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Ernest Augustus, Elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg


Ernest Augustus ( ; ; 20 November 1629 – 23 January 1698) was duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruled over the Calenberg (or Hanover) subdivision of the duchy. He was appointed prince-elector, but died before the appointment became effective. He was also Prince-Bishop of Osnabrück.

Ernest Augustus was born at Herzberg am Harzmarker, the son of George, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and Anne Eleonore of Hesse-Darmstadt (Ernest Augustus was descended from the Albertinian line of the Habsburg family and also the House of Hohenzollern). In 1658 he married Sophia of the Palatinate in Heidelbergmarker. As the fourth son, he had little chance of succeeding his father as ruler, and so, in 1662, his relatives appointed him bishop of Osnabrück; according to the Peace of Westphalia, every second bishop of Osnabrück was to be appointed by the dukes of Brunswick-Lüneburg. However, after two of his elder brothers had died without sons, Ernest Augustus inherited part of his father's territories in 1679, namely Calenberg (including Göttingen).

In 1683, against the protestations of his five younger sons, Ernest Augustus installed primogeniture, so that his territory would not be further subdivided after his death, and also as a pre-condition for obtaining the coveted electorship. He participated in the Great Turkish War on the side of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor. In 1692 he was appointed prince-elector by the Emperor; however, the electorship did not come into effect until 1708. Ernest Augustus died in 1698 at Herrenhausenmarker; he was succeeded as duke by his eldest son George Louis, who would later also become king of Great Britain.

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