Zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft: Über die weltlichen Räte des livländischen Zweiges des Deutschen Ordens im 16. Jahrhundert

In: Forschungen zur baltischen Geschichte
Author:
Juhan Kreem
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Abstract

Between Past and Future: The Secular Councillors of the Teutonic Order in 16th Century Livonia

The statutes of the Teutonic Order stipulated the leading role of the brethren of the Order in administration. From the second half of the 15th century the presence of secular councillors in the entourage of the Master is documented. This article first presents the careers of some prominent council members, the vassals Johann Stael von Holstein, Wolter von Plettenberg, Philipp von der Brüggen, and the former clerks Peter Robel, Georg von Wolde, Christoffer Botticher, Hermann Falcke, and others. The council of the Master does not appear to have been homogeneous. In the written records of the Livonian Diets regional differentiation can also be detected in the composition of councillors. Old and influential vassals of Harrien and Wierland are treated separately, while the remainder of the Order’s territory is divided into land on the far side of Daugava (i.e., Curonia and Semigallia) and land on the near side of Daugava (the core regions of the Order). Many councillors originated from the same Westphalian families as the knight brethren, but other regions of Germany are also represented, especially by former clerks who became council members. The realisation of the old right of vassals to participate in government, as well as the rise of a new stratum of educated professional bureaucrats can be observed in the composition of council members.

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