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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1760 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #195 on: February 04, 2009, 01:25:26 pm »

p. 377

CHAPTER V.
Fehm-courts at Celle--At Brunswick--Tribunal of the Knowing in the Tyrol--The Castle of Baden--African Purrahs.

WE have now gone through the constitution and modes of procedure of the Fehm-tribunals of Westphalia, as far as the imperfect notices of them which have reached the present age permit. It remains to trace their history down to the last vestiges of them which appear. A matter of some curiosity should, however, be previously touched on, namely, how far they were peculiar to Westphalia, and what institutions resembling them may be elsewhere found.

Fehm-tribunals were, in fact, as we have already observed, not peculiar to Westphalia. In a MS. life of Duke Julius of Celle, by Francis Algermann *, of the year 1608, we read the following description of a Fehm- court, which the author remembered to have seen holden at Celle in his youth:--

"When the Fehm-law † was to be put in operation, all the inhabitants of the district who were above twelve years of age were obliged to appear, without fail, on a heath or some large open place, and sit down on the ground. Some tables were then set in the middle of the assembly, at which the prince, his councillors, and bailiffs, took their seats. The Secret Judges then reported the delinquents and the offences; and they went round with a white wand



p. 378

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