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Swiss Defenders of the Old Faith – Articles of the Nine Members’ Delegates (1525)

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[43.] And we have also considered and desire that no one should withhold what he owes another with violence and without law, but rather that everyone should give, pay, and uphold what he owes another, including interest, mortgages, small and large tithes, debts, and other lordly possessions and jurisdictions, as has been right and lawful from old times. And all letters of agreement, seals, and assignments shall remain in force, and their contents shall be faithfully fulfilled.

[44.] Finally, we hereby exempt each canton of the Confederation and every higher authority, should anyone within their domains have and make known any complaints, bad customs, or excessive burdens from the monasteries, foundations, cloisters, and other clerical houses; every worldly authority should and may investigate such matters, and mediate and resolve them according to appropriate fair standards. But such methods will not derogate or cancel the articles above in any way.

[45.] ITEM, each delegate should bring this copy and articles with him to the next assembly in Lucerne.

Source of original German text: Staatsarchiv Bern, A IV 23, pp. 291-310, furnished by Peter Blickle (whom the editors thank), transcribed by Carina L. Johnson, and revised by Randolph C. Head based on the text in Ämtliche Sammlung der älteren eidgenössischen Abschiede, IV A, edited by Johannes Strickler. Brugg: Fisch, Wild und Comp., 1873, pp. 569-80, this section on pp. 572-78.

English translation by Randolph C. Head with Thomas A. Brady Jr. The printed text contains three articles (Arts. 21-23) that are missing in the manuscript version on which this translation is chiefly based.

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