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The Political Testament of Frederick William I ("the Soldier King") (February 17, 1722)
page 11 of 11


My dear successor, if you have loved me during my life, so after my death you can show your love to me by making the King’s Regiment your regiment and leaving it with its present pay and distinguish it for my sake; secondly, continue to enlarge the town of Potsdam and give it the name of Wilhelmsstadt, for which God will give it His blessing.

Meanwhile I commend my soul to God and herewith give you once again my paternal blessing and wish you to keep God before your eyes and to rule your lands justly and in fear of God, and may you always have loyal servants and obedient subjects and a strong arm and a victorious army against all your enemies, and I pray that you, my dear successor, and those that come after you, may prosper as Kings and Electors to the end of the world, and that your provinces may prosper from hour to hour. May Almighty God help you to this through Jesus Christ!

Your true father, till death

F. William

Potsdam, the 17th February, 1722



Source of English translation: C.A. Macartney, ed., The Habsburg and Hohenzollern Dynasties in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, in Documentary History of Western Civilization. New York, Evanston, and London: Harper & Row, 1970, pp. 309-22. Introduction, editorial notes, chronology, translations by the editor; and compilation copyright © 1970 by C.A. Macartney. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source of original German text: Georg Küntzel and Martin Hass, eds. Die Politischen Testamente der Hohenzollern: Nebst ergänzenden Aktenstücken [The Political Testaments of the Hohenzollerns: With Supplementary Documentation], vol I. Leipzig and Berlin: Teubner, 1911, pp. 69-94.

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