John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau

John George II
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau

John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Reign 1660–1693
Predecessor John Casimir
Successor Leopold I
Born (1627-11-17)17 November 1627
Died 7 August 1693(1693-08-07) (aged 65)
Spouse Henriette Catherine of Nassau
Issue Amalie Ludovika
Henriette Amalie
Frederick Casimir, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Elisabeth Albertine, Countess of Barby
Henriette Amalie, Princess of Nassau-Dietz
Louise Sophie
Marie Eleonore, Duchess of Olyka
Henriette Agnes
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Johanna Charlotte, Margravine of Brandenburg-Schwedt
House House of Ascania
Father John Casimir, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Mother Agnes of Hesse-Kassel

John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau (17 November 1627 – 7 August 1693) was a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1660 to 1693.

A member of the Fruitbearing Society, he also served as a Field marshal of Brandenburg-Prussia.


Early life

John George was born on 17 November 1627 at Dessau, the second (but eldest and only surviving) son of John Casimir, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau, by his first wife Agnes, daughter of Maurice, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel.


In Groningen on 9 September 1659 John George married Henriette Katharina (b. The Hague, 10 February 1637 – d. Schloss Oranienbaum, 3 November 1708), daughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. The marriage was happy and was even said by some to be a love match. They had ten children.


After the death of his father on 15 July 1660, John George took over the government of Anhalt-Dessau. He also inherited his family's claim on Aschersleben, which had been controlled by Brandenburg-Prussia since 1648.

John George made his military career in the service of the Prussian army; the Elector Frederick William named him a Generalfeldmarschall in 1670. After France invaded Frederick William's Duchy of Cleves, John George negotiated a treaty in Vienna in June 1672 between Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Frederick William, by which each pledged to provide 12,000 troops to uphold the borders of the Peace of Westphalia in the face of French aggression. John George was chosen to lead the largely unsuccessful campaign, which led Georg von Derfflinger to temporarily resign in protest.

While campaigning against the French for control of Alsace in 1674, most of Frederick William's army went into winter quarters in Franconian Schweinfurt. As viceroy (Statthalter), John George commanded the troops remaining in Brandenburg. King Louis XIV of France convinced King Charles XI of Sweden to invade Brandenburg; after dispersing John George's small force, the Swedish troops went into winter quarters as well. The Prince of Dessau took part in Frederick William's retaliatory campaign in 1675, which resulted in the Battle of Fehrbellin.

In 1683 John George travelled to Passau, ostensibly to discuss Brandenburg's involvement in the Ottoman wars with the emperor Leopold, although his main aim was to advise against another French war. The prince reaffirmed Brandenburg's alliance with Austria.

Death and succession

Prince John George died in Berlin on 7 August 1693. He was succeeded as prince of Anhalt-Dessau by his eldest surviving son, Leopold.


By Henriette Catherine of Nassau
Amalie LudovikaBerlin, 7 September 1660Dessau, 12 November 1660
Henriette AmalieCölln an der Spree, 4 January 1662Cölln an der Spree, 28 January 1662
Frederick Casimir, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-DessauCölln an der Spree, 8 November 1663Cölln an der Spree, 27 May 1665
Elisabeth AlbertineCölln an der Spree, 1 May 1665Dessau, 5 October 1706Abbess of Herford 1680–1686; married on 30 March 1686 to Henry of Saxe-Weissenfels, Count of Barby
Henriette AmalieKleve, 26 August 1666Oranienstein Castle, Diez an der Lahn, 18 April 1726 married on 26 November 1683 to Henry Casimir II, Prince of Nassau-Dietz
Louise SophieDessau, 15 September 1667Dessau, 18 April 1678
Marie EleonoreDessau, 14 March 1671Dessau, 18 May 1756married on 3 September 1687 to Prince Jerzy Radziwiłł, Duke of Olyka.
Henriette AgnesDessau, 9 September 1674Dessau, 18 January 1729 Unmarried.
Leopold I, Prince of Anhalt-DessauDessau, 3 July 1676Dessau, 9 April 1747
Johanna CharlotteDessau, 6 April 1682Herford, 31 March 1750Abbess of Herford 1729–1750; married on 25 January 1699 to Philip William, Margrave of Brandenburg-Schwedt.


John George II, Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Born: 17 November 1627 Died: 7 August 1693
Preceded by
John Casimir
Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
Succeeded by
Leopold I
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