Adam Wilhelm Moltke

Adam Wilhelm, Greve Moltke (25 August 1785  15 February 1864) was in 1848-1852 the first Prime Minister of Denmark in the new constitutional monarchy outlined in 1848 and signed as the Danish Constitution on 5 June 1849 by Frederik VII of Denmark.[1]

Adam Wilhelm Moltke
1st Prime Minister of Denmark
In office
22 March 1848  27 January 1852
MonarchFrederick VII
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byChristian Albrecht Bluhme
Personal details
Born(1785-08-25)25 August 1785
Died15 February 1864(1864-02-15) (aged 78)
Spouse(s)Frederikke Louise Knuth
Marie Elisabeth Knuth
ChildrenFrederik Moltke
Christian Moltke
ParentsJoachim Godske Moltke
RelativesAdam Gottlob Moltke (grandfather)

Early life and education

Adam Wilhelm Moltke was born on 25 August 1785 at Einsiedelsborg on the island of Funen, the son of Prime Minister Joachim Godske Moltke.[2] His paternal grandfather was Adam Gottlob Moltke, the influential Lord Steward and companion of Frederik V of Denmark.[1][3]


He was known as a humane and patriarchal squire but was no outstanding political figure. From 1845, he was Minister of Financial Affairs. At the fall of the last absolute government, he too was dismissed but, a few days later, he was persuaded to form the new national government as the most suitable leader both as for his social position and as for his moderate views.[4]

Prime minister of Denmark

The cabinet created on 22 March 1848 was called the March Cabinet. On 16 November 1848 it was replaced by the November Cabinet, which in turn was replaced by the July Cabinet on 13 July 1851, which again was replaced by the October Cabinet on 18 October 1851. The cabinet, originally a Conservative-Liberal one, gradually became more and more openly conservative both because of the general liberal withdrawal and because of foreign pressure.[4]

On 27 January 1852, Christian Albrecht Bluhme replaced Moltke as Prime Minister.[4]


Moltke succeeded his father as Count of Bregentved in 1818. He was also the owner of Merløsegaard north of Ringsted and Sofiedal.

Personal life

Molke was married twice. First to Frederikke Louise Knuth (1797-1819).

After the death of his first wife, he married Marie Elisabeth Knuth (1791-1851), the sister of the first wife. They were the parents of:

  • Frederik Georg Julius Moltke (1825–1875)
  • Christian Moltke (1833–1918), who married Caroline Amalie komtesse Danneskiold (1843–1876) in 1865.

Adam Wilhelm Moltke died on 15 February 1864 in Copenhagen and is buried in the Moltke burial chapel in Karise Church in the town Karise, located in Faxe Municipality.[5]

Cape Moltke in Greenland was named after him in 1829 by Lieutenant Wilhelm August Graah (1793–1863).[6]

See also


  1. "Adam Wilhelm, Greve (count) Moltke | prime minister of Denmark". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  2. Dana, C.A.; Ripley, G. (1861). The new American cyclopædia. American Cyclopaedia. p. 636. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  3. Palsson, Gisli (2016). The Man Who Stole Himself: The Slave Odyssey of Hans Jonathan. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226313283. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  4. Bain 1911.
  5. Thomas, Alastair H. (2016). Historical Dictionary of Denmark. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 355. ISBN 9781442264656. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  6. W. A. Graah, Narrative of an Expedition to the East Coast of Greenland, London, 1837, p. 89
Political offices
Preceded by
New office
Prime Minister of Denmark
22 March 1848  27 January 1852
Succeeded by
Christian Albrecht Bluhme
Preceded by
New office ?
Finance Minister of Denmark
22 March 1848  16 November 1848
Succeeded by
Wilhelm Sponneck
Preceded by
New office ?
Navy Minister of Denmark
22 March 1848  6 April 1848
Succeeded by
Christian Christopher Zahrtmann
Preceded by
Frederik Markus Knuth
Foreign Minister of Denmark
16 November 1848  6 August 1850
Succeeded by
Holger Reedtz

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