Hans von Fürstenstein

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Hans von Fürstenstein (1705-1776) was a Braslander soldier and statesman.

He was born in a family of the untitled nobility, and led a career in the Army. An ambitious young man, his family connections gave him entry into the royal court. His sister, Anna Maria, became mistress of Frederick II, and she ensured that he was appointed Page to the King and later Ensign in the Kerlich Guards. From there, his career skyrocketed, especially as he showed great bravery and leadership keep the border safe from the eastern nomads who occassionally attacked. The Battle of Tremstadt, in 1747, where he led the army against twenty thousand invading nomads, earned him admiration from all over the country. Already a Count by then, he was created Prince (Fürst) von Fürstenstein and given large estates, while a palace, called after the great battle, was built for him with public funds.

Hans married in 1732 to Franziska von Kallern, who served as lady-in-waiting to Queen Elistansa. They had eight children: Antonia (born 1733), Johannes (born 1734), Elisabeth-Constanza (born 1735), Wilhelm (1737-1738), Caroline (born 1739), Maria (born 1741), Juliane (1743-1745) and Anna (born and died 1746).

His military successes and his family's prominence at court gave him political power during the reign of Frederick II. He served as minister, ensuring positions for his daughters and sons-in-law. He was known for his conservatism, founding an ally in Queen Elistansa, who was very close to his wife. Hans's influence waned after the accession of Frederick III, who had more liberal views. He retired from public life in 1770, and died in 1776.

As only his daughters survived adulthood, a special provision was made in 1762 for the Fürstenstein title, allowing it to pass through the female line in case there were no men to succeed. Thus, he was succeeded by his daughter Antonia.