Article | Last updated: 14.04.2011
Wolfgang Wenzel Haffner was naval officer and politician.
(Photo: Norwegian Military Museums).
Councillor of State 17 December 1861-8 March 1869, Chief of the Ministry of the Navy. Member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm October 1863, Chief of the Ministry of the Navy October 1864, Member of the Council of State Division in Stockholm July 1867, Chief of the Ministry of the Navy June 1868. Resigned 8 March 1869.
Councillor of State 18 May-5 June 1875, member of the Interim Government in Stockholm.
Councillor of State 6-21 July 1875, member of the Interim Government in Stockholm.
Councillor of State 16-26 September 1881, member of the Interim Government in Stockholm.
Acting Councillor of State 19 March-3 April 1884, member of the Norwegian Council of State Division in Stockholm. Acting Norwegian Prime Minister in Stockholm 21 March-3 April 1884.
Born in Christiania (Oslo) 23 November 1806, son of Lieutenant Colonel Johan Friedrich Wilhelm Haffner and Sara Vilhelmine Hagerup.
Married in Ullensaker 29 December 1834 to Louise Claudia le Normand Malthe (1806-1872), daughter of Magistrate Christopher Malthe and Alexandrine Aimée Védastine le Normand de Bretteville.
Deceased in Kristiania (Oslo) 11 November 1892. Buried at Vår Frelsers gravlund (Our Saviour Cemetery) in Kristiania.
Wolfgang Haffner became a second lieutenant in the Navy in 1824, and a lieutenant in 1830. In 1839 he was appointed as teacher in Norwegian language and mathematics to the three eldest sons of Crown Prince Oscar. To one of them – the later King Oscar II – he was also a teacher in naval operations, something that offered him the opportunity of escorting the Prince on foreign cruises. He kept the teacher’s post until 1848, and established a life-long friendship relation in particular to Prince Oscar. They regularly exchanged letters for the rest of Haffner’s life.
After his teaching post in Stockholm, Haffner continued his naval career, reaching the rank of commodore in 1860. In December 1861 he was appointed councillor of state and chief of the Ministry of Navy and Postal Affairs in Frederik Stang’s Government. As his period saw considerable amounts granted for the enlargement of the Navy’s main base at Horten, Haffner had to face rather harsh criticism from the Storting. When the Storting in 1869 expressed lack of confidence in him, Haffner tendered his resignation. The King, Carl XV, accepted the resignation while underlining that he was respecting Haffner’s wish, not the Storting’s statement.
During his journeys abroad in 1875 and 1881 King Oscar II appointed Haffner member of the interim governments in Stockholm.
Following the impeachment verdict against Christian Selmer’s Government in 1884, Haffner in March 1884 became acting councillor of state and member of the Norwegian Council of State Division in Stockholm. On 21 March he became acting Norwegian prime minister in Stockholm, until the Schweigaard/Løvenskiold Government succeeded the Selmer Government on 3 April 1884.
Norsk Biografisk Leksikon
Oslo Cemeteries and Burials Agency
Jon (Johan F.W.) Haffner