Acts in the First Instance
Linsers Hans vs. Arbogasts Hans
Esslingen, June 18, 1525
To the Well-born, Grave, Most Learned, Honorable, and Distinguished President and Assessors of the Royal [Imperial] Chamber Court at Esslingen, our Gracious Lords.
Well-born, Grave, Most Learned, Honorable, Distinguished, and Gracious Lords. We render you, first of all, our willing and humble obedience. Gracious Lords. We have received our Gracious Lords’ subpoena,* in which we were ordered to produce, in return for a proper fee, for the appellant Linsers Hans all judicial acts and proceedings brought before us in the suit between him and the other party, Arbogasts Hans. Obedient to your command, we then ordered a copy of everything the parties presented to us in our judicial capacity; all this was then transcribed in this dossier or register, and sent as witnesses’ testimonies, following our ancient custom, to the honorable regime of the city of Strasbourg.** This was given to the appellant, at his own cost, in the form transcribed in this dossier or register. This happened just as Your Graces commanded us, as their poor, obedient servants in their gracious protection. The charge and the response between the plaintiff, Arbogasts Hans, on one side, and the defendant, Linsers Hans, on the other, were brought before the mayor and the court of Wolfisheim, just as follows.***
* The equivalent to a writ duces tecum in English law – trans.
** This seems to say that the village court of Wolfisheim had taken down the testimony of the witnesses and that they sent this to Strasbourg when the case was referred to the city council of that city. This means that the village court had a written case-record that was made during the original trial – trans.
*** Following local naming customs, country people were often, but not always, called by a patronym followed by a given name. Thus, Arbogasts Hans is the equivalent of Hans, son of Arbogast. Alternatively, some people, probably newcomers or strangers, were known by their place of origin or residence, such as Thomas of Schaffolsheim – trans.