Das Wappen der Familie von Bentinck
the coat of arms of the family of Bentinck

Bentinck was the name of a free-wonderful aristocracy sex from the Pfalz, in 14. Century after funds and from there was transplanted to England and Oldenburg and with Wennemar Bentinck in the year 1304 is for the first time documentary mentioned.

The direct master row began church chiefs in Heerde , which was taken up 1377 to the knight shank by funds with Johan Bentinck ( 1361-1386 mention).

Table of contents

the older English line

the older English line was justified by Johann William by Bentinck (1648-1709), which received the title Earl of an OF haven country.

the recent westfälische line

the recent westfälische line comes itself from William from Bentinck († 1773), one side relatives of the Earl, who raised, to the realm count, 1733 with Charlotte Sophie, which ground hereditary daughter of the last count von Aldenburg, Anton II., and thus the gräflich aldenburgische estate acquired. This consisted of the rule in and Kniphausen and the rule Varel standing under Danish sovereignty together with goods in Oldenburgi. The same count Anton Günther had left to Oldenburg and Delmenhorst († 1667) to its illegitimate son Anton, which had been legitimized by imperial Reskript and 1653 had received even the title of a realm count von Aldenburg.

the older westfälische line and her branches

the older son Antons II., Christian Friedrich Anton, donated the older westfälische line; it was since 1759 in the possession of Knyphausen and Varel, which were made for it in vain by its brother contentious. It left 1768 five children, from those the two oldest sons, with its death William Gustav Friedrich and Johann Karl (* 1768; † 22. November 1833 as a British major general), which divided westfälische line again into an older and a recent branch.

the older westfälische branch

the older one, William Gustav Friedrich of Bentinck, the founder of the older westfälischen branch, received the estate rule after the death of its father. It had daughters and a son, William Anton from its first marriage with the Freiin of Reede two († 1813). Then it lived since 1800 with Sara Margarete Gerdes, the daughter of a oldenburgischen land man, in a conscience marriage in such a way specified until 1816, when it could be trusted formally with it. Of their it had several children, under it three sons:

  1. William Friedrich (1801-1867), emigrated to America 1833
  2. Gustav Adolf (* 1809), hannöverscher ride master
  3. Friedrich Anton (* 1812), k. k. Lieutenant colonel

the oldest one surrendered the father to 1827 the Mitregentschaft over the estate rule, which had belonged during the French invasion for a while to Holland, then as bare private goods to the French empire, 1818 however under oldenburgische sovereignty come and last by citizens of Berlin the agreement from 1825 as mediatisierte rule with many rights and privileges to William Gustav Friedrich had been already returned was.

When however the oldest son did to 1833 without the follow-up in all paternal goods and established themselves in Missouri, Gustav Adolf 1814 the Mitregentschaft of the estate rule was granted to its brother by the father, to 22. October 1835 died.

the recent westfälische branch

the recent westfälische branch donated of William Gustav Friedrichs brother Johann Karl von Bentinck, British major general, who left 1833 three sons:

  1. William Friedrich Christian (* 1787; † 8. June 1855);
  2. Karl Anton Ferdinand (* 1792, British lieutenant general; † 28. October 1864)
  3. Heinrich Johann William (* 1796, British general, † 29. September 1878).

Already during lifetimes of the count Wilhelm Gustav Friedrich, after the transmission of the estate rule on its oldest son, mentioned above, Johann Karl denied the Successionsfähigkeit of the sons of its brother, and so developed the Bentinck succession controversy, which excited large attention at its time.

the Bentinck succession controversy

Johann Karl maintained that it concerns with the estate rule possessions, into which only member of the high aristocracy succedieren (is called follows) could; the children William of the Gustav Friedrich of Bentinck and the Gerdes, an earlier body-own, which had been illegitimately born and only later legitimized, are successionsberechtigt thus in this case. On the other hand made on the part of latter validly that former counts von Aldenburg not belonged to high aristocracy would have, and that therefore the principles are not applicable over the law of succession of the high aristocracy here, all the less, than the founder of the aldenburgischen line, whose former possessions it concerns, was even an illegitimate child legitimized by imperial Reskript.

The law case was made pending at the upper court of appeal in Oldenburg 1829. For the plaintiffs Johann Karl Bentinck and its sons wrote considerable lawyers, like Wilda, mill break and Zachariä, during Klüber, Dieck, corner mountain, Michaelis and Wasserschleben for the deplored ones occurred. Pözl and Bluntschli held for the fact that the affair could not at all be as a question of the public right the subject of a civil law case. Briefly: the Bentinck succession controversy had soon its special literature.

A judgement of the legal faculty to Jena, to which the documents had been sent away, failed to favour of the deplored ones. But the complaint party appealed against it, and over this appointment the lawyer faculty in pouring had to decide. In the meantime however the plaintiffs had all quantities, in order to arrive on diplomatic way to the goal; also at acts of violence it had not been missing.

The German Bundestag actually explained to 12. June 1845 that the family Bentinck can stress the rights of the high aristocracy in the sense of the federal document (article 14). The complaint party requested therefore, still during the law case continued to float to deny with the federation, to the deplored part the Successionsfähigkeit into the questionable possessions and strangely enough assigned provisional central power so mentioned for Germany an appropriate order issued the 1848. This was not realized however, since also Oldenburg insisted on judicial decision. The oldenburgische government suggested finally a comparison, which was accepted by the controversy parties, without waiting for final realization to 1854.

From this Oldenburg bought the contentious possessions for the amount of approximately two million valleys and disbursed this sum by installments to certain portions to the parties. (See. Soil, for the knowledge and characteristic of Germany in its political, church, literary and legal statuses during the last decades, 2. Edition, Frankfurt 1856; Wasserschleben, legal papers, pouring 1856). A detailed indication of the legal papers relative to the process contains the tightened judgement of the Jenaer lawyer faculty.

After the death of the count Karl Anton Ferdinand, which followed his brother William Friedrich Christian because of lack male inheriting, first the first oldest son, Heinrich, (* 1846, became British lieutenant colonel), head of the family; this stepped however to 30. November 1874 its rights at its June gladly brother, William (* 1848, British Legationssekretär z. D.), off.

the recent English line

the recent westfälische (younger English) line donated of Johann Albert Bentinck (* 1737), the second son Charlotte Sophiens mentioned above; it went to 1775 with leaving two sons to England, served in the British navy and died already: William († 1813 as a British admiral) and Johann. Also this line participated to the Protestation against the Successionsfähigkeit of the sons William Gustav Friedrichs.

  1. Johann William Bentinck, 1. Earl OF haven country, * 1648-1709, friend and trusted friend of William of Oranien, the later king William III. of England.
  2. William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, lord Bentinck, * 14. September 1774; † 17. June 1839 in Paris), British general and statesman; Governor von Madras; 1827 governor general of east India.
  3. George Cavendish Bentinck, lord Bentinck, (* 27. February 1802; † 21. September 1848), British statesman and prominent Tory; Nephew of 2.


  • Genealogi manual of the aristocracy, aristocracy encyclopedia volume I, page 314, volume 53 of the total row, C. A. Strong publishing house, Limburg (Lahn) 1972.
  • Robert Dieter clover: The end of a glory. Kniphausen and Oldenburg before 150 years. In: Yearbook of Lower Saxony for national history, Bd. 77 (2005), S. 187–226. (To the Bentinck succession controversy)

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