Diederic of Anhalt-Dessau

Diederic of Anhalt-Dessau

Born 1702
Died 1769

Alias: 

Dietrich von Anhalt-Dessau

Biography: 

Son of Leopold I of Anhalt-Dessau (1676-1747) and Anna Luise Föhse (1677-1745).

He was a sometime Field Marshall in the Prussian army, and acting regent of Anhalt-Dessau from 1751 to 1758, during the minority of his nephew Leopold III. He died in 1769 without issue.

Life with Boswell: 

Boswell was introduced to Dietrich by G. H. Berenhorst on September 25, 1764. Boswell “found him a tall, comely old man of sixty-two” and “just one of the old Germans, rough and cordial”. The old Prince then showed Boswell his stables, and they both set out on a hunt together with most of the court of Anhalt-Dessau present in the city on that day.

At the end of the hunt Dietrich presented Boswell with the stag's foot, noting that it was a “mark of distinction”. Boswell apparently intended to “have it laid up in the museum at Auchinleck” together with an inscription on a plate, but no further mention of it seems to exist, except for a Latin inscription intended for that purpose, in a letter to Boswell from David Dalrymple.

Following a hunt on September 28, Boswell and others again dined with Prince Dietrich, and he this day described the Prince as “a plain, warm-hearted old man”.