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Village Violence, Imperial Justice – Wolfisheim (Alsace) (1524/25)

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[2] Mathis Metziger testified, also under oath without fear or favor. He knows that on the seventh day of the year, while he was taking some supper [vesper] with other fellows, a quarrel broke out over the sale of a piece of property, and the parties drew [knives] on one another. He doesn’t know, however, who drew first. The witness adds that he stood up and warned Arbogasts Hans and Hentz Veltin to keep the peace and then went out the door, so that he didn’t see who knifed whom. This all the witness knows.

[3] Hans Veltin said under oath, etc., that he knows what happened. On the seventh day of the year he was drinking with some other fellows. He heard some quarreling at the table in the front of the room. The witness said, “Let me up, I intend to stop this.” And as he went to stand up, Lentz Biebel pulled a knife and warned them to keep the peace, whereupon Linsers Hans went up to Arbogasts Hans, grabbed the front of his coat, and stabbed him in the arm with a knife. At the same moment, Linsers Hans himself warned them to keep the peace. The two men were now entangled by the oven in the front of the room. He doesn’t know what happened there, whether they cut one another as they were engaged at the long table. He also does not know whether Linsers Hans had a knife at this point. This is all he knows.

[4] Schlucken Jerg testified under oath that on the evening of the seventh day of the year, while they were drinking together, a sale was being arranged among Arbogasts Jacob, Hurtzels Lentz, and Linsers Lentz. As the witness learned that Arbogasts Jacob was selling his property at Soltheim, he [the witness, Schlucken Jerg] and Hurtzels Lentz came to words. Lentz got up and came to his table. Then Arbogasts Hans said to this witness, “Stand still, nobody will harm you,” and warned everyone to keep the peace. At that moment there was a tumult in the room, as Linsers Hans grabbed Arbogasts Hans by the coat and stabbed him three times with a bread knife. Then Arbogasts Hans pulled his own knife and stabbed Linsers Hans under the arm. This is all the witness knows.

[5] Thomas von Schaffolsheim said under oath, without fear or favor, what he knows. On the evening of the seventh day of the year, as the fellows sat drinking in the tavern, he was leaning against the banister and he heard the quarrel among the fellows. He went down and entered the chamber, where he saw that Arbogasts Hans had stabbed Linsers Hans, and the latter had grabbed the former, knife in hand, and thrown him onto the table, so that they became entangled. He does not know, however, whether at that moment they stabbed one another again. The witness knows nothing more.

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