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Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/699

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MUNSTER


635


MUNSTER


name Monasterium. It is first mentioned in 795, when St. Ludger founded a monastery here, and the place became his see when he was consecrated bishop. Even at this early date it must have been a place of some importance. Among the earliest possessions of the Church at Mtinster were three large landed estates, apparently the gift of Charlemagne. These lands, at least in part, lay within the area of the later city. They were called the Brockhof, the Kampwordeshof, and the Bispinghof. The last-named belonged to the bishop and, probably for this reason, bore his name. The Brockhof was owned by the cathedral chapter, the Kampwordeshof belonged later to the collegiate church of St. Moritz, to which it was apparently as- signed when the church was founded. Tlie fourth great estate, and one that is mentioned from the ear- liest days, the Judefelderhof, appears to have belonged originally to the Church, by which it was given in fief to a family called Judefeld. In 1386 the cathedral chapter obtained it by purchase. Near these four estates were quite a number of farms owned indepen- dently by free peasants; many of these in the course of time came into the possession of the Church. The monastery of St. Ludger was placed in the centre of these properties on the ground now surrounding the cathedral. From the beginning the monastery was independent of the jurisdiction of the coimt. How large a district enjoyed this immunity cannot now be ascertained. Neither, for lack of original authorities, can the extent of the guild in which the free peasants were united be positively settled, nor the earliest state of the community and the legal jurisdiction exercised in it. In regard to the public administration of justice, Mtinster was from the earliest times under the author- ity of the Counts of Dreingau until, on account of the privileges granted by Otto I, the rights of the count were transferred to the bishop, who exercised them, especially the higher jurisdiction, through governors. The relation of the bishop to the commune in the early period is not entirely clear, though it is evident that he exercised a certam influence over the affairs of the community.

At first the population was very small: there ap- pears to have been a large increase in the eleventh century, when, in addition to the cathedral, the churches of Ueberwasser (1040), St. Moritz (about 1070), and St. Lambert (after 1085) were built. Mtinster at this time offered great advantages to mer- chants and mechanics, besides being the see of a bishop, with a chapter and cathedral school. Thus, close to the episcopal castle, that had been built near the minster, there arose an outlying city in which commerce and trade were fairly prosperous, as early as the twelfth century. In 1115 the castle was pro- vided with walls, gateways, and a moat. In the twelfth century three more parish churches were built, those of St. Ludger, mentioned in 1173, St. ^Egidius (1181), and St. Martin (before 1199). By the end of the twelfth century the place was virtually a city, although it cannot now be ascertained when the dis- tinctive municipal privileges were secured by it. From not later than 1168 the city formed a separate judicial district, and with this the development into a municipality was essentially complete. Yet Minister was not a free imperial city; it was always dependent on the bishop. In 1173 the right of administering the city passed to the bishop and the cathedral chapter. From the thirteenth century these two powers en- trusted the exercise of legal jurisdiction to officials (ministerialen) of the bishop. From the thirteenth century, in addition to the judge appointed by the bishop, there were city judges, who are first mentioned in 1255. They were appointed by the burgomasters from the members of the city council. When court was held they sat by the judge, who was the bishop's appointee in order to guard the interests of the city, but outside of this had not much influence. The city


council acted as a board of assessors in the city court. The extensive commerce of the city rapidly increased its importance. As early as 1253 it formed a defensive alliance with the neighbouring cities of Osnabriick, Dortmund, Soest, and Lippstadt, and one with the cathedral chapter in 1257. At a later date it joined the confederation of the cities of the Rhine, and about 1368 entered the Hanseatic League. In this period the commercial relations of Mtinster extended as far as England and Flanders, and eastwards to Livonia and Novgorod.

During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries im- portant changes appeared in the government of the city. In medieval times the population consisted of citizens and non-citizens. The citizen body was di- vided into the ruling patricians, who from the six- teenth century were also called "hereditary proprie- tors", and the commonalty. A body of city patricians can be proved to have existed at Mtinster from the thirteenth century. At least the burgomasters and the members of the city council were chosen from a limited number of families. From the fourteenth cen- tury the patricians had control of the court of the city; they maintained themselves in the sole ownership of the city government up into the fifteenth century. The representatives of the city were the burgomasters, first mentioned in 1253, and the assessors, mentioned in 1221. Besides its judicial authority, the body of assessors performed the duties of a city council. It was presided over by the burgomasters, who, from 1268, were not appointed by the bishop, but by those citizens (guden luden) who had the right of voting. Taking advantage of the bishop's pecuniary needs, the municipality gradually obtained large rights and priv- ileges. Thus, besides its own autonomy, it acquired the military authority, the administration of a number of church prebends, and supreme jurisdiction in certain courts in the neighbouring towns and villages. In the fourteenth century it had a court formed from its own council. After 1309 it was represented in the diet of the diocese along with the cathedral chapter and the lower nobility.

Nevertheless, the bishop always appointed the judges and reserved to himself the confirmation of sentence in important cases. He levied the town- taxes which, however, he generally mortgaged; he owned the mint, and claimed certain rights at the death of every citizen. The guilds formed by the leading trades in the fourteenth century (in the six- teenth century seventeen guilds are mentioned) orig- inally exercised no control over the city government; in the second half of that century they formed a con- federation. Thus ronfederated, the guilds were able to influence both the inlcrnal and external affairs of the city, working apparently in aini("il)lc agreement with the Council, In 1447 the confederated guilds were regarded as a ruling corporation co-ordinate and acting in union with the Council. Their veto could stop any proceedings of the Council, which was still chosen from the patrician body. On the other hand, the Council retained a certain riglit of supervision over the internal affairs of the guilds. ..\ good understand- ing between Council and guilds was, lliercfiire, the primary condition for a prosperous dcvelopnu-nt of the city. As a matter of fact the two bodies worked har- moniously together until the outbreak of the diocesan feud which split the city into two arme<l camps (see below, under II). In I t.")>, nfter ihiM-losc of this feud, it was decided to choo.-r ili' lniTL'.iiin u-v--. and mem- bers of the Council tin im rinn\ ird imin both the patricians and ma.ss of t hr nl i/.i ii- . Tiu.-, arrangement was maintained until the Anabaptist outbreak. In- ternal peace promot(Ml prosperity and schools and learning flourished greatly. Mtinster was regarded as the leading commercial city between the Rhine and the Weser, and the .school conducted by the Canon Rudolf of Langcn had a great reputation.