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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 2026 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #165 on: February 04, 2009, 01:19:24 pm »

p. 346

CHAPTER II.

The Tribunal-Lord--The Count--The Schöppen--The Messengers--The Public Court--The Secret Tribunal--Extent of its Jurisdiction--Places of holding the Courts--Time of holding them--Proceedings in them--Process where the criminal was caught in the fact--Inquisitorial Process.

HAVING traced the origin of the Fehm-gerichte and their various appellations, as far as the existing documents and other evidences admit, we are now to describe the constitution and procedure of these celebrated tribunals, and to ascertain who were the persons that composed them; whence their authority was derived; and over what classes of persons their jurisdiction extended.

Even in the periods of greatest anarchy in Germany, the emperor was regarded as the fountain of all judicial power and authority, more particularly where it extended to the right of inflicting capital punishment. The Fehm-gerichte, therefore, regarded the emperor as their head, from whom they derived all the power which they possessed, and acknowledged his right to control and modify their constitution and decisions. These rights of the emperors we shall, in the sequel, describe at length.

Between the emperor and the Westphalian tribunal-lords (Stuhlherren), as they were styled, that is, lay and ecclesiastical territorial lords, there was no intermediate authority until the fourteenth century, when the Archbishop of Cologne was made the imperial

p. 347

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