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European Kingdoms

Central Europe


Hessen-Philippsthal / Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld
AD 1655 - Present Day

Hessen-Philippsthal was a cadet line of Hessen-Kassel which was created in 1655. Landgrave William VI of Hessen-Kassel came of age in 1650 during the turmoil of the Thirty Years' War. His father and grandfather had both lost territory to Hessen-Darmstadt and the Austrian-dominated Holy Roman empire during the war and the landgraviate was in a sickly financial state. William's mother, while acting as his regent, managed to claw back a good deal of the lost land but the situation was still far from stable. Despite this, just five years after assuming full control of Kassel, William decided to create the cadet branch of Hessen-Philippsthal for one of his younger sons, Philip. The act largely involved a transfer of some landholdings and no real power, so it could have been done as a statement of confidence in Hessen-Kassel's revival.

Despite not holding any noticeable power, as with each of the title-holders of the various cadet branches Philip assumed the title of landgraf ('landgrave' in English). This essentially ranked him as a 'prince' (although his position was not quite so elevated) amongst his peers in the nobility and put him on an equal footing with his siblings and various Ydulfing cousins. In turn, Philip saw to it that his lands were sub-divided upon his death. His eldest son, Charles, retained Hessen-Philippsthal whilst the younger son, William, became landgraf of Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. The naming format alone shows that it was a junior branch of Hessen-Philippsthal which itself remained a junior branch of Hessen-Kassel. Both title survived alongside each other until 1925 before one lapsed and was merged with the other. To differentiate between the two branches, Philippsthal's incumbents are shown on the left, while those of Barchfeld are shown on the right.

(Additional information from External Links: Euratlas, and Historical Atlas of Germany.)

1655 - 1736

Philip (III)

Third son of William VI. First landgrave of Hessen-Philippsthal.


The two sons of Philip divide the landgraviate into Hessen-Philippsthal and Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld.

1736 - 1770

Charles / Karl (II)

Hessen-Philippsthal. Son.

1736 - 1761


Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Brother.

1761 - 1777


Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Son of William of Barchfeld.

1770 - 1810


Hessen-Philippsthal. Son of Charles.

1777 - 1803


Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Brother of Frederick.


During the regency of Princess Juliane of Hessen-Philippsthal, mother of the infant Prince George William of Schaumburg-Lippe, the counts of Lippe-Detmold are raised to the rank of 'Prince of the Empire', the title for the head of noble families rather than the offspring of monarchs. Despite already being the senior line of descent for the House of Lippe, it is clearly now superior to the other branches of the family, and so the designation of Detmold is dropped from the title.

1803 - 1854


Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Son of Adolf.

1810 - 1816


MapHessen-Philippsthal. Son of William of Philippsthal.

1816 - 1849

Ernst Constantine

Hessen-Philippsthal. Brother of Ludwig.

1849 - 1868

Charles / Karl

Hessen-Philippsthal. Son of Ernst Constantine.

1854 - 1905


Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Son of Karl.


The cadet lines of Philippsthal and Philippsthal-Barchfeld gain certain castles and palaces from Hessen-Kassel through Prussian management of the former landgraviate.

1868 - 1925


Hessen-Philippsthal. Son of Charles. No heir.

1905 - 1954


Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. Nephew of Alexis. Born 1876.


The line of Hessen-Philippsthal dies with Ernst after he fails to produce an heir. The title is merged with that of Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld, which continues without the 'Barchfeld' appendage.

1925 - 1954


Landgrave of a single, reunited Hessen-Philippsthal from 1925.

1954 - Present


Grandson. His father, William, died in Russia in 1942.

Hereditary Prince William

Son. Born 1963.