Ulrich II, Count of East Frisia

Ulrich II
Counts of East Frisia

Ulrich II, Count of East Frisia
Reign 1628–1648
Predecessor Rudolf Christian
Successor Enno Louis
Born (1605-07-06)6 July 1605
Died 1 November 1648(1648-11-01) (aged 43)
Spouse Juliana of Hesse-Darmstadt
House Cirksena
Father Enno III
Mother Anna of Holstein-Gottorp

Ulrich II of East Frisia, was count of East Frisia, (6 July 1605 Aurich, 1 November 1648) was the fifth child and the third son of Enno III of East Frisia and Anna of Holstein-Gottorp. He inherited the East Frisia after the unexpected death of his brother Rudolf Christian on 17 April 1628. He reigned during the Thirty Years' War. East Frisia did not participate in the war, but general Ernst von Mansfeld quartered his troops in East Frisia, causing great distress. The only exception was Emden because of the recently completed city wall, the city of Emden was protected against foreign troops.


Historian tend to have a negative view of Ulrich II. His brother Rudolf Christian died unexpectedly, from a stab in his left eye during an argument with a lieutenant in the army of general Matthias Gallas quartered at Berum Castle. He accepted the position of Count of East Frisia only reluctantly. He was said to prefer to enjoy himself about town, deriving great pleasure from alcohol and well-prepared meals. In the face of the foreign troops quartered in East Frisia during the Thirty Years' War, he was rather passive and let his chancellors Wiarda and Bobart manage the country. He even went so far as to build a Lustschloss, the Julianenburg in Sandhorst, for his wife Landgravine Juliana, in the middle of the war, while the population of East Frisia was suffering bitterly. However, he also made some major decisions. He leased out parcels of bog around Timmel in 1633; this is regarded as the starting point of the fen cultivation, which led to the creation of the Großefehn. He also founded Latin schools, the Ulrichsgymnasium in Norden in 1631 and the Gymnasium Ulricianum in Aurich in 1646. These still exist and bear his name today.

He died on 1 November 1648. After his death his widow Juliana took over the regency because their children were still minors.


P. Wagner (1895), "Ulrich II. (Graf von Ostfriesland)", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 39, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 229–231 

Ulrich II, Count of East Frisia
Born: 6 July 1605 Died: 1 November 1648
Preceded by
Rudolf Christian
Count of East Frisia
Succeeded by
as Regent

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