Thursday, March 5, 2015
How All of The Trouble Began
February 17, 1750 News Flash From The Gotha Zeitung:
(Gotha, S-G) The Herzog of Saxe-Gotha, Karl V, died this afternoon when he was thrown from his horse whilst on a hunting expedition with a party of friends and dignitaries. Among the notables and witnesses was one Count Schadenfreude, the emissary to the court representing His Highness, King George Ludwig II of Hesse-Seewald.
Hesse-Seewald is strategically located between the city of Kassel on the Weser and the city of Gotha and occupies the major east-west road from Leipzig to Kassel. The Principality is well known for its famous Herzeberg Armoury which has long produced arms and armour of the highest quality. King Henry VIII of England purchased his famous golden armour from the Herzeberg Armoury in the 16th Century. In recent years, the armoury has been known for its fine muskets and fowling pieces.
Hesse-Seewald is also well known for its well-drilled army, commanded by King George Ludwig II and his son, the Kronprinz Friedrich. The Hesse-Seewald Army is organized along the lines of the Prussian Army, and received notable distinction for its performance in the recently concluded Second Silesian War, as an ally of Prussia.
There are rumors that the Princes of Saxe-Gotha and Saxe-Weimar and Hesse-Seewaldt have a mutual treaty that ensures that their territories will be inherited by one another if the ruling prince were to die without issue. If this is indeed the case, then the citizenry of Gotha may have a new sovereign ruler, since Karl V dies without issue and the Herzog of Saxe-Weimar's only heir is a daughter, the princess Anne. Salic Law prevents the daughter from inheriting the ducal title of Saxe-Weimar. This would seem to position the House of Seewald to acquire both Gotha and Weimar in one fell swoop.
The emissary from France, le duc de Legerdemain, told reporters at the Gotha Zeitung that he suspects foul play and that there is more to the premature death of Karl V than meets the eye.
Count Kaunitz of the Imperial court in Vienna, who was also a member of the hunting party, was heard to say that "The Seewald's will inherit Gotha and marry into Weimar "over my dead body."
To which Count Schadenfreude was reputed to have said, "well then, suit yourself".
According to our sources in Potsdam, the Prussian court has been informed of the news from Gotha. When asked for his reaction, His Majesty King Friedrich of Prussia was overheard to have said simply, "well now, very interesting, very interesting.”
Our reporters in Dresden have informed us that there has been considerable activity around the Saxon military base at Pirna. King Augustus of Saxony has been known to have a keen interest in the activities of the small "Saxon Duchies" ( i.e. Meiningen, Coburg, Hildburghausen, Weimar, Altenberg, and the portion of Saxe Gotha that is isolated on the east side of the Saale River in Thuringia).
The Gotha Zeitung will continue to follow this story and cover it in its usual manner of "fair, balanced and unafraid." Or at least until told otherwise by men in bluecoats and red lapels. Please stay tuned for further information.
Posted by Der Alte Fritz at 11:20 AM