Christoph Friedrich von Schmidlin

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Christoph Friedrich Schmidlin, from 1819 von Schmidlin, (* 25 August 1780 in Stuttgart; † 28 December 1830 ibid) was a civil servant and Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Württemberg.


Schmidlin came from an old Württemberg family of theologians and civil servants. He was the son of the Stuttgart grammar school rector Johann Christoph Schmidlin (* 1745; † 1800) and Johanna Friederike née Hoffmann (* 1756; † 1832), who was the daughter of the Stuttgart mayor Friedrich David Hoffmann (* 1732; † 1784).

Friedrich Schmidlin had six siblings, among them the Regierungsrat Johann Gottlieb Schmidlin (* 1784; † 1862), the Landtagsabgeordneter Christian Gottfried von Schmidlin (* 1789; † 1862) and the Staatsrat Wilhelm Friedrich von Schmidlin (* 1793; † 1867).


First, Schmidlin studied theology at the University of Tübingen for three semesters starting in 1796 and was in the Tübingen Stift during this time. He then decided to study law, which he completed in the fall of 1801 with a certificate of excellent knowledge. He was admitted to the circle of Württemberg court advisers, who were authorized as attorneys to conduct proceedings before the chancery, the highest state authority. As court commissioner for the parts of New Württemberg acquired in the Peace of Paris, he was in the former imperial city of Weil der Stadt on behalf of Duke Friedrich II from November 1802 to February 1803. He was then appointed chief bailiff of the secularized monastery of Schöntal an der Jagst. When a state treaty with Bavaria and Baden held out the prospect of the dissolution of the Oberamtsbezirk Schöntal, Schmidlin was transferred to Freudenstadt in 1810. In 1814, he exchanged the position of Oberamtmann of Freudenstadt for that of Oberamtmann of Urach. After the death of King Frederick, State Councillor von Maucler regularly called upon him to assist in the drafting of the new Württemberg constitution. In June 1818, he joined the Organization Implementation Commission, which dealt with a new organization of offices, especially the separation of justice and administration

In November 1818, Schmidlin officially assumed the position of chief government councillor in Stuttgart. In the summer of 1819, King Wilhelm appointed him government commissioner at the constituent assembly of the Estates meeting in Ludwigsburg, which then adopted the new constitution of the kingdom in 1819. In the first Landtag of 1820, Schmidlin was a member of the joint commission of the government and the Estates to examine the edicts of organization. He was able to represent the administrative edicts of the Privy Council in an outstanding manner in the plenum. In April, 1821, came the appointment to the Council of State. On June 29, 1821, he succeeded Christian Friedrich von Otto as head of the Department of the Interior and of Church and School Affairs.[1] On 27 September 1824 he received the title of Wirklicher Geheimrat in this position, and on 1 July 1827 the title of Minister

During his time as head of the Württemberg Ministry of the Interior and Culture, he purposefully pushed through a whole series of reforms, such as the new civil rights law, the trade regulations abolishing the guild obligation, two laws concerning teachers and the university budget, the law for the Jewish fellow citizens, which was particularly difficult to push through, as well as the uniform regulation of the Catholic church system. In 1830, when news of the French July Revolution spread from Paris to southern Germany, Schmidlin was seriously ill. He did not recover from a stomach ailment in the autumn of 1830, which forced the minister to take repeated interruptions in his official duties. After seven weeks of illness, the man, who was highly respected by the king, his colleagues and the population, died.


Schmidlin married Karoline Auguste Enßlin (* Nov. 2, 1780 in Stuttgart; † 1832), the daughter of the merchant Karl Ludwig Enßlin (* Apr. 12, 1753; † 1784) and Auguste Friederike Metzler (* 1759 in Stuttgart), who was the daughter of a publishing bookseller, on July 14, 1803 in Stuttgart.

The marriage of Friedrich and Karoline Schmidlin produced numerous children, most of whom became Württemberg civil servants and pastors themselves:

  • Eduard von Schmidlin (* 1804; † 1869) as successor of Pfizer, Württemberg minister of culture 1848/49, last consistory president, personal nobility
  • Karl Schmidlin (* 1805; † 1847) pastor in Wangen near Göppingen, poetically active, father of Friedrich von Schmidlin
  • Franz Schmidlin (* 1806; † 1875) Pastor in Uhlbach near Cannstatt
  • Adolph Schmidlin (* 1806; † 1875) Civil servant, senior civil servant, senior government councillor
  • Marie Schmidlin (* 1810; † 1857) Stuttgart, married Seeger
  • Julius Schmidlin (* 1811; † 1881) civil servant, government director in Ellwangen, biographer of his father
  • Julie Schmidlin († 1840) since 1834 married to pastor Karl Wolff (* 1803; † 1869) in Beinstein
  • Otto Schmidlin (* 1815; † 1844) pastor, married since 1842 to Karoline Luise Faber, father of Albert von Schmidlin
  • Albert Schmidlin (* 1816; † 1870) Chief customs inspector in Mannheim


  • 1819 Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Württemberg Crown. This was associated with the Württemberg personal nobility.
  • 1823 Commentary Cross of the Order of the Wuerttemberg Crown.
  • 1830 Knight’s Cross of the Order of Frederick

References and notes

  1. According to today’s understanding, the role of the head of a department corresponds to the function of a minister, in this case that of the Minister of the Interior and Culture. At that time, however, the title of minister was not automatically associated with the leadership of a department (ministry). As head of the two departments, Schmidlin initially retained the title of State Councillor.


  • Julius Hartmann: Schmidlin, Christoph Friedrich. In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Vol. 54, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1908, pp. 86-89.
  • Wolfram Angerbauer (editor): Die Amtsvorsteher der Oberämter, Bezirksämter und Landratsämter in Baden-Württemberg 1810 bis 1972. Published by the Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Kreisarchive beim Landkreistag Baden-Württemberg. Theiss, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-8062-1213-9, p. 502.