House of Leiningen

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Arms of the Leiningen family

Leiningen is the name of an old German noble family whose lands lay principally in Alsace, Lorraine and the Palatinate. Various branches of this family developed over the centuries and a number of those still exist, including the branch of the Princes of Leiningen.


The first count of Leiningen about whom anything definite is known was a certain Emich II (d. before 1138), whose family became extinct in the male line when Count Frederick, a Minnesinger, died about 1220. Frederick's sister, Liutgarde, married Simon II, count of Saarbrücken, and Frederick, one of their sons, inheriting the lands of the counts of Leiningen, took their arms and their name.


Evolution of the Leiningen arms

Having increased its possessions, the Leiningen family was divided around 1317 into two branches. The elder of these, whose head was a landgrave, died out in 1467. Upon this event, its lands fell to a female, the last landgrave's sister Margaret, wife of Reinhard, lord of Westerburg, and their descendants were known as the family of Leiningen-Westerburg. Later this family was divided into two branches, those of Alt-Leiningen-Westerburg and Neu-Leiningen-Westerburg, both of which are represented today.

Meanwhile, the younger branch of the Leiningens, known as the family of Leiningen-Hartenburg, was flourishing. On 27 June 1560, this branch was divided into the lines of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg, founded by Count Johann Philip (d. 1562), and Leiningen-Dagsburg-Heidesheim or Falkenburg, founded by Count Emicho (d. 1593).

In 1779, the head of the Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg line was raised to the rank of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire with the title of Prince of Leiningen. In 1801, this line was deprived of its lands on the left bank of the Rhine by France, but in 1803 it received ample compensation for these losses. A few years later, its possessions were mediatized, and they are now included mainly in Baden, but partly in Bavaria and in Hesse.

The second prince of the Leiningen-Dagsburg-Hartenburg line, Prince Emich Charles, married Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld. After his death in 1814, the princess married Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn, a younger son of George III, by whom she became the mother of Queen Victoria.

Prince Karl Emich converted from Lutheranism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity on 1 June 2013

Since 1991, the head of the princely line has been Prince Andreas (b. 1955).[1] In 2013, Prince Karl Emich converted from Lutheranism to Eastern Orthodox Christianity and now claims to be the major pretender to the former Russian throne according to the pre-Revolution Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire, because of his Russian monarchical ancestors such as Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna and Alexander II of Russia.

The family of Leiningen-Dagsburg-Heidesheim was divided into three branches, the two senior of which became extinct. At present, it is represented by the counts of Leiningen-Guntersblum and Leiningen-Heidesheim, also called Leiningen-Billigheim and Leiningen-Neidenau.

Line of Descent

Note that different sources use different sequence numbers for some of the Counts. For consistency across sources, dates of birth and death are useful.

Earliest Counts

  • Emich I was Count of Leiningen in 1127,[3] but it is unclear when he died, or his relation to the other counts.
  • Emich II is attested as Count of Leiningen in documents from 1143[4] to 1179[5]
    • His son, Friedrich I had taken over the County by 1189[6]
  • Emich III is attested as Count of Leiningen in documents from 1193[7] through 1208,[8] though it is unclear his relationship to the previous Counts
  • Friedrich II, cousin of Emich III, was recorded as junior count under Emich in 1205,[2] and as count in his own right from 1210[9] to 1217.[10] A document from 1220 refers to his widow.[11]

Saarbrücken Line

  • Simon II, Count of Saarbrücken married Liutgarde, the heiress of Leiningen whose descent from the original counts of Leiningen is unclear[12]
    • Their son, Friedrich III (-1237) inherited the County of Leiningen
      • His son, Simon (c 1204-16 Mar 1234) married Gertrude, heiress of the County of Dagsburg, bringing that property into the family.
      • Friedrich IV, son of Friedrich III, (-1287) was attested as count in documents from 1239 and 1249, and married Adelheid of Kyburg
      • Emich IV, brother of Friedrich IV (-c. 1276) ruled a portion of the lands at Leiningen-Landeck
        • His son, Emich V (-1289), Count of Leiningen-Landeck had no heir.[13]
        • Agnes (--between 1299 and 1303) married Otto I, Count of Nassau

Leiningen-Dagsburg (First Line)

  • Friedrich VI (-1327), son of Friedrich V, became Count of Leiningen-Dagsburg[14]
    • Friedrich VII, Count of Leiningen-Dagsburg (-before 1342)
      • Friedrich VIII, Count of Leiningen-Dagsburg (1320-31 Oct 1387) married Jolanda of Jülich, granddaughter of Gerhard V of Jülich.


  • Kuno I, Lord of Westerburg (1425-1459), was the son of Margaret and Reinhard
    • Reinhard I, Count of Leiningen-Westerburg (1453-1522) inherited the County from his grandmother.[14]
      • Kuno II, Count of Leiningen-Westerburg (1487-1547)
        • Philipp I, Count of Leiningen-Leiningen (1527-1597)
        • George I, Count of Leiningen-Schaumburg (1533-1586)
        • Reinhard II, Count of Leiningen-Westerburg (1530-1584)
          • Albrecht Philipp, Count of Leiningen-Westerburg (1567-1597)
          • Johann Ludwig, Count of Leiningen-Westerburg (1572-1597), last of this branch.

This County was then absorbed into Leiningen-Schaumburg.[17]


This branch ended in 1705, and this County was also absorbed into Leiningen-Schaumburg.[17]


  • George I, Count of Leiningen-Schaumburg (1533-1586), son of Kuno II, Count of Leiningen-Westerburg
    • Philipp Jakob, Count of Leiningen-Schaumburg (1572-1612)
    • Reinhard II, Count of Leiningen-Schaumburg (1574-1655)
    • Christoph, Count of Leiningen-Schaumburg (1575-1635)


  • Christoph Christian, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (11 Mar 1656-17 May 1728), son of George Wilhelm, Count of Leiningen-Schaumburg
    • George Hermann, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (21 Mar 1679-4 Feb 1751)
      • Christian Johann, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (31 Aug 1730-20 Feb 1770)
        • Christian Karl, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (18 Sep 1757-1 Dec 1811)
        • Friedrich I Ludwig Christian, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (2 Nov 1761-9 Aug 1839)
          • Friedrich II Eduard, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (20 May 1806-5 Jun 1868)
          • Károly Leiningen-Westerburg
          • Johann Ludwig (6 Jun 1807-31 Oct 1864)
            • Friedrich III Wipprecht Franz, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (30 Dec 1852-7 Feb 1916)
              • Gustav Friedrich Oskar, Count of Leiningen-Altleiningen (8 Feb 1876-23 Jul 1929)[18]


  • George II Karl Ludwig, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (2 Mar 1666-4 Oct 1726), son of George Wilhelm, Count of Leiningen-Schaumburg
    • George Karl I August Ludwig, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (Nassau Line) (17 Feb 1717-19 Mar 1787)
      • Karl II Gustav Reinhard Waldemar, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (28 Jun 1747-7 Jun 1798)
        • Ferdinand Karl III, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (8 Sep 1767-26 Nov 1813)
        • August George Gustav, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (19 Feb 1770-9 Oct 1849)
          • Christian Franz Seraph Vincenz, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (1810-1856)
    • George Ernst Ludwig (Bavaria Line) (3 May 1718–24 Dec 1765)
      • Karl IV Joseph Philipp Ludwig Ernst, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (13 Aug 1739-27 Jul 1797)
        • George Karl August, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (27 Aug 1789-17 Mar 1865)
          • Wilhelm, Count of Leiningen-Neuleiningen (16 Feb 1824-29 Apr 1887)[18]


Arms of the Princes of Leiningen
  • Gottfried, son of Friedrich V, inherited the portion of Leiningen ruled from Hartenburg
    • His son Friedrich married Joan of Rixingen, and their children became Counts of Leiningen-Rixingen, which lasted until 1506
    • Gottfried's other son became Emich V, Count of Leiningen-Hartenburg

Leiningen-Dagsburg (Second Line)

See also


  1. Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels (2004), Volume 133, p. 249, 251.
  2. 2.0 2.1
  3. Simon, J. (1865) Die Geschichte des reichständischen Hauses Ysenburg und Büdingen, Band III Das Ysenburg und Büdingensche Urkundenbuch (Frankfurt) ("Isenburg Urkundenbuch"), III, p. 4.
  4. Stumpf, K. F. (ed.) (1863) Urkunden zur Geschichte des Erzbisthums Mainz im zwölften Jahrhundert (Acta Maguntina Seculi XII) (Innsbruck) ("Mainz Urkunden 12th Century"), 24, p. 27.
  5. Brinckmeier (1890), Vol. I, p. 20, quoting charter "im Besitz des Germanischen Museums".
  6. MGH Diplomata, Tome X, Pars IV, D F I, 993, p. 282.
  7. Brinckmeier (1890), Vol. I, p. 22, citing Fahne, A. (1866) Geschichte der Grafen zu Salm-Reifferscheidt, Band. I, 2 Abth. p. 48
  8. Würdtwein, S. A. (1788) Nova Subsidia Diplomatica (Heidelberg), Vol. X, LXXXIX, p. 246
  9. Stillfried, R. M. von (1843) Monumenta Zollerana, Quellensammlung zur Geschichte des erlauchten Hauses der Grafen von Zollern und Burggrafen von Nürnberg, Erster Theil (Halle) ("Monumenta Zollerana (1843))", XVII, p. 31
  10. Otterberg, 18 and 19, pp. 16-17
  11. Brinckmeier (1890), Vol. I, pp. 20 and 41, citing Kremer, J. M. (1779) Origines Nassoicae, Vol. II, p. 261
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2
  19. 19.0 19.1
  20. 20.0 20.1
  • Ingo Toussaint: Die Grafen von Leiningen. Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Sigmaringen 1982. ISBN 3-7995-7017-9
  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Leiningen". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> This work in turn cites:
    • Brinckmeier, Genealogische Geschichte des Hauses Leiningen (Brunswick, 1890–1891)

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