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Secret Societies of the Middle Ages

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Author Topic: Secret Societies of the Middle Ages  (Read 1695 times)
Trena Alloway
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« Reply #210 on: February 04, 2009, 01:27:28 pm »

private sign, and he took on him to make frei-schöppen, contrary to the law, out of Westphalia. These schöppen of the emperor's making did not, however, meet with much respect from the genuine ones, as the answer given to the Emperor Rupert by the Westphalian tribunals evinces. On his asking how they acted with regard to such schöppen, their reply was, "We ask them at what court they were made schöppen. Should it appear that they were made schöppen at courts which had no right so to do, we hang them, in case of their being met in Westphalia, on the instant, without any mercy." Wenceslaus, little as he cared about Germany in general, occasionally employed the Fehm-courts for the furtherance of his plans, and, in the year 1389, he had Count Henry of Wernengerode tried and hanged for treason by Westphalian schöppen. The reign of Wenceslaus is particularly distinguished by its being the period in which the Archbishop of Cologne arrived at the important office of lieutenant of the emperor over all the Westphalian tribunals.

The reign of Rupert was, with respect to the Westphalian Fehm-courts, chiefly remarkable by the reformation of them named front him. This reformation, which is the earliest publicly-accredited source from which a knowledge of the Fehm-law can be derived, was made in the year 1404. It is a collection of decisions by which the rights and privileges of a king of the Romans are ascertained with respect to these tribunals.

The Rupertian reformation, and the establishment of the office of lieutenant in the person of the Archbishop of Cologne, which was completed by either Rupert or his successor Sigismund, form together an epoch in the history of the Fehm-gerichte. Hitherto Westphalia alone was the scene of their operations, and their authority was of evident advantage to the

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