Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg

Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Portrait of Duke Julius of Brunswick-Lüneburg, 1590
Spouse(s) Hedwig of Brandenburg
Noble family House of Welf
Father Henry V, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Mother Maria of Württemberg
Born (1528-06-29)29 June 1528
Died 3 May 1589(1589-05-03) (aged 60)

Julius of Brunswick-Lüneburg (also known as Julius of Braunschweig; 29 June 1528 – 3 May 1589), Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, was prince of Wolfenbüttel from 1568 until his death.

Julius was born and died in Wolfenbüttel. The youngest son of Henry V, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, he was expected to pursue a clerical career. He studied at Leuven University, and was appointed bishop of Minden in 1553, but resigned after only a year. After both of his brothers died in the Battle of Sievershausen of 1553, he became heir to the principality. All plans of his father's to exclude him from the line of succession failed, even though Julius had converted to Protestantism. After his father's death in 1568, Julius instituted a tax reform that improved the rights of farmers in relation to noblemen. He also founded a militia — every head of household was required to own a weapon and participate in military training — and reformed the court system. Julius entered into an agreement with the City of Brunswick in 1569, in which the city recognized his overlordship; however, the conflict between Duchy and City continued nonetheless.

Julius promoted trade and especially mining. Copper and lead mining in the Harz flourished, and many new mines were opened. Julius himself wrote a book about the uses of marl. To enable the sale of mining products, Julius invested into the improvements of roads and rivers. In 1577 the Oker was made navigable between the Harz and Wolfenbüttel. In 1576, Julius founded the first university of the state, the University of Helmstedt. The university was intended to train Protestant clergy for the newly reformed state.

In 1581, he purchased the beautiful Italian palazzo Ca' Vendramin Calergi on the Grand Canal in Venice, one of his favorite cities to visit. He paid 50,000 ducats for the palazzo to the Loredan family, who were having financial difficulties at the time. However, he sold it only two years later to Guglielmo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua.[1]

After the death of Eric II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, in 1584, Julius inherited the Principality of Calenberg. He died in 1589 and was succeed by his son Henry Julius.


Julius married Hedwig, daughter of Joachim II, Elector of Brandenburg, on 25 February 1560. They had the following children who reached adulthood:


External links

Julius, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Cadet branch of the House of Este
Born: 29 June 1528 Died: 3 May 1589
Regnal titles
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Francis II
Prince-Bishop of Minden
Succeeded by
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Henry V
Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel

Succeeded by
Henry Julius
Preceded by
Eric II
Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Prince of Calenberg

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