History: Gross Wurttemstein

Herzog Florian Lothar Von Wurttemstein was born in the small town of Einzfatzen in South West Germany September 1715.

GrossHerzog Florian Lothar Von Wurttemstein

His father is thought to be Grossherzog Karl Jochen von Peipstaffel, a grandee of the Duchy of Wurttemburg, but the circumstances of his birth are somewhat confused. Returning from the Wars of the Spanish Succession the Grossherzog had his journey waylaid by the sudden necessity to indulge in some essential debauchery. His wife Grossherzogin Carolina had decided to meet the Grossherzog outside of the capital to celebrate the return of her conquering hero with a few select ladies in waiting. Knowing her husband well she knew he would want to have a proper celebration of his return home prior to the stifling atmosphere of the royal palace.

Grossherzogin Carolina

Grossherzog Karl Jochen von Peipstaffel

So it was that the Grossherzog and the Archduchess came to meet at the Inn Der Kellermeister in Einzfatzen and proceeded to order copious amounts of ale, wine and meats suitable for such a joyous occasion. Knowing eyes were winked, smiles smothered, questioning eyebrows raised and in short time the party adjourned to the Inns finest room. Such was the exuberance of the occasion it transpired that the ladies in waiting were soon waiting no longer, Aide de Camps were no longer aiding and all were equally entertained by the Grossherzogs attentions in such a mix that all four posts of the bed were cracked. The Archduchess fell pregnant and duly 9 months later a strong, shouting and kicking boy made his appearance and was presented to the Grossherzog as his son.

Raised in harsh circumstances and subject to the whimsy of his father young Herzog Florian sought refuge in the barracks areas of his father’s army developing a passion for soldiering and the business of fighting. In return the soldiers developed a great affection for the Herzog and he was referred to as ‘Der Kleine Brauer’, the small brewer in recognition of the circumstances of his birth and his developing tastes for ale as he grew.

It was all the fault of the French. Upon reaching 21 the Graf, dragged by his father to commence attending the long and tedious business of learning how to rule a small nation attempting to fend off the voracious appetites of larger ones, was increasingly required at court rather than being able to indulge in his passions of soldiering and brewing beer. After four years the Grossherzog started to increasingly come under the influence of the French court and lifestyle. Soon wines of all colours, cheese, breads, sweetmeats, lace, frock coats, wigs, long sermons from larger numbers of catholic priest and refined string instruments were increasingly seen at the court of the Grossherzog. The Herzog was not happy. What was wrong with the brewing traditions of the duchy? Was the black bread no longer palatable? And what was wrong with a good honest sausage with pickled cabbage? The rousing and short sermons of the Duchies Priests? Was it necessary to sacrifice the soul of the nation just to enable the Grossherzog to realise his ambition of being raised to Koenig?

It later became known as the Night of the Beer Barrel. A royal banquet was announced to celebrate the burgeoning relationship between the two royal houses on October 21st. Dutifully the Herzogwas to attend and decided to ensure the celebration was his liking with the presentation of a barrel of Royal October Ale to the French Embassy. In due course the Herzog attended the dinner and just prior the commencement of the main course made a special announcement that to honour this day and to cement the relationship he would open the Royal October Ale which he has brewed himself. A ceremonial beer barrel was then brought into the dining hall lead in by the sonorous beating of a drum. Decorated in gold by a royal crest mounted by the head of a stag and surrounded by laurels of wheat – the traditional and much loved tradition of fine ales the Herzog rejoiced in. Upon cracking the beer barrel the Herzogpoured the first tankard of the ale for the French Ambassador as the guest of honour. Rich, dark, smooth to the palette and chilled in the royal cellars the Royal October Ale was a wonder of the art and the pride of the Duchy.

With a wrinkled nose and a look of disdain the French Ambassador gingerly took the tankard and sniffed at it. He took a small sip and much to the horror of the diners spat it out back into the tankard. ‘Zis is digusting Graf, you insult me with this dirty water in a barrel, zis is for peasants! Order me some champagne so I may celebrate our relationship properly to toast your fathers success’ said the Ambassador. Insulted beyond measure and with years of pent up rage boiled over and with a roar the Herzog grabbed the barrel and poured the lot over the French fop. ‘Dirty water? You shall never be welcome in any court of mine’ the Herzog shouted. The Grossherzog horrified at the insult to his guest and fearful of losing the benefits of such a powerful ally roared back at his son. ‘Your Court? By your behaviour today you shall never have a court! You have been nothing but trouble to me for years and you do not behave like a proper son should!’ Glancing suspiciously at his wife the Grossherzog then glared back at the Herzog and shouted one final time ‘You are no longer a son of mine, your are disinherited, disowned never to step in my court again! Get out of my Kingdom!’ The Herzog retorted ‘I need nothing from you you weak old fool’ and stamped out of the palace forever.

In time the Herzog journeyed to a quiet part of the country, bought an Inn and in due course was elected Mayor of the province as it grew as an obvious leader. In the years after the Night of the Beer Barrel many former citizens migrated to the province disgusted with the frenchification of their homeland. The fine traditions of the old land were strong in the province and with the winds of war blowing it was obvious that a strong leader was needed to protect the land. Inviting Florian to be the Herzog of the province the people soon realised that they needed to formalise their lands into a nation and so was born Gross Wurttemstein.

Gross Wurttemstein became know for its fine Germanic traditions and centred around the capital of Florianburg the nation was renowned for its ales with sausage accompaniments. The townships soon expanded and Bieirinnsbruck, Wiesscroppen, Lagerstadt, Hoppenfeldt and Pilsen soon became bustling market towns. After some 40 years of benevolent rule the rumbles of discontent have been hear across the Germanic lands and the Herzog concentrated on ensuring his army was ready to defend his lands.

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