Public Figure Profiles

Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II

Bernhard II, Duke of Saxe-Jena (Weimar, 14 October 1638 – Jena, 3 May 1678), was duke of Saxe-Jena.

He was the seventh child but fourth surviving son of Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Weimar and Eleonore Dorothea of Anhalt-Dessau.

Bernhard attended the University of Jena from February 1654 until November 1657. Subsequently, he was pulled into political affairs when his father sent him to Paris in order to strengthen the relations of Ernestine line with the King Louis XIV, hopefully through a marriage. The French king, however, made him wait eighteen months for an audience. The stay in France finally led to his marriage to Marie Charlotte de la Trémoille, daughter of Henri de La Trémoille and Marie de La Tour d'Auvergne. Her family were residents of the French court where they bore the rank of princes étrangers.

The wedding took place in Paris on 10 June 1662. Shortly after, the couple moved to Jena, where their five children were born:

Wilhelm (b. Jena, 24 July 1664 – d. Jena, 21 June 1666).

Stillborn daughter (Jena, 7 April 1666).

Bernhard (b. Jena, 9 November 1667 – d. Jena, 26 April 1668).

Charlotte Marie (b. Jena, 20 December 1669 – d. Gräfentonna, 6 January 1703), married on 2 November 1683 to Wilhelm Ernst, Duke of Saxe-Weimar; they divorced in 1690.

Johann Wilhelm, Duke of Saxe-Jena (b. Jena, 28 March 1675 – d. Jena, 4 November 1690).In 1662 Bernhard and his brothers divided the paternal inheritance, and he received Jena.

The marriage of Bernhard and Marie Charlotte was totally unhappy, and, as they were seemingly irreconcilable, the duke had decided to marry one of the ladies of his court, Marie Elisabeth of Kospoth. He solemnly promised that he would divorce his wife and marry her, and she ceded to his advances. They had one daughter:

Emilie Eleonore of Kospoth (b. Schloss Dornburg, 20 September 1672 – d. Merseburg, 3 May 1709); married in 1692 to Otto Wilhelm of Tümpling.Meanwhile, Bernhard's efforts to have his marriage annulled were unsuccessful, as no theologian or jurist could give him grounds for divorce; and he appeared to reconcile himself with Marie Charlotte.

Nevertheless, on 20 October 1672 he promised in writing to his mistress that he would never forget her, but would care and protect her as if she were his true wife, and giving her the style of "Lady of Alstädt" and an annual rent of 1000 Taler. Then, in 1674, they were married by a former Jesuit priest named Andreas Wigand, converted to Lutheranism in 1671. Thus, Bernhard became one of the few cases of bigamy among princes. The contract declared the children to be legitimate and noble, until such time as an Imperial Act could bring them to a higher rank. She was given as Morgengabe a sum of 20,000 Taler and assigned the Schloss Dornburg as her residence. She was obliged to keep the marriage secret until the death of the duke's first wife; should she reveal it, the duke would cease to be bound by the contract.

On 8 November 1676 Marie Elisabeth was raised by the Emperor to the rank of an Imperial Countess (Reichgräfin), along with her daughter, and any other legitimate children of hers, with the title of Countess of Altstädt (Gräfin von Altstädt) and the style of "hoch- und wohlgebohrne".

When Bernhard died, was succeeded by his only surviving son Johann Wilhelm, born of his first wife after their reconciliation in 1675.

Marie Elisabeth obtained her Morgengabe, not without some difficulty. She survived her "husband" thirty-eight years.

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Some of their strengths

Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II has many admirable traits.

Based on spiritual traditions from around the world, they are someone who can be described as Intuitive, Strong, Trustworthy, Passionate, Bold, Determined, and Energetic.

Soulful and Understanding

According to Mysticism’s Astrology tradition, Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II is someone who is a soulful, understanding, and conscious person, who combines smarts with a deep talent for creativity and imagination. A person who is known for being fun and creative.

Passionate and Intense

Based on Daoism’s Ba-Zi or ‘Chinese Zodiac’ tradition, people who know Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II well know them as someone who can be passionate, proud, and intense, like the sun or a blazing fire.

Ambitious and Forceful

According to Hinduism’s Jyotisha or ‘Vedic Astrology’ tradition, many would also describe Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II as someone who is ambitious, hard-working, determined, and intelligent.

A person who has a knack for identifying opportunities, has amazing concentration and focus, who can work independently, who likes starting new things, and who is somewhat of an intellectual.

Wise and Deep

Based on the Mayan Tzolk’in or ‘Mayan Astrology’ tradition, Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II is someone who tends to have an internal innate wisdom, and who people tend to see as an "old soul".

They are also someone who is active, giving, optimistic, and cheerful, and who possesses a charisma that attracts friends and admirers.

Creative and Imaginative

According to Judaism’s Kabbalah tradition, Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II tends to be someone who is sensitive, imaginative, creative, and somewhat of a dreamer. Who is intuitive and compassionate, and who has a friendly, easygoing, calming and relaxing effect on people and for whom friends and family mean the world.

Some of Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II's challenges

While Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II has many strengths, nobody is perfect. They also have some challenging traits they need to manage.

For example, Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II can be Indecisive, Unrealistic, Stubborn, Idle, Complicated, Brusque, and Relentless.

Indecisive and Unrealistic

One of Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II's key challenges is that they are someone who can come across as indecisive and unrealistic.

Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II must also exercise caution as they can have a hard time reconciling wants and needs, and can be short-tempered and aggressive.

Relentless and Inflexible

Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II is someone who can be relentless, obsessive, and inflexible, who can be confrontational with work colleagues, can have difficulty communicating feelings and be somewhat reclusive, and who can be self-destructive, overindulgent, and extravagant.

Lethargic and Unrealistic

Finally, Duke of Saxe-Jena Bernhard II also can be too soft, lazy and lethargic, and who can have difficulty finding others who share a similarly dreamy outlook on life.

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