Portrait of Augustus William (1662-1731), Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruling Prince of Wolfenbüttel (1714-1731)
Augustus William (German: August Wilhelm von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel; 8 March 1662 – 23 March 1731), a member of the House of Welf, was Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg and ruling Prince of Wolfenbüttel from 1714 until his death. Augustus William was the third, but eldest surviving son of Duke Anthony Ulrich and his consort Elizabeth Juliane, a daughter of Duke Frederick of Schleswig-Holstein-Sønderburg-Norburg. Unlike his father, the young prince was not interested in politics; he studied at the University of Geneva from 1677 to 1678 and afterwards went on a Grand Tour from Switzerland to France and the Netherlands. Nevertheless, in 1681 his uncle, the ruling Prince Rudolph Augustus of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, who himself had no male heirs, adopted him as crown prince. The agreement annoyed Augustus William's father and led to a growing estrangement between them. Moreover, his right of succession was constested by Rudolph Augustus' son-in-law Duke John Adolphus of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Plön. The prince temporarily retired to Langeleben in the Elm hill range, where he had a hunting lodge erected, probably according to plans designed by Hermann Korb. Meanwhile he also acted as a Wolfenbüttel envoy to the Brandenburg-Prussian, Swedish, and Danish courts. In 1690 he gave his consent to cede the Brunswick County of Blankenburg to his younger brother Louis Rudolph, thus violating the Welf primogeniture principle. Augustus William succeeded his father as Prince of Wolfenbüttel in 1714. He had his Wolfenbüttel residence extended, but left political decisions to corrupt ministers. His splendid court severely burdened the public budget. Even though he was married three times, he died childless in 1731 and was succeeded by his brother Louis Rudolph.
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