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Augustus III of Poland

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Augustus III, known as the Saxon (Polish: August III. Sas; German: August III. von Polen; also Prince-elector Friedrich August II, 17 October 1696 – 5 October 1763) was the Elector of Saxony from 1733 to 1763, and as Frederick Augustus II (German: Kurfürst Friedrich August II.), King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania from 1734 to 1763.


Augustus was the only legitimate son of Augustus II the Strong, Imperial Prince-Elector of Saxony and monarch of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, by his wife, Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth. He was groomed to succeed his father as King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania, and thus in 1721, converted to Catholicism.

After his father's death, he inherited Saxony and was elected King of Poland, with the support of Russian and Austrian military forces in the War of the Polish Succession (1733-1738). As King, Augustus III was uninterested in the affairs of his Polish-Lithuanian dominion, focusing on interests like hunting, opera and collecting paintings. During his 30-year reign, he spent less than a total of three years in Poland, where the struggle between the House of Czartoryski and the Potocki paralysed the Sejm (Liberum Veto), fostering internal political anarchy and further weakening the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Augustus III delegated most of his powers and responsibilities to Heinrich von Brühl, who became quasi-dictator of Poland.

The thirty years of Augustus III's reign saw the Seven Years' War (1754 and 1756–1763), and neighboring Prussia, Austria and Russia refining their plans to partition Poland, among them.

His eldest surviving son, Frederick Christian, eventually succeeded his father as Elector of Saxony, but not as King of Poland. It was Stanisław August Poniatowski, who was elected King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, after a coup d'état by the House of Czartoryski, supported by Russian troops on 7 September 1764.

Marriage and children

In Dresden on 20 August 1719, Augustus married the Archduchess, Maria Josepha of Austria, daughter of Joseph I, the Holy Roman Emperor. They had fifteen children:

  • Frederick Augustus Franz Xavier (b. Dresden, 18 November 1720 - d. Dresden, 22 January 1721).
  • Joseph Augustus Wilhelm Frederick Franz Xavier Johann Nepomuk (b. Pillnitz, 24 October 1721 - d. Dresden, 14 March 1728).
  • Frederick Christian Leopold Johann Georg Franz Xavier (b. Dresden, 5 September 1722 - d. Dresden, 17 December 1763), successor to his father as Elector of Saxony.
  • Stillborn daughter (Dresden, 23 June 1723).
  • Maria Amalia Christina Franziska Xaveria Flora Walburga (b. Dresden, 24 November 1724 - d. Buen Retiro, 27 September 1760); married on 19 June 1738 to Charles VII, King of Naples, later King Charles III of Spain.
  • Maria Margaretha Franziska Xaveria (b. Dresden, 13 September 1727 - d. Dresden, 1 February 1734).
  • Maria Anna Sophie Sabina Angela Franziska Xaveria (b. Dresden, 29 August 1728 - d. Munich, 17 February 1797); married on 9 August 1747 to Maximilian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria.
  • Franz Xavier Albert August Ludwig Benno (b. Dresden, 25 August 1730 - d. Dresden, 21 June 1806), Regent of Saxony (1763-1768).
  • Maria Josepha Karolina Eleonore Franziska Xaveria (b. Dresden, 4 November 1731 - d. Versailles, 13 March 1767); married on 9 February 1747 to Louis, Dauphin of France (1729–1765), son of Louis XV of France (she was the mother of Kings Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X) of France.
  • Karl Christian Joseph Ignaz Eugen Franz Xavier (b. Dresden, 13 July 1733 - d. Dresden, 16 June 1796), Duke of Courland and Zemgale (1758-1763).
  • Maria Christina Anna Teresia Salomea Eulalia Franziska Xaveria (b. Warsaw, 12 February 1735 - d. Brumath, 19 November 1782), Princess-Abbess of Remiremont. [1]
  • Maria Elisabeth Apollonia Casimira Francisca Xaveria (b. Warsaw, 9 February 1736 - d. Dresden, 24 December 1818). [2]
  • Albert Kasimir August Ignaz Pius Franz Xavier (b. Moritzburg, near Dresden, 11 July 1738 - d. Vienna, 10 February 1822), Duke of Teschen and Governor of the Austrian Netherlands (1781-1793).
  • Clemens Wenceslaus August Hubertus Franz Xavier (b. Schloss Hubertusburg, Wermsdorf, 28 September 1739 - d. Marktoberdorf, Allgäu, 27 July 1812), Archbishop of Trier.
  • Maria Kunigunde Dorothea Hedwig Franziska Xaveria Florentina (b. Warsaw, 10 November 1740 - d. Dresden, 8 April 1826), Princess-Abbess of Thorn and Essen; nearly married Louis Philippe II, Duke of Orléans; Philippe Égalité.

Royal titles

  • Royal titles in Latin: Augustus tertius, Dei gratia rex Poloniae, magnus dux Lithuaniæ, Russiæ, Prussiæ, Masoviæ, Samogitiæ, Kijoviæ, Volhiniæ, Podoliæ, Podlachiæ, Livoniæ, Smolensciæ, Severiæ, Czerniechoviæque, nec non hæreditarius dux Saxoniæ et princeps elector. [3]
  • English translation: August III, by the grace of God, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Ruthenia (i.e. Galicia), Prussia, Masovia, Samogitia, Kyiv, Volhynia, Podolia, Podlachia, Livonia, Smolensk, Severia, Chernihiv, and also hereditary Duke of Saxony and Prince-elector.


Construction work at castles

  • Hubertusburg
  • Katholische Hofkirche, Dresden
  • Saxon Palace, Warsaw (destroyed 1944)
  • Brühl Palace, Warsaw (destroyed 1944)

See also

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Augustus III of Poland. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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