Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha
Ernest I, duke of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Historical Figure
Nationality: Germany
Religion: Lutheranism
Date of Birth: December, 1601
Date of Death: March 1675
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Nobleman, duke
Spouse: Elisabeth Sophie of Saxe-Altenburg (m. 1636)
Children: Many (born between 1638 and 1663)
Relatives: Wilhelm of Saxe-Weimar
Albrecht of Saxe-Weimar
Bernard of Saxe-Weimar
Affiliations: House of Wettin
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): 1633;
1634: The Baltic War;
1634: The Bavarian Crisis
1635: The Eastern Front
1636: The Saxon Uprising
1636: The Ottoman Onslaught
Type of Appearance: Direct
Spouse: [n 1]
Children: None at present.
Ernst I, Duke of Saxe-Gotha and Altenburg, called "the Pious" (Altenburg, 25 December 1601 – Schloss Friedenstein, Gotha, 26 March 1675), was a duke of Saxe-Gotha and, by marriage, became also Duke of Saxe-Altenburg. The duchies were later merged into Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg.

Ernst of Saxe-Weimar in 1632Edit

When Grantville arrived in 1631, Ernst, along with his brothers, was one of the four dukes of Saxe-Weimar. He was the third youngest of the four, and the youngest who remained loyal to Gustavus Adolphus. His talents were primarily those of a civil administrator, not a military officer; he was not with Gustavus when Grantville arrived or when the New United States was forming in Thuringia. It is implied that, like his older brothers, he acquiesced to having the duchy "slid" out from under him.

In 1633, Gustavus Adolphus appointed him as administrator of the Upper Palatinate. He served in that capacity until September of 1635, when he was sent to Saxony following the death of Elector John George. He was considered a competent and fair-minded administrator, and became popular in the province.

He was an advocate of educational reform, and was remembered as such in Grantville's histories. In August of 1634, he agreed to fund a normal school for teacher training, so long as it was located in Amberg.

While one of the tasks he was originally given was to turn the Upper Palatinate back to Lutheranism, he quickly realized that it could not be done without employing the ruthlessly repressive measures the Bavarians had used to impose Catholicism, something he was unwilling to do. In September of 1634, he announced a sweeping religious toleration policy. While it only extended full public toleration to Lutherans, Calvinists, and Catholics, it effectively covered everyone, even Jews, Anabaptists, Socinians and Brethren, and Mormons.


  1. Indications are that he will eventually marry Elisabeth Sophie, as he did in the OTL, but that he has not yet done so.

Regnal titles (OTL)
Preceded by
Frederick Wilhelm III
Duke of Saxe-Altenburg
Succeeded by
Frederick of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg
Albrecht of Saxe-Coburg
Bernhard of Saxe-Meiningen
Heinrich of Saxe-Römhild
Christian of Saxe-Eisenberg
Ernst of Saxe-Hildburghausen
Johann Ernst of Saxe-Saalfeld
Preceded by
Johann of Saxe-Weimar
Duke of Saxe-Gotha