Anthony of Saxony

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Anthony (b. Dresden, 27 December 1755 – d. Dresden, 6 June 1836), also known by his German name Anton (full name: Anton Clemens Theodor Maria Joseph Johann Evangelista Johann Nepomuk Franz Xavier Aloys Januar),[1] was a King of Saxony (1827–1836) from the House of Wettin. He became known as Anton der Gütige,[2] (en: "Anthony the Kind").[3]

He was the fifth but third surviving son of Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony, and Maria Antonia of Bavaria.


Early life

With few chances to take part in the politics of the Electorate of Saxony or receive any land from his older brother Frederick Augustus III, Anton lived under the shadows. No Elector of Saxony after Johann Georg I gave appananges to his younger sons.

During the first years of the reign of his older brother as Elector, Anton was the third in line, preceded only by his older brother Karl. The death of Karl (8 September 1781) make him the next in line to the Electorate as Crown Prince (de: Kronprinz); this was because all the pregnancies of the Electress Amalie, except for one daughter, ended in a stillbirth.

His aunt, the Dauphine of France, had wanted to engage her daughter Marie Zéphyrine of France to Anthony; Marie Zéphyrine died in 1755 abandoning plans. Another French candidate was Marie Zéphyrine's sister Marie Clotide (later Queen of Sardinia) but again nothing happened.

In Turin on 29 September 1781 (by proxy) and again in Dresden on 24 October 1781 (in person), Anton married firstly with the Princess Caroline of Savoy (Maria Carolina Antonietta Adelaida), daughter of the King Victor Amadeus III of Sardinia and Maria Antonietta of Spain. Caroline died after only one year of marriage, on 28 December 1782 having succumbed to smallpox. They had no children.

In Florence on 8 September 1787 (by proxy) and again in Dresden on 18 October 1787 (in person), Anton married a second time with the Archduchess Maria Theresia of Austria (Maria Theresia Josephe Charlotte Johanna), daughter of the Grand Duke Leopold I of Tuscany, later Emperor Leopold II. Mozart's opera Don Giovanni was originally intended to be performed in honor of Anton and his wife for a visit to Prague on 14 October 1787, as they traveled between Dresden and Vienna, and librettos were printed with dedication to them. The premiere could not be arranged in time, however, so the opera The Marriage of Figaro was substituted on the express orders of the bride's uncle, Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II. The choice of The Marriage of Figaro was considered improper for a new bride by many observers, and the couple left the opera theater early without seeing the entire work performed. Mozart complained bitterly of the intrigues surrounding this incident in a letter to his friend Gottfried von Jacquin that was written in stages between 15 October and 25 October 1787.

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