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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1733 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #195 on: February 04, 2009, 01:24:36 pm »

a person had been forfehmed, the emperor could save him by issuing his command to stay execution of the sentence for a hundred years, six weeks, and a day.

It is plain, that, to be able to exercise these rights, the emperor must be himself initiated, for otherwise he could not, for instance, appear where a court was sitting, make alterations in laws with which, if ignorant, he must necessarily be unacquainted, or extend mercy when he could not know who was forfehmed or not. In the laws establishing the rights of the emperor it was therefore always inserted, provided he be initiated, and the acts of uninitiated emperors were by the Fehm-courts frequently declared invalid. The emperor had, therefore, his choice of setting a substitute over the Fehm-courts, or of being himself initiated. The latter course was naturally preferred, and each emperor, at his coronation at Aix-la-Chapelle, was initiated by the hereditary Count of Dortmund. Though Aix-la-Chapelle was not in Westphalia, the law sanctioned this departure from the general rule that frei-schöppen should only be made in that country.

The emperor's lieutenant, who was almost always the Archbishop of Cologne, had the right of confirming such counts as were presented to him by the Tribunal-lords, and of investing them with the powers of life and death. He could also summon general chapters, and preside and exercise the other imperial rights in them. He might decide, with the aid of some schöppen, in cases of appeal to him, without bringing the affair before the general chapter; and he had the power of making schöppen at any tribunal in Westphalia, which proves that, like the emperor, he had free access to them all. Hence it is clear that he also must have been initiated.

The dignity and pre-eminence of the Archbishop

p. 375

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