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Frederick Erdmann, Prince of Anhalt-Pless (b. Köthen, 27 October 1731 - d. Pless, 12 December 1797), was a German prince of the House of Ascania from the Anhalt-Köthen branch and the first ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Pless.

He was the youngest surviving son of Augustus Louis, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen, by his second wife Christine Johanna Emilie, daughter of Erdmann II, Count of Promnitz-Pless.


Frederick Erdmann's prospects to inherit or rule jointly over Köthen were dim at birth, but his situation changed in 1765, when his infant cousin Count William of Promnitz, heir apparent of Pless, died. The child's uncle Johannes Erdmann, Count of Promnitz-Pless, without any other male heir, decided to give Frederick Erdmann the county as an anticipated inheritance. The towns of Jannowitz, Peterswaldau, and Kreppelhof, however, were given to Christian Frederick, Count of Stolberg-Wernigerode (nephew of Frederick Erdmann and grandnephew of Johannes Erdmann).

After he received this inheritance, Frederick Erdmann moved to Pless and assumed the title "Prince of Anhalt-Pless," sometimes referred to as "Anhalt-Köthen-Pless."

Marriage and Issue

In Wernigerode on 13 June 1766 Frederick Erdmann married his niece Louise Ferdinande (b. Wernigerode, 30 September 1744 - d. Pless, 3 February 1784), daughter of Henry Ernest, Count of Stolberg-Wernigerode, by his wife Christiane Anna Agnes of Anhalt-Köthen, Frederick Erdmann's older sister. They had nine children:

  1. Emmanuel Ernest Erdmann, Hereditary Prince of Anhalt-Pless (b. Schloss Pless, 9 January 1768 - d. Schloss Pless, 4 June 1808), who renounced his rights of succession.
  2. Frederick Ferdinand, Prince of Anhalt-Pless and from 1818 Duke of Anhalt-Köthen (b. Pless, 25 June 1769 - d. Köthen, 23 August 1830).
  3. Anna Emilie (b. Pless, 20 May 1770 - d. Fürstenstein, 1 February 1830), married on 21 May 1791 to Hans Henry VI, Imperial Count of Hochberg and Freiherr of Fürstenstein. Their descendants eventually inherited Pless.
  4. Benedikte (b. Büdingen, 14 July 1771 - d. Büdingen, 4 February 1773).
  5. Christiane (b. Pless, 8 February 1774 - d. Pless, 1 August 1783).
  6. George (b. Pless, 29 May 1776 - d. Pless, 29 July 1777).
  7. Henry, Duke of Anhalt-Köthen (b. Schloss Pless, 30 July 1778 - d. Köthen, 23 November 1847).
  8. Christian Frederick (b. Schloss Pless, 14 November 1780 - killed in action at Ebersdorf, 30 August 1813).
  9. Louis (b. Pless, 16 July 1783 - d. Pless, 5 November 1841).
Preceded by
new creation
Prince of Anhalt-Pless
Succeeded by
Frederick Ferdinand


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