Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria

For dukes of Bavaria named Wilhelm, see List of rulers of Bavaria.
Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen
Duke in Bavaria
Born (1752-11-10)10 November 1752
Gelnhausen, Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen
Died 8 January 1837(1837-01-08) (aged 84)
Landshut or Bamberg, Kingdom of Bavaria
Burial Tegernsee Abbey
Spouse Countess Palatine Maria Anna of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld
Issue Maria Elisabeth, Princess of Neûchatel
Duke Pius August
Full name
German: Wilhelm
House House of Wittelsbach
Father John, Count Palatine of Gelnhausen
Mother Wildgravine and Rhinegravine Sophie Charlotte of Salm-Dhaun

Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria,[1][2] full German name: Wilhelm, Herzog in Bayern (born 10 November 1752 in Gelnhausen, Palatinate-Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen;[1][2] died 8 January 1837 in Landshut or Bamberg, Kingdom of Bavaria[1][2]) was Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen between 1789 and 1799 and first Duke in Bavaria from 16 February 1799 until his death in 1837. From 17 December 1803 to 20 March 1806, Wilhelm was titled Duke of Berg. Wilhelm was a great-grandfather of Empress Elisabeth of Austria through his son Duke Pius August in Bavaria.

Early life

Wilhelm was born on 10 November 1752 in Gelnhausen to John, Count Palatine of Gelnhausen and his wife Wild- and Rhinegravine Sophie Charlotte of Salm-Dhaun.[2] In 1778, Wilhelm became an honorary member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities.[1]

Marriage and issue

Wilhelm married Countess Palatine Maria Anna of Zweibrücken-Birkenfeld, sister of the first King of Bavaria Maximilian I, daughter of Frederick Michael, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken and his wife Countess Palatine Maria Franziska of Sulzbach, on 30 January 1780 in Mannheim.[2] Wilhelm and Maria Anna had two children:[2]

Duke in Bavaria

On 16 February 1799, the head of the House of Wittelsbach Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria died. At the time there were two surviving branches of the Wittelsbach family: Zweibrücken (headed by Duke Maximilian Joseph) and Birkenfeld (headed by Count Palatine Wilhelm). Maximilian Joseph inherited Charles Theodor's title of Elector of Bavaria, while Wilhelm was compensated with the title of Duke in Bavaria. The form Duke in Bavaria was selected because in 1506 primogeniture had been established in the House of Wittelsbach resulting in there being only one Duke of Bavaria at any given time.


Wilhelm was interred at the family burial crypt of the Dukes in Bavaria at Tegernsee Abbey.


Titles, styles, honours and arms

Titles and styles


  1. 1 2 3 4 Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities. "Ehrenmitglieder". Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Retrieved 2009-07-06. External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Geneall. "Wilhelm, Herzog in Bayern". Geneall. Retrieved 2009-07-06. External link in |publisher= (help)
Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria
Cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach
Born: 10 November 1752 Died: 8 January 1837
German nobility
Preceded by
Charles John Louis
Count Palatine of Birkenfeld-Gelnhausen
31 March 1789 – 16 February 1799
Succeeded by
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