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Principality of Lippe
Fürstentum Lippe
Flag of Lippe
Coat of arms of Lippe
Coat of arms
The Principality of Lippe within the German Empire
The Principality of Lippe within the German Empire
StatusState of the Holy Roman Empire
State of the Confederation of the Rhine
State of the German Confederation
State of the North German Confederation
Federated State of the German Empire
Common languagesWest Low German
Church of Lippe
• 1789–1802
Leopold I (first)
• 1905–1918
Leopold IV (last)
• Established
• Raised to County
• Raised to Principality
• German Revolution
12 November 1918
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Duchy of Saxony
Duchy of Saxony
Free State of Lippe
Terms of various things in Lippisch dialect compared to Standard German
Terms of various things in Lippisch dialect compared to Standard German

Lippe (later Lippe-Detmold and then again Lippe) was a historical state in Germany, ruled by the House of Lippe. It was located between the Weser river and the southeast part of the Teutoburg Forest.

It was founded in the 1640s under a separate branch of the House of Lippe. In 1910 it had an area of 1215 Kmq and over 150,000 inhabitants.


The founder of what would become the County of Lippe (1528–1789), then the Principality of Lippe (1789–1918) was Bernhard I, who received a grant of territory from Lothair III in 1123. Bernhard I assumed the title of Edler Herr zu Lippe ("Noble Lord at Lippe"). The history of the dynasty and its further acquisitions of land really began with Bernard II. His territory was probably formed out of land he acquired on the destruction of the Duchy of Saxony following the demise of Henry the Lion in 1180. From 1196 to 1666 the descendants of Bernard II passed their holdings from father to sons for sixteen generations. Thereafter until 1905, a collateral branch passed Lippe from father to sons for eight generations. A distant relation then became the last ruler until the Revolution of 1918 when Lippe became the Free State of Lippe.[1] Simon V was the first ruler of Lippe to style himself as a count (Graf) in 1528.[2]

Following the death of Simon VI in 1613, the county was partitioned between his three sons; Lippe-Detmold went to Simon VII, Lippe-Brake to Otto and Lippe-Alverdissen went to Philip I. The county of Lippe-Brake was reunited with the main Detmold line in 1709. A son of Simon VII, Jobst Herman, founded another branch of the family, the Lippe-Biesterfeld line;[2] the Lippe-Weissenfeld branch later separated from the Lippe-Biesterfelds. Both Lippe-Biesterfeld and Lippe-Weissenfeld were paragiums (non-sovereign estates of a cadet-branch) within the County of Lippe, and both branches, owning only modest manor houses in the county, acquired property in other states by marriage and moved out of the county in the late 18th century, the Biesterfeld branch to the Rhineland and the Weissenfeld branch to Saxony.

The Counts of Lippe-Detmold were granted the title of Imperial prince in 1789.[2]

Shortly after becoming a member state of the German Empire in 1871, the Lippe-Detmold line died out on 20 July 1895. This resulted in an inheritance dispute between the neighbouring principality of Schaumburg-Lippe and the Lippe-Biesterfeld line. The dispute was resolved by the Imperial Court in Leipzig in 1905, with the lands passing to the Lippe-Biesterfeld line who, until this point, had no territorial sovereignty.[2]

The Principality of Lippe came to an end on 12 November 1918 with the abdication of Leopold IV, with Lippe becoming a Free State. In 1947, Lippe merged into the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The princely family still owns the estate and Fürstliches Residenzschloss [de] in Detmold.[3]

County of Lippe, late 18th century.jpg
Lippe and neighbouring states
in the late 18th century
Lippe in 1918

Rulers of Lippe

House of Lippe

Partitions of Lippe under Lippe rule

County of Sternberg
pleged by the
Counts of Holstein (1400)
Lordship of Lippe
Lordship promoted to
County of Lippe
County of

County of

Lippe-Alverdissen line
from 1777
County of

County of

County of

County of


County promoted to
Principality of

       County of

County promoted to
Principality of

County promoted to
Principality of Lippe
Lippe-Biesterfeld line
from 1905

Table of rulers

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Bernard I c.1090 1123-1158 1158 Lordship of Lippe Unknown
at least one child
First recorded lord of Lippe, and possible founder of the family.
Herman I ? 1158-1167 1167 Lordship of Lippe Unknown
at least two children
Grandson of the previous lord.
Bernard II
Statue Bernhard II..JPG
1140 1167-1196 1224 Lordship of Lippe Heilwig of Are-Hochstaden
eleven children
Brother of the previous. Also Lord of Rheda. Abdicated to become an abbot at the Latvian monastery of Daugavgrīva. Eventually he was appointed Bishop at Sēlija in 1218.
Herman II 1175 1196-1229 25 December 1229 Lordship of Lippe Oda of Tecklenburg
(1180-5 April 1221)
seven children
Less warlike than his predecessors.
Bernard III 1194 1229-1265 1265 Lordship of Lippe Sophia of Cuijck-Arnsberg
five children

Sophie of Ravensberg-Vechta
four children
Bernard IV c.1230 1265-1275 June 1275 Lordship of Lippe
(at Horn)
Agnes of Clèves
(1232-1 August 1285)
two children
Sons of Bernard III, disputed the inheritance and briefly divided the lordship: Bernard kept Horn and the eastern part of the land; Herman received Lippstadt, Rheda and the western part.
Herman III 1233 1265-1274 3 October 1274 Lordship of Lippe
(at Lippstadt)
Simon I 1261 1274/75-1344 3 August 1344 Lordship of Lippe Adelaide of Waldeck
24 November 1276
eleven children
Reunited the lordship, but it would be once more divided between his children.
Simon II c.1280/1300? 1334 1334 Lordship of Lippe Unmarried His situation is not very clear. Despite dying before his father, he is stated as co-ruling with his brothers below.
Bernard V c.1290 1344-1364 1364 Lordship of Lippe
(at Rheda)
Richardis of the Mark
16 October 1344
four children
Sons of Simon I, after the death of their brother Simon not long after their father, the surviving brothers briefly divided the lordship: Bernard kept Rheda and Otto received Lemgo, Rheda
Lemgo - 2014-10-18 - St Marien - Otto+Ermgard (3).jpg
1300 1344-1360 January 1360 Lordship of Lippe
(at Lemgo)
Irmgard of the Mark
(c.1300-1 August 1362)
4 March 1323
five children
Simon III 1340 1360/64-1410 1410 Lordship of Lippe Irmgard of Hoya
ten children
Reunited the lands of Lippe once more.
Bernard VI 1363 1410-1415 19 January 1415 Lordship of Lippe Margaret of Waldeck-Landau
(1363-21 February 1395)
28 June 1393
no children

Elisabeth of Mörs-Saarwerden
11 May 1403
four children
Simon IV 1404 1415-1429 11 August 1429 Lordship of Lippe Margaret of Brunswick-Grubenhagen
(1411-31 October 1456)
five children
Regencies of Otto of Lippe (1429-1433) and Dietrich II, Archbishop of Cologne (1433-1446) Holds the record of the longest rule in history. Lord since he was less than one year old, he became known as having been involved in many feuds.
Bernard VII the Bellicose

Bernhard VII. (Lippe).jpg
4 December 1428 1429-1511 2 April 1511 Lordship of Lippe Anna of Holstein-Pinneberg
(1428-23 September 1495)
15 September 1443
seven children
Simon V
Simon V. (Lippe).jpg
1471 1511-1536 17 September 1536 Lordship of Lippe
(until 1528)
County of Lippe
(from 1528)
Walpurgis of Bronckhorst
(d.21 December 1522)
27 March 1490
one child

Magdalena of Mansfeld-Mittelort
(c.1500-22 September 1540)
16 March 1524
four children
During his rule, the Lordship was elevated to a County.
Regencies of Philip I, Landgrave of Hesse (1536-1547), Jobst II, Count of Hoya (1536-1545) and Adolphus XIII, Count of Holstein-Pinneberg (1536-1544) Sons of Simon V, both were minors by the time their father died. Bernard kept Lippe and Herman Simon received the feudal land of Sternberg. Herman Simon would become regent of his nephew, Simon VI.
Bernard VIII
Bernhard VIII. (Lippe).jpg
6 December 1527 1536-1563 15 April 1563 County of Lippe Catherine of Waldeck-Eisenberg
five children
Herman Simon 1532 1532-1576 4 June 1576 County of Lippe-Sternberg Ursula of Spiegelberg-Pyrmont
(1526-16 March 1583)
18 May 1558
two children
Regency of Herman Simon, Count of Lippe-Sternberg (1563-1576) His marriage brought the county of Schaumburg (one of the last feuds of the counts of Holstein) into the family's domains. After Simon's death, the county entered into a more permanent division.
Simon VI
Simon VI. (Lippe).jpg
15 April 1554 1563-1613 7 December 1613 County of Lippe Armgard, Countess of Rietberg
no children

Elisabeth of Holstein-Pinneberg
ten children
Regency of Ursula of Spiegelberg-Pyrmont (1576-1578) His early and childless death brought Sternberg once again under Lippe control.
Philip 5 October 1560 1576-1583 11 February 1583 County of Lippe-Sternberg Unmarried
Annexation to Lippe
Simon VII 30 December 1587 1613-1627 26 March 1627 County of Lippe-Detmold Anna Catharina of Nassau-Wiesbaden-Idstein
(4 December 1590 - 6 January 1622)
6 May 1607
twelve children

Maria Magdalena of Waldeck-Wildungen
(27 April 1606 - 28 May 1671)
27 April 1623
three children
Sons of Simon VI, divided the county once more. Simon kept his capital at Detmold; Otto received Brake, and Philip, Alverdissen. Following the annexation of the county of Schauenburg after the extinction of the House of Schauenburg in 1640 (the Lippes were heirs through the mother of the last count), Philip joined this new county to his inheritance.
Otto von Lippe-Brake.jpg
21 September 1589 1613-1657 18 November 1657 County of Lippe-Brake Margaret of Nassau-Dillenburg
(5 September 1606 - 30 January 1661)
30 October 1626
twelve children
Philip I
Philipp I of Schaumburg-Lippe.jpg
18 July 1601 1613-1681 10 April 1681 County of Lippe-Alverdissen
(until 1640)
County of Schaumburg-Lippe
(from 1640)
Sophie of Hesse-Kassel
13 October 1644
ten children
Regency of Christian, Count of Waldeck-Pyrmont (1627-1631) Sons of Simon VII, and both minors. Simon Louis kept Detmold, under his step-grandfather, the Count of Waldeck-Pyrmont, and his half-brother received Biesterfeld, under his own mother's regency.
Simon Louis 14 March 1610 1627-1636 8 August 1636 County of Lippe-Detmold Catherine of Waldeck-Wildungen
(20 October 1612 - 24 November 1649)
19 June 1631
three children
Regency of Maria Magdalena of Waldeck-Pyrmont (1627-1654)
Jobst Herman 9 February 1625 1627-1678 6 July 1678 Lordship of Lippe-Biesterfeld
(at Schwalenberg until 1654; at Biesterfeld since 1654)
Juliane Elisabeth of Sayn-Wittgenstein
(4 October 1634 - 23 June 1689)
10 October 1654
twenty children
Regencies of Christian, Count of Waldeck-Pyrmont (1636-1637) and Catherine of Waldeck-Wildungen (1637-1650) Died with no descendants. The county fell to his uncle.
Simon Philip 6 April 1632 1636-1650 19 June 1650 County of Lippe-Detmold Unmarried
John Bernard
Lippe, Johann Bernhard zur.jpeg
18 October 1613 1650-1652 10 June 1652 County of Lippe-Detmold Unmarried Brother of Simon Louis, also had no descendants.
Herman Adolphus
Hermann Adolf zur Lippe.jpg
31 January 1616 1652-1666 10 October 1666 County of Lippe-Detmold Ernestina von Isenburg-Büdingen-Birstein
(9 February 1614 - 5 December 1665)
four children

Amalia of Lippe-Brake
(20 September 1629 - 19 August 1676)
27 February 1666
no children
Brother of the previous.
Casimir zu Lippe-Brake.jpg
22 July 1627 1657-1692 12 March 1700 County of Lippe-Brake Anna Amalia of Sayn-Wittgenstein-Homburg
(6 December 1641 - 27 March 1685)
28 May 1663
nine children
In 1692, he abdicated to his eldest son.
Simon Henry
Lippe, Simon Heinrich zur.jpeg
13 March 1649 1666-1697 2 May 1697 County of Lippe-Detmold Amalia of Dohna-Vianen
(2 February 1644 - 11 March 1700)
15 December 1666
The Hague
sixteen children
Regency of Juliane Elisabeth of Sayn-Wittgenstein (1678-1689)
Rudolph Ferdinand 17 March 1671 1678-1736 12 July 1736 Lordship of Lippe-Biesterfeld Juliana Louisa von Kunowitz
(21 August 1671 - 21 October 1741)
22 February 1705
eight children
Frederick Christian
Friedrich Christian of Schaumburg-Lippe.jpg
16 August 1655 1681-1728 13 June 1728 County of Schaumburg-Lippe Joanna Sophia of Hohenlohe-Langenburg
4 January 1691
(annulled 1723)
six children
Sons of Philip I, divided their inheritance: Frederick Christian kept Schaumburg, and Philip Ernest received Alverdissen (the land of his father prior to the inheritance of the County of Schaumburg).
Philip Ernest I
20 December 1659 1681-1723 27 November 1723 County of Lippe-Alverdissen Dorothea Amalia of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Beck
31 December 1686
seven children
Rudolph 10 May 1664 1692-1707 27 October 1707 County of Lippe-Brake Dorothea Elisabeth of Waldeck-Wildungen
(6 July 1661 - 23 July 1702)
4 November 1691
one child
Left no surviving descendants. The county passed to his cousin.
Frederick Adolphus
2 September 1667 1697-1718 18 July 1718 County of Lippe-Detmold Joanna Elizabeth of Nassau-Dillenburg-Schaumburg
(5 September 1663 - 8 February 1700)
16 June 1692
six children

Amalia of Solms-Hohensolms
(13 October 1678 - 14 February 1746)
8 June 1700
seven children
Louis Ferdinand 27 September 1680 1707-1709 21 February 1709 County of Lippe-Brake Unmarried Son of Frederick, a younger brother of Casimir. After his childless death Brake reverted to Lippe.
Annexation to Lippe
Simon Henry Adolphus
Simon Heinrich Adolf zur Lippe.jpg
15 April 1554 1718-1734 7 December 1613 County of Lippe-Detmold Johanetta Wilhelmina of Nassau-Idstein
(14 September 1700 - 2 June 1756)16 October 1719
eleven children
Frederick Ernest 20 December 1694 1723-1749 28 August 1749 County of Lippe-Alverdissen Elisabeth Philippine von Friesenhausen
(19 August 1696 - 4 August 1764)
27 September 1722
eleven children
Albert Wolfgang
Albert Wolfgang von Lippe Schaumburg Buckeburg (1699-1748).jpg
27 April 1699 1728-1748 24 September 1648 County of Schaumburg-Lippe Margarete Gertrud of Oeynhausen
(9 April 1698 - 8 April 1726)
30 October 1721
two children

Charlotte Frederica of Nassau-Siegen
(30 November 1702 - 22 July 1785)
26 April 1730
no children
Regency of Johanetta Wilhelmina of Nassau-Idstein (1734-1747)
Simon Augustus
Simon August Graf zur Lippe (cropped).jpg
12 June 1727 1734-1782 1 May 1782 County of Lippe-Detmold Polyxena Louise of Nassau-Weilburg
(27 January 1733 - 27 September 1764)
24 August 1750
one child

Maria Leopoldine of Anhalt-Dessau
28 September 1765
one child

Casimire of Anhalt-Dessau
9 November 1769
one child

Christine of Solms-Braunfels
(30 August 1744 - 16 December 1823)
26 March 1780
no children
Frederick Charles Augustus 20 January 1706 1736-1781 31 July 1781 Lordship of Lippe-Biesterfeld
(until 1762)
County of Lippe-Biesterfeld
(until 1762)
Barbara Eleonora of Solms-Baruth
(30 October 1707 - 16 June 1744)
7 May 1732
eight children
Sons of Rudolph Ferdinand. Frederick Charles ascended after his father's death, and, during his rule, the Lordship was elevated to a County. In this same year (1762), he gave Weissenfelf to his brother Ferdinand Louis.
Ferdinand I Louis 22 August 1709 1762-1787 18 January 1787 County of Lippe-Weissenfeld Ernestine Henriette of Solms-Baruth
(23 May 1712 - 17 November 1769)
2 November 1736
nine children
Wilhelm (Schaumburg-Lippe).jpg
9 January 1724 1748-1777 10 September 1777 County of Schaumburg-Lippe Maria Barbara Eleonore of Lippe-Biesterfeld
12 November 1765
two children
Left no surviving descendants. The county passed to his cousin from the Alverdissen line.
Philip II Ernest II
Philipp II of Schaumburg-Lippe.jpg
5 July 1720 1749-1777 13 February 1787 County of Lippe-Alverdissen Ernestine Albertine of Saxe-Weimar
6 May 1756
four children

Juliane of Hesse-Philippsthal
10 October 1780
four children
After the death of the last male representative of the Schaumburg-Lippe line, he assumed the reins of this County, probably even merging his own with the recently acquired property.
1777-1787 County of Schaumburg-Lippe
Annexation to Schaumburg-Lippe
Charles Ernest Casimir 2 November 1735 1781-1810 19 November 1810 County of Lippe-Biesterfeld Ferdinanda Henrietta Dorothea of Bentheim-Tecklenburg
(24 August 1737 - 23 April 1779)
16 October 1769
five children
Regency of Louis Henry Adolph of Lippe-Detmold (1782-1789) During his rule, the County was elevated to a Principality.
Leopold I
Leopold I. Fürst zur Lippe.jpg
2 December 1767 1782-1802 4 April 1802 County of Lippe-Detmold
(until 1789)
Principality of Lippe
(from 1789)
Pauline Christine of Anhalt-Bernburg
2 January 1796
two children
Regency of Juliane of Hesse-Philippsthal (1787-1820) During his rule, the County was elevated to a Principality.
George William
Georg Wilhelm of Schaumburg-Lippe.jpg
20 December 1784 1787-1860 21 November 1860 County of Schaumburg-Lippe
(until 1807)
Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe
(from 1807)
Ida of Waldeck-Pyrmont
23 June 1816
nine children
Frederick John Louis 2 September 1737 1787-1791 14 May 1791 County of Lippe-Weissenfeld Maria Eleonora von Gersdorf
(1 September 1752 - 3 December 1772)
21 February 1772
one child

Wilhelmina von Hoenthal
(19 February 1748 - 8 December 1789)
28 August 1775
five children
Ferdinand II 20 November 1772 1791-1846 21 June 1846 County of Lippe-Weissenfeld Eleonora Gustava von Thermo
(19 October 1789 - 23 February 1868)
23 November 1804
seven children
Regency of Pauline Christine of Anhalt-Bernburg (1802-1820)
Leopold II
6 November 1796 1802-1851 1 January 1851 Principality of Lippe Emilia Frederica of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen
(23 April 1800 - 2 April 1867)
23 April 1820
nine children
William Ernest
Wilhelm Ernst Graf zur Lippe-Biesterfeld.jpg
15 April 1777 1810-1840 8 January 1840 County of Lippe-Biesterfeld Dorothea Christina Modesta von Umru
(29 April 1781 - 29 September 1854)
26 July 1803
nine children
Julius 2 April 1812 1840-1884 17 May 1884 County of Lippe-Biesterfeld Adelaide Clotilda Augusta of Kastell-Kastell
(18 June 1818 - 11 July 1900)
30 April 1839
fourteen children
Gustav 21 August 1805 1846-1882 17 June 1882 County of Lippe-Weissenfeld Ida of Lippe-Weissenfeld
(16 January 1819 - 18 March 1878)
21 August 1848
seven children
Leopold III
1 September 1821 1851-1875 8 December 1875 Principality of Lippe Elisabeth of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt
(1 October 1833 - 27 November 1896)
17 April 1852
no children
Left no descendants. The principality fell to his brother.
Adolphus I
Adolf I of Schaumburg-Lippe.jpg
1 August 1817 1860-1893 8 May 1893 Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe Hermine of Waldeck-Pyrmont
25 October 1844
three children
Woldemar of Lippe.jpg
18 April 1824 1875-1895 20 March 1895 Principality of Lippe Sophie of Baden
9 November 1858
no children
Left no descendants. The principality fell to his brother.
Ferdinand III 6 October 1844 1882-1900 11 April 1900 County of Lippe-Weissenfeld Margarete von Winterfeld
(17 September 1858 - 11 July 1903)
no children
Left no children. The county passed to his cousin, Clemens.
Lippe-Biesterfeld, Ernst von.jpg
9 June 1842 1884-1904 26 September 1904 County of Lippe-Biesterfeld Karoline of Wartensleben
16 September 1869
Neudorf[disambiguation needed]
six children
Held regency to the Principality of Lippe due to the mental illness of his relative and actual prince, Alexander.
Georg (Schaumburg-Lippe).jpg
10 October 1846 1893-1911 29 April 1911 Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe Marie Anne of Saxe-Altenburg
16 April 1882
nine children
Regencies of Ernest, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld (1895-1904) and Leopold, Count of Lippe-Biesterfeld (1904-1905) Had a mental illness, so he never fully assumed he reins of the principality, which was assumed by his cousin from the Lippe-Biesterfeld line. After his death, his regent became the new prince.
Alexander zur Lippe.jpg
16 January 1831 1895-1905 13 January 1905 Principality of Lippe Unmarried
Clemens 15 July 1860 1900-1918 29 April 1920 County of Lippe-Weissenfeld
(until 1916)
Principality of Lippe-Weissenfeld
(from 1916)
Friederike von Carlowitz
7 January 1901
two children
Grandson of Christian, a brother of Ferdinand II. In 1918, he abdicated following the dissolution of the monarchy.
Leopold IV
Porträt der Fürst Leopold IV von Lippe.png
30 May 1871 1904-1905 30 December 1949 County of Lippe-Biesterfeld Bertha of Hesse-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
(25 October 1874 - 19 February 1919)
16 August 1901
five children

Anna of Ysenburg and Büdingen
16 April 1922
one child
From the Lippe-Biesterfeld line. After the death of the last male representative of the Lippe-Detmold line, he assumed the reins of the Principality of Lippe, probably even merging his own county with the recently acquired principality. In 1918, he abdicated following the dissolution of the monarchy. In addition to being pro Nazis, both his eldest sons (Ernst and Chlodwig) had contracted unequal marriages. So in 1947, when Leopold wrote his will, Armin, his youngest son and only child with his second wife, would succeed him as head of the House of Lippe. One of Leopold's nephews, Bernhard, became the consort of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands.
1905-1918 Principality of Lippe
Annexation to Lippe
Adolphus II
Adolf II, Prince of Schaumburg-Lippe c1917.jpg
23 February 1883 1911-1918 26 March 1936 Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe Ellen Bischoff-Korthaus
(6 November 1894 - 26 March 1936)
10 January 1920
no children
In 1918, he abdicated following the dissolution of the monarchy. Died in a plane crash.

Line of succession

See also


  1. ^ G. Benecke, Society and Politics in Germany, 1500–1750, Routletge & Kegan Paul Ltd, 1974, p. 41.
  2. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911, p. 740.
  3. ^ "Wo Deutschland fast noch eine Monarchie ist" by Andreas Fasel, Die Welt, 25 December 2015 (in German)



Further reading