The Ways of St. James in Poland

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Field marshal Count Hans Ludwig Dawid

Yorck von Wartenburg


(born September 26, 1759 in Potsdam, died October 4, 1830 in Olesnica Mala)



His surname is written in two different ways: “York” or “Yorck”. The field marshal himself signed his name as “Yorck” but his son used “York” on the pedestal of the monument in Olesnica Mala. In county’s documents under the date of 3 July 1814 is used “Yorck”. The battle of Wartenburg by the Elbe river (in the east of Wittenberg) took place 3 October 1813. It’s not true that Yorcks’ family came from England.


Father: Second Lieutenant David Jonathan Jork from Rowy near Slupsk on the West Pomerania. His brother Ephraim falled near Kunesdorf in 1758 during the battle which was the biggest defeat of Frederick II during the Seven-year War 1756 – 1763.

Mother: Marie Pflugin, daughter of craftsman from Potsdam.

Hans Ludwig had younger brother and two sisters. One of his father’s sisters was mother of Gottlieb Leslie – a pharmacist from London.


Military record:

In 1775 he became an officer trainee, on the 11th of  June that year – Second Lieutenant. In 1780 he was disciplinarily rejected from the army and went to Amsterdam. In 1786 he returned to service in the Prussian army with military rank of captain. On the 27th of November 1792 became a major. In July 1800 promoted to be Lieutenant Colonel. Since 1803 he was an infantry colonel, since 1805 – its commander-in-chief. June 18, 1807 became Brigadier General. In 1808 the ballistic regiment was dissolved. In 1810 he became a general inspector of infantry. On the 8th of December 1815 he declared to the king that he was leaving the army which was defined on day 26 December. Count Hans Ludwig David received salary of 3000 talars per year and as a subsidy received a secularized monastery of Templars in Olesnica Mała near Brzeg  in Lower Silesia. In 1821 he was promoted as a field marshal.


The Family:

He got married with Johanna Seidel on the 6th of June 1792, a daughter of a merchant from Namysłów (the garrison town of the ballistic regiment in the east of Wroclaw) Johanna von Yorck died  June 14, 1825 in Olesnica Mala.


The children:

Count Heinrich Yorck von Wartenburg (born June 2, 1799 in Johannesburg in East Prussia, died July 7, 1815) was wounded during the battle of Wersal, then he was cured in a nearby monastery. By his bed were standing generals: Blucher, von Bullow and Valentini. At night 6/7 July count Heinrich died. His body was brought to Olesnica Mala.

Countess Bertha (born March 4, 1801 in Mittenwalde in the south of Berlin, died  December 4, 1819) was married off to count Hoverden. A month before her death, November 2, 1819 in Olesnica Mała, she gave birth to her son Albert who was educated by his grandfather. Count Albert Yorck von Hoverden died in his early twenty because of typhus and he was buried in the area in Silesia which belonged to his father.

Count Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg (born  May 31, 1805, died July 12, 1865). His first wife was Bertha von Krause. He married her in 1829. Children from first marriage: David, Elizabeth, Heinrich, Paul (see at the bottom), Christie, Peter (1838-1895), Wolfgang (1840-1870), Hans (1844-1912). His second wife was Nina (Auguste Johanna) von Lofers (1824-1901). Children from second marriage: Maximilian (1850-1900), Margarethe von Willisen (1852-?), Luise von Katte (1859-1922)

Count Paul Yorck von Wartenburg (born  March 1, 1835, died November 12, 1897), was married to Luise Rahel von Wildenbruch who was elder sister of writer Ernst von Wildenbruch and at the same time granddaughter of Prince of Prussia Fryderyk Ludwik Christian (called also Ludwik Ferdynand) who was a son of younger brother of Fryderyk Wielki (Frederick the Great), died during the battle of Saalfeld in 1806. He was brave, very talented and endowed with great ear for music – as his uncle, the king, who also used to compose. During the battle of Jena he commanded a Prussian advance guard which next on the day October 10, 1806 suffered defeat near Saafeld. Count Paul’s friend was Wilhelm Dilthey, a philosopher, who was also a professor of philosophy in universities of Basel, Cologne, Wroclaw and Berlin.

High Road

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