Kościuszko Uprising and was Governor of Kraków in 1795. He retired from Prussian service as a lieutenant general in 1797 and spent the rest of his life improving agriculture in Holstein. He died in Wellingsbüttel Manor, now part of Hamburg.

And he knows that one's greatgrandfather (also purely paternal) was Frederick Lewis, Duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck. (6 April 1653 – 7 March 1728)**

He was only the titular duke, because he did not inherit the domain of Beck. It had been inherited by Duke Frederick William I, the son of his elder brother, Duke August, in 1689.[1] Duke Frederick William I was killed in the Battle of Francavilla in Sicily in 1719, leaving a widow, née Marie Antoine called Antoinette Josepha Isnardi di Castello, Contessa di Sanfré (1692–1762), and two minor daughters.[1] Maria Antonia shared administration of Beck with her mother-in-law, Duchess Hedwig Louisa of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck (née Countess of Lippe-Bückeburg-Schaumburg).

In 1671 Frederick Louis became a cornet in the cavalry regiment von Eller in the army of Brandenburg-Prussia. In 1675 he participated in the Battle of Fehrbellin as a Rittmeister. The following year he was a colonel in the Holstein dragoons. Frederick Lewis was named lieutenant general and Governor of Wesel in 1690. Three years later he was appointed commanding general of the Duchy of Prussia.

On 17 January 1701 Frederick Lewis received the Order of the Black Eagle from the new King Frederick I of Prussia and shortly afterward was named Statthalter of the Kingdom of Prussia and Governor of Königsberg. During the War of the Spanish Succession, he participated in the Battle of Oudenarde in 1708, the Battle of Malplaquet in 1709, and the sieges of Lille, Mons, and Tournai. Frederick Louis was promoted to field marshal in 1713. The duke also secured neutrality for Prussia during much of the Great Northern War. He died in Königsberg and was buried alongside his wife in Königsberg Cathedral.

For his great-grand-mother's great-grand-mother, purely feminine line, he knows it is one Frances Webb. She has no wikipage, but her daughter Anne Caroline Salisbury (1805 – 3 May 1881) has.

So, you happen to know that one of your great-grand-fathers was worse off than you, materially? But are you sure he was better off than all of his own great-grand-fathers? Or than theirs? I am not.

So, progress has done your family good on the line of one great-grandfather up to yourself. Congratulations. But that doesn't mean progress never hurt your family. I am pretty sure it has on occasion hurt mine.

Hans Georg Lundahl
St. Felix of Valois

Sancti Felicis Valesii, Presbyteri et Confessoris, qui Ordinis sanctissimae Trinitatis redemptionis captivorum exstitit Fundator, ac pridie Nonas Novembris obdormivit in Domino.

PS can Tolkien have had some kind of help from this line, since he came from Prussia by family? Or ABBA, because they like Bouzouki?/HGL

* The one footnote cited by wiki in the passage is:
Albinus, Robert (1985). Lexikon der Stadt Königsberg Pr. und Umgebung (in German). Leer: Verlag Gerhard Rautenberg. p. 371. ISBN 3-7921-0320-6.
** The three footnotes of this other passage are:
Huberty, Michel; Alain Giraud; F. and B. Magdelaine (1994). L'Allemagne Dynastique Tome VII Oldenbourg (in French). France. pp. 79, 97, 118, 141. ISBN 2-901138-07-1.
Albinus, Robert (1985). Lexikon der Stadt Königsberg Pr. und Umgebung (in German). Leer: Verlag Gerhard Rautenberg. p. 371. ISBN 3-7921-0320-6.
Th. Hirsch (1878), "Friedrich Ludwig, Herzog von Schleswig-Holstein-Beck", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), vol. 8, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, p. 284

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