World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gotthard von Kettler

Article Id: WHEBN0026654479
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gotthard von Kettler  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: History of Sweden (1523–1611)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gotthard von Kettler

Gotthard Kettler
Duke of Courland and Semigallia
Reign 1561–1587
Born (1517-02-02)February 2, 1517
Birthplace Anröchte, Kreis Soest
Died May 17, 1587(1587-05-17) (aged 70)
Place of death Mitau
Successor Friedrich Kettler
Consort Anna, Duchess of Mecklenburg
Issue Friedrich Kettler
Wilhelm Kettler
Royal House Kettler
Father Gotthard Kettler zu Melrich
Mother Sophie of Nesselrode
Religious beliefs Lutheranism

Gotthard von Kettler (also Ketteler, German: Gotthard Kettler, Herzog von Kurland; 2 February 1517 – 17 May 1587) was the last Master of the Livonian Order and the first Duke of Courland and Semigallia.


Kettler was born near Anröchte, Kreis Soest, of an old Westphalian noble family and the ninth child of the German knight Gotthard Kettler zu Melrich (mentioned 1527–1556) and his wife Sophie of Nesselrode. Gotthard's older brother Wilhelm Kettler was bishop of Münster from 1553 to 1557.

In 1554 Gotthard Kettler became Komtur of Dünaburg,[1] and in 1557 Komtur of Fellin. In 1559, during the Livonian War (1558–1582) he succeed to Wilhelm von Fürstenberg as a Master of the Teutonic Order in Livonia. When the Livonian Confederation came under increasing pressure from Tsar Ivan the Terrible, Kettler converted to Lutheranism and secularised Semigallia and Courland. On the basis of the Treaty of Vilnius (28 November 1561), he created the Duchy of Courland and Semigallia as a vassal state of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which was soon merged into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.[2]

On 11 March 1566 Kettler married Anna, Duchess of Mecklenburg, daughter of Duke Albert VII of Mecklenburg-Güstrow and Princess Anna of Brandenburg.[3] He died on 17 May 1587 in Mitau (Polish Mitawa, Latvian Jelgava).

Kettler died at Mitau, aged 70. His heirs ruled in Courland until 1737.



  • Grusemann, Hans, 1990. Die Frühgeschichte des Geschlechts Ketteler (Kettler), 12.-16. Jahrhundert. Soest.
  • Schwennicke, Ditleff. Europäische Stammtafeln zur Geschichte der Europäischen Staaten (Neue Folge), Band VIII, Tafel 91 (Die Ketteler).
  • Salomon Henning's Chronicle of Courland and Livonia, translated and edited by Jerry C. Smith, William Urban and Ward Jones
  • Heinz Matthiesen (1964) (in German). "full text online)
Preceded by
Title created
Duke of Courland
Succeeded by
Friedrich Kettler

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.