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Lüneburg War



French Rule



Saxon Horse


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In 1267/9 the principality of Lüneburg was created through the division by inheritance of the Duchy of Braunschweig-Lüneburg, which had its residence in Lüneburg until 1371, which until 1639 held a special position within the principality similar to a free imperial city.

Until the middle of the 14th century, the duchy formed a closed rulership between the Elbe, Weser, Altmark and the Hochstifte Hildesheim and Verden (Burg Hallermund 1282, Grafschaft Wölpe 1302, Grafschaft Dannenberg 1303, Grafschaft Lüchow 1320, half of the Grafschaft Hallermunt 1366). In 1369 the male line died out.

In the War of Succession in Lüneburg, the Göttingen line of the old house in Braunschweig prevailed against the Dukes of Saxony-Wittenberg, who were enfeoffed by Emperor Charles IV of the pricipality but had to move their residence to Celle after the city of Lüneburg had captured the stronghold of the  Kalkberg from the duke in a revolt in 1371.

1400-1409 Lüneburg belonged to the main line of Braunschweig. In 1409/28, the Middle House of Lüneburg was created., to which the Principality of Lüneburg was assigned. In 1443 it lost a part of the counties Everstein and Homburg as a pledge to the Hildesheim Hochstift. From the sons of Duke Henry the Middle, who abdicated in 1520, Otto founded the Harburg line (1527-1642) and Franz the Gifhorn line (until 1549) while Ernst the Confessor continued the main line. From it, under Ernst's third son Heinrich, the line of Dannenberg split off in 1569, which founded the new house in Braunschweig and received the Principality of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel in 1635. The main line, which had dominated the principality of Lüneburg (-Celle) as a new house in Lüneburg since 1569, acquired the county of Hoya in 1582 and the county of Diepholz in 1585 as a fief. In 1617 the principality of Braunschweig-Grubenhagen, initially occupied by Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, fell to  Lüneburg by court ruling, in 1635 (Braunschweig-) Calenberg, and in 1643 Harburg, which had been the seat of a side branch of the Middle House of Lüneburg since 1527.

Of these, the main line received the principalities of Lüneburg and Calenberg-Göttingen in 1635. The line of  Dannenberg received the principality of Wolfenbüttel. In 1639 the sovereign forced the city of Lüneburg to accept soldiers. The Electorate of Hanover emerged from the Imperial Principality of Calenberg (since 1636) in 1692.

The Principality of Lüneburg ended in 1705 with the death of Georg Wilhelm, after which it was united with Hanover as a result of the marriage of the heiress Sophie Dorothea to her the nephew Duke Georg.

Hannover came to Prussia in 1866 and in 1946 the Prussian area became Lower Saxony.




William of Luneburg


Co-regent 1195-1213

∞ 1202 Helena *1180-†1233


Seal of William of Luneburg, son of Henry the Lion, 1200


Figure: Lion passant. L.: X sigill(vm) willelmi de lvnebvrgh filii dvcis saxsonie.


Seal of 1205 Figure: Lion passant. L.: X willelmvs de lvnebvrc fili’ dvcis saxonie.


Helena was the sister of the Kings Canute VI and Valdemar II of Denmark and Queen Ingeborg of France.



Duchess Helene died in 1233 and was buried in the Benedictine monastery of St. Michael in Lüneburg.


Coins minted in Lüneburg, 1195-1202 [1]

Showing a lion


Otto I, the Child


Lord of Luneburg 1213

Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg 1235


Otto was the son of William and Helena and therefore a grandson of  Waldemar I  of Denmark.


Bracteate from Mühlhausen [2]

Shows the Emperor (i.e. Duke of Braunschweig) riding to the dexter with banner and shield with lion rampant.


In 1213, still being a minor, his uncle Emperor Otto IV took over the reign of Lüneburg. Otto was appointed heir of the allodial property of the Guelphs by his childless uncle Henry the Elder in 1223.

This could have been the year that Otto received the arms of Luneburg: Or, strewn with hearts Gules, a lion rampant Azure. This was a coat of arms derived from the arms of his grandfather Canute VI of Denmark which was Or, strewn with hearts Gules three lions passant Azure


1235 Emperor Frederick II promotes the Welf Otto the Child to an Imperial Prince and elevates him to Duke of Brunswick and Luneburg. Charter Mainz, August 1235. [3]


The charter is an example of the elevation to an Imperial Prnce: the candidate transfers his allodium (Luneburg) to the State; the emperor adds this new government property to another government property (Brunswick) that had become staufic by purchase and that the emperor had also declared government property to be a new fief with which he lends the candidate; the new royal dignity rests on that. (Die Zeit, cat. 18).

Seal of Mechthild, Duchess of Braunschweig-Luneburg 1236-´47

Luneburg, Stadtarchiv, Urk. a 1247. April 28


The duchess seated between the lion of Luneburg and the eagle of Brandenburg.



Principality of Lüneburg       






In 1267 the welf/guelph possessions were divided between Albrecht I and John with John receiving Luneburg and Albrecht Brunswick. After that, the Welfish countries were constantly distributed among the various heirs, which results in a very confused picture. Constitutionally, however, the unity of the House was not affected by these divisions. There was only one duchy of Brunswick-Luneburg as a general fief from the House of Welf. The areas that resulted from the divisions should be referred to more as principalities than as duchies, and the princes used the same ducal title and the same coat of arms.


Otto II the Strict




Otto the Strict was born around 1266, the son of John of Lüneburg (†1277) and Duchess Liutgard of Holstein. Otto was underage when his father died, so the administration of the duchy went initially to his uncle, Duke Albert (d 1279) and, after his death, to his uncle, Conrad I, Prince-Bishop of Verden. From 1282 Otto ruled in his own right. His rule was marked by several feuds, financed by pledges (Verpfändungen), involving border and property disputes with his neighbours. Otto restricted the rights of the knights and safeguarded public order. The settlements of Harburg, Dahlenburg (1289) and Celle (1292) were given town rights. In 1302 he bought the County of Wölpe for 6,500 silver marks. Following the controversial election of the king in 1313, Otto linked up with his brother-in-law, Louis of Bavaria, from whom he was enfeoffed with an imperial fiefdom in 1315. On 28 November 1315 Otto passed a law of succession that granted the duchy after him to his two sons, Otto and William, jointly.

Otto died on 10 April 1330 and was buried in St. Michael's in Lüneburg, the monastery he had built.


Seal of Otto the Strict, 1328

With the arms of Lüneburg.

Cast St.A. Wolfenbüttel


The arms of the principality are:

Arms: Or, strewn with hearts gules, a lion Azure.


These arms are clearly derived from the royal arms of Danmark, (through his grand-fathers wife who was a sister of king Waldemar) the number of lions reduced to one but the hearts retained.


Tomb of Otto the Strict (1266-1330) and his wife Mechthild of Bavaria in the Michaelis Church in Lüneburg

The old Michaelis monastery on the Kalkberg was abandoned  in 1371.


Already the old monastery church on the Kalkberg had served as a cemetery for the noble families of the Billunger and Welfen. This tradition was carried on in the newly built St. Michaeliskriche in 1376. A memorial in the form of a sarcophagus has covered the entrance to the new royal crypt since 1432. It is a sign of the continuing importance of Lüneburg for the rulers of the Guelphs

The monument was previously covered with the grave slabs of Duke Otto the Strict and his wife Mechthild of Bavaria. The metal plate, which still came from the old Kalkbergburg, was stolen and melted down in 1830.


Today there are are eight (very discoloured) coats of arms on the monument being of:



Head side: Ascania, Wittelsbach, Saxony-Wittenberg, Westfalen



Feet: Anhalt, Hessen, Braunschweig, Lüneburg


Which suggests that the monument was made after 1376, during the rule of Albert of Saxony-Wittenberg


Otto III




Otto was born about 1296 as the second son of Otto the Strict and his wife Matilda of Bavaria, and was introduced to the business of government by his father as early as 1314. The stipulation by his father in 1315 that the principality was to be divided after his death between Otto III and his brother, William II, was ignored however by the brothers and they took over joint rule of the undivided state in 1330. The focus of their rule in the early years was the territorial consolidation of the principality. For example they succeeded in increasing their estate considerably in the area of Gifhorn through the acquisition of the village of Fallersleben and the counties of Papenheim and Wettmarshagen. Another field of attention was their political support of economically growing towns. For example, Lüneburg trade flourished as a result of work to make the Ilmenau navigable between Lüneburg and Uelzen as well as trade agreements between the Lüneburg princes and the dukes of Saxe-Lauenburg. Otto III died on 19 August 1352 without an heir because his only son had already drowned as a child in the River Ilmenau.


William of Luneburg



Arms: Or, strewn with hearts Gules a lion Azure

Crest: Lambrequined Azure, two sickles Or decorated with peacock feathers proper

L.: htog va luneborch. (Gelre fol 36.)


[Ludwig, son of Magnus I, the Pious, heir 1355-1367: Arms: ¼ of Brunswick and Luneburg. L.: X s. lodewici • ducis in brunswich. D.: 1366. (According to Seyler, 279).]


Magnus II




1369 Arms: ¼ van Brunswick and Luneburg. L.: s • magni • ducis • in brunswich • et • luneborch. (Seyler, 279)


The arms of Ascania, Braunschweig and Lüneburg

on the brink of  the Luneburg War of succession

Gelre fol 36, n°s 161,162, 163


For the arms of htoge vā zassen the arms of Albrecht are possible. The two others are for Braunschweig (Magnus II †) and Lüneburg (Wilhelm †1369). At that time Rudof II was still alive (†1370)


Luneburg War of Succession 1370-1388


Albrecht of Saxony-Wittenberg


Duke of Luneburg 1370-†1378


Albrecht of Saxony Wittenberg was the son of Otto von Sachsen-Wittenberg (†30.03.1350), a younger son of the Elector and Duke Rudolf I of Saxony-Wittenberg of the House of Ascania. Although he had no possessions in the Duchy of Saxony, he held the titular title of Duke of Saxony(-Wittenberg) as Rudolf's grandson.

His mother was Elisabeth, daughter of Duke Wilhelm II of Braunschweig-Lüneburg. After his grandfather Wilhelm II died without male descendants,. he was enfeoffed, along with his uncle Wenzel, with the Principality of Lüneburg by Emperor Charles IV. However, a third degree nephew of Wilhelm II, Magnus II from the Brunswick line of the Guelphs, also claimed inheritance from the principality and began to take possession of parts of it, whereupon the War of Succession in Lüneburg unfolded. In 1374 there was a peace treaty with the sons of Magnus, who had since died (1373). This provided for an alternate government of the principality and was to be confirmed by Albrecht's marriage to Magnus' widow, Katharina von Anhalt-Bernburg. In 1378, Albrecht chose Celle as his residence.

Since he left no male descendants, his uncle and co-regent Wenzel initially assumed sole rule over the Principality of Lüneburg with his death.



Presentation of the letters patent for the Duchy of Lüneburg

to Duke Albrecht of Saxony-Wittenberg by Emperor Charles IV in 1369.

In sinister base a quarterly of the House of Ascania and Saxony

Illumination by Hans Bornemann in the Lüneburg Sachsenspiegel manuscript from 1448.


Arms of Saxony-Wittenberg

According to Hans Hornemann, 1448


Duke Albrecht of Saxony-Wittenberg, who is to be enfeoffed with the Duchy of Lüneburg,  kneels in front of the emperor, that is the ruler and from whose hand the highest secular power in the Duchy is bestowed. This is indicated not only by the great sword held by the sword bearer standing between them, but above all by the certificate, which records the act of feud in writing. The document is shown twice vertically folded, but here unfolded, on which a pending seal is attached. The enfeofment triggered the War of Succession in Lüneburg (1370-‘89).


Arms of Magnus II († 1373) and Albrecht of Lüneburg (†1385)

(Bellenville fol 21.)


Arms: ¼: 1&4: Ascania; 2&3: Lüneburg; and Archmarshal on an escutcheon in nombril point.

The other coats of arms  on the tomb are:



Thes arms are confirmed on his seal. On his seal Albrecht bore:

Arms: Dexter: Ascania; Base: Archmarshal; Sinister: Luneburg. L.: albertus di g. saxonie et luneb dux.  D. 1379

At the same time (1375) Wenceslas (†1388) bore the arms of Lüneburg on his seal (Seyler, 279)


Middle Line of Lüneburg 1388-1598


Henry II


William I the Victorious



Bernhard I


Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel 1388-1428

Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg 1428-1434


Son of Magnus II. He belonged to the House of Welf and was the founder of the Middle House of Lüneburg of this dynasty in 1409.


Otto I der Hinkende

*bef. 1410-†1446


Co-regent: Frederick der Fromme 1434-1446


Otto the Limp was born before 1410 as the eldest son of Bernhard I. After the death of his father in 1434, he took over the government in the Principality of Lüneburg together with his brother Friedrich I the Pious. Otto died in 1446


1414 Arms: ¼: 1. Brunswick; 2; 3 & 4: a lion.

L.: s. ottonis • ducis • i bruswik • luneborch.

(These arms are enigmatic because the three lions cannot be determined,  according to Seyler, p  281)


As a second coat of arms the arms of Braunschweing were ascribed to him:


Hans Ingeram’s Wappenbuch (1452-’59)


The caption reads:

Das sind die dry edlen geschlacht

arma illustrimi principatis

dni dni ludowico dalpini wiviidi

Rex ladislaus sanctus

Otto post otto

regnabit tercius Otto praunschwick


The arms on this leaf are of:


Louis II Dauphin (*1423-1456/ †1483)

Ladislas Posthumus of Hungary (*1440-†1457)

Otto I of Lüneburg (bef. 1410-†1446)


In this case the brothers bore the arms of their father Bernard I who was a Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. This would date the arms on between 1414 and 1434.


Emperor Frederick II enfeoffes Otto the Child with the duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg at

 the Diet in Mayence of 1235

Illustration by Hans Bornemann in the “Lüneburger Sachsenspiegel ”  of  1442 - 1448.


Represented is Emperor Sigimund (†1437) and a duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, probably Otto the Lame himself (at the age of 24 ?), with a shield quarterly.


Friedrich der Fromme and Otto der Hinkende, 1434-1445.

Schildgroschen (Sechsling), . [4]


Arms: Lion (the hearts missing)


The crested  arms of Braunschweig-Lüneburg

after the accession in Lüneburg of Otto and Friedrich in 1434


The caption reads:  Otto post Otto regnabit tercius Otto herzog von prunswick

The main crested coat of arms is surrounded by the arms of honburg, stettin, halbermond, ebertstein, cronstorff and welffen.


Friedrich der Fromme


1st term 1434-1441

2nd term 1446-1458


Was born about 1418  as a second son of Bernard I. After the death of his father he succeeded in the principality together with his brother Otto I. After hhis brother had died in 1446 Frederick contiued the administration of Lüneburg alone. In 1457 his son Berhard II became of age and Frederick abandoned the administration and retired in a monastery. After his son had died in 1464 and his second son Otto II had died in 1471 Frederick had to leave his monastery again to take the regency for his three year old grandson Henry I the Middle. He died in 1478 and was buried in the Franciscan monastery church in Celle, founded by him.


Fridrich hertzog zv braunschweig und luneburg bernharts son starb in 1478

(watercolor on vellum, 1720)



Arms: Luneburg;

Crest: Two sickles Or, decorated with peacock feathers proper.

L.: h. lunenborch. (Bergshammer n°s 64, 3120)


Bernhard II


Otto II



Heinrich I der Mittlere

Friedrich der Fromme


Regent 1471-1478


Gravestone of Henry the Middle 1532

Kloster Wienhausen, Gemeindekirche. 11 ´: 125,5 ´ 3 cm.

Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Denkmalpflege


Arms: Four shields with the arms of Nassau (on the dexter) and Polanen (on the sinster) and the crested arms of Braunschweig-Lüneburg



[In the year 1532 after the birth of Christ our Redeemer, on the 19th day of February, which was the Tuesday after Reminiscere, Heinrich, Duke of Braunschweig and Lüneburg, son of Duke Otto, died piously in Christ at the age of 66]


Otto III


Son of Otto II on  Lüneburg-Harburg


Ernst I der Beknner


Son of Heinrich I of Lüneburg- Celle


Arms: ¼: 1. Braunschweig; 2. Lüneburg; 3. Eberstein; 4. Homburg

Crest: Braunschweig-Lüneburg


As on a portrait of Ernst der Bekenner in the Lüneburger Bilderchronik of 1595. Pen and ink drawing






Francis Otto







New Line of Lüneburg 1559-1679


Wilhelm der Junger



foto H.d.V. 16.V.’81

Celle, Altes Rathaus (1579)


Arms: ¼: 1. Brunswick; 2. Lüneburg; 3. Azuer a crowned lion Argent (Eberstein); 4. Gules a crowned lion Or within a bordure compony Argent and Az; 4. Homburgure (Homburg).

Crest: On a helmet lambrequined Or and Gules  a pile Gules crested of peacock-feathers between two sickles Argent, hilted Gules and decorated with peacock-feathers, charged with a running horse Argent. (Brunswidk-Lüneburg).


Foto hdb

Arms of Wilhelm der Junger and his sister Margarethe

Façade of Gymnasium Casimirianum, Coburg;


1585 W.: 1/6: 1. Brunswick; 2. Lüneburg; 3. Eberstein; 4. Homburg; 5. Or two bears-claws Sable (Hoya); 6. ¼: 1&4: Gironny of eight pieces Azure and Argent (Bruchhausen ancient); 2&3: Barry of four pieces Gules and Argent (Bruchhausen modern).

H.: 1. Brunswick-Lüneburg; D.: Two bears’claws Sable (Hoya); S.: Two trunks chequy Azure and Argent and four pennons per fess Gules and Argent.(Bruchhausen). (Siebm. Taf. 51).


Ernst II



Supralibros of Ernst II, 1603


Origin: Duke Ernst II., Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Celle,

Caption: Wg Von Gottes Gnaden Ernestvs Hertzog Zv Brvnschwich Vnd Lvneborch Svm Ernesti Dvcis Brvnsvicensis Et Lvnaebvrgensis 1603

Size 115x80 mm

Book cover (supralibros) with the arms of  Duke Ernst II. zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg-Celle



Arms: 1/6: 1 Brunswick; 2. Lüneburg; 3. Eberstein; 4. Hombug; 5. Hoya; 6. ¼ of Bruchhausen modern & ancient.

Crest: Brunswick-Lüneburg; D.: Hoya; S. Bruchhausen;






Arms: 1/9: 1. Lüneburg; 2. Brunswick; 3. Eberstein; 4. Homburg; 5. Hoya; 6. Gules, a lion Or (Lauterburg) 7. ½ Bruchhausen ancient and moderr; 8. Argent, a stag Sable (Klettenberg); 9. ½ a. chequy Gules and Argent (Hohenstein); b. Barry of 7 pieces Or and Gules (Lauterburg 2). Base: 1|2: a. Argent, antlers Gules. (Reinstein); b. Argent, antlers Sable (Blankenberg). 

Crest: 1. Brunswick-Lüneburg; D.: Hoya; S.: Bruchhausen. IV.Antlers Sable an a bunch of peacock-feathers (Klettenberg-Eberstein); V. Antlers Gules and Argent (Reinstein-Blankenburg). (Siebm. Taf. 52).


August the Elder


Evangelian administrator of Ratzeburg 1610-1636

Duke of Lüneburg-Hannover 1633-1636

Son of William the Younger


Arms of August the Elder

St.-Laurentius-Kirche, Schönberg (Mecklenburg), altar.


Eight-fielded shield charged with the arms of Ratzeburg diocese in nombril point: Per pale the dexter Azure, a crozier Or, the sinister Or, a castle dimidiated Azure.


Reichtstaler of August the Elder 1634


Eight-fielded shield enté en point, charged with the arms of administrator August the Elder in nombril point: a saltire of a crozier and a sword, charged with a castle chrowned with a mitre



Lüneburg Hannover 1636-1641


Archievement of George, 1640


Arms: 1/12: 1. Lüneburg; 2. Brunswick; 3. Eberstein; 4. Homburg; 5. Or, a crowned lion Gules (Upper Diepholz); 6. Lauterburg 7. ½ Hoya & Bruchhausen; 8. Azure a crowned eagle Argent (Lower Diepholz); 9 ½ Hohenstein and Lauterburg 2; 10. Reinstein; 11. Klettenberg; 12. Blankenburg.

Crest: 1. Brunswick-Lüneburg; D.: Hoya; S.: Bruchhausen. IV. Klettenberg-Eberstein; V. Reinstein-Blankenburg with a white and a red trunk (Diepholz).

Supporters: Two savages with oak leaves around their loins, armed with clubs, the crests of IV and V over their heads . (Siebm. Taf. 52).


foto H.d.V. 16.05.’81


The same arms on the market place of Lüneburg, crowned with a ducal crown of five leaves, four pearls  an two hoops over a high purple cap

On a ribbon:  georg br et lu laelm agdt.



Celle 1636-1648



Christian Louis



Christain Louis Taler, 1663


George William




1670 Arms: 1/12: 1. Lüneburg; 2. Brunswick; 3. Eberstein; 4. Homburg; 5. Upper Diepholz ; 6. Lauterburg 7. ½ Hoya & Bruchhausen; 8. Lower Diepholz; 9 ½ Hohenstein en Lauterburg 2; 10. Reinstein; 11. Klettenberg; 12. Blankenburg.

Crest: 1. Brunswick-Lüneburg; D.: Hoya; S.: Bruchhausen; IV. Klettenberg-Eberstein; V. Reinstein-Blankenburg-Diepholz.

Celle Castle, foto H.d.V. 1992


John Frederick



Johann Friedrich. 1 Thaler, 1666


Arms: Twelve-fielded shield and five crests

L.: IOHAN[n]•FRIEDRICH D[ei]•G[ratia]•DUXBRUNS[uicensis]•ET LUNEB[urgensis]


Electorate of Hannover


Ernest August


Elector 1692


The first major deviation occurred after the House of Hanover had received the electoral dignity in 1692. Elector Ernst August IX now showed the Brunswick leopards, the jumping Saxon horse and the Lüneburg lion in the three fields of the first row of his multi-field coat of arms. With this arrangement, a suggestion was apparently implemented by the Hanoverian philosopher and court historian Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who in 1692 had stated in an expert report that the three coats of arms in question were the "pieces essentielles et principales", i.e. the essential and main pieces, in the coat of arms of the House of Welf [5] The dukes of Wolfenbüttel, on the other hand, had the Saxon horse, if they wore it, differently placed on a label in the middle of the second row of their shield. [6]

Also at the suggestion of Leibniz comes the empty "waiting sign", in the second and third rows of te electoral arms which was intended to heraldically reproduce the arch office still to be awarded to the new "Elector of Hannover" .[7]


Arms of Ernst August and Georg Louis 1692-1710


Arms: 1/15: 1. Brunswick; 2. Gules a horse Argent (Westfalen); 3. Lüneburg; 4. Eberstein; 6. Homburg; 7. Upper Diepholz; 9. Lauterburg 1 . 10. Lower Diepholz; 11. Hoya; 12. Lauterburg 2; 13. Klettenberg; 14. ½ Bruchhausen ancient and new; 15. Hohenstein. Base 1|2 Reinstein and Blankenburg. In 5 & 8: an empty shield

Crown: An electors cap


On the reverse  a running horse in a meadow. (Siebm. Taf. 54).


George Louis


Arch Treasurer1710

King of England 1714


In 1710, Elector Georg Ludwig of Hannover finally received the office of "Arch Treasurer" of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, which was represented by the golden imperial crown. in red [8]. Above the shield, the Hanoverian electors used an electors cap instead of the previous princely crown according to their new rank.





Arms: 1/15: 1. Brunswick; 2. Westfalen; 3. Lüneburg;  4. Eberstein; 6. Homburg; 7. Diepholz 1; 9. Lauterburg 1 . 10. Diepholz 2; 11. Hoya; 12. Lauterburg; 13. Klettenberg; 14 ½ Bruchhausen Ancient  & Modern; 15. Hohenstein. Base 1|2 Reinstein and Blankenburg. In 5 & 8: Gules the Imperial crown Or (Arch Treasurer).

Crown: An electorscap.

Order: Of the Garter

Motto: dieu et mon droit

Supporters: Two lions guardant


The coat of arms of Hannover underwent a further change when Elector Georg Ludwig succeeded Great Britain in 1714 as King George I.


Foto H.d.V. 07. 1979

Marshaltor Hannover Dated MDCCXIIII


Arms: ¼: 1.: 1|2 Engeland and Scotland; 2. France; 3. Ireland; 4. Tierced per pile: 1. Brunswick; 2. Lüneburg; 3. Westfalen. Ensigned Arch Treasurer (Hannover).

Crown: A royal crown

Order.: Of the Garter.

Supporters: D.: A crowned lion guardant. S.: A unicorn Argent, hoofed maned, halstered with a crown and shackled Or.

Motto: dieu et mon droit.


George II





The baroque portal of the Garde de Corps barracks built in 1738 with the British coat of arms in the form of before 1801, which was translocated in front of the entrance of the Städtische Bauverwaltung in Hannover (1955).


George III



Achievement of Gorge III (1765)

St Lawrence Church, Brundish, Suffolk (UK)

1801 Achievement

Arms: ¼: 1&4 England; 2. Scotland;  3. Ireland; 4. Hannover: tierced per pile of Brunswick, Lüneburg and Saxony with the imperial crown in nombril point.

Crest: On a helmet lambrequined Or and ermine a royal crown  crested of a lion passant guardant Or royallly crowned.

Order: Of the Garter.

Supporters: D.: A crowned lion guardant. S.: A unicorn maned, hoofed, with a crown about its neck and shackled Or

Motto: dieu et mon droit.


French Rule 1811-1814


Annexated by the French Empire and divided into the Departements

Bouches de l’Elbe and Bouches du Weser

The département des Bouches-de-l'Elbe (in german: Departement der Elbmündung(en), or Elbmündungs-departement, numéro 128 according to the list of départements of 1811) is a former french département with the capital Hamburg from 1811 to 1814.

The département des Bouches-du-Weser (Weser Mündungen) was a departement of the First French Empire from 1811 to 1814. It was named after the river Weser. Its capital was Bremen.


Kingdom of Hannover 1815-1866


George III



 foto H.d.V. 07. 1979

Landtag Hannover


1816 Arms: ¼: 1&4: Engeland; 2. Schotland;  3. Ireland; H.: Hannover with electorscap.

Crown: A royal crown

Order: Of the Garter, Of the Guelphs (Hannover 12.08.1815).

Supporters: D.: A crowned lion guardant. S.: A unicorn Argent, hoofed maned, halstered with a crown and shackled Or.

Motto: dieu et mon droit. together with thistles and roses, the flowers of England and Scotland


Collar and cross of the Order of the Guelphs (12.08.1815)


George IV



Achievement of the King of Great Britain and Hannover 1815-1837


Orders: 1. Of the Garter; 2 Of St. Patrick; 3 Of the Bath; 4 Of the Thistle; 5 Of the Guelphs.

For decoration two shamrocks for Ireland, two thistles for Scotland and a white and red rose for England.

Lesser arms 1815-1866


William IV



Achievement on the Constitution, 1833


Arms: ¼: 1&4: Engeland; 2. Schotland;  3. Ireland; H.: Hannover with electorscap.

Crown: A royal crown

Order: Of the Garter,

Supporters: D.: A crowned lion guardant. S.: A unicorn Argent, hoofed maned, halstered with a crown and shackled Or.

Motto: dieu et mon droit. together with thistles and roses the flowers of England and Scotland


Ernst August II

King of Hannover 1837-1851


Royal Hannoverian Achievement, 1837

With collar and star of the Order of the Guelphs


Arms: ¼: 1&4: England; 2. Scotland;  3. Ireland; In chief a laber of three  Argent.  On an escutcheon in nombril point: Hannover

Crown: A royal crown

Order: Collar and star of the Order of the Guelphs

Supporters: D.: A crowned lion guardant with a label of three Argent S.: A unicorn Argent, hoofed, maned, halstered with a crown and shackled Or. With a labe of three Argent. Motto: suscipere et finire. (Undertake and Finish).

Royal Hannoverian Achievement 1848


The label in the shield removed. Thistles and roses, the flowers of England and Scotland have been added


George V




Hanover's coat of arms was changed again during the reign of King George V (1851-1866). The "coat of arms" of the Kingdom of Hanover from 1860 may illustrate this. There the shield is surrounded by a red gold-trimmed bandeau, which has the motto NVNQVAM RETRORSUM (Never Retreat)  in gold letters. Below the shield are the orders of the two Hanoverian orders, the Order of St. George and the Guelph Order. An innovation are the "British" symbols between the laurel branch and the oak branch above the white gold-trimmed ribbon, the red rose for England, the green shamrock for Ireland and the thistle flower for Scotland, which have nothing to do with Hanover


Royal Hannoverian Achievement 1860


All labels removed, a red strap inscribed NVNQVAM RETRORSUM  and the collar and cross of the Order of St. George  added


Cross of the Order of St. George (23.04.1839).


Arms: ¼: 1&4: England; 2. Scotland;  3. Ireland; On an escutcheon in nombril point: Hannover

Crown: A royal crown

Order: Guelpenorden and of St George (Hannover 23.04.1839) with the motto NUNQUAM RETRORSUM  (Never Retreat) in golden lettering on a strap Gules.

Supporters: D.: A crowned lion guardant. S.: A unicorn Argent, hoofed maned, halstered with a crown and shackled Or. Together with thistles and rosesm the flowers of England and Scotland

Motto: suscipere et finire. (Undertake and Finish)..

 (Siebm. 1856, Taf. 45).


Prussian Rule


Provinz Hannover


Hannover, 1866-1881


Hannover was annexated in 1866 by Prussia. For the area, which kept its name of Hannover, the coat of arms of Lüneburg was initially used.



By government decision of 28 February 1881 the province was granted an achievement consisting of a white running horse on a red field with a crest of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

For supporters: A savage with the banner of Prussia on the dexter and a knight in armour with the banner of Hannover on the sinister. (Ströhl)





In 1922, the provincial president suggested that the provincial coat of arms be changed so that the Prussian eagle was placed over the running silver horse in a silver chief. He assumed that the heraldic symbols used on the large coat of arms were no longer permitted and that it would not be possible to attach a breast shield in the shape of the Prussian eagle. He was undoubtedly right, but the name of Prussian rule was heavily rejected. Although the Provincial Committee approved his draft (based on Böhm's drawing) on ​​16 October 1923, the Prussian Ministry of State gave its approval almost a year later, on 21 August 1924, but part of the Hanoverian press, e.g. B. the Hann. Landeszeitung (on 5 May 1925), launched a campaign against these coats of arms, which it described as an affront to the feelings of the Hanoverian population, and on 9 May 1925 the Provincial Parliament unanimously declined, but at the same time decided to continue the running horse in red without the eagle. The Ministry of State withdrew its approval, which it thought the Hanoverians would have pleased, (the Provincial Committee had approved the draft) and in the course of summer declared it not to have been granted. On 25 December 1925, the Provincial Committee dealt with the matter again and determined that the middle coat of arms should be discontinued, the small one would only be changed by the new eagle, but the large one should remain as before, but in the standard of the (now completely senseless) wild man the new Prussian eagle had to stand. The wild man has no longer denounced the belonging to the Prussian state since that had abandoned him.

Ministerial approval was granted on 25  October 1926, and Hanover now bears the coat of arms that the High President had declared impossible in 1922. The red shield contains the running silver Saxon horse; The golden-crowned helmet (with red = silver) covers carries between two red-stalked, silver sickles, whose backs are each covered with six peacock feathers, a red column, in whose golden crown there are three peacock feathers, in front of which a golden six-striated star hovers. The horse of the shield repeats itself between the sickles. The shield

keep to the right the leafy-crowned wild man, in whose golden-framed, silver standard the Prussian eagle hovers. On the left, the armored knight with the black and white Prussian field bark and the ostrich feathers in yellow and white povincial colors on the helmet. The shield is repeated in its standard.



Coat of Arms


Smaller achievement 1925

Larger Achievement 1926


N.S. Era


In 1933 Hannover was divided into three districts (Gaue): Weser-Ems (comprising Oldenburg); Ost Hannover and Hannover Braunschweig (also comprising Braunschweig). From these three districts was formed the State of Lower Saxony (Niederachsen) on 23 Novmber 1946.


Nr. 24

Gau: Ost-Hannover

Verwaltungssitz: Buchholz in der Nordheide, ab 1. April 1937 Lüneburg, zuvor Harburg

Fläche: 18.006 km²

Einwohner (1941): 1.060.509

Gauleiter (exkl. Stellvertreter): Bernhard Rust (1925 bis 1928), danach ab 1928 Otto Telschow


Arms.: Or, a three-towered castle Gules, masoned Sable, roofed Azure, in its gate a portcullis Argent over the arms of Duchy of Lüneburg: Or, strewn with hearts Gules a lion rampant Azure (Sable).


Arms: Gules, a rearing horse Argent

Nr. 33

Gau: Süd-Hannover-Braunschweig

Verwaltungssitz: Hannover

Fläche: 14.553 km²

Einwohner (1941): 2.136.961

Gauleiter (exkl. Stellvertreter): Ludolf Haase von 1925 bis 1928, danach von 1928 bis 1940 Bernhard Rust, danach ab 1940 Hartmann Lauterbacher


Nr. 37

Gau: Weser-Ems

Verwaltungssitz: Oldenburg (Oldb)

Fläche: 15.044 km²

Einwohner (1941): 1.839.302

Gauleiter (exkl. Stellvertreter): Carl Röver von 1929 bis 1942, danach ab 1942 Paul Wegener


Arms: ¼ : 1&4: barry of five pieces Or and Gules; 2&3: Azure a garb Or;


State of Hannover



Flag. State of Hannover, 1946


The State of Hanover was founded under Regulation No. 46 of the British military government dated 23 August 1946 "concerning the dissolution of the provinces of the former State of Prussia in the British Zone and their recreation as independent states". Its first Minister-President was Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf.

But by 23 November 1946 the British Military Government had approved the formation of the new state of Lower Saxony from the unification of the states of Brunswick, Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe with the state of Hanover at the instigation of their German leaders. Hinrich Wilhelm Kopf also discussed other territorial options for a Lower Saxony state which would have included Bremen and Ostwestfalen-Lippe.


In the chief: Stained glass window of the achievement of Hannover, 1903-1905. Bomann Museum, Celle.



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 © Hubert de Vries 2020-02-13




[1] Ibid. Bd. 1 Abb 111. 14-18

[2] Ibid . Bd 1: 188.35 KS. Otto IV 1208-15 Seega 98 Abb104.7

[3] Wolfenbüttel. Niedersächsisches Staatsarciv 1, Urk.13

[4] https://www.kuenker.de/de/archiv/stueck/91998

[5] Nachlaß Leibniz, Nieders. Landesbibliothek Hannover, Ms XXIII Nr. 47 fol. 177 u. fol. 181..

[6]  Vgl. Peter VEDDELER, Das Niedcrsachsenroß - Geschichte des niedersächsischen Landeswappens (herausgegeben von der Niedersächsischen Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, Hannover), Hannover 1996, S. 66 ff. Unter Herzog Wilhclm von Braunschweig war das Roß dann jedoch ganz aus dem Schild des großen, des mittleren und kleinen Wappens entfernt worden.

[7] Diese Bezeichnung bürgerte sich ein, obwohl sie staatsrechtlich nicht korrekt war. Richtig lautct die Titulatur: Herzog von Braunschweig und Lüncburg, dcs HI. Römischcn Reiches Erzschatzmeister und Kurfürst..

[8] Vgl. VEDDELER, Das Niedersachsenroß (wie Anm. 11), S. 75 ff

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