Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach

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Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe
Eleonore Erdmuthe Louise von Sachsen-Eisenach.jpg
Margravine consort of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Tenure 4 November 1681 – 22 March 1686
Predecessor Vacant
Successor Vacant
Electress consort of Saxony
Tenure 17 April 1692 - 27 April 1694
Predecessor Vacant
Successor Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Born (1662-04-13)13 April 1662
Died 9 September 1696(1696-09-09) (aged 34)
Schloss Pretzsch, Pretzsch
Spouse John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
(m. 1681; his death 1686)
John George IV, Elector of Saxony
(m. 1692; his death 1694)
Issue Caroline, Queen of the United Kingdom
Prince Friedrich August
William Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Full name
Eleonore Erdmuthe Louise
House Wettin
Father John George I, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach
Mother Countess Johanna of Sayn-Wittgenstein
Religion Lutheranism

Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe Louise of Saxe-Eisenach (13 April 1662 – 9 September 1696) was the mother of Caroline of Ansbach, Queen consort of King George II of Great Britain. She was the Margravine of Brandenburg-Ansbach from 1681 to 1686 as the second wife of John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, and the Electress of Saxony from 1692 to 1694 as a result of her disastrous second marriage to John George IV, Elector of Saxony.


Eleonore Erdmuthe Louise was the firstborn daughter of John George I, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach, and Joanna of Sayn-Wittgenstein. One of her younger siblings was the future John William III, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach.

In 1681, she became the second wife of John Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach. She had a son, William Frederick, and a daughter, Caroline. In 1686, she was widowed. As a widow, she and her children lived in poverty in Crailsheim.

In Leipzig on 17 April 1692, Eleonore Erdmuthe married Johann Georg IV. The young Elector was forced to marry by his mother, the Dowager Electress Anna Sophie, ostensibly to produce legitimate heirs to the Electorate but truly to end the liaison between John George and his mistress, Magdalene Sibylle "Billa" of Neidschutz. Another consideration was an alliance between Brandenburg and Saxony.

Immediately after assuming the Electorate, John George lived openly with Billa, and she became the first ever Official Mistress (Favoritin) of an Elector of Saxony. Eleonore was relegated to the Hofe (the official residence of the Elector) while John George moved into another palace with Billa.

Desperate to marry his mistress, John George tried to murder Eleonore, but was prevented by his younger brother, Frederick August. When John George tried to stab Eleonore with a sword, the unarmed Frederick turned the impact away with his hand, leaving him with a lifelong handicap.

Electress Eleonore suffered two miscarriages during their marriage, in August 1692 and February 1693, and a phantom pregnancy in December 1693.[1] She confided in the English diplomat George Stepney, who wrote extensively about her and the Saxon court. Johann Georg died on 27 April 1694 from smallpox. As a widow, she and her children were exiled to Pretzsch. She died after two years, on 9 September 1696.


  1. Sharp, 48-49


  • Sharp, Tony. Pleasure and Ambition: The Life, Loves and Wars of Augustus the Strong, 1670-1707. London: I.B. Tauris, 2001. Google Books. Web. 24 May 2010.

Further reading

  • Böttcher, Hans-Joachim. Johann Georg IV. von Sachsen und Magdalena Sibylla von Neitschütz - Eine tödliche Liaison. Dresden 2014. ISBN 978-3-941757-43-1.
Princess Eleonore Erdmuthe of Saxe-Eisenach
Born: 13 April 1662 Died: 9 September 1696
German nobility
Title last held by
Johanna Elisabeth of Baden-Durlach
Margravine consort of Brandenburg-Ansbach
4 November 1681 – 22 March 1686
Title next held by
Christiane Charlotte of Württemberg-Winnental
Title last held by
Anna Sophie of Denmark
Electress consort of Saxony
17 April 1692 – 27 April 1694
Succeeded by
Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth