mediatized Houses: The Comital House of Neipperg

The Comital House of Neipperg

The beginnings of Neipperg’s origins and kinship lie in the darkness of the eleventh century, but are largely secured by means of well-accessible sources in Swabian archives. Historians, through the Neipperg-specific names of individuals Reinbot and Waramund, have a relationship with the lords of Massenbach, lords of Richen, and lords of Schwaigern. In Schwaigern a reinbot occurs at the beginning of the 13th century, 1241 a purebot in Neipperg (today a district of Brackenheim) is mentioned. A Waramund also appeared in Schwaiger and then in Neipperg, so that the sex was a side line of the noble gentlemen of Schwaiger, who then inherited the main line in the middle of the 13th century.In Neipperg the Neipperg castle is located on the Heidelberg, a southern outcrop of the Heuchelberg, which was first designed as a defensive, later a representative site, and is the name of the Neipperg Family. From the 13th century the village Neipperg developed as a surrounding Burgweiler. The Neipperg’s probably owned the castle as far back as the 13th century. The oldest documented fiefs are the brothers Wilhelm and Konrad von Neipperg, who were rejoiced by the Bishopric of Würzburg in 1304/06 with the castle and surrounding estates. In addition to the von Neipperg, other gentlemen had property and rights at Neipperg Castle. In 1321 an Engelhard von Weinsberg sold his share to the Counts of Wirtemberg, who, by the 1400s, gave the gentlemen of Gemmingen their part. In the 14th century, Meiser was once again the owner of a Burgan part, which was reclaimed in 1364 by Reinhard von Neipperg († 1377), who also took possession of the bailiwick in Schwaigern,  hich had previously been given to the gentlemen of Hirschhorn.Reinhard’s son, Eberhard I. († 1406), was able to increase his share of ownership in Neipperg, but he also attracted several fiefs in Schwaigern which had previously been given to various members of the family. While Reinhard, as a representative of Count Eberhard the Greiner, was still closely bound to Wiirtemberg, Eberhard I. was at the service of the Electoral Palatinate at the latest since 1383, and was in 1401 the plenipotentiary of King Ruprecht. The sons and grandsons of Eberhard I.received further fiefs and rights in the 14th and 15th centuries, including 1391 half the castle of Bönnigheim, 1412 castle and village Klingenberg, 1419 one third of tithing in Böckingen, 1431 the blood spell in Schwaigern and 1434 the town of Adelshofen. Eberhard I.’s son, Eberhard II., and his brother, Reinhard II, were able to protect the rights and claims of the family against the aspiring territorial powers of Baden and Wurttemberg as well as against the growing cities. During this time, Schwaigern became one of the headquarters of the family and family members of the company with the donkey. Eberhard’s son Diether  (1465)  together with his uncle Reinhard II (d. 1458), with his estate in Schatthausen, Baiertal, Dielheim, Adelshofen, Massenbachhausen, Schwaigern, Neipperg and Michelfeld  came under the protection of the Count Palatine Friedrich. Reinhard’s sons Wendel and Engelhard continued to expand their relations with the Palatinate, while their brother Hans and two of their cousins were on the Württemberg side. Wendel († 1480) and Engelhard († 1495) received the knighthood after the Battle of Seckenheim in 1462, in which they had fought on the side of Count Palatine Friedrich. Engelhard was 1460 Burgvogt in Heidelberg, 1472 Marshal of the Count Palatine Friedrich, 1476 Vicedom to Neustadt an der Haardt. He owned a quarter of the town of Bönnigheim, shares in Neipperg and Schwaigern as well as the whole town of Adelshofen and a multitude of other rights and goods. In 1478 he was involved in the reestablishment of the company with the donkey, which was temporarily not active under Friederich I. of the Palatinate. Because Wurttemberg was directly adjacent, and because family members of the family of Neipperg, which were largely subordinate to the Electoral Palatinate at that time, also held Wurttemberg fiefs, the relationship with the great neighbor was constantly strained. The Württembergische Landgraben, built by the Wuerttembergers from 1473 onwards, crossed Neipperg’s area. After Engelhard of Neipperg had remained childless, his possessions came to two sons of his cousin Diether: Eberhard IV and Wilhelm, who thereby united the entire family possessions, shared the legacy in 1497 and established the lines of Adelshofen and Schwaigern.

Line Adelshofen

Eberhard IV of Neipperg (1506) was a victim of Wurttemberg. After his death his sons Eberhard V  and Diether reached a new inheritance division  with their cousin Georg Wilhelm, so that the Adelshofen line owned the whole place Adelshofen  and half of Schwaigern. Eberhard V. and Diether had not only Wurttemberg but also Badenian fiefs, but they were on the side of Württemberg. Diether’s descendants were predominantly in Schwaigern. Georg as a churchyard in Schwaigern, later a canon in Worms. Eberhard’s son Ludwig carried out the Reformation in his territories in 1531.  Ludwigs cousins Hartmann († 1571) and Hans († 1591) led the family business in Schwaigern together with their cousins from the Schwaigern line. After the death of the sons of Hans in 1595/1602, their property fell to Ludwig’s sons in Adelshofen: Reinhard ( 1612) and Georg Wilhelm (1606). Although the Adelshofen line did not have a significant external influence and was predominantly concerned with the administration of its property, Georg Wilhelm’s grandson Philipp Ludwig († 1685) was elected director of the knight canton Kraichgau in 1659. He and his children had close connections with the court of Württemberg. With the violent death of his son Bernhard von Neipperg, the Adelshofen became extinct in the male line in 1708.

Line Schwaigern 

Wilhelm of Neipperg ( 1498) was a courtmaster at the Margrave of Baden in 1452, he took part in the Battle of Seckenheim on the Wuerttemberg-Baden side in 1462, and later became court governor of Baden, and later also of the Wurttemberg court. His son Georg Wilhelm ( 1520) was a Burggrave of Starkenburg in 1503, but after his defeat in the Bavarian-Palatinate War of Succession in 1504 he returned to Wurttemberg, was the Würzburg Obervogt in the Zabergäu, and confidant of Duke Ulrich. From 1514, Georg Wilhelm had considerably extended the town church of Schwaigern. In the church near the castle in Schwaigern was the traditional burial place of the Neipperger, there have to today still around 30 historical tombstones of the family received. On Georg Wilhelm’s son Wolf († 1533) presumably the first impulses to the Reformation in Schwaigern.  In 1550, Ludwig’s son, Philipp I. (d. 1581), secured a continuation of the Reformation in Schwaigern through a comparison with the Worms cathedrallord  Georg († 1557) from the Adelshofen line. Under Philip’s sons Engelhard and Philip II the line Schwaigern branched out at short notice. Engelhard († 1600) received the castle Streichenberg, shares in Neipperg with Stebbach and Massenbachhausen. Engelhard took his seat on Streichenberg, but the castle was given to the electoral Palatinate before 1600. His sons, who were still minor in his death, continued the side line, but died before 1649 without children. Philip II († 1595) stood in the Schwaigerner Mainline. He no longer entered into any domineering services, but administered exclusively his own rule, which intensified the disputes with Wurttemberg. His sons, Ludwig Christoph († 1635) and Bernhard († 1622) were still young at his death and were under guardianship until 1615. The guardians were able to purchase goods from other family lines and branches to supply the siblings, since the property owner  Ludwig Christoph continued the family line; he, too, presumably abstained from services for foreign landlords. Ludwig Christoph’s sons Bernhard Ludwig (1619-1672), Eberhard Wilhelm (1624-1672) and Friedrich Dietrich (1626-1680) were still under the age when their father died  during the Thirty Years War. During the war fiefs had also been confiscated and goods were otherwise lost. It was only after the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, which reestablished the conditions of pre-war relations, that the economic foundation of the family was restored. In 1652, the three brothers shared the paternal inheritance. Each of the brothers founded their own family line. Bernhard Ludwig received the Klingenberg goods, but at his death in 1672 he had only two female descendants. Eberhard Wilhelm continued the line and thus became the patron of the present line, but also died in 1672, so that the third brother, Friedrich Dietrich, was the head of the family until his own death in 1680. He gained new fiefs and rights by his proximity to the Württemberg court, but his own family line already extinguished his son Johann Philipp Adam in 1690. Eberhard Ludwig’s son Eberhard Friedrich (1655-1725) was raised to the a Barone of the Empire ()Reichsfreiherrenstand) in 1672. From 1689 he was Obervogt von Blaubeuren, an imperial army commander against the French, advancing from Heidelberg to Heilbronn in 1693, later fought against the rebellious Hungarians and became 1710 commander-in-chief of Philippsburg. He was also a member of the Habsburg service and in 1717 became a Habsburg general-field marshal. Kraichgau. Under his rule, the family seat of the Neipperg family was moved from 1702 to the Schwaigern Castle, where he also acquired extensive land ownership from 1699 to 1719. His son  son Wilhelm Reinhard (1684-1774) was the educator and confidant of the later emperor Franz I and was raised on 05..02.1726 by Emperor Karl  VI. to a Count of the Empire (Reichsgrafenstand). Due to his Austrian service, the family became again  catholic presumably  in 1717. He became governor of Luxembourg and the county of Chiny in 1730 and won high military awards.  He and his descendants were given seat and voice in the Swabian Count College in 1766. Since the center of his activity was located in Vienna, he acquired a representative palace near the church of Schotten. His daughter Maria Wilhelmina became a mistress of Emperor Franz I.  His  son Leopold (1728-1792) was a chamberlain and Reichshofshof in Vienna, he was on diplomatic missions at various European courts, and by this expensive activity from the 1760s brought about a long-lasting financial miseries of the house Neipperg, which in 1782 nearly led to an administration under compuilsio  His three sons Joseph, Carl Vinzenz Hieronymus  and Adam Albert, concluded a family contract in 1798, regulating the repayment of debts during the course of the nineteenth century.
In 1806, the county of Schwaigern was abolished, and large parts of it reached Wurttemberg as a result of the mediatisation. In 1815 the Neipperg family was placed under the sovereignty of the Kingdomof Württemberg. In a declaration of 1819 it was stated: “The house of Neipperg maintains the equality as it has hitherto brought, and is counted to the high nobility.” In a decree of 1829, it is proclaimed that the family head is entitled to the styl of “llustrious Highness”. Due to the military and subsequent political changes of the early 19th century, the importance of the Neipperg in the ancestral areas in southwest Germany decreased. In the service of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, however, they expanded their social position by Erwin von Neipperg (1813-1897), an Austrian general of the infantry, and by Adam Albert von Neipperg (1775-1829). In 1815, at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Adam Albert represented the interests of Marie-Louise of Austria, the wife of the Emperor of the French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, who owned the Duchy of Parma, and in married him 1821 after the death of Adam Albert’s first wife, him in a morganatic marriage. His oldest Alfred continued the lineage of Neipperg. His father’s descendants from the connection with Marie-Louise of Austria, two daughters, and the son Wilhelm Albrecht of Montenuovo (1819 or 1821 to 1895) were raised by their grandfather, Emperor Franz Joseph, as Prince Montenuovo, The name is a translation from Neuberg into Italian. Wilhelm Albrecht of Montenuovo and his son Alfred von Montenuovo (1854-1927) remained until the end of 1918 at the end of the First World War in the service of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. They were officers of the army and were in the imperial court service. In 1951 this branch became extinct in the male line-.
In 1831 King Wilhelm I of Württemberg, gave the the founder of the main line, Adam Albert’s eldest son Alfred von Neipperg together with his brothers, the village of Schwaigern with accessories, Neipperg, huntinggrounds in Kleingartach, Bönnigheim and Erligheim as well as goods in Schwaigern and forest near Neipperg. In 1833, he and his brothers concluded a family contract on the succession, which assigns the whole property to the first-born son. Both Alfred and his three younger brothers Ferdinand, Gustav) and Erwin von Neipperg  were in Austrian service. Erwin, in particular, earned high military awards and led the family business after 1850 for his ill brother Alfred, who had been married to Princess Marie of Württemberg since 1840. Since Alfred remained childless, Erwin and his son Reinhard  continued the family line. Reinhard had only a comparatively short military career. From 1881 to 1890, he was a Reichstag deputy, and important conversions to the castle and rent office in Schwaigern around 1900 were made.
  His successort ewas his younger son Anton Ernst who  was first in Prussian service, and in the First World War he achieved the rank of a captain before he left the military service to devote himself to the administration of the family goods, which caused some difficulties in the economic times of the 1920s and 1930s.  His eldest son Karl Reinhard fell in Russia in 1941, so the second son, Joseph Hubert, inherited the family estate. Count Joseph Hubert  was an officer of the Afrikakorps in the Second World War. Due to the land reform he lost 173 hectares of arable land shortly after the beginning of his legacy in 1947 and thus about half of his estate. He took on numerous functions in business and society. For many years, he was a member of the supervisory board of the Südwestbank and chaired the working group of German landowners’ associations as well as the society for agricultural history. In addition, he devoted himself intensively to the management of his goods, in particular the viticulture.The family, which already exported wines to Vienna in the 18th century, is said to have introduced Lvov from Austria. Several historic vineyards were developed by the Neipperger, for example the Schwaigerner Grafenberg at the Heuchelberg or the location Am Hasenbusch in 1575 by Philip von Neipperg. Today, the counts of Neipperg have wine cellars in Schwaigern, Klingenberg and Neipperg in the Württemberg wine-growing region. On the almost 30 hectares of the wine-growing area of the house, the Lemberger grape variety is the most common, with a 26 percent share of the area, followed by the Riesling with 20 percent. Joseph Hubert von Neipperg also purchased the French wine cellars Château Canon-La Gaffelière (20 hectares), Clos de l’Oratoire (10.5 hectares), Chateau Peyraud (14.5 hectares) and Château La Mondotte (4.5 hectares) In Saint-Émilion, which since 1984 have been managed by his son Stephan-Christoph von Neipperg Together with other winemakers Stephan-Christoph 2006 also took over the Château Guiraud.Joseph Hubert’s eldest son Hereditary Karl-Eugen Erbgraf took over the administration of the property in and around Schwaigern, is a member of the district council of Heilbronn. He is married to Archduchess Andrea of Austria, the oldest daughter of the late Archduke Otto.

Counts of Neipperg
1726-1774 Wilhelm Reinhard
married to Countess Maria Franzsika Theese of Khevenhüller zu Aichelberg
1774-1792 Leop0old
married first to Countess Maria Franziska Eugenie of Königsegg-Rothenfels-Erp
married second to Countess Maria Wilhelmine of Althann
married third to Countess Marie Luise of Hatzfeldt-Wildenburg
married fourth to Countess Bernhardine Josepha Friederike of Wiser
1792-1829 Adam Albert
married first to Countess Theresia Polla
married second Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria
1829-1865 Alfred
married first to Countess Josefine Grisoni
married second to Princess Marie of Württemberg
1865-1897 Erwin
married first to Countess Henriette of Waldstein, Herrin of Wartenberg
married second to Princess Rosa of Lobkowicz
1897-1919 Reinhard
married to Countess Gabrielle of Waldstein, Herrin of Wartenberg
1919-1947 Anton Ernst
married to Countess Anna of SilvaTaruca
1947-    Joseph Hubert
married first to Countess Maria of Ledebur-Wicheln
married second to Princess Therese zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst

HIlH Count Joseph Hubert and HSH Countess Therese
HIlH Hereditary Count Karl Eugen and HI & RH
Hereditary Countess Andrea

One thought on “mediatized Houses: The Comital House of Neipperg

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s