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Fürstentum Schaumburg-Lippe Home


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Coat of Arms of Schaumburg-Lippe Flag of Schaumburg-Lippe
© 1997 A. Schaumburg-Lippe


General Information

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Schaumburg-Lippe was one of the smallest German states until the end of World War II. It was formed after the 30-Years War, when Graf Otto V of Schaumburg died without issue. The older and larger Grafschaft Schaumburg went to his mother, Gräfin Elisabeth as the only legal heir, who in 1643 transferred her rights to her brother, Graf Philipp zur Lippe-Alverdissen, with whom she ruled as coregent until her death in 1646. In this period the Grafschaft Schaumburg began to be divided: the Grafschaft Pinneberg (in Holstein) was transferred to the King of Denmark, the Herrschaft Bergen (in Holland) was sold, Gehmen (in Westphalia) was transferred to the Graf von Limburg, and the Grafschaft Sternberg fell to Lippe.

Finally in 1647, after many territorial demands made by neighboring states, the Landgraf von Hessen and Graf Phillip zur Lippe-Alverdissen decided to divide the Grafschaft Schaumburg. Braunschweig-Lüneburg took the Ämter Lauenau, Mesmerode, and Bokeloh. Hessen received the Ämter Schaumburg and Rodenberg (which together included the towns of Rinteln, Obernkirchen, Rodenberg and Oldendorf), as well as a part of the Amt Sachsenhagen; this area in Hessen was called the Kreis Grafschaft Schaumburg. The remaining area, including the Ämter Bückeburg, Arensburg, Stadthagen, Hagenburg, and part of Sachsenhagen, formed the new Grafschaft Schaumburg-Lippe. Three things remained common property between Schaumburg-Lippe and Hessen: the Universität Rinteln (until 1665), the Weser river tolls (until 1734), and the Obernkirchen, Stadthagen, and Sülbeck coal mines (until 1940). This division was codified in the Peace of Münster.

The rulers of Schaumburg-Lippe had their seat and the family still has their residence at the Schloß Bückeburg. They also have or had manors or properties at the Burg Schaumburg (Weser), the Schloß Alverdissen, the Arensburg, Hagenburg (summer residence), Stadthagen (until 1919), the Schloß Baum, the Burg Blomberg (until 15 Feb 1962), the Palais Schaumburg in Bonn (from 1891-1939; it was later the official residence and office of the German chancellor from 1949 to 1976), the Grosse Klus, the Schloß Vietgest, the Schloss Pejacevic in Virovitica Croatia (mid 19th century-1911), and the Schloss Klaus (1878-1940). Genealogical data concerning the house of Schaumburg-Lippe can be found in the accompanying list of Schaumburg-Lippe Nobility. Less complete information can also be found in the Internet Gotha, and some of the family members can also be found in the royals databases at Hull and PSU.

The rulers of Schaumburg-Lippe and their years of reign
(Succession from father to son except as noted.)
RulerYears of reignNotes
Philipp 1643-1681first Graf zu Schaumburg-Lippe and progenitor of the Schaumburg-Lippe-Alverdissen line
Friedrich-Christian 1681-1728
Albrecht-Wolfgang 1728-1748
Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst 1748-1777died without issue
Philipp-Ernst 1777-1787younger Schaumburg-Lippe-Alverdissen line, great-grandson of Philipp
Juliane Wilhelmine Louise Landgräfin von Hessen-Philippsthal 1787-1799(as coregent) wife of Philipp-Ernst
Johann Ludwig Reichsgraf von Wallmoden-Gimborn 1787-1807(as coregent, then regent) guardian of Georg-Wilhelm
Georg-Wilhelm 1807-1860as first Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe, son of Philipp-Ernst
Adolf-Georg 1860-1893
Georg 1893-1911
Adolf 1911-1918

Extraterritorial regions in personal union under the Schaumburg-Lippe line
Lipperode 1648-1748
Amt Alverdissen 1648-1681, 1777-1812
Amt Blomberg 1737-1838
Schieder 1748-1793

Minister Presidents of the state of Schaumburg-Lippe
Friedrich Freiherr von Feilitzsch 1 Oct 1918 - 3 Dec 1918
Heinrich Lorenz 4 Dec 1918 - Mar 1919
O. Bönners 14 Mar 1919 - May 1922
K. Wippermann 22 May 1922 - May 1925
E. Steinbrecher (SPD) 28 May 1925 - Jun 1926
E. Steinbrecher 26 Jun 1926 - Oct 1927
Heinrich Lorenz 7 Oct 1927 - Jun 1928
Heinrich Lorenz 14 Jun 1928 - 29 Jun 1931
Heinrich Lorenz 29 Jun 1931 - 7 Mar 1933
Hans Joachim Riecke (NSDAP) 1 Apr 1933 - 23 May 1933
Karl Dreier (NSDAP) 25 May 1933 - Mar 1945

In 1743, Schaumburg-Lippe joined Maria Theresia of Austria and troops from Holland and England in their war against France and Bavaria. They took part in the battles of Dettingen (1743), Fontenoy (1745), Raucoux (1746), and Laffeld (1747).

Schaumburg-Lippe sided with King George II of England (also Prince Electorate of Hannover) and thus with Frederick the Great of Prussia in the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) against France. The Schaumburg-Lippe troops under Graf Wilhelm were under the command of the Duke of Cumberland and then Duke Ferdinand von Braunschweig, and participated in the siege of Minden in 1757 and the battle of Minden in 1759. Bückeburg was occupied by the French between these two Minden actions. Further actions were undertaken at the battle of Marburg Castle (1759), the siege of Münster (1760), the relief of Kassel (1761), and the battle of Hamm (1761). In 1761, Graf Wilhelm started the construction of Wilhelmstein, a fortress on an artificial island in the Steinhuder Meer. (The military school in this fortress was later to produce the famous General Scharnhorst.) Graf Wilhelm also took his Schaumburg-Lippers with the English army to Portugal in 1762-3, where he was the commander-in-chief of the combined Portuguese/British/Schaumburg-Lippisch army. He successfully defended Portugal against Spain and modernized Portugal's military. The Portuguese Fort de la Lippe (now known as the Forte da Graça), near Elvas, was established by him and named in his honor. Graf Wilhelm ordered the first Schaumburg-Lippe census, held in 1766.

At the death of Graf Philipp-Ernst, his wife Juliane became regent for their young son Georg-Wilhelm. Landgraf Wilhelm IX von Hessen-Kassel claimed that because Juliane was not sufficienly highborn to claim inheritance for herself or her children due to her supposed morganatic ancestry, he was the rightful liege lord of Schaumburg-Lippe, and used this as a pretext to invade Schaumburg-Lippe on 17 Feb 1787, occupying all except for the Wilhelmstein. But the Imperial Court in Vienna recognized the high birth of Juliane and ordered the Landgraf to cease his illegal invasion and withdraw, which he did after a two-month occupation.

Schaumburg-Lippe was originally a county (Grafschaft), but to protect its independence it joined the Confederation of the Rhine (Rheinbund) on 18 April 1807 and thereupon became a principality (Fürstentum). Schaumburg-Lippe was required to field 280 troops for Napoleon; they took part in the march on Russia in 1812. After the defeat of Napoleon at Leipzig in October 1813, the Confederation of the Rhine was dissolved, and Schaumburg-Lippe joined the nations allied against Napoleon. It joined the German Confederation (Deutscher Bund) in 1815, and fielded a batallion of 240 men and 120 reservists. (These troops were later used in the maneuvers in Schleswig-Holstein in 1849, and as occupation forces in Luxemburg in 1859.) In November 1837, Schaumburg-Lippe joined the fiscal union of the northeastern German states (Steuerverein). In 1845, Schaumburg-Lippe joined Prussia, Hannover, and the Electorate of Hessen in building a rail line from Hannover to Minden. In 1854, Schaumburg-Lippe joined the German-Austrian Postal Union (Postverein) and the Prussian Customs Union (Zollverein). In 1866, Schaumburg-Lippe joined Prussia in a military treaty, and in 1867 in military union, whereafter the Schaumburgers served in the Prussian military. In 1867, Schaumburg-Lippe became a member of the North German Confederation (Norddeutscher Bund). In 1871, Schaumburg-Lippe participated in the unification of Germany.

After World War I, the constitution of the Weimar Republic required that the rule of the prince give way, so he renounced the throne on 15 November 1918. A temporary constitution was drawn in 1919, and a final, republican and democratic one in 1922. Schaumburg-Lippe became a republic (Freistaat), headed by a state president since 1933. This democratic government was later suppressed during Nazi rule. After World War II, the British military occupation government order number 55 of 1 November 1946 decreed the union of Schaumburg-Lippe, Hannover, Braunschweig, and Oldenburg to form the new state of Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen). The former principality of Schaumburg-Lippe then constituted the Kreis Schaumburg-Lippe, until the Kreisreform of 1 August 1977, when it joined with the Kreis Grafschaft Schaumburg to form the current Landkreis Schaumburg. This border reform also incorporated Wiedensahl into the county, but excluded Steinhude and the region near Frille.

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Flag used with permission from FOTW Flags Of The World website at, Artists: Zeljko Heimer and Marcus Schmöger.
Coat of arms reproduced with kind permission from Alexander Erbprinz zu Schaumburg-Lippe.
© (c) 2003 by Jim Eggert All Rights Reserved.
Last update: 13-Nov-2003 (jre)
Please forward any comments and additions to this WWW-Page to the author.