House of Schomberg

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
House of Schomberg
Parent houseSchönburg auf Wesel
CountryUnited Kingdom
Place of originRhineland
FounderFrederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg
TitlesKing of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
Duke of Schomberg
Duke of Leinster
Marquess of Harwich
Earl of Brentford
Earl of Bangor
Baron Teyes
Count of Mertola

The House of Schomberg ([ʃɔmbəː(ɹ)g]; German: Schönburg, Norwegian: Skjønnberg), is a reigning European royal house of Huguenot, English, Scottish, and Rhenish origin that has ruled the United Kingdom of Great Britain since 1777 and previously Norway from 1815 to 1843.

Members of the dynasty trace their descent back to Count Hans Meinhard von Schönberg, a 16th-century nobleman of the Electoral Palatinate. In 1672, his son, Frederick Schomberg, was invited to London by Henrietta I to take command of a contingent of the English Army. After the decisive defeat of France by a coalition of England, the Netherlands, and Spain in 1676, the Schomberg family settled in Middlesex. By 1700, the Schombergs had acquired numerous British titles and properties, thus firmly establishing themselves as British nobles.

In 1777, with the death of the Stuart-Nassau queen Elizabeth II, the majority of the British Parliament threw their support behind Frederick Schomberg as successor due to his seventh-generation descent from James VI & I of Scotland, England, and Ireland through his grandmother Princess Louise Apollonia of Salm and great-grandmother Raugravine Caroline Elisabeth.


The Schomberg dynasty arises from an old Rhenish noble family, Schönburg auf Wesel. Schönburg Castle in the town of Oberwesel has been the ancestral seat of the family since the 12th century. Several distinct lines of the family were living at the Castle throughout the 1500s. This Schomberg family is not to be confused with the Saxon-Thuringian noble family of the same name.

In the early 17th century, Hans Meinhard von Schönberg was elevated to the rank of imperial count. He served as a field marshal of the House of Palatinate-Simmern and as the bailiff of his hometown of Bacharach. Throughout his life, he also worked as a diplomat to the Netherlands & Britain as well as a commander in the Dutch, Prussian, Palatine, and Brunswick-Lüneburg armies. While on a mission in England, he married noblewoman Anna Sutton-Dudley on 22 March 1615, giving birth to Frederick Schomberg the same year.

Orphaned young, Frederick was raised by Frederick V of the Palatinate and other family friends. He began his military career under Frederick Henry of the Netherlands, eventually also entering the armed forces of Sweden and France. From 1650 to 1672, he served in the French army as a Marshal of France (he had also served Portugal, gaining the title Count of Mértola in 1663). Frederick benefited from his close association with his distant Saxon relative, Charles de Schomberg, also a Marshal of France. In 1672, as Huguenots (French Protestants) became increasingly prosecuted in France, he accepted an offer from Henrietta I of England to serve as a commander in the English army. Frederick became a notable and valued military leader for the Triple Alliance (England, Sweden, and the Netherlands). From 1690 until his death, he acquired the British titles Duke of Schomberg, Marquess of Harwich, Earl of Brentford, Earl of Bangor, and Baron Teyes.

Frederick's eldest son, the Prussian general Charles, predeceased him in 1697. Thus, his titles transferred to his second son, Meinhardt Schomberg, 2nd Duke Schomberg. He married Raugravine Caroline Elisabeth, the great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, giving birth to a son, Charles-Louis. Meinhardt's daughter, Lady Frederica Schomberg, married who is considered the first British prime minister, Robert Darcy, cementing the Schombergs' influence in British politics. Charles-Louis married German noblewoman Louise Apollonia of Salm, also a great-granddaughter of Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia.

Elizabeth II died in 1777 with no issue, prompting the question of succession. The Act of Settlement 1692, passed under Henrietta, governed that only Protestant descendants of James VI & I were eligible. In the 1730s, the Placard of Right granted extensive powers to Parliament, thus giving them authority to approve the next monarch. Frederick Schomberg, MP for Harwich from 1762 to 1773, used his family's ties to the British political establishment to secure his succession to the throne. Thus, shortly after Elizabeth II's death, he became the first British monarch from the Schomberg family and the first member of Parliament to become king, assuming the regnal name Frederick I.

List of notable members

Portrait Name Birth Death
Field Marshal General
Meinhard von Schönberg auf Wesel
26 April 1530
Oberwesel, Hesse-Darmstadt
Son of Friedrich von Schönburg auf Wesel and Elisabeth von Langeln
22 April 1596
Schönburg Castle, Oberwesel, Hesse-Darmstadt
Hans Meinhard von Schönberg
28 August 1582
Bacharach, the Palatinate
Son of Meinhard von Schönberg auf Wesel and Dorothea Riedesel von Bellersheim
3 August 1616
Heidelberg, the Palatinate
Frederick Schomberg
1st Duke Schomberg
6 December 1615
Heidelberg, the Palatinate
Son of Hans Meinhard von Schönberg and Anne Sutton-Dudley
26 May 1702
Dublin, Kingdom of Ireland
Meinhardt Schomberg
2nd Duke Schomberg
30 June 1641
Cologne, Holy Roman Empire
Son of Frederick Schomberg and Johanna Elizabeth de Schomberg
16 July 1716
Hillingdon, Middlesex, Great Britain
Charles-Louis Schomberg
3rd Duke Schomberg
16 January 1681
London, Great Britain
Son of Meinhardt Schomberg and Raugravine Caroline Elisabeth
14 February 1751
Folkestone, Great Britain
Edward Schomberg
4th Duke Schomberg
18 December 1704
Schomberg House, London, Great Britain
Son of Charles Schomberg and Louise Apollonia of Salm
5 May 1772
Folkestone, Great Britain
Frederick I
King of Great Britain and Ireland
6 February 1737
Hillingdon House, London, Great Britain
Son of Edward Schomberg and Lady Valerie Primrose
28 April 1779
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
George I
King of Great Britain and Ireland
23 July 1743
Schomberg House, London, Great Britain
Son of Edward Schomberg and Lady Valerie Primrose
6 July 1804
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
George II
King of Great Britain and Ireland
15 October 1779
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
Son of George I and Lady Barbara Beauclerk-Lennox
8 March 1821
Windsor Castle, Berkshire, Great Britain
Ernest I
King of the United Kingdom
10 May 1798
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
Son of George II and Wilhelmina Marianne of the Netherlands
4 August 1873
Brightstone House, Isle of Wight, United Kingdom
Edward VII
King of the United Kingdom
24 April 1824
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
Son of Ernest I and Charlotte Sophia of Pomerania
28 December 1878
Lombard Street, London, United Kingdom
Alexander I & IV
King of the United Kingdom
18 January 1827
Hampton Court Palace, London, Great Britain
Son of Ernest I and Charlotte Sophia of Pomerania
22 April 1896
Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom
Elizabeth III
Queen of Great Britain
30 June 1871
Cumberland Lodge, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Daughter of Prince Alfred and Georgiana Victoria of Hanover
21 September 1947
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
Ernest II
King of Great Britain
19 February 1901
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
Son of Elizabeth III and Carolus of Pomerania
27 July 1959
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
Ernest III
King of Great Britain
8 October 1932
Cumberland Lodge, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Son of Ernest II
7 January 1984
Pennine Hills, Derbyshire, Great Britain
Alexander II & V
King of Great Britain
30 December 1935
Palace of Whitehall, London, Great Britain
Son of Ernest II
13 May 1984
King's College Hospital, London, Great Britain
Queen of Great Britain
15 April 1956
Royal Maternity Hospital, Greenwich, Great Britain
Daughter of Alexander II & V and Mary d'Abro

Family tree

Meinhard von Schönberg auf WeselDorothea Riedesel von BellersheimJohn of GauntJames VI & I
Hans Meinhard von SchönbergAnne Sutton-DudleyElizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia
Frederick, 1st DukeJohanna Elizabeth de SchombergCharles I Louis, Elector Palatine
Meinhardt, 2nd DukeRaugravine Caroline Elisabeth
Charles-Louis, 3rd DukeLouise Apollonia of SalmFrederica, Countess of HoldernessFrederick, 1st Viscount Reading
Edward, 4th DukeLady Valerie Primrose
Frederick IAmelia of AvonGeorge IBarbara Beauclerk-Lennox
Sybil, Countess of MértolaGeorge IIWilhelmina Marianne of the Netherlands
Caroline Augusta, Princess RoyalErnest ICharlotte Sophia of PomeraniaPrincess EleanorCatherine of BritainAmelia, Duchess of MilanGeorge Alexander, Duke of Fife
Edward VIIAlexander I & IVPrince AlfredChristian IX of DenmarkFrancesco V of Milan
Prince Charles of WalesAlexander FitzYork, 1st Duke of BerwickElizabeth IIICarolus of Pomerania
Ernest II
Ernest IIIAlexander II & VMary d'Abro
Augustus of AlbemarleEuphemia

Cadet branches

Cadet branches of the Schomberg dynasty predominately carry three surnames — Fitzroy, as has been held by lesser sons of the monarch since Tudor times; FitzYork, as is held by the descendants of Alexander I & IV and royal mistress Julia Campion; and Beaumont, a commonplace Anglo-Norman surname and coincidentally a calque of the royal name Schomberg (both meaning 'beautiful mountain' in French and German, respectively).


See also