Supplementary Appendix 396.1

Missives from the
Staats- und gelehrte Zeitung des Hamburgischen unpartheyischen Correspondenten:
the flight of Prince Elector Maximilian from Munich to Würzburg
August-September 1805


In her letter to Caroline on 4 September 1805 (letter 396), Luise Wiedemann begins with a note of concern:

Part of the ill news about which you inform me in your own letter I had already learned from the Hamburger Zeitung and had already been worried about you both; but then the very next newspaper retracted part of that news, but the reports did still seem to have some basis that Würzburg would not be completely spared by the grand personages. . . . but then your letter frightened me anew concerning your unsettled situation. Murhart [where Schelling’s father was a prelate] will in any case probably offer you a refuge within its spacious walls if you end up having to vacate your apartment there, which Wiedemann immediately feared, and could not find another.

Since the letter to which Luise is here responding (“your own letter”) regrettably seems not to be extant, determining exactly what Caroline had written her is, of course, difficult. Luise in any case seems to refer to three related items: ill news prompting concern (since retracted), the effect on Würzburg of “grand personages,” and the loss of the Schellings’ apartment in Würzburg. All three items, however, presumably refer to the flight of the Prince Elector of Bavaria, Maximilian, from Munich for Würzburg following Austrian incursions into Bavaria in early September 1805 — when Luise is here writing — and his arrival in Würzburg on 12 September 1805 (Rudolf Koch and Fritz Kredel, Deutschland und angrenzende Gebiete [Leipzig 1937]):


These “missives” about troop movements and about Würzburg itself prompted Luise’s concern for Caroline and Schelling, especially concerning the possibility that they might have to vacate their apartment for use by members of the Prince Elector’s retinue and court. As it turned out, because they had earlier chosen not to move into the Borgias Building along with the other Protestant professors (see the pertinent section in the supplementary appendix on the Schellings’s residence in Würzburg), they did not have to vacate; at the time, however, Caroline had no way of knowing such would be the case.

During the months of August and September 1805, the Staats- und gelehrte Zeitung des Hamburgischen unpartheyischen Correspondenten: mit allergnädigster Kayserlicher Freyheit, the newspaper to which Luise is referring, especially in the initial pages of its daily edition, was replete with news and rumors concerning the invariably confusing blizzard of international troop and naval movements, preliminary military and naval encounters, diplomatic comings and goings, high-level discussions, and the ensuing reactions in the various countries and territories involved, either directly or indirectly during the late summer and autumn of 1805, in the wars of the Third Coalition and the Peace of Pressburg .

What follows is a representative collection from this newspaper of “missives” submitted from various locales during this period documenting events leading to the Prince Elector’s flight from Munich to Würzburg. Missives extending beyond the date of Luise’s letter provide an overview not least of the universal anxiety associated with the Prince Elector’s flight and the Austrian advance. All missives are from the Staats- und gelehrte Zeitung des Hamburgischen unpartheyischen Correspondenten: mit allergnädigster Kayserlicher Freyheit; note the time lag between missive dates and newspaper issue dates:

“Missive from Munich, 10 August 1805,” no. 135 (Friday, 23 August 1805)

For two months now, numerous cannons and munitions have been moved from the armory here to the Marienberg in Würzburg, the fortress that was so courageously defended against the French and Dutch in the previous war by the Imperial General d’Allaglio. Our government has chosen this fortress as an artillery depot for Bavaria. The rumor is false that the evacuation of the armory here was prompted by a different reason. Austria is prepared to act as a mediator between France and England. Our Elector has already met several times for discussion with Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Prussia, who was here for a time.

“Missive from Nürnberg, 16 August 1805,” no. 137 (Tuesday, 27 August 1805):

A few days ago, a missive from Munich suddenly arrived in Würzburg ordering that the beautiful Residence Castle be prepared for habitation.

[Illustration from Ludwig Lange and Ernst Rauch, Original-Ansichten der vornehmsten Städte in Deutschland, ihrer wichtigsten Dome, Kirchen und sonstigen Baudenkmäler alter und neuer Zeit [Darmstadt 1832], n.p.):]


As early as the first of October, it is to become the residence of the highest Prince Electoral personages. The town is to accommodate the offices of the territorial direction, the chambers, etc. The chevaux legers [Fr., “light cavalry”] will also have to vacate their stalls at the castle. All sorts of rumors are rampant concerning these things.

Everywhere in Bavaria, furnishings, livestock, and buildings of residents are being inventoried, an order that has come from the court itself.

“Missive from Munich, 18 August 1805,” no. 137 (Tuesday, 27 August 1805):

Baron von Montgelas, who has functioned as a Prime Minister since the accession of His Prince Electoral Excellency, has requested his dismissal and received such in the most flattering language. He will be retiring to his estates. The Prince Elector has appointed Baron von Weichs as his successor, hitherto president of the General Territorial Directory.

The rumor being spread abroad that a corps of Austrian troops is marching through Bavaria is unfounded.

“Missive from Swabia, 18 August 1805,” no. 137 (Tuesday, 27 August 1805):

In Munich steps are being taken to relocate the residence to Würzburg; the military has been mobilized. Important changes are being anticipated in Bavaria.

“Missive from Munich, 21 August 1805,” no. 139 (Friday, 30 August 1805):

As is well known, for some time now artillery and munitions have been removed from the armory here to the Marienberg in Würzburg. Several transport wagons with furniture have also departed for Würzburg, since the magnificent former bishopric castle there is to serve our Prince Elector as residence in the future. These and other circumstances have given rise to numerous false rumors. Late last week, rumors even circulated that 30,000 Austrians were on the march in order to occupy Munich and the entirety of Bavaria. It has, however, been made publicly known that the initiators and disseminators of such nonsensical rumors are to be punished with imprisonment.

Although the meritorious minister of state Baron von Montgelas, to whom Bavaria owes so much, had requested permission to leave his previous post, he has not yet received such permission. Instead, the Prince Elector intends to relieve him of part of his many responsibilities if he decides to remain in his ministerial duties.

“Missive from Nürnberg, 27 August 1805,” no. 142 (Wednesday, 4 September 1805):

Work is proceeding in the Würzburg Residence Castle on Sundays as well as by candlelight in order to prepare everything for receiving the [Bavarian] court. One knows nothing yet in Franconia, however, about the arrival of new Royal Prussian troops about which public newspapers have recently spoken. Only in one specific case might the Austrian army take up position on the Inn River [constituting the border between Bavaria and Austria]. Diplomatic missives are already being exchanged on the matter.

“Missive from Regensburg, 30 August 1805,” no. 143 (Friday, 6 September 1805):

Military training camps this year in Bavaria have been canceled. The Prince Elector will be departing immediately for Würzburg.

“Missive from Mannheim, 31 August 1805,” no. 143 (Friday, 6 September 1805):

Military personnel, artillery, and Prince Electoral effects have already passed from Bavaria to Würzburg.

“Missive from Munich, 31 August 1805,” no. 145 (Tuesday, 10 September 1805):

For the past week, the Prince Electoral art collection and other precious possessions have been genuinely packed and sent to Würzburg; the armory also continues to be emptied. The Prince Elector himself will be departing for Würzburg the middle of next week along with his ministers in his privy cabinet. Within two weeks much will likely be clarified further.

“Missive from Hanau, 3 September 1805,” no. 149 (Tuesday, 17 September 1805):

Considerable movement has been noted in southwest Germany at several courts that suggest an atmosphere of serious concern because of imminent, important events. In Munich, a considerable number of pillows [?] were prepared for use in packing and charged to the court, and numerous pieces of artillery along with effects were sent to Würzburg. By contrast, in Würzburg itself, the castle was hastily requisitioned from the clerical administration and arranged for the court such that within a few weeks the latter can move in. [Diplomatic ministerial movements.] From this and other circumstances, many people anticipate the imminent departure of the court and of Minister von Montgelas to Würzburg. By contrast, near Wels a camp of royal imperial troops was set up estimated at 55,000 to 60,000 soldiers, and many believe these troops are intended, under a specific set of circumstances, to cross over the Inn River, whose bridges have already been examined.

“Another missive from Munich, 8 September 1805: no. 149 (Tuesday, 17 September 1805):

This evening His Prince Electoral Excellency genuinely will be departing for Würzburg. Couriers have already departed to arrange for 52 horses at each changing station.

“Missive from Regensburg, 11 September 1805,” no. 151 (Friday, 20 September 1805):

The following reports have thus far arrived concerning the Austrian army that crossed the Inn River:

After General Mack took over command of the army in upper Austria, he first informed the Prince Elector of Bavaria along with the Bavarian commandants along the Inn River and the commandant of Passau on the 7th of September, that on the following day, 8 September, he would be crossing the Inn River into Bavaria, which event did indeed take place in various columns.

Upon receiving this news, the Prince Elector of Bavaria immediately departed Munich, and the French emissary Herr Otto followed along to Würzburg.

“Missive from Munich, 11 September 1805,” no. 151 (Friday, 20 September 1805):

After Prince von Schwarzenberg arrived here on the 5th of this month, he requested that the Prince Elector allow his troops engage toward the Imperial Army, to which the Imperial French emissary, Herr Otto, lodged a strong protest in a missive. The Prince Elector thus decided to remove to Würzburg along with his entire family and part of his court retinue, and similarly to transfer his Corps d’Armee, consisting of 35,000 men, to the principalities of Bamberg and Würzburg, hoping that the high powers would recognize Bavarian neutrality. His retinue includes the meritorious state minister Baron von Montgelas etc. All the residents of Munich took the departure of the Prince Electoral family from Munich for Würzburg extremely hard, and an indescribable sense of dejection is now regnant here.

“Another missive from Munich, 12 September 1805,” no. 151 (Friday, 20 September 1805):

Word has it that the Austrians will arrive here tomorrow.

“Missive from Swabia, 12 September,” no. 151 (Friday, 20 September 1805):

Inexpressible anxiety, now regnant among the residents of Bavaria and Swabia, has been prompted by fears of a new war. . . . For the past week, highways leading from Munich to Würzburg by way of Augsburg and Donauwörth have been clogged with wagons transporting cannons, munitions, etc. All Prince Electoral troops are now beating a hasty retreat across the Danube toward Franconia.

“Würzburg, 13 September 1805,” no. 151 (Friday, 20 September 1805):

Yesterday evening at 6:00, His Prince Electoral Majesty of Palatinate Bavaria, our Most Gracious Territorial Father, arrived here from Anspach in splendid condition.

[See also section 6 in the supplementary appendix on the Third Coalition and the Treaty of Pressburg.]

Translation © 2017 Doug Stott