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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1744 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #165 on: February 04, 2009, 01:19:47 pm »

any charge paid the count a cross-penny. He had a share of all the fines imposed in his court, and a fee on citations, &c.

There was in general but one count to each tribunal; but instances occur of there being as many as seven or eight. The count presided in the court, and the citations of the accused proceeded from him.

Next to the count were the assessors or (Schöppen) *. These formed the main body and strength of the society. They were nominated by the count with the approbation of the tribunal-lord. Two persons, who were already in the society, were obliged to vouch on oath for the fitness of the candidate to be admitted. It was necessary that he should be a German by birth; horn in wedlock of free parents; of the Christian religion; neither excommunicate nor outlawed; not involved in any Fehm-gericht process; a member of no spiritual order, &c.

These schöppen were divided into two classes, the knightly, and the simple, respectable assessors; for, as the maxim that every man should be judged by his peers prevailed universally during the middle ages, it was necessary to conform to it also in the Fehm-tribunals.

Previous to their admission to a knowledge of the secrets of the society, the schöppen were named Ignorant; when they had been initiated they were called Knowing (Wissende) or Fehmenotes. It was only these last who were admitted to the secret-tribunal.


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