County of Hoya

"Grafschaft Hoya" redirects here. For the present-day administrative unit, see Grafschaft Hoya (Samtgemeinde).
County of Hoya
Grafschaft Hoya (de)
State of the Holy Roman Empire

Coat of arms

County of Hoya (in red) about 1400
Capital Hoya
Government County
Historical era Middle Ages
   Henry I Count of Hoya 1202
  Partitioned between
   Hoya and Nienburg
  Reunited under
   Jobst I of Nienburg
  Joined Lower
   phalian Circle
  Count Jobst II turned
   Death of Otto VIII 1582
  Part of Prussia 1866
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony

The County of Hoya (German: Grafschaft Hoya) was a state of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the present German state of Lower Saxony. It was centered on the town of Hoya on the middle Weser river, between Bremen and Nienburg; the area now belongs to the districts of Nienburg and Diepholz. The largest city of the county was Nienburg.


As of 1582, Hoya was bordered by (from the north, clockwise): The City of Bremen, the Archbishopric of Bremen, the Bishopric of Verden, the Lüneburg and Calenberg subdivisions of Brunswick-Lüneburg, the Bishopric of Minden, the County of Diepholz, the Bishopric of Münster, and the County of Oldenburg.


A first Count Henry at Hoya in Saxony appeared as a liensman of Archbishop Hartwig II of Bremen in 1202. He rivaled with the local Hodenberg noble family at Hodenhagen Castle; their estates on the Weser were gradually acquired by Count Henry and his descendants until 1313. The acquisition of Nienburg led to a long-term conflict with the Bishops of Minden, who suspiciously eyed the steep rise of their comital neighbours.

Hoya Castle

In 1345 the brothers Gerhard III and John II of Hoya, divided the county among themselves; when the elder branch of Gerhard at Hoya became extinct in 1497, the territories were re-unified under John's descendant Count Jobst I residing at Nienburg. In 1450 the family became embroiled in the Münster Diocesan Feud, but failed in their attempt to install Erich of Hoya as the Bishop of Münster. In the 16th century, the counts came under pressure of the mighty Dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg, who in 1512 occupied their estates.

The county was partitioned after Otto VIII, Count of Hoya died without sons in 1582. The majority of the territory was received by the Calenberg line with the remainder to the Lüneburg line of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg and the Landgraviate of Hesse-Cassel. The Counts of Hoya already had to recognize the Welf dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg as liege lords in 1512.

After the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, the area together with the Kingdom of Hanover was annexed by Prussia.

Counts of Hoya


  • Gerhard III 1345-1383
  • Otto III 1383-1428
  • Otto V 1428-1451
  • Otto VII 1451-1497



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