Hohenzollern-Hechingen, Hermann Friedrich, Count von
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Hermann Friedrich Count von Hohenzollern-Hechingen
Franconian Major-General 1703/05?, Feldmarschall-Lieutenant 1710, Feldzeugmeister 1720
Imperial Major-General (1705-1708), Feldmarschall-Lieutenant (1708-1716), Feldzeugmeister (1716-1723), Field Marshal (1723-1733)
born 11 January 1665, Castle Hechingen
died 23 January 1733, Freiburg im Breisgau
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The counts Hohenzollern-Hechingen represent the original, Catholic branch of the Hohenzollern family, better known in connection with Brandenburg-Prussia. Hermann Friedrich was the son of Philipp Friedrich Christoph Fürst von Hohenzollern-Hechingen and Maria Sidonia Margravine von Baden-Rodemachern.
As a second son, Hohenzollern was intended for a clerical career, but he didn't pursue a such seriously. In 1674, he was canon in the Cologne Cathedral chapter, in 1683 and 1684, in the Straßburg (aka Strasbourg) Cathedral chapter. During his time in Bayreuth, he founded anew the Catholic parish there.
As often, we don't know any details about Hohenzollern's early career: he left no personal documents and there are only a few other records about him. In September 1692, he sent a letter from the encampment at Hollenheim, but his actual status isn't mentioned. In April 1693, he applied at the Vienna Hofkriegsrat (War Council) for a position as general-adjutant, in January 1694 for the appropriate salary.
As late as 1695, we find Hohenzollern in Nuremberg service in the former von der Recke (who had resigned) company of cuirassiers, ranking lieutenant-colonel. As a member of the nobility, it is possible that he began his career as a staff officer and never had to serve as a humble subaltern or even captain. In 1697, he was made colonel, but left service at the end of the Nine Years' War (1688-1697) in 1698. At least, he obviously had made contact at the Brandenburg-Bayreuth court.
In 1702, Hohenzollern was present at the Siege of Landau, where he was wounded. In 1703, he was back with the Franconian Circle, obtaining the rank of major-general – the appropriate salary was paid from 1705 – and one of the four new infantry regiments. He had his house-colours (black and white) displayed on the hat-lace of the Leib-company of his new regiment. But trying to get the Franconian circle to pay for a regimental hautbois band, he met with refusal.
After General Jahnus was wounded at Krottensee in 1703, Hohenzollern took command of his corps.
At the Brandenburg-Bayreuth court, Hohenzollern met Eleonore Magdalena, daughter of Margrave Christian Ernst. As in consequence a daughter, Eleonore Elisabeth Auguste, was born, so they had to marry. Christian Ernst had had Hermann Friedrich put under arrest at the Fortress of Plassenburg to further his conversion to Protestantism and his decision to make Eleonora Magdalena his wife (which he did on 8 September 1704). As Hermann Friedrich had been already in the holy orders, a dispensation had to be obtained in Rome via the Prince-Bishop of Bamberg and the Vienna court.
On 19 May 1704, Hohenzollern was promoted to Imperial major-general.
In 1705, Hohenzollern was appointed counselor to the Brandenburg-Bayreuth "Ordre de la Sincérité."
In 1708, Hohenzollern was promoted to Imperial Feldmarschall-Lieutenant.
In 1710, after he had repeatedly applied for it, Hohenzollern was promoted Franconian Feldmarschall-Lieutenant.
After the death of his first wife, Count Hohenzollern, on 28 May 1714, married Maria Josepha Theresia Countess zu Oettingen-Spielberg. They had twelve children and thus secured the persistence of the comital branch of the Hohenzollern family.
In 1716, Hohenzollern was promoted to Imperial Feldzeugmeister.
After the regiment Hohenzollern had been dissolved in 1714, Hohenzollern was granted an expectancy for the next Franconian regiment to become vacant. This was the case in 1720, when Johann Emmeran Emerich von Helmstätt died. So on 23 July 1720, Hohenzollern became proprietor of one of the three "old" Franconian regiments of infantry. Although he resigned his function with the Franconians in 1721, he retained the proprietorship of the regiment until 1723, when he entered Imperial service with the rank of field marshal and was appointed Governor of Freiburg im Breisgau, where he died ten years later.
His Franconian regiment was given to Franz Friedrich von Moeck. In spite of Hohenzollern's high ranks in Imperial service, he had never held a proprietorship there. Only two relatives, his brother Friedrich Wilhelm and his nephew Friedrich Ludwig von Hohenzollern-Hechingen, were consecutive proprietors of the Hohenzollern Cuirassiers during the War of the Spanish Succession.
Müssel, Karl: Hermann Friedrich Graf von Hohenzollern-Hechingen (1665-1733). In: ArchGOfr 62/1982, pp. 93-105.
Schmidt-Brentano, Antonio: Kaiserliche und k.k. Generale (1618-1815). S.l. 2006.
Willax, Franz: Der Kampf um die Veste Rothenberg 1703. Schnaittach 1992, p. 295.
Klaus Roider for the initial version of this article