Latvia Substates

Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Substates of Latvia/Latvijas (Female Suffrage 1918) Independent 1918-44 and 04.05.1990

Also see Latvia Heads Latvia Ministers

Kurland/Courland or Kurzeme

1701-02 Regent Dowager Duchess Sophia von Brandenburg of Livland, Kurland and Semgallen
For Friedrich Wilhelm (1989-1711)

1711-37 Duchess Anna Ivannova in Livonia of Courland and Semigallia
The Latvian version of Courland is Kurzeme. Anna was Russian Empress 1740-50

1779-94 Politically Influential Duchess Anna Charlotta Dorothea von Medem of Courland and Semigallia (Latvia)
1794-1821 Lady of Löbichau (Germany)
Due to the Duchy's political difficulties with the Courland nobility and with the overlord, the King of Poland, her husband Peter Biron, sent her on frequent diplomatic missions to Warsaw, lasting months at a time, as well as shorter trips to Berlin, Karlovy Vary and Saint Petersburg. During these long absences she became alienated fro her husband and after the birth of her youngest daughter Dorothea in 1793 (Dorothea's biological father was Alexander Batowski, although Peter acknowledged her as his own) she moved permanently to the Palais Kurland in Berlin, where she held an aristocratic salon. In 1794 she acquired the Gutsherrschaft Löbichau in Altenburgischen and spent her summers at the newly-built Schloss there. Inviting poets, philosophers, relatives and friends to Löbichau, it became known as the Musenhof der Herzogin von Kurland. When her youngest daughter, Dorothea married Edmond de Talleyrand-Périgord in 1809 she moved to Paris, having an intense relationship with Talleyrand and influenced him to turn against Napoleon. In 1814 she traveled to the Congress of Vienna to confront him with his love-affair with her daughter. 3 of her 4 daughters succeeded to the family titles from 1800 until 1862. She was Reichsgraf Friedrich von Medem, from the old Courland nobility, and Louise Charlotte von Manteuffel, and lived (1761-1821).

1800-39 Sovereign Duchess Wilhelmine Biron von Kurland of Sagan, Representative of the Sovereign Dukes of Courland
The Duchy of Sagan was a fief of the Crown of Prussia, acquired from the Lobkowicz in 1786 by Duke Peter of Courland and confirmed for male line with succession to the nearest female on the death of the last male. The Biron von Courland line continued with Peter's brother, but on Peter's  death in 1800 Sagan passed to the eldest daughter Princess Katharina Friederike Wilhelmine. She was first married to Prince Jules de Rohan-Guéméné until they divorced in 1805. Her second husband was Prince Vassili Trubetzkoi (d.1841) whom she divorced in 1806. In 1818 she married Carl Rudolf Graf von der Schulenburg, but had no children and was succeeded by sister, Pauline. Wilhelmine lived (1781-1839). 

1839-44 Sovereign Duchess Pauline Biron von Kurland of Sagan and Representative of the Sovereign Dukes of Courland
Succeeded sister, Wilhelmine to the Duchy in Schlesia. Married to Prince Friedrich von Hohenzollern-Hechingen, who died 1838. She ceded the title to her son Constantin, Fürst von und zu Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1801-1869) in 1842. Since he had no children with his wife Princess Eugčnie de Beauharnais von Leuchtenberg, she sold to her sister Dorothea all her portion of the allodial estates of the Duchy. Constantin continued negotiations with his aunt, which was concluded on 16 Oct 1843 with the sale of the title and all claims, subject to actual possession by Dorothea being delayed until 1844. Pauline lived (1782-1845).

1844-62 Sovereign Duchess Dorothea Biron von Kurland of Sagan and Representative of the Sovereign Dukes of Courland
She succeeded after her sister Pauline renounced the title in her favour and she bought Sagan from her nephew. The third sister, Johanna Catharine (1783-1876), who was divorced from Francesco Pignatelli Duca di Acerenza also renounced her rights in favour of the youngest sister. Dorothea was married to Edmund de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino et de Talleyrand, French Foreign Minister, and her sons got the title of Duke of Sagan in 1844, again the succession was conferred to males, and following their extinction to the  nearest female was confirmed by the King of Prussia in 1845 and in 1846. Dorothea gave birth to three children, and lived (1793-1862).



Last update 19.09.08