A Wyneken and a king

Carl Johann Conrad Wyneken, 1763-1825 (not pictured at the top of this page) was one of the many Lutheran pastors that have come from the Wyneken family.

In the course of his career as a pastor, Carl Johann Conrad served in at least six different churches in various towns or cities in what was to become the Kingdom of Hanover. Towards the end of his career he was a member of the consistory, the administrative body in the Lutheran church hierarchy. In 1819 he started what was to be his final post as second pastor at the Schlosskirche (“Castle Church”) in Hanover, the capitol city of the kingdom.

The Schlosskirche was the church for the court in Hanover. Hanover was the capitol of the Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg, which later became the Kingdom of Hanover. The ruling dynasty in Hanover, no matter what the realm was called, was the House of Hanover.

By the time Carl Wyneken served in the Schlosskirche in Hanover, the reigning monarch was George III, from the House of Hanover (pictured at the top of this page). George III reigned from 1760 to 1820, first as prince elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg, after 1814 as king of the Kingdom of Hanover.

At first sight this might seem an interesting — or maybe not-so-interesting — bit of historical trivia. However, in 1714 the course of history had made the House of Hanover also the monarchs of Great Britain and Ireland. Thus this George III of Hanover was (at the same time) none other than King George III of Great Britain that American high school history classes know as the dreadful tyrant whose yoke the founding fathers wanted to cast off.

Much can be said about George III above and beyond his role as monarch during the American Revolution, but we will not touch on that in this post. What concerns us here is that George III died in 1820, a year after Carl Johann Conrad Wyneken assumed his post as court chaplain in Hanover. Even if George III had ever visited Hanover, which he hadn’t, he certainly would not have been able to do that in the last years of his life as he was very ill. Thus Carl Wyneken never had anything to do with him personally. Nevertheless it became Carl’s job, perhaps as the junior partner in his new church, to perform the official eulogy in the memorial service for his sovereign. This sermon appeared in printed form with the title:

Gedächtniß-Predigt bei dem am 29sten Januar 1820 erfolgten tödtlichen Hintritte Sr. Mai. Königs von Großbrit. und Hannover u. Georg des Dritten: in der Schloßkirche zu Hannover am Sonntage Quinquagesimä

In English that’s:

Memorial sermon on the occasion of His Majesty the King of Great Britain and Hanover George the Third’s mortal departure on the 29th of January 1820: In the Schlosskirche in Hanover on Quinquagesima Sunday

This publication is listed in online library catalogs. I must admit that I haven’t made the effort to see if I can get a copy of the 24 page long publication by interlibrary loan. Still, I find it noteworthy that it was a Wyneken who bid farewell to George III from the pulpit in George’s “home” church back in Germany.

The painting at the top of this page is kindly provided under a Creative Commons License by the National Portrait Gallery in London: King George IIIstudio of Sir William Beechey, oil on canvas, circa 1800 (1799-1800) – NPG 6250

Family connections

Several of Carl Johann Conrad’s descendants are noteworthy for various reasons, but for this post I will only mention his grandson, Alexander Wyneken, who was an influential newspaper publisher in Königsberg (now Kaliningrad) at the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Several of Alexander’s descendants are living in Germany to this day.

Carl was also closely related – an uncle to be precise – to the Wyneken brothers, two of whom founded the branches of the Wyneken family found today in the US: Carl, the oldest, and the youngest brother FCD. The middle brother, Gustav’s, descendants are also still alive and well in Germany. Their father, Heinrich Christoph, like Carl Johann Conrad, was a pastor in the kingdom of Hanover, and because they didn’t live all that far away from each other, I can imagine that Carl, Gustav, and Fritz knew their Uncle Carl personally. FCD was the youngest of the three brothers and he was 15 when his uncle died; Carl, the oldest, was already 22.

And finally, Carl was a first cousin of Hinrich Christoph Carl Wyneken, the founder of the branch of the family most of the other Wynekens descend from.

1 thought on “A Wyneken and a king

  1. Donald Wood

    Thank you for the post about Carl Johann Conrad Wyneken. We have so many interesting people in this family. We are arriving in Berlin this Friday and will be there a couple of days. Then we are off to Dresden and so forth until the 12th when we will be in Freiburg. We are looking forward to the visit and meeting you and your family.Mary Ann and Don


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