Today we greet a lesser known nobleman here at the salon. After a blood-soaked trip to France yesterday it is time to pay a more peaceful visit to Germany to meet Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. Louis married twice and produced a large brood of children, though his home life was not always happy.
Louis IX of Hesse-Darmstadt was born to Louis VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt and Charlotte of Hanau-Lichtenberg and Müntzenberg. As a child he was schooled in politics and prepared to take over the Landgraviate from his father. Although territorially rich, Hesse-Darmstadt was economically troubled under the leadership of Louis VIII and when his son inherited the title in 1768, the Landgraviate's coffers were far from overflowing.
|Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken by Johann Georg Ziesenis|
Long before he became Landgrave, the 21 year old Louis IX married Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken, daughter of Christian III, Duke of Zweibrücken. The couple had eight children, all of whom survived to adulthood though the marriage between Caroline and Louis was not destined to be a happy one. Passionate about the arts, Caroline found little to admire in her husband, who occupied his own time with military and politics. The couple eventually separated and Caroline took up residence in Buchsweiler, where she founded an influential court of her own.
Caroline died in 1774 and just one year later the newly-widowed Louis married again, this time to Marie Adelaide of Cheirouze, Countess of Lemberg. Although this second marriage did not result in any children, nor did it end in estrangement and Marie Adelaide proved a far more suitable match for the Landgrave, who died aged 70 in 1790.
Life in the Georgian Court, true tales of 18th century royalty, is available at the links below.