History Files

European Kingdoms

Central Europe


AD 1613 - 1709

The early modern German county of Lippe was a parcel of territory that was located between the River Weser and the south-eastern section of the Teutobergerwald. The House of Lippe resided along the river of the same name, originating in the person of Count Jobst Hermann of Lippe. He died around 1056, but his grandson (or great-grandson, born around 1090), Bernard, succeeded him. In 1123, he was granted a parcel of territory by Holy Roman Emperor Lothar II of Supplinburg and, as the new, and first, 'Lord of Lippe', Bernhard became Bernhard I.

With the death of Count Simon VI in 1613, Lippe was divided in four: Lippe-Detmold (held by the senior line of descent under Simon VII), Lippe-Brake (passed to the next oldest son, Otto), Lippe-Schwalenberg (held by the next in line, Hermann, who is included alongside the counts of Lippe-Detmold), and Lippe-Alverdissen (held by the youngest, Philip I). Each division retained the status of a county, although the secondary divisions rarely held any territory of note other than the odd castle or town.

(Additional information Jackie Speel, and from External Links: German Genealogy: Lippe, and European Heraldry: House of Lippe (dead link), and Lippe.)

1613 - 1659

Otto II

First lord of Lippe-Brake. House of Lippe-Detmold.


The beginnings of the Thirty Years' War in Central Europe sees a series of destructive conflicts take place. Originally this is as a result of the Reformation and its Papal response, the Counter Reformation, but later it also serves as a continuation of the Bourbon-Habsburg struggle for supremacy. Count Simon VIII of Lippe-Detmold does his best to keep Lippe neutral so that it might be spared as much as possible, but it suffers nevertheless when imperial troops are billeted within its borders.

House in Lippe-Detmold
Despite Count Simon's best efforts, Lippe could not entirely be spared from the ravages of the brutal Thirty Years' War (1618-1648)

1620 - 1624

Lippe-Schwalenberg is reunited with Lippe-Detmold, presumably upon the untimely death of Count Simon's younger brother, Hermann. Four years later, in 1624, Count Simon VII passes a large dairy farm onto the bailiff of Schwalenberg (one that had been created out of several failing farms by Simon VI in the early years of the century). This is later sold to Simon's widow, Maria Magdalena, and her youngest son, Jobst Hermann, builds the manor of Biesterfeld there, creating the subsidiary line of Lippe-Sternberg-Schwalenberg.


When Count Simon VII of Lippe-Detmold dies, his son, the youthful Simon Louis, succeeds him. As he is not yet of age, a regent is selected for him in the form of Count Christian of Waldeck, his step-grandfather. The most likely contender for the role is Otto of Lippe-Brake, but he cannot be selected due to the ongoing strained relationship between Detmold and Brake. Simon Louis' maternal uncle, John Louis of Nassau-Hadamar, is not asked as he is a Catholic.

1634 - 1636

Count Simon Louis of Lippe-Detmold has gradually been moving away from the neutral pose adopted by his father. After courting the powerful Swedes, Lippe suffers from the presence of their troops in the region as part of the First Polish-Swedish War and their ongoing territorial conflicts with the Holy Roman empire in Pomerania. Schwalenberg Castle is attacked and looted in 1634, and Varenholz Castle suffers the same fate in 1636.


Count Otto V of Holstein-Schaumburg dies without having produced an heir. The county of Schaumburg is now divided between Brunswick-Lüneburg, Hessen-Kassel, and Lippe, and Count Philip I of Lippe-Alverdissen is able to found the Schaumburg-Lippe line of the House of Lippe to incorporate the expanded territory that comes to him.


The near-constant warfare and rapid change brought about by the Reformation and Counter Reformation is finally ended by the Peace of Westphalia.

This engraving by Matthäus Merian shows the town of Detmold in 1647, but which time it had been Lippe's capital for almost two hundred years

1659 - 1700

Casimir / Kasimir

Son. Abdicated?


When Count Philip I of Lippe-Alverdissen dies, his territory of Schaumberg-Lippe (the former, enhanced, Lippe-Alverdissen) is divided between his sons. Schaumberg-Lippe goes to Friedrich Christian, while the title of Lippe-Alverdissen is revived for the younger son, Philipp Ernst who rebrands it Schaumburg-Lippe-Alverdissen.


Casimir's eldest son, Rudolph, takes the reigns from his father to begin governing Lippe-Brake. It is unclear whether this signifies a full abdication or simply a gradual transfer of daily duties, as lists place Casimir in overall command until his death in 1700.

1700 - 1707

Rudolf / Rudolph



Rudolph dies without producing a male heir. His only offspring had been a daughter, Charlotte Amalie, who had died in 1703. He also has an illegitimate daughter in the form of Sophie Müllinghausen, but neither of these would have been qualified to succeed. Instead, his uncle, Louis Ferdinand, is next in line as the last member of the Lippe-Brake branch of the family.

1707 - 1709

Ludwig Ferdinand / Louis

Son of Frederick, brother of Casimir.


Upon the death of the childless Louis Ferdinand during a trip to Hanover and Wolfenbüttel, the territory of Lippe-Brake is reunited with that of Lippe-Detmold under Count Frederick Adolphus.

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