german Houses: The Princely House Reuß older Line

The Princely House Reuß older Line (Greiz)


House of Reuß

Forefather of the family o gender the Baliff’s was Heinrich the Pious from Gleißberg († around 1120), which was invested by Emperor Heinrich IV. with Gera and Weida. His grandson Heinrich II. the rich († before 1209) acquired Plauen. The heirs divided several times. So the lines of the bailiffs of Weida, the bailiffs of Gera and the baliff’s of Plauen emerged.It is likely that even the Emperor Friedrich II. Barbarossa Staufer awarded in 1180 the lords of Weida the title of advocate. Around 1200 his son, Emperor Heinrich VI. raised  Heinrich the rich from Weida to Castle advocat  of the Quedlinburg Abbey. In honor of this Emperor since the Advocats and later all the Reusses get the name Heinrich. Anyway, we must return the demonstrably implemented since 1209 Baliff title on the bailiwick rights over the extensive property of the Quedlinburg to Weida and Gera. The title was continued in the division of the parent company of all the branches and as a hereditary fiefdom passed. The governors of Weida have been on the lands managed by them in the 12th and 13th centuries gradually from Reichsstift Quedlinburg independently. Their territory included what is today generally understood as Vogtland, so the Vogtlandkreis with capital Plauen, the Thuringian Vogtland with Schleiz Greiz, Bad Lobenstein, Weida and Gera, the Frankish Vogtland with Hof and Selb and the Bohemian Vogtland with Asch.
In 1209, after the death of Heinrich II.  the rich his three sons divided the region into three areas Weida, Gera and Greiz (Heinrich the Elder, the Middle and the Younger). They took seats in the respective locations, but coninued to call themsrelf  Baliff’s of Weida. In 1237 followed the official division. Heinrich the Elder had already died around 1224, his son Heinirch VI., called the Pfeffersack received  the Bailiwick of Weida. Heinrich the middle received Gera and parts of Plauen and Heinrich  the Younger Greiz. With the death of the childless Greizer in 1240 is completed this division was reeved.  His possessions fell to his two nephews, the sons of Heinrich the Middle. Already in 1238 Heinrich the middle  had divorced from his wife, and joined the Teutonic Order, his wife in the monastery Croschwitz which she founded. The property was divided among his two older sons. Heinrich I. the Elder who received Plauen (bailiffs of Plauen) with Auerbach and Pausa, and Heinrich I. the younger who received  Gera (bailiffs from Gera) and the care Reichenfels.
In 1254, the bailiffs of Gera, Greiz, Plauen and Weida negotiated an agreement on an alliance with the Margrave Heinrich the Illustrious of Meissen from where they appeared as equal partners. In the act they differed the land of the Margrave (terra marchionis) from their territory (terra nostra, our country). It is likely that the Margrave to differentiate the countries in the reverse direction his country from the land of the Reeves (terra advocatorum) demarcated. The documwenr  is not preserved. The name will then appear, 1317 and later, when Woyte country or in similar form in other documents, however, always include agreements from third ruler of the Vogtland. The name Vogtland can only be detected in 1343. When Heinrich I., Vogt of Plauen, died in 1303  his two grandsons inherited the Bailiwick Plauen and the lands. 1306 shared Heinrich III. of Seeberg, son of Heinrich (II.) the bohemian, and Heinirch II. (Reuss-Greiz), son of Heinrich Ruthenus (the Ruszen or Russias) the previously common area to managed. Heinrich Boehme was by his son founder of the older Plauen Vogt line, the later castle count’s line, become, and Heinrich Ruthenus by his son Heinrich II.  Reuss to founder of the younger branch, the Reusses from Plauen to Greiz. Heinrich Reuß von Plauen, 1467-1470 Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights conquered back in 1461 Mohrungen.
The line of the Baliff’s of Weida died out in 1531, Weida fell to the Electorate of Saxony (Ernestine). The line of Baliff’s of Gera died out in 1550 The geraischen dominions fell to Count Heinrich IV. of Plauen from the older line. The Reusses originally only owned the rule Greiz and individual plots of land in what is now the Saxon Vogtland. It was only after the judgment of Vienna from 28.09.1560, they regained domination Greiz which was lost  lost during the Schmalkaldic. They were also given parts of Gera, Schleiz and Lobenstein.After extinction of the castle Count line to Meissen and Plauen in 1572 the Reusses got through their co-registgration on these lands all the possessions of the viscount, said quarrels due liens the viscount continued until 1590.
The Latin name Ruthenus (or German Rusze) was the first time Heinrich the younger, son of Heínrich I., a Baliff of Plauen  as a nickname (Henrico de Plawe dicto Ruze). This he received for a longer stay in the eastern areas or because of his marriage to the originating from a Ruthenian Furstenhaus princess Maria Swihowska, daughter of Galician princes Swihowsky and a Russian princess. Was the name “Reuss” in Heinrich (I.) Ruthenus still epithet, his son Heinrich (II.) used him since 1307 as a family name. Only for him and his descendants the name “Reuss” applies. The governors of Weida and Gera and the Castelcounts of Plauen are indeed related from the same male line, but not the Reusses. The Bailiffs of Plauen are the direct ancestors of the Reusses. 
In 1625 the Reuß who called themself Baron’s managed it toe get from Emperor FErdinand II. the style of Highborn. On 15.08.1673 Emperor  Leopold I. raised all lines of the House of Reuß to the rank of heriditary Counts.In 1564 the three sons of Heinrich XIII. the still divided the Reuss  dominion’s under an inheritance contact  in which the line Reuss older line got the rule Untergreiz, Reuss middle line got the rule Obergreiz and Reuß younger Line got the rule Gera.

  • Heinrich XIV got Undergreiz and was the ancestor of Reuss older line
  • Heinrich XV. got Obergreiz and was the ancestor Reuss middle line
  • Heinrich XVI. got Gera and was the ancestor of Reuss younger line
Reuß older line
In Honor of Emperor Heinrich VI. all male member of the Family are named Heinrich.The numbering system in the younger line is the following:
Initially they started here in each new generation with I.. This rule was later applied for both now incurred branches. A first series begins with Heinrich I zu Greiz-Burgk (* 1632) and ends with Heinrich XVI. zu Greiz-Dölau (* 1678); the second series starts with Heinrich I to Greiz (* 1693). After the extinction of the elder branch 1768 with Fürst Heinrich XI. Reuß zu  Greiz († 1800), no new series started, but continues to be counted again in the line in order of birth.
 Reuß zu Untergreiz I. 

In the partition on 1564 Heinrich XIV. got Undergreiz. 2 of his 5 sons had already died before him and the remaing 3 reigned together until in 1582 Heinrich III: died unmarired

Lords of Reuß zu Untergreiz I 
1564-1572 Heinrich XIV.
married to Barbara von Schönfeld und Plohn
1572-1596 Heinrich II. 
married to Cuntess Judith of Oettingen-Oettingen
1572-1583 Heinrich III.
1572-1583 Heinrich V. 

After the death of Heinrich III. the remaining 2 brothers Heinrich II. and Heinrich V. made a dvision. Heinrich II. got half of the town Greiz, the Lower Castle and the rights of use. Heinrich V. got half of the lordship Untergreiz, and the Castle Dölau with villages belonging to it. In 1590 the inherited Schleiz which was adminstrated together. In a partition in 1596 the older line got Burgk. 

Reuß zu Burgk 

In the partition in 1596 Heinrich III. got Burgk. He sold his part of Undergreiz to his brother Heinrich V. After his death his 3 sons Heinrich II., Heinrich III. and Heinrich IV. reigned together. After Heinrich III. was murdered inj 1616 and the 2 surving brothers  got some parts from the inheritance of Heinrich XVIII  from the middle line the made a division. Heinrich II. got Burgk and Heinrich IV. got the lordship Dölau.

Lords of Reuß zu Burgk
1596-1608 Heinrich II.
married to Cuntess Judith of Oettingen-Oettingen
1608-1639 Heinrich II.
married to Magdalen von Putbus
1608-1616 Heinrich III.
1608-1616 Heinrich IV. 
1639-1640 Heinrich III. 

Reuß zu Dölau

In the divison in 1616 with bhis brother Heinrich II. Heinrich IV. got the rule Dölau. Because he had no descendants after his death Dölau went back to Burgk.

Lords of Reuß zu Dölau 
1616-1626 Heinrich IV.
married to Countess Anna Genoveva zu Stolberg-Stolberg

Reuß zu Untergreiz II. 

In the division with his brother Heinrich II. in 1583 Heinrich V. got got half of the lordship Untergreiz, and the Castle Dölau with villages belonging t. In 1596 broithjer sold his part of Untergreiz to him. Aftzer the death of Heinrich V. his 3 surving sons reigned togeter. In 1616 after the extinctiomn of the middle line they got from their inheritance the Upper Castle in Greiz and half of the toewn Greiz (Obergreiz). From the lordships Lobenstein and Schleiz the inherited the town Zeulenroda and the villages Friesau, Fauschengesees, Zoppothen, Remptendorf and röppisch.  From the care Reichenfels they got the villages Brückla, Hain. Kauern, Lunzig and Mehla. 
In 1625 the brother divided their posessions

Lords of Reuß zu Untergreiz II.
1583-1604  Heinrich V.
married to Marie of Schönburg-Waldenburg

1604-1609 Heinrich III.    
1604-1625 Heinrich IV.
married to Countess Elisabeth Juliane zu Salm-Neufville

1604-1625 Heinrich V.  
married to Countess Anna Marie zu Salm-Neufville 

Reuß zu Untergreiz III.

When Heinrich V. and his brother divided their poessions in 1625 Heinrich V. got the rule Untergreiz III. To it belonged half of the town Gera, the lower Castle in Greiz,  the town Zeulenroda and the villages Altgernsdorf, Dasslitz, Eulenberg, Fraureuth, Froschau, Gottesgrün, Hermannsgrün, Ichwitz, Kahmer, Lehna, Mohlsdorf, Neudeck, Neugernsdorf, Neumühle, Nitschareuth, Pöllwitz, Reinsdorf, Reudnitz, Raasdrof, Schönfeld, Schönbrunn, Tschirnau,. Wathersrof and half of Pommeranz. After the line Reuß zu Burgk had become extinct in 1640 he got from this inheritance the Castle Burgk and the villages Brückla, Crispendorf, Dörflas, Erkmannsdorf, Grochwitz, Hain. KauernLunzig, Mehla, Möschlitz, Möschgün, Neundorf, Pahnstangen, Rauschengesees and Rempendorf. After the death of Heinrich V. in 1667 his sons reigneten first together and in 1668 divided theier tierritories.

Lords of Reuß zu Untergreiz III.
1625-1667 Heinrich V. 
married to Countess Anna Marie zu Salm-Neufville
1667-1668 Heinrich II.
married to Elisabeth Sibylle Reuß zu Burgk
1667-1673 Heinrich IV.
1667-1668 Heinrich V.   

County of Reuß zu Burgk

When in 1668 the 3 brothers Heinrich II., Heinrich IV, and Heinrich V. divided their posessions Heinrich II. got the rule Burgk. Next to Burgk Castle it consisted also of the villages Crispendorf, Dörflas, Mönchgrün, Neundorf, Palmstangen and Plothen. As Heinrich II. had only a daughter but not sons this line became with his death in 1697 extinct in the male line.

Counts of Reuß zu Burgk
1673-1697 Heinrich II. 
married to Elisabeth Sibylle Reuß zu Burgk

County of Reuß zu Untergreiz 

When in 1668 the 3 brothers Heinrich II., Heinrich IV, and Heinrich V. divided their posessions Heinrich IV. got the significantly reduced rule Untergreiz. to it belonged now the Lower Castle, half of Greiz and the places Altgernsdorf, Dasslitz, Fotschau, Irchwitz, Lehna, Neudeck, Neugernsdorf, Neumühle, Nitschareuth, half Pommeranz, Raasdorf, Reinsdorf, Reudnitz, Schönbrunn, Schönfeld, Tschirna and Walthersdorf. After the death of Count Heinrich II. Reuß zu Burgk in 1697 and Count Heinrich V. Reuß zu Rödenthal their posession where inherited by their nephew Count Heinrich XIII. With his son Count Heinrich IIIl. the line became extinct in the male line in 1768.

Counts of Reuß zu Untergreiz
1673-1675 Heinrich IV.
married to Baroness Anna Dorothea of Ruppa
1675-1733 Heinrich XIII.
married to Countess Sophie Elisabeth zu Stolberg-Wernigerode
1675-1682 Heinrich XIV. 
1733-1768 Heinrich III.

County of Reuß zu Rothenthal

When in 1668 the 3 brothers Heinrich II., Heinrich IV, and Heinrich V. divided their posessions the youngest brother Heinrich V. got the rule Rothenthal. It consisted of the Castle Rothenthal and the villages Eubenberg, Fraureuth, Gottesgrün, Hermannsgrün, Kahmer, Mohlsdorf, Pohlit and Remptendorf. As he had  no male Issue this line became after his death in 1698 extinct in the male line.

Count Reuß zu Rothethal
1673-1698 Heinrich V. 
married first to Angelique d’Olbreuse
married secont to Countess Christiane zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Homburg

Reuß zu Obergreiz from 1673 County Reuß zu Obergreiz

When Heinrich V. and his brother Heinrich IV. divided their poessions in 1625 Heinrich IV: got the rule Obergreiz. To it belonged half of the town Greiz and the villages Brücklau, Friesau, Hain, Kauern,Lunzig, Mehla, Rauschengesees, Remptendorf, Röppisch and Zoppothen. After a
After a Process guided by the  Reichshofrat in Vienna  process who was decided in favor-of his  stepmother Heinrich I. had to give territories to his halfbrother Heinrich XVI.  
In 1769 Count Heinrich XI. inherited the rules Untergreiz and Burgk after Count Heinrich XIII. Reuß zu Untergreiz had died without Issue so the territories of Reuß older line where united again.

Lords since 1673 Counts Reuß zu Obergreiz
1625-1629 Heinrich IV.
married to Countess Elisabeth Juliane zu Salm-Neufville
1629-1681 Heinrich I.
married to Burggravine Sibylle Magdalen zu Hochubrg, Countess of Sayn-Hachenburg
1681-1697 Heinrich VI.
married first to Amalie Juliane Reuß zu Untergreiz
married second to Baroness Henriette Amalie of Friesen
1697-1714 Heinrich I.
1714-1722 Heinrich II.
married to Countress Sophie ´Charlotte of Bodmer
1722-1723 Heinrich IX.
1723-1778 Heinrich XI.
married to Countess Koradine Reuß zu Köstritz 

County Reuß zu Dölau

After a Process guided by the  Reichshofrat in Vienna  process who was decided in favor-of his  stepmother Heinrich I. had to give territories to his halfbrother Heinrich XVI. This where the Castle Doläu and the villages Görschnitz Grochlitz, Hain, Hohndorf, Klein-Reinsdorf, Kurtschau, Lunzig, Möschwitrz, Naitschau, Pöllwitz Schönbach, Settendorf Sorge, Wellsdorf, Wolfshain and Zoghaus. As Count Heinrich XVI. was unmarred and had no descenndatns after his death this territories went vack to the County Reuß zu Oberbgreiz.

Counts Reuß zu Dölau
1694-1698 Heinrich XVI. 

Reuß middle line

The Rule Reuß middle line with the rule Obdergreiz emerged from the division in 1564. In 1596 they also got the rule Schleiz. Already in 1616 the line became extinct in the male line. The rule Obergreiz went to the older line. the rule Sch leiz to the younger line.

Baliff’s and Lord’s Reuß of Plauen zu Greiz
Heinrich III. the middle zu Greiz
Heinirch XVII. zu Greiz
Heinrich XVIII. the middle zu Greiz

Principality Reuß older line

On 12.05.1778 Count Heinrich XI. Reuß zu Obergreiz  was raised by Emperor Joseph II. to the heriditary rank of a Prince of the Empire (Reichsfürstenstand). Already since the branch Reuß zu Untergreiz had become extinct with the death of Count Heinrich III. in 1768 the territories of Reuß Obergreiz and Reuß Untergreiz had been united. In 1807 the Principality joined  the Confederation of the Rhine and was so until 1813 under the protection of Fürst before it in 1815 Member of the German was. At the Congress of Vienna was Fürst Heinrich Henry XIII. could win a a previously the Kingdom of Saxony and Reuss disputed territory territory win for themselves. These were at once the monastery Mildenfurth associated villages Altgommla and Kühdorf and to parts of villages and old Neugernsdorf.
In the German War of 1866 was Reuss older line  due to historical links  and dynastic relationships ally of Austria. During the hostilities, the Principality was away from the events. The Prussian declaration of war took place on 21.06, only on 11.08.1866, the military occupation by two companies. On a recording of an independent Reuss older line  in the newly established North German Confederation of Prussia had not yet thought of. Rather, this state should be divided as part of a territory exchange between Prussia (Kreis Ziegenrück) and Principality of Reuss-Gera. However, through the intercession of the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, the Principality preserved the prussian King Wilhelm I from this fate. Also with respect to assignments recognized that Reuss older line  was too small to be made even smaller. Therefore, instead of land cession was made a cash payment of 100,000 thalers, which divided equally contributed the princely house and the land. The peace treaty was on 26.09.1866 then signed in Berlin, joined by the Reuss older line  forcibly the North German Confederation. After accession, it had only a limited sovereignty. This meant in particular that the foreign policy and military sovereignty over went to Prussia, while the interior and cultural policy remained in the range of its responsibilities. With the unification in 1871 it transferred the “Prussian system” the North German Confederation to the newly created German state and Reuss older line   was henceforth state in the German Empire. As 1880, the states were obliged to establish permanent missions to the Federal Council in Berlin, the Principality transferred its representation in the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. After the death of Heinrich XXII. took over this the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.Reuss ä. L. remained a very conservative state. So needed club-ups of government authorization and political associations each direction were banned. In the summer of 1851, Parliament adopted, although a constitution which was, however, delayed for so long that a publication in view of the increasing reaction was no longer necessary. Only the inclusion in the North German Confederation made a constitutional debate again necessary. So led the Principality with the Constitution of 28.03.1867 as the last state of Thuringia the constitutional monarchy. The new Greizer Parliament consisted of twelve deputies, appointed three of which the prince, two of manor owners and the largest farmers determined, and seven were chosen in three urban and four rural constituencies in the indirect method. Fürst Heinrich XXII. still tried to continue the absolutist government manner that made Reuss older line  a stronghold of orthodox Lutheranism. His behavior towards representatives of Prussia was characterized by aversion to hostility. The Prussian press gave him the nickname “the Naughty”. In particular, the armaments policy and the foreign policy of the kingdom he did not agree, so that among other things, the only state Reuss older line in the Bundesrat 1900 1901 voted against the budget of the Foreign Ministry and against the colonial Etat against the China expedition. But also against the introduction of compulsory civil marriage, the Civil Code, the Kulturkampf laws and even the socialist laws were voted. The Principality was a state of extremes, the only German state in 1910 without debt, the only to establishing undergraduate studies in Greiz 1879 without school, which led to the university.With the death of Fürst Heinrich XXII. ended 1902, the reign of the elder line, because his son  Fürst Heinrich XXIV. was insane and thus permanently incapable of governing. Thus, the Guardianship and regency  fell to Fürst Heinrich XIV. younger line. Since 1908 ruled his son Heinrich XXVII. both principalities in personal union until 1918. He had to abdicate on 11.11.1918.

After the November 1918 revolution Reuss ä. L. was a free state, which however, in 1919 with the Free State Reuss j. L. united to Republic of Reuss with capital Gera, who rose again in 1920 in the state of Thuringia
With the death of Fürst Heinrich XXIV. on 13.10.1927 the House Reuß older line became extinct in the male line.

Fürsten Reuß older line
1778-1800 Heinrich XI.
married to Countess Koradine Reuß zu Köstritz
1800-1817 Heinrich XIII.
married to Princess Luise of Nassau-Weilburg
1817-1836 Heinrich XIX.l
married to Princess Gasparine de Rohan-Rochefort
1836-1856 Heinrich XX.
married to Princess Karoline of Hesse-Homburg
1856-1802 Heinrich XXII.
married to Princess Ida zu Schaumburg-Lippe
Heinrich XXIV.

The Princely House since the End of the monarchy

The Republic of Reuss made in December 1919 a comparision with the last reigning Fürst  Heinrich XXVII. Reuss. according to it the Princely remaining estimated value of 34 million marks,The line  Reuss older line remained the former rulers Kammergut, forest district and Burgk Castle, 1,500 hectares and rights to use the Greiz castle.With the death of Fürst Heinrich XXIV. on 13.10.1927 the House Reuß older line became extinct in the male line.

Heads of the Princely House since the End of the Monarchy
1918-1927 Heinrich XXIV. Fürst Reuß older line


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