County of Schaumburg
Grafschaft Schaumburg
Coat of arms of Schaumburg
Coat of arms
County of Schaumburg about 1560
County of Schaumburg about 1560
StatusState of the Holy Roman Empire
Common languagesNorthern Low Saxon
Historical eraMiddle Ages
• Established
• Partitioned to create
    remainder to Hesse-Kassel (or Hesse-Cassel)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony Duchy of Saxony
Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
Landgraviate of Hesse-Kassel

The County of Schaumburg (German: Grafschaft Schaumburg), until ca. 1485 known as Schauenburg, was a state of the Holy Roman Empire, located in the present German state of Lower Saxony. Its territory was more or less congruent with the present district Landkreis Schaumburg.


Schaumburg Castle photographed in 2009.

Schaumburg originated as a medieval county, which was founded at the beginning of the 12th century. It was named after Schauenburg Castle, near Rinteln on the Weser, where the owners started calling themselves Lords (from 1295 Counts) of Schauenburg. Adolf I probably became the first Lord of Schauenburg in 1106.

Nettle leaf ancestral coat of arms of the Counts of Schaumburg

In 1110, Adolf I, Lord of Schauenburg was appointed by Lothair, Duke of Saxony to hold Holstein and Stormarn, including Hamburg, as fiefs.[1] Subsequently, the House of Schaumburg were also counts of Holstein and its partitions Holstein-Itzehoe, Holstein-Kiel, Holstein-Pinneberg (until 1640), Holstein-Plön, Holstein-Segeberg and Holstein-Rendsburg (until 1460) and through the latter at times also the dukes of Schleswig.

Count Adolf IV was an active ruler and founded the cities of Stadthagen and Rinteln.

From 1500 the County of Schaumburg belonged to the Lower Rhenish-Westphalian Circle of the Holy Roman Empire.

Historic map of the County of Schaumburg from 1789 – showing both the Schaumburg-Lippe and the Hessian parts.

After the childless death in 1640 of Count Otto V, the House of Schaumburg became extinct. The County of Holstein-Pinneberg was merged with the Duchy of Holstein. The County of Schaumburg proper was partitioned among the agnatic Schaumburg heirs into three parts, one incorporated into the ducal Brunswick and Lunenburgian Principality of Lüneburg, the largest portion becoming the County of Schaumburg-Lippe, and the eastern territory continuing the name County of Schaumburg (Grafschaft Schaumburg hessischen Anteils, 'County of Schaumburg Hessian portion'), ruled in personal union by Hesse-Cassel. Even after the Prussian annexation of both Hanover (the successor to Brunswick-Lüneburg) and Electoral Hesse (the successor to Hesse-Cassel) the Hessian part remained an exclave of the Province of Hesse-Nassau until it was transferred to the Province of Hanover in 1932. All three are now part of the state of Lower Saxony.

When the District of Schaumburg (Landkreis Schaumburg) was formed in middle Lower Saxony in 1977, it chose to use a coat of arms derived from the ancient arms of the Counts of Schaumberg.

Landkreis Schaumburg coat of arms.

Counts of Schauenburg

Further information: Counts of Schauenburg and Holstein

See also



  1. ^ Lemma Schauenburg/Schaumburg. In: Klaus-Joachim Lorenzen-Schmidt, Ortwin Pelc (Hrsg.): Schleswig-Holstein Lexikon. 2. Aufl., Wachholtz, Neumünster, 2006.

52°15′00″N 9°10′12″E / 52.2500°N 9.1700°E / 52.2500; 9.1700