Arnold von Brauweiler

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Arnold von Brauweiler, 1535 (Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder)

Arnold von Brauweiler (* 1468 in Cologne ; † 1552 ibid) was a merchant, councilor and mayor of Cologne in the early modern period.


"Arndten Bruwiler", as Brauweiler was called at the time, grew up as one of several sons of a wheelwright on Hahnenstrasse , according to Cologne councilor Hermann von Weinsberg . Whether the family name can be traced back to the origin of the town of Brauweiler in the west of Cologne is unknown, but it is likely.

The circumstances in which Brauweiler grew up were evidently modest. This is how Weinsberg, from his point of view of a wealthy citizen, described the Brauweiler family as (simply) a bad sex , whom God had made happiness. Weinsberg wrote:

As then with Arndten von Bruwiler mayor of Coln, a very neglected burger and gentleman, it happened that there was a mess on the Hanestraissn, Arnt and sin brodere were all born and through wonderful burgers in Coln. So can god lean against bad luck and help out of the crap .

The businessman

Apparently Arnold von Brauweiler did not choose his father's profession , but turned to the prosperous trade in the city . It is not known whether he went through commercial training, but in the cloth trade he became a wealthy and respected member of Cologne's citizenship. His fortune enabled him to buy jewelry worth 37,000 guilders in 1508 . The original client, Kaiser Friedrich , had ordered the gems from the Cologne goldsmiths Wilhelm and Reinbold Kessel, but could not pay for them at the time of completion and had died in 1493. Brauweiler also knew how to combine business and favors. So he also acquired imperial bonds, for which the son of Emperor Friedrich, Maximilian , waived considerable tax debts resulting from various transactions and income.

The politician

Brauweiler probably also recognized that political engagement can be useful to business, so he was elected to the city council for the first time as a member of one of the merchants' gaffes in 1510. Here he met Barthel Bruyn , who was probably a member of the painters' guild of the Gaffel der Schilderer (like Stefan Lochner in the middle of the 15th century) and was a member of the wide council, the so-called 44ers. He portrayed him as mayor in 1535. With this portrait, Bruyn created a masterpiece that is now one of the treasures of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne . Peter von Heymbach, who held office together with Brauweiler in 1537/38, also had himself portrayed by Barthel Bruyn. This work by Bruyn, which has also been preserved, is located in the Cologne city ​​museum , the armory .

Arnold Brauweiler distinguished himself in his political life primarily as a guardian of the Catholic faith, he was mayor of the city 13 times from 1517/18 until the year of his death.

Literature / sources

Individual evidence

  1. liber senectutis .
  2. Carl Dietmar, p. 158