Katharina von Bora
Katharina von Bora, after her wedding Katharina Luther referred to as "die Lutherin", was the wife of Martin Luther, German reformer and a seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation. Beyond what is found in the writings of Luther and some of his contemporaries, little is known about her. Despite this, Katharina is considered one of the most important participants in the Reformation because of her role in helping to define Protestant family life and setting the tone for clergy marriages. Katharina von Bora was the daughter to a family of Saxon petty nobility. According to common belief, she was born on 29 January 1499 in Lippendorf. Due to the various lineages within the family and the uncertainty about Katharina's birth name, there were and are diverging theories about her place of birth. A different perspective has been proposed: that she was born in Hirschfeld and that her parents are supposed to have been a Hans von Bora zu Hirschfeld and his wife Anna von Haugwitz. Neither can be proven.
It is possible that Katharina was the daughter of a Jan von Bora auf Lippendorf and his wife Margarete, whose family name has not been established. Both were only mentioned in the year 1505, it is certain that her father sent the five-year-old Katharina to the Benedictine cloister in Brehna in 1504 for education. This is documented in a letter from Laurentius Zoch to Martin Luther, written on October 30, 1531; this letter is the only evidence of Katharina von Bora's spending time in the monastery. At the age of nine she moved to the Cistercian monastery of Marienthron in Nimbschen, near Grimma, where her maternal aunt was a member of the community. Katharina is well documented at this monastery in a provision list of 1509/10. After several years of religious life, Katharina became interested in the growing reform movement and grew dissatisfied with her life in the convent. Conspiring with several other nuns to flee in secrecy, she contacted Luther and begged for his assistance. On Easter Eve, 4 April 1523, Luther sent Leonhard Köppe, a city councilman of Torgau and a merchant who delivered herring to the convent.
The nuns escaped by hiding in Köppe's covered wagon among the fish barrels, fled to Wittenberg. A local student wrote to a friend:'A wagon load of vestal virgins has just come to town, all more eager for marriage than for life. God grant them husbands lest worse befall."Luther at first asked the parents and relations of the refugee nuns to admit them again into their houses, but they declined to receive them because this would make them accomplices to a crime under canon law. Within two years, Luther was able to arrange homes, marriages, or employment for all of the escaped nuns except Katharina, she was first housed with the family of the city clerk of Wittenberg. She went to the home of Lucas Cranach the Elder and his wife, Barbara. Katharina had a number of suitors, including the Wittenberg University alumnus Jerome Baumgärtner of Nuremberg, a pastor, Kaspar Glatz of Orlamünde. None of the proposed matches resulted in marriage, she told Luther’s friend and fellow reformer, Nikolaus von Amsdorf, that she would be willing to marry only Luther or von Amsdorf himself.
Martin Luther, many of his friends as well, were at first unsure of whether he should be married. Philipp Melanchthon thought that Luther's marriage would hurt the Reformation because of potential scandal. Luther came to the conclusion that "his marriage would please his father, rile the pope, cause the angels to laugh, the devils to weep." Martin Luther married Katharina on June 13, 1525, before witnesses including Justus Jonas, Johannes Bugenhagen, Barbara and Lucas Cranach the Elder. They held a wedding breakfast the next morning with a small company. Two weeks on June 27, they held a more formal public ceremony, presided over by Bugenhagen. Von Bora was 26 years old, Luther 41; the couple took up residence in the "Black Cloister", the former dormitory and educational institution for Augustinian friars studying in Wittenberg, given as a wedding gift by the reform-minded John, Elector of Saxony, the brother of Luther's protector Frederick III, Elector of Saxony. Katharina took on the task of administering and managing the monastery's vast holdings and selling cattle and running a brewery to provide for their family, the steady stream of students who boarded with them, visitors seeking audiences with her husband.
In times of widespread illness, Katharina operated a hospital on site, ministering to the sick alongside other nurses. Luther called her the "boss of Zulsdorf," after the name of the farm they owned, the "morning star of Wittenberg" for her habit of rising at 4 a.m. to take care of her various responsibilities. The marriage of Katharina von Bora to Martin Luther was important to the development of the Protestant Church in regards to its stance on marriage and the roles each spouse should concern themselves with. “Although Luther was by no means the first cleric of his time to marry, his prominence, his espousal of clerical marriage, his prolific output of printed anti-Catholic propaganda made his marriage a natural target.” The way Luther described Katie’s actions and the names he gives her like “My Lord Katie” shows us that he did feel that she exhibited a great amount of control over her own life and decisions. It could reasonably be argued that she maintained some influence in the actions of Martin Luther himself since he says explicitly, “You convince me of whatever you please.
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Joan Waste or Wast was a blind woman, burned in Derby for refusing to renounce her Protestant faith. Waste was born blind in 1534, with her twin brother Roger, to a Derby barber, William Waste and his wife, Joan. By the age of twelve she had learned to knit as well as. In 1553, Queen Mary I came to the throne and in January 1555 it was made illegal by Parliament to hold Protestant views. At least 284 people were condemned for heresy during Mary's reign; some were famous, the bishops Thomas Cranmer, Hugh Latimer, Nicholas Ridley among them, but many executed between spring 1555 and the queen's death in November 1558 were from "the lower orders". Waste was called before the Catholic Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, Ralph Baines' chancellor, Anthony Draycot, to defend her views, she had objected to the services now being read in Latin. She was sentenced for buying a New Testament which she asked friends to read to her for a penny a time, she denied the doctrine of transubstantiation and held that the bread and wine were only that.
Her trial took place at what was All Saints Parish Church. This building has been rebuilt, but the tower dates from 1530 and the building is now known as Derby Cathedral. On the day of her death she was reported to have held hands with her twin brother as she walked to her death. Waste was accompanied to church by Anthony Draycot who gave a final sermon, Thomas Powthread, Sir John Port, Henry Vernon and Master John Dethick of Newhall; the public execution took place at Windmill Pit on the Burton Road in Derby. Windmill Hill Pit is on Lime Avenue, just off Burton Road in Derby, she was hanged over the fire with a rope and she fell into the fire when the rope burned through. Waste was expected to suffer for her beliefs for eternity. Draycot it is said went home to his meal that day. There is a memorial to her in Birchover church; the place where Waste was executed is now the site of a Roman Catholic church. Ralph Baines, the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield was deprived of his bishopric on the accession of Elizabeth I of England and committed to the imprisonment of Edmund Grindal, the Protestant Bishop of London.
Draycot was sent to be a prisoner of the fleet and died after being released in 1571. A blue plaque commemorating the site of Waste's execution was erected in Lime Avenue by Derby Civic Society in February 2017; the Book of Martyrs, Chapter XV1, accessed February 2009 Blind Faith - Joan Waste, Derby's Martyr, Pat Cunningham, ISBN 978-0-9556325-1-8 Poem:'The Trial And Burning Of Joan Waste' by the Derby Poet Martin Ward, on the free website PoemHunter.com
Ursula van Beckum
Ursula van Beckum was a Dutch Anabaptist noblewoman, burned at the stake for heresy in Delden, the Netherlands. She was born as the daughter of Armgard von Fikensolt. On 12 June 1538, she married Johan Hendrik van Beckum and went to live with him in Nijenhuis, his castle in Diepenheim, her sister-in-law Maria van Beckum became a follower of David Joris and was sent out of her house by her stepmother as an Anabaptist. She fled to Ursula. In 1542, the Anabaptists were declared heretics in the Netherlands. Maria was arrested and Ursula accompanied her out of pity. Both women were interviewed, were sentenced to death by burning, their case attracted a lot of attention because it was not clear whether Ursula shared the views of her sister-in-law or not. Her husband survived her by nearly two decades. Http://www.inghist.nl/Onderzoek/Projecten/DVN/lemmata/data/beckumu
Inger Ottesdotter Rømer
Ingerd Ottesdotter was her era's wealthiest landowner in Norway. She was the ultimate heiress of a political intriguer. Lady Ingerd is noted for having orchestrated her powerful sons-in-law to support her goals, her fame was the inspiration for Henrik Ibsen's play Lady Inger of Ostrat. She was the daughter of Ingeborg Lydersdatter Struds von Bergen. Lady Ingerd's parents had her marry Lord Nils Henriksson, whose family had some claim to Austrått Manor in the Trondheimsfjord, thus the important manor of Austrått, with its associated lands, were settled to be Ingerd's share of the family inheritance. Her husband became both High Steward of Norway, she was widowed in 1523. Her interests targeted Swedish politics, in addition to Norwegian. In 1526 she received the exiled Swedish chancellor Peder Sunnanväder, implicated in the Dalecarlian rebellions, she joined attempts to dethrone King Gustav I of Sweden. In 1528 the knight who claimed to be Nils Sture, the elder son of Sten Sture the Younger, the 1512–20 Regent of Sweden, fled to Norway after his defeat and enjoyed the hospitality of Lady Ingerd.
She had plans to obtain the crown of Sweden for him, taking it from the Stures' kinsman King Gustav Vasa. And, more to her, she was planning to marry his daughter, Eline Nilsdatter to the young pretender and make her the Queen. Nothing came of this and the so-called Daljunkern was executed in Rostock at request of King Gustav. From earlier property disputes and such, Lady Ingerd was an enemy of the Roman Catholic prelate Olav Engelbrektsson, Primate of Norway and Archbishop of Nidaros. Archbishop Engelbriktsonn was a rival in Norway's government with Lady Ingerd's son-in-law Lord Vincens Lunge. Lady Inger and her family promoted it extensively; that served as an important impetus for Protestantism in Norway. Ingerd Ottesdotter Rømer and Nils Henriksson had five daughters, all of whom married Danish-Norwegian noblemen: Margrete Nilsdatter, married to Vincens Lunge and member of the Norwegian national council Eline Nilsdatter, married with Nils Lykke, feudal lord at Sunnmøre and Nordmøre Anna Nilsdatter, married to Erik Ugerup, feudal lord in Tønsberg Ingeborg Nilsdatter, married to Peder Hanssøn Litle, feudal lord of Akershus Lucie Nilsdatter, married Jens Tillufssøn Bjelke, feudal lord of Jemtland Lucie Nilsdatter had been the center of a social scandal of some substance in those times.
Niels Lykke had married the elder sister of Lucie. After her sister Eline’s death in 1532, Lucie cared for Eline’s children and conceived a child by Niels Lykke. Neils was subsequently put to death for incest by Archbishop Engelbrektsson in 1535. Lucie married Jens Tillufssøn Bjelke in 1540, his correspondence thereafter came from Austrått Manor. Lady Ingerd formally transferred the title of Austrått to Jens. There has been speculation that Lucie’s scandal allowed Jens, who descended from lesser nobility, to be considered acceptable for Lucie. In 1857, playwright Henrik Ibsen in his early career, wrote the play "Lady Inger of Ostrat" which loosely utilizes her intrigues towards Swedish throne as basis of drama; the play is not accurate on historical and genealogical details. Fru inger til Østråt by Henrik Ibsen
Martin Luther, was a German professor of theology, priest, a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation. Luther was ordained to the priesthood in 1507, he came to reject several practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Luther proposed an academic discussion of the practice and efficacy of indulgences in his Ninety-five Theses of 1517, his refusal to renounce all of his writings at the demand of Pope Leo X in 1520 and the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Worms in 1521 resulted in his excommunication by the pope and condemnation as an outlaw by the Holy Roman Emperor. Luther taught that salvation and eternal life are not earned by good deeds but are received only as the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Jesus Christ as redeemer from sin, his theology challenged the authority and office of the Pope by teaching that the Bible is the only source of divinely revealed knowledge, opposed sacerdotalism by considering all baptized Christians to be a holy priesthood. Those who identify with these, all of Luther's wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.
His translation of the Bible into the German vernacular made it more accessible to the laity, an event that had a tremendous impact on both the church and German culture. It fostered the development of a standard version of the German language, added several principles to the art of translation, influenced the writing of an English translation, the Tyndale Bible, his hymns influenced the development of singing in Protestant churches. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, allowing Protestant clergy to marry. In two of his works, Luther expressed antagonistic views towards Jews, his rhetoric was not directed at Jews alone, but towards Roman Catholics and nontrinitarian Christians. Luther died with his decree of excommunication by Pope Leo X still effective. Martin Luther was born to Hans Luder and his wife Margarethe on 10 November 1483 in Eisleben, County of Mansfeld in the Holy Roman Empire. Luther was baptized the next morning on the feast day of St. Martin of Tours.
His family moved to Mansfeld in 1484, where his father was a leaseholder of copper mines and smelters and served as one of four citizen representatives on the local council. The religious scholar Martin Marty describes Luther's mother as a hard-working woman of "trading-class stock and middling means" and notes that Luther's enemies wrongly described her as a whore and bath attendant, he had several brothers and sisters, is known to have been close to one of them, Jacob. Hans Luther was ambitious for himself and his family, he was determined to see Martin, his eldest son, become a lawyer, he sent Martin to Latin schools in Mansfeld Magdeburg in 1497, where he attended a school operated by a lay group called the Brethren of the Common Life, Eisenach in 1498. The three schools focused on the so-called "trivium": grammar and logic. Luther compared his education there to purgatory and hell. In 1501, at the age of 17, he entered the University of Erfurt, which he described as a beerhouse and whorehouse.
He was made to wake at four every morning for what has been described as "a day of rote learning and wearying spiritual exercises." He received his master's degree in 1505. In accordance with his father's wishes, he enrolled in law but dropped out immediately, believing that law represented uncertainty. Luther sought assurances about life and was drawn to theology and philosophy, expressing particular interest in Aristotle, William of Ockham, Gabriel Biel, he was influenced by two tutors, Bartholomaeus Arnoldi von Usingen and Jodocus Trutfetter, who taught him to be suspicious of the greatest thinkers and to test everything himself by experience. Philosophy proved to be unsatisfying, offering assurance about the use of reason but none about loving God, which to Luther was more important. Reason could not lead men to God, he felt, he thereafter developed a love-hate relationship with Aristotle over the latter's emphasis on reason. For Luther, reason could be used to question institutions, but not God.
Human beings could learn about God only through divine revelation, he believed, Scripture therefore became important to him. On 2 July 1505, while returning to university on horseback after a trip home, a lightning bolt struck near Luther during a thunderstorm. Telling his father he was terrified of death and divine judgment, he cried out, "Help! Saint Anna, I will become a monk!" He came to view his cry for help as a vow. He left university, sold his books, entered St. Augustine's Monastery in Erfurt on 17 July 1505. One friend blamed the decision on Luther's sadness over the deaths of two friends. Luther himself seemed saddened by the move; those who attended a farewell supper walked him to the door of the Black Cloister. "This day you see me, not again," he said. His father was furious over. Luther dedicated himself to the Augustinian order, devoting himself to fasting, long hours in prayer and frequent confession. Luther described this period of his life as one of deep spiritual despair, he said, "I lost touch with Christ the Savior and Comforter, made of him the jailer and hangman of my poor soul."
Johann von Staupitz, his superior, pointed
Elisabeth of Brandenburg, Duchess of Brunswick-Calenberg-Göttingen
Elisabeth of Brandenburg was a Duchess consort of Brunswick-Göttingen-Calenberg by marriage to Eric I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Regent of the Duchy of Brunswick-Göttingen-Calenberg during the minority of her son, Eric II, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, from 1540 until 1545. She is considered a "Reformation Princess", together with the Hessian reformer Anton Corvinus, helped the Reformation prevail in today's South Lower Saxony. Elisabeth was born in Cölln, the third child and second daughter of the Elector Joachim I of Brandenburg and his wife Elisabeth, daughter of King John I of Denmark, she was educated in a religious and humanist fashion. At the age of not quite 15, she married on 7 July 1525 in Stettin with the forty years old widower Duke Eric I "the Elder" of Brunswick-Göttingen-Calenberg, she first came into contact with the Reformation in 1527 at her parental court in Brandenburg when her mother celebrated communion under both kinds and thus accepted the teachings of Martin Luther, Her father reacted violently, fearing her mother would convert to "Protestantism", removed the reformers from Wittenberg, who tried to intervene on behalf of the Electress, from his court.
This event may well have impressed the seventeen-year-old princess and reinforced her sympathy for the new faith. Despite the age difference, it was a marriage without insurmountable conflicts because Eric stayed on his Erichsburg and Calenberg Castle, while Elisabeth resided at her wittum Münden; the marriage was not without blemish. For example, in 1528, Elisabeth accused Anna von Rumschottel, a member of the landed gentry and for many years her husband's mistress, of being responsible for complications during her second pregnancy, she urged her husband to have Anna burned at the stake. Elisabeth sent her own spies and soldiers into the neighboring Diocese of Minden, in order to arrest Anna in her hideout in Minden. However, Anna escaped. During Inquisition proceedings against Anna's alleged helpers, some of the accused women died after torture at the stake. Elisabeth managed to force Eric into giving her a more profitable wittum than their marriage contract required: instead of the district of Calenberg in the Unterwald region, which contained Calenberg Castle and Hanover and provided little revenue, she received Oberwald, with the towns of Münden, Northeim and Göttingen, which provided more revenue and greater political weight.
Her pregnancy ended with the birth of a healthy male baby, who grew up to be Eric's successor Eric II of Brunswick-Göttingen-Calenberg. After his birth, this dark chapter was soon forgotten; when Elisabeth visited her mother at Lichtenburg Castle in 1534, she met Martin Luther for the first time. She began to correspond with him in 1538, she sent him cheese and wine and he sent her mulberries and fig tree seedlings and his German Bible translation with a personal dedication. On 7 April, Elisabeth publicly accepted communion under both kinds and thereby expressed her conversion to the Lutheran faith. On October 6, she informed Landgrave Philip I of Hesse of her conversion and with his assistance, invited the reformer Anton Corvinus to move from nearby Witzenhausen to Münden. Eric I tolerated the conversion. Although Lutheranism was inconsistent with his Catholic upbringing and his loyalty to the Emperor, he admired the reformer's courage. Elisabeth had a strong ally in Elector John Frederick I of Saxony.
When Eric I died on 30 July 1540, he helped her become co-regent of Brunswick-Calenberg-Göttingen, together with Philip I of Hesse, despite fierce resistance from Duke Henry II of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. She and Philip were regents for five years. Anton Corvinus was appointed superintendent of the principality, with an office in Pattensen; the lawyer Justus von Waldhausen, who had studied at Wittenberg, was appointed to princely Councillor and to chancellor, on the recommendation of Martin Luther. The physician Burckard Mithoff, the court judge Justin Gobler and Heinrich Campe MJ completed the team with which the princess wanted to implement her reforms. In 1542, a Church Order for all of Calenberg-Göttingen was issued; this was followed up by a thorough visitation from 17 November 1542 to 30 April 1543, which Elisabeth participated in. A monastic order issued 4 November 1542 regulated the conversion of the monasteries to Protestantism. A Court Procedures Order was enacted in 1544; the princess wrote many spiritual songs and an "open letter" to her subjects to strengthen their faith.
She had arranged long before that her son Eric II would marry Philip's daughter Anna of Hesse in 1554. Eric, fell in love with Sidoniethe sister of Duke and Elector Maurice of Saxony, Lutheran. At the urging of her son, Elisabeth cancelled the agreement with the court of Hesse and Eric married the ten years older Sidonie on 17 May 1545. Elisabeth wrote a "government manual" for Eric II, with important advice that should serve him as a guide for when he ruled on his own. In 1546, one year after the accession of her son Eric II, Elisabeth married Count Poppo XII of Henneberg, a younger brother of the husband of her eldest daughter, she retained the regency over her wittum Münden. With great concern she watched her son revert to Catholicism, hoping for opportunities at the imperial court. In 1548, he accepted the Augsburg Interim, he went as far as arresting the reformers Anton Corvinus and Walter Hoiker, together with 140 other pastors, had vehemently objected to the Interim
Charlotte of Bourbon
Charlotte of Bourbon was a Princess consort of Orange as the third spouse of William the Silent, Prince of Orange, the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish. She was the fourth daughter of Louis, Duke of Montpensier and Jacqueline de Longwy, Countess of Bar-sur-Seine, her paternal grandparents were Louis, Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon and Louise de Bourbon, Duchess of Montpensier. Her maternal grandparents were John IV de Longwy, Baron of Pagny, Jeanne of Angoulême, illegitimate half-sister of King Francis I of France, her mother, was a believer in the Reformed doctrines, she secretly taught them to her children. By some accounts, Charlotte's father determined to thwart his wife's influence by sending three of his daughters to convents. Charlotte was only thirteen years old and begged to be allowed to stay with her mother, who died during the time Charlotte was in the convent, her father, influential in the court of Catherine de' Medici, placed her in the royal convent of Jouarre, near Meaux, to be raised as a nun.
When she was professed as a nun at the age of thirteen, she made a formal written protest. Other sources claim that Louis wanted to avoid paying dowries in order to conserve his only son's patrimony. Charlotte was first sent to Jouarre; the plan for Charlotte was to succeed her aunt. This plan was carried out upon the aunt's death, against Charlotte's wishes, despite her being only 12. While abbess, Charlotte was secretly instructed in Calvinism by a dissident priest; the young Charlotte shocked both her family and the royal court by escaping the convent in 1572, announcing her conversion to Calvinism and, on the advice of Jeanne d'Albret, fleeing to the Electorate of the Palatinate, well beyond her parents' reach. On 24 June 1575 Charlotte married the Protestant Prince of Orange, they had six daughters, including Louise Juliana of Nassau, from whom descended the House of Hanover and most other royal houses. The marriage was happy–it is said to have been the only one of William's four marriages, for love–and the obvious happiness of the couple increased William's popularity.
Charlotte died from exhaustion while trying to nurse her husband after an assassination attempt in 1582. Though William was outwardly stoical, it was feared. Charlotte's death was mourned. Following her death, William married on 24 April 1583, his fourth and last wife, Louise de Coligny, by whom he had a son Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. William's brother John, who had opposed the marriage, paid tribute to Charlotte as a wife "so distinguished by her virtue, her piety, her great intelligence, in sum as perfect as he could desire her". Blaisdell, Charmarie, ‘Religion and Class: Nuns and Authority in Early Modern France’, in Michael Wolfe, Changing Identities in Early Modern France, pp. 147–168. Dalberg-Acton, John Emerich Edward, et al; the Cambridge Modern History. Vol. III, New York: Macmillan Co, 1902. Googlebooks.com Accessed July 30, 2007 Robin, Diana Maury. Encyclopedia of Women in the Renaissance: Italy and England. ABC-CLIO. CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter