Serienscheine: das schöne Notgeld

Muenster Notgeld

Münster in Westfalen

Den Berndt Knipperdollink, Händler mit dook, de Jan van Leyden, ton Scharprichter mook

De Wiërdaipers, von Raoserie vull, Schreit:
Wehe! Wehe! un „Busse!“ Äs dull


gedruckt von Gebrüder Jäneke, Hannover
gezeichnet von Josef Dominicus*
, Paderborn

A, B, C, D, E

Bernhard Knipperdolling (c. 1495–January 22, 1536 in Münster, Germany), was a leader of the Münster Anabaptists. He was also known as Bernd or Berndt Knipperdollinck or Knypperdollynck; his birth name was van Stockem.

Knipperdolling was born at the beginning of the sixteenth century to a wealthy, patrician cloth merchant in Münster. In January 1534, wandering Dutch Anabaptist preachers arrived in Münster proclaiming that a new prophet was on his way. They were soon followed by the "prophet" himself, the tailor Jan Matthys of Haarlem. Knipperdolling became a passionate believer in the Anabaptist Revolution.

On February 10 1534, Knipperdolling joined the movement to overthrow the town council and bishop, along with Jan Matthys and Jan Bockelson (or John of Leiden), one of Matthys' twelve disciples. He rallied the Anabaptists against conservative forces with "frenzied ecstasies". Accepted by the council, Knipperdolling won the elections of February 24 1534, becoming Lord Mayor of Münster – this was the high point of the Anabaptist movement. His house became the centre of the Anabaptist movement; on January 15, 1534 the first believers' baptisms were performed there.

When Matthys made his demand for the execution of all "godless" citizens of Münster, Knipperdolling convinced him to allow people a week's time to be baptised, or leave the city. This avoided arousing international opposition against Münster and risking internal stability.

Knipperdolling organised military defenses against the Bishop's troops. He was also made chief executioner to the Twelve Judges; as chief executive he balanced out Bockelson, the Judges' spokesman. He was in charge of executions, "immigration officer", and the administrator of state property. Some of Matthys' policies went against Knipperdolling's best interests, such as the dissolution of the guilds and the confiscation of private property.

After Matthys' death on April 4 1534, Knipperdolling supported the leadership of Jan Bockelson, who was crowned king, supported by poor non-Münsterite Anabaptists. Soon, however, he was claiming superiority to Bockelson and prophecying that "while Jan was king according to the flesh", he, Knipperdolling, was "called to be the spiritual king". This led to his brief imprisonment in 1535. On his release, Knipperdolling was named Stadholder (vice-king and governor) and executioner. His daughter Clara was married to Jan Bockelson after the introduction of polygamy.

In 1535, Knipperdolling's position of power was however once again lost when Heinrich Krechting became the king's right hand man.

From June 24 - 25, 1535, the Bishop, with the aid of the deserter Henry Gresbeck, retook Münster. Knipperdolling, Bockelson and Bernhard Krechting were imprisoned and interrogated. In On January 22, 1536, Knipperdolling, Krechting, and Bockelson were publicly tortured and executed in Münster. Their corpses were suspended in a cage from the Lambertuskirche (St. Lambert's Church), which had been the initial focus of the Anabaptist revolution. (Source:

Domenicus' designs for notes A and B are based on the engravings of Heinrich Aldegrever and Jan Müller, whose work copied Aldegrever.

Heinrich Aldegrever (um 1502-1555/1561, Bildnis des Jan van Leiden, 1536, Kupferstich und Jan Müller (1571-1628) nach Aldegrever, Bildnis des Bemd Knipperdollinck, Anfang 17. Jh., Kupferstich,

Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte

Bernt Knipperdollinck, a cloth dealer whom Jan van Leyden made an executioner.
The Anabaptists, full of frenzy, shout "You‘ll be sorry" and "Repent" like crazy. Translation by Christian ("Tabbs")
Vorige A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Nächste
Notgeld Directory Notgeld Bookmarks
Notgeld Slideshow
Notgeld History


Visit  WebgermanGermanOnline | Deutsch im Netz | Notgeld | Pocciana English InteractiveLanguage Online