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Louis II
Portrait of Louis II
Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
Reign6 April 1830 – 16 June 1848
Predecessor Louis I
Successor Louis III
Born(1777-12-26)26 December 1777
Died16 June 1848(1848-06-16) (aged 70)
Darmstadt, Grand Duchy of Hesse
( m. 1804; died 1836)
Issue Louis III, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
Prince Karl of Hesse and by Rhine
Princess Elizabeth of Hesse and by Rhine
Prince Alexander of Hesse and by Rhine
Marie, Empress of Russia
House Hesse-Darmstadt
Father Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
Mother Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt

Louis II (26 December 1777 – 16 June 1848) was Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine from 6 April 1830 until 16 June 1848. He was the son of Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse, and Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt.


Before his reign

He studied at Leipzig University. Thereafter, he lived mostly in Darmstadt. 1804 he represented his father at the coronation of Napoleon in Paris. He took part in the Congress of Erfurt and the Congress of Vienna and attended the coronation of Louis XVIII in Paris.

Based on the 1820 Constitution of the Grand Duchy of Hesse, he was a member of the First Chamber of Parliament until becoming sovereign in 1830. He was not really active in parliament apart from defending the constitution against any attempts to amend it. [1]: 80–81 

He was not really interested in governmental affairs, despite most cabinet ministers trying to include and brief him on current matters. [1]: 28 


He began his reign on April 6, 1830. He provoked a conflict with parliament as he demanded that his large personal debt be taken over by the state. Due to his reactionary positions, he was in conflict with parliament almost his entire reign.

Shortly after becoming sovereign, he had to deal with uprisings in Upper Hesse, which he left to his brother Prince Emil. Emil and Prime Minister Karl du Thil were the actual government of the Grand Duchy at the time. [1]: 26 

Resignation and death

The German revolutions of 1848–1849 showed his inability to govern. On March 5, 1848, he named his son Louis III as co-regent.

Following his death shortly afterwards, he was at first buried in the Stadtkirche Darmstadt, before his body was moved to the Old Mausoleum in Park Rosenhöhe in 1910.

Marriage and issue

On 19 June 1804, in Karlsruhe, he married his first cousin Princess Wilhelmine of Baden, youngest daughter of Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden, and his wife, Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt.

Due to Louis's affairs, the union proved an unhappy one, and the couple separated after the birth of their third child, who was his second surviving child.

Wilhelmine had four children in the 1820s, but it was widely rumored that their real father was her chamberlain August von Senarclens de Grancy. Louis II nonetheless acknowledged them, and they were considered legitimate Princes and Princesses of Hesse and by Rhine by the nobles of Europe. Two of them lived to adulthood.



  1. ^ a b c Büttner, Siegfried (1969). Die Anfänge des Parlamentarismus in Hessen-Darmstadt und das du Thilsche System. Darmstad: Historischer Verein für Hessen.
Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse
Cadet branch of the House of Hesse
Born: 26 December 1777 Died: 16 June 1848
Regnal titles
Preceded by Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine
Succeeded by