Ludwig Ii Von Wittelsbach

Freeborn County Standard (Albert Lea, Minnesota) - June 23, 1886

June 11th, Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, was deposed from his thrown on the ground of his insanity, his uncle, Prince Luitpold, being appointed Regent. With some difficulty Ludwig was persuaded to go to Castle Berg at Starnberg Lake, where on Sunday evening he committed suicide. During Sunday afternoon in company with Dr. Gudden the King went for a walk on the banks of Starnberg Lake. After strolling aimlessly up and down the path for some time, the King, affecting to be tired, sat down to his last dinner. The meal was soon over, for though a morbid gluttony was one of the symptoms of the King's malady, he had but little appetite. That night he seemed to be more resigned and calm, however, and on his expressing a wish to take another stroll along the lake with Dr. Gudden his attendants made no objections.

It was 6:45 when they started together. No alarm was felt till 8:30, when the guards, growing uneasy, went out with boats and torches to look for them. The search lasted several hours before any sign on the King was seen, and the guards had begun to fear he had escaped. The alarm was given and Baron Washington was telegraphed to at Munich for instructions.

At about 11 one of the searchers noticed footmarks on the bank. Soon after a gamekeeper in the boat with Dr. Oveller saw two dark objects floating in the lake in five feet of water forty or fifty yards from the land. Rowing toward them they discovered that they were the bodies of the King and Dr. Gudden. They brought them ashore, stripped them, and with the help of the King's warden and two gendarmes, who had once been hospital nurses, made desperate efforts to restore animation.

Marks of finger-nails on the doctor's face and the fact that the King's coat and overcoat had both been torn off prove that a terrible struggle must have occurred; but whether, as was at first supposed, the doctor lost his life in trying to save his patient, or whether, as is now suspected, the King, in a fit of vengeful madness, pulled him into the water with him, remains a mystery.

The exact time of the catastrophe was fixed by the mute evidence of the King's watch, which had stopped at 6:54. When the bodies were landed no trace of life was perceptible.

Ludwig II., who was born Aug. 23, 1845, was the son of King Maximillian II, and succeeded to the throne at the death of his father, March 10, 1854. Ludwig sided with Prussia in the contest with France of 1870'71 and favored the unification of Germany. his brother Prince Otto, who nominally succeeds to the throne, was born April 27, 1848, but has been an imbecile for years, and will, of course, exercise no authority. The mother of the unfortunate Princes will, it is said, retire to a convent. She was born Oct. 15, 1823. Her father and brother died mad and the same fate has overtaken her unfortunate sons. Prince Luitpold, the Regent, uncle of Ludwig and Otto, was born March 12, 1821.

Dr. Gudden, who lost his life with King Ludwig, was the husband of Mrs. B. von Gudden of Oshkosh, Wis., and brother of Dr. William Gudden of the town of Black Wolf, Winnebago county, Wis. The decease physician was 63 years old and leaves eight children. He contemplated a visit to the United States during the autumn.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License