History - OTD - On This Day - 7 August 1613 - William Frederick of Nassau-Dietz

7 August 1613 marks the birth of William Frederick of Nassau -Dietz.
This took place at Arnhem (now a part of the Netherlands then a part of
the Dutch Republic).


William Frederick of Nassau-Dietz was the second son of
Ernest Casimir I, Count of Nassau-Dietz and
Sophia Hedwig of Brunswick- Lüneburg.

He had an elder brother Hendrik Casimir I of Nassau-Dietz.

Love and Marriage

William Frederick of Nassau - Dietz married Albertine Agnes of Nassau,
the 5th. daughter of Frdercik Henry, Prince of Orange on 2 May 1652 at
Cleves. This couple had 3 children:

Amalia of Nassau-Dietz,
Henry Casimir II, Count of Nassau-Dietz,
Wilhelmina Sophia Hedwig.

William Frederick was a paternal grandson of John VI, Count of Nassau-
Dillenburg, a younger brother of his wife's paternal grandfather:
William the Silent.


William Frederick studied at Leiden University and the University of
Groningen, later he took a commission in the army of the Dutch Republic.

He was a junior partner of his future father in law and brother in law,
William II, Prince of Orange.

In 1640, Hendrik Casimir I of Nassau-Dietz died childless near Hulst and
William Frederick inherited his titles.

However the post as Stadtholder was not yet hereditary. William Frederick
only was appointed Stadtholder in Friesland. However later he obtained to
became Stadtholder in other provinces too.

William Frederick tried to act as the de facto head of the Orangist party,
in opposition to the States Party of Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and
his uncle Cornelis de Graeff.

In 1654, William Frederick 's title of Count was upgraded to
Imperial Prince (Reichfürst) by the Holy Roman Emperor. Within the
empire this title provided him more prestige.

Only during the invasion of Bernhard von Galen during the
Second Anglo Dutch War, William Frederick was entrusted with a
command in the field. He was successful in the reconquest of a strategic


William Frederick of Nassau-Dietz, died on 31 October 1664
in an accident with a pistol that fired unexpectedly.

Before his death he had persuaded the States of Friesland that his son
Henry Casimir II (then only 7 years old) should succeed him as Stadtholder.
The States kept their word. They accepted a regency of the young boy's
mother and the Frisian stadtholderate was made hereditary in 1675.

Source picture: Wikipedia