Adolf Frederick I, Duke of Mecklenburg

Adolf Frederick I
Duke of Mecklenburg

Adolf Frederick I
Spouse(s) Anna Maria of Ostfriesland
Marie Katharina of Brunswick-Dannenberg
Noble family Mecklenburg
Father Johann VII of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
Mother Sophia of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp
Born (1588-12-15)15 December 1588
Died 27 February 1658(1658-02-27) (aged 69)

Adolf Frederick I (15 December 1588 – 27 February 1658) was the reigning Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin from his father's death in 1592 until 1628 and again from 1631 to 1658. Between 1634 and 1648 Adolf Frederick also ruled the Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin as its administrator.

Early life

He was a son of John VII, Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Sophia, daughter of Adolf, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, and his wife Christine of Hesse.

At first Adolf Frederick and his brother John Albert II reigned under the guardianship of Duke Ulrich III of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and Charles I of Mecklenburg (his father’s uncles). The two brothers Adolf Frederick and John Albert took over governance of Mecklenburg-Schwerin beginning on 16 April 1608, and after the death of Charles on 22 July 1610 they also governed in Mecklenburg-Güstrow.

Division of Mecklenburg and Thirty Years' War

In 1621 the duchy of Mecklenburg was formally divided between the two brothers, with Adolf Frederick ruling in Mecklenburg-Schwerin and John Albert ruling in Mecklenburg-Güstrow. During the Thirty Years' War, Albrecht von Wallenstein ousted the dukes after they secretly sided with King Christian IV of Denmark against Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II. Wallenstein ruled the duchies from 1627 until 1631, when the dukes were restored by the Swedes under King Gustavus Adolphus. In 1634 Adolf Frederick succeeded Ulrik of Denmark as last Administrator of the Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin before its securalisation.

Marriage and children

Marie Katharina on a medal (1635)

Adolf Frederick I fathered 19 children in all.

He was married for the first time on 4 September 1622 to Anna Maria of East Frisia, daughter of Count Enno III of East Frisia and Anna of Schleswig-Holstein-Gottorp. They had the following children:

Adolf Frederick married for a second time in 1635 to Marie Katharina (1616–1665), daughter of Duke Julius Ernest, Duke of Brunswick-Dannenberg, and Maria of East Frisia (1582–1616). They had the following children:


Adolphus Frederick of Mecklenburg
Born: 15 December 1588 in Schwerin Died: 27 February 1658 ibidem
Regnal titles
Preceded by
John VII
Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin
as Adolphus Frederick I

1592–1628 and again 1631–1658
interrupted by Wallenstein, who deposed him
Succeeded by
Christian Louis I, Duke of Mecklenburg (German)
Religious titles
Regnal titles
Title last held by
Ulrik of Denmark
as Ulrich III
Administrator of the
Prince-Bishopric of Schwerin

Secularised: Principality of Schwerin
in personal union with Mecklenburg-Schwerin
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