Schmettau, Friedrich Karl Wilhelm Karl, Graf von

BORN 13 Apr 1743, Berlin - DIED 19 Oct 1806, Weimar, Thüringen
GRAVE LOCATION Weimar, Thüringen: Jakobskirchhof (near church, with round iron gate)

Friedrich Wilhelm Karl von Schmettenau was the son of field marshall Samuel Graf von Schmettenau (1684-1751) and his second wife Anna von Rüffer (1718-1771). He entered the Ritterakademie (Knight's Academy) in Brandenburg in 1752. In 1756 he joined the Infantry Regiment 34 and saw action in the Seven Year's War. He was wounded several times.

In 1762 he became adjutant of Prince Ferdinand of Prussia. After he fought with a student this came to the notice of king Friedrich II. He was imprisoned for three months and after that it was hard to make further promotion in the army. In 1770 he created several maps. He showed them to the king in hope of promotion, but this was refused. In 1773 he published a book the campaign against the Turks of 1769. In 1778 he left the Prussian army. At the time there were rumours that he had fathered one or more of the children of Louise von Brandenburg-Schwedt, the wife of Prince Augustus Ferdinand of Prussia.

After Friedrich Wilhelm II ascended the throne he returned to the Prussian army as a colonel in 1787. He was commissioned to create maps of the mountains in Silesia and in 1789 he handed over 104 maps to the king. In 1790 he left the Prussian army again. After Friedrich Wilhelm III became king he once more returned to the army in 1797.

He was wounded severely in the Battle of Auerstedt on 14 October 1806. He fled to the house of Goethe's freund Charlotte von Stein in Weimar and was taken care of by her. But on 15 October 1806 the French entered Weimar and he was left her house. He was moved to the Stadtschloss where he died a few days later from his wounds. He was buried at the cemetery of the Jakobskirche. In 1808 a patriottic momument was placed on his grave.

Related persons
• was helped by Stein, Charlotte von


The grave of Friedrich Graf von Schmettau at the Jakobskirchhof in Weimar.
Picture by Androom (04 Feb 2005)


• Dressler, Roland & Jochen Klauss, Weimarer Friedhöfe, Böhlau Verlag, Weimar, 1996
Friedrich Wilhelm Karl von Schmettau – Wikipedia

Schmid, Heinrich

Published: 31 May 2020
Last update: 03 Jan 2022