Author Topic: A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden  (Read 783 times)

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Offline Lotti Fuehrscheim

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A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden
« on: November 25, 2020, 05:16:35 AM »
1 A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden, and about several other things under various Bishops of Utrecht.

In the year of our Lord 1232, on October 31, the day before All Hallows, wise and trusted men with an excellent memory sat together in meeting in Groningen, clergy and laity of ripe age, long time attached to the Court of the Bishops of Utrecht.
In a serious conversation, as the matter required, they recollected memories of those Bishops that they themselves had known well, and of those they had heard truthfully from elder people, especially concerning Groningen, Drenthe and Coevorden.
They started to tell as follows to their Lord Wilbrand, the 34th Bishop of the Church of Utrecht, who inquired especially about that, because he was at that moment exhausting himself already for years in heavy combat against those of Coevorden and of Drenthe.
They happen to have, as will follow later, killed his predecessor Lord Otto, the second Bishop of that name, together with many noble and distinguished knights in a cruel and lowly manner in a swamp, and robbed the Church of her goods and rights.
The city of Groningen and all of Friesland as far as it belonged to his Bishopric, stood very loyal by him in all of this.
All of this will be described faithfully to you in the following.
So they started their story as follows.

Offline Lotti Fuehrscheim

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Re: A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2020, 05:17:54 AM »
2 About Bishop Hartbert

Lord Hartbert, blessed memory, the 25th Bishop of the Church of Utrecht, owned Coevorden, Drenthe and Groningen in quiet and peace and he put a residence in the Castle of Coevorden.
He came from Friesland, more specifically from Bierum, and he had two brothers, namely Ludolf and Leffert.
Because he wished a high position for them, he gave the elder the Prefecture in Groningen, and the younger the Castle of Coevorden and the Shrievalty of Drenthe with the accompanying rights in feudal, in order to keep them for him according to feudal law, as can be clearly read in old and new charters.
And notice, until that time the Bishops trusted, without being detracted anything, all their rights and goods as they liked to their envoys and stewards.
Also, in his time, it was that the ministerials of the Church in Twente had, near Ootmarsum, at a place that is called Walstad, conducted a heavy battle with Count Otto of the Rhine-Palatinate, who owned Bentheim; in the end they have overcome him and taken him prisoner.
He had settled the case with the Church such that he ceded his castle and allodial title to Saint Marten, and received it back in feudal tenure, with this limitation that the Bishop kept a part of the castle for himself to create a residence.
And as many know, Bishop Hartbert has built himself a house and a chapel there and kept in all quiet and peace.
But Bishop Boudewijn, a brother of Count Otto of Bentheim, has out of brotherly love severely neglected both the residence as well as all other rights of the Church in that area.
Although his successors have often brought forward their claims thereupon, it has been without result until now.

Offline Lotti Fuehrscheim

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Re: A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2020, 05:19:23 AM »
3 About the same

Circumstances once demanded Bishop Hartbert to leave for Rome and when he returned after a successful journey, he found Groningen in disarray through the acts of a number of rebels.
In order to punish them he entered the city forcefully and attacked those who defended themselves in the Saint-Walburg Church with siege engines, as can still be seen in the walls today.
Those who had made the church a house of battle were taken prisoner, and he forced all citizens to swear that they would never again act against the Bishops and that they wouldn't put walls around their city.
Over time they didn't keep their word at all.
After the death of that Bishop and his funeral in Utrecht Lord Herman has been chosen Bishop; he governed the Church three and a half year, without much effort or spending large sums.
They called him the Hornish Bishop, because he was borne at Castle Horne.
His successor was Bishop Godfried, a proud nobleman, who has, as can still be seen today, enriched his Church with good strong castles, namely Horst, Vollenhove, Montfoort and Woerden; with a lot of effort and high expenses because of the very heavy wars that were conducted against him, without fault of his, he has energetically governed the Church for 22 years.
I do not dare to describe his deeds, that surpass those of other Bishops by far, here and now - they are too numerous.
But that what is useful for the story will be dealt with next.

Offline Lotti Fuehrscheim

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Re: A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 05:19:53 AM »
4 About Bishop Godfried

In his time there were two brothers in these regions, vigorous, brave and rich men.
One of them, named Lambert, lived in Peize and had two sons with his wife, Roelof and Menzo, who are still alive, at this moment when this story is told.
De other one, called Leffert, was Prefect in Groningen.
But, because he only had a daughter, he had married her to a certain Godschalk of Seppenrade, a Westphalian nobleman, who he let live with him in Groningen.
He begot three sons with her, namely Roelof, Menzo and Egbert.
Afterwards he and his wife have died, but Lord Leffert and his wife survived them.
When they were buried with their ancestors shortly afterwards, a serious conflict arose between Lambert of Peize, who wanted to succeed his brother as Prefect, and the sons of Godschalk, who didn't want to part from the legacy of their grandfather Leffert, especially because they lived in Groningen and the Prefecture.
But Bishop Godfried has quickly suppressed that feud by giving the prefecture, that had rightfully returned to him, in fee to the three sons of Godschalk for three hundred mark, and they have paid him that.
And so it is that today this prefecture is divided into three parts among their heirs, a fact that, as is well known, is in no way favourable for the church and city.
Thus everything was arranged and afterwards the lords of Coevorden - as there were two brothers, Roelof and Folker - and the two already mentioned brothers from Peize, namely Menzo and Roelof, and those three brothers from Groningen, Roelof, Menzo and Egbert, who is still alive, all lived for many years in excellent relations, as is fitting for kindred, in the favour of their lord, the Bishop, and there was peace and quiet in Drenthe.
That glorious bishop Godfried has passed away into the Lord and was buried in the church of Saint Marten in Utrecht in the year of our Lord 1178.
And take notice: of those three Bishops mentioned, Lord Hartbert, a good and just man, has ruled the bishopric for nine years, and Lord Herman, a man of noble descend, three and a half year.
Bishop Godfried, may his memory be held in honour by us, has served God and his Church vigorously for twenty two years.
And, as will appear shortly, Bishop Boudewijn has been head of the Church for eighteen years.
The two, who were chosen in discord after him, have only lived two years afterwards, and after those two, who have died in Rome, and have never taken possession of the Bishopric, Bishop Dirk has ruled the Church for fourteen years, and after him Otto I, who came from Gelre, two and a half year, and after him Otto II from Lippe in Westphalia, a nephew of Bishop Dirk, eleven years.
His successor was Bishop Wilbrand, under whom this has been written.

Offline Lotti Fuehrscheim

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Re: A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2020, 05:22:21 AM »
5 About Bishop Boudewijn

After him, I mean after Godfried, Lord Boudewijn has been chosen Bishop, the Provost of Saint Mary in Utrecht and of Oldenzaal, a meek and palpable man and so chaste, that he even seems to have died as a virgin.
Apart from other eminent and noble relatives who were subject to his authority, he welcomed especially as defenders of his land the following men at his side: Count Floris of Holland, a full brother of his, Count Dirk of Cleve, to which he gave his sister as wife, and Count Otto of Bentheim, also a brother of his.
With their council and assistance he has prosperously governed, rich and powerful, his Church for years in quiet and peace.

In the end however, that old enemy, that is envious at all the good and that disturbs the peace, has incited the advisors of the Bishop so that the Bishop, on their insistence, has occupied by force the Veluwe; damaging both the Duke of Brabant as well as Count Gerard of Gelre he has ravaged that area through robbery, arson and heavy looting.
He said that the Veluwe of that Duke had fallen due to him, because he had not received his fees from his hands in time, like a vassal becomes.
Lord Frederik, the great Emperor, the first of that name, has put an end to these troubles of war.
The Veluwe remained in the hands of the Duke and the Count, who received it in fee.
The hidden hatred between Bishop and Count however has only been put to rest temporarily, as will appear clearly below.

That same Bishop travelled as often as he liked to Coevorden, Drenthe and Groningen, without anything put into his path, exactly like Bishop Hartbert had determined for himself and his successors.
For years he has conducted all his bishops-rights, without anybody raising his voice against it, regularly, honourably and very much profitably to himself.

Offline Lotti Fuehrscheim

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Re: A story about Groningen, Drenthe, Coevorden
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2020, 11:35:44 AM »
6 About Drenthe and other matters

When the Bishop on tour through the various parts of his bishopric to manage the worldly affairs and administer justice, decided also to go to the Drents, his arrival was heralded to the Lord, that is Castellan and Sheriff, of Coevorden, who received his Lord there reverently in his castle, where he only had to keep him for one night.
And the Bishop received from his hands the keys to the castle, and trusted those and the guard of the castle until his return and departure for Utrecht to some of his loyal servants; he chose people from which the Lord of the castle rightfully didn't have to fear that they would expel him.
Then the Castellan with all of his household obediently followed his Lord, the Bishop, and for six consecutive weeks the Drents, commissioned by the Bishop, provided in several places, in their own houses, generously for the Bishop and his retinue; devotedly they provided carts and horses to various services of the court and its ministers, as far as they were entitled.

In those days and weeks the Bishop executed his jurisdiction, while he extracted lots of money from those who deserved it, and so judging he also went to an other town, that is Groningen, where the Prefect of that city together with all its citizens welcomed him with all honours and as befit they honoured him with many large gifts.
With the help of the stewards and serfs of the Bishop the Prefect punctually arranged carts and transportation and all payments, because the Bishop and his men judged everyday over clerics and laymen who came over from Frisia, over citizens of the city and over all others.
There the Drents together with the stewards from Groningen and the other villeins in the prefecture paid their dues of 300 or 400 pounds. Of this sum the Drents gave two thirds and the others one third.
Then at the return of the Bishop Coevorden was returned to its Lord.