Franz Conrad Romanus

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Franz Conrad Romanus around 1700

Franz Conrad Romanus (born March 7, 1671 in Leipzig ; † May 14, 1746 at Königstein Fortress ) was mayor of Leipzig in 1701/02 and 1703/04 , was arrested in 1705 and was imprisoned until his death without a sentence.


1671 to 1704

The son of a Leipzig lawyer began studying law in his hometown in 1688. After his exams in 1692, he worked at the appellate court and then practiced as a lawyer. Elector Friedrich August I became aware of the young, aspiring lawyer and brought him to the court in Dresden.

Romanus was evidently very close to the Saxon Elector Friedrich August I personally, and his election as Mayor of Leipzig on August 22, 1701 was pushed through by the Elector to the Leipzig Council.

In Romanus' first term of office 1701/02, various measures were taken to remedy grievances. In 1701 street lighting, the construction of a sewerage system, the paving of main streets and the establishment of a litter-carrying service took place. In this way, despite his young age, he acquired the reputation of a town father. Romanus also always supported the elector's frequent demands for money from the council. Romanus achieved the acceptance of the high payments to the court by the council members by doubling the annual salary of the councilors to 200 thalers and through other concessions by Friedrich August I, such as the renewal of the city's privilege of free council elections, which the elector himself had only undermined .

Romanus recognized the musical genius of Georg Philipp Telemann , who came to Leipzig as a law student in 1701, and supported him in founding the later famous Collegium Musicum .

In Romanus' second term in 1703/04, an alms office was established and a poor regime was created, but the salaries of the council members were also increased to 500 thalers. In addition to his mayor's office, Romanus was elected head of the Nikolaikirche in February 1704 . In May 1704, the elector was appointed privy councilor worth 700 thalers a year . A little later he handed over the mayor's office to his successor, Johann Alexander Christ.

Romanus' fall was initiated by the construction of his city palace. He enlarged the property he had inherited on the corner of Katharinenstrasse / Brühl through acquisitions and invested 150,000 thalers, a sum that far exceeded his financial circumstances, in the building project. This led Romanus to irregularities and financial manipulation.

1705 to 1746

In November 1704 and at the New Year's Fair in 1705, Romanus' forged council notes appeared. Romanus initially received backing from the elector, but was arrested on January 16, 1705 in his house ( Romanushaus ) and imprisoned in the Pleißenburg . Four days later he was brought to Pirna on the Sonnenstein. During a house search, more forged promissory notes, a duplicate key to the mayor's desk and a wax print of the large council seal were found, as well as amounts of money from the coffers of the council and Nikolaikirche. At the beginning of September 1706 , Romanus was brought to Königstein Fortress. The investigation of the events dragged on until 1710 . Romanus sent a pardon to the elector, which he refused.

Claims of various creditors against the Romanus family led to bankruptcy proceedings in which Friedrich August I intervened several times in favor of the family, since Romanus had acted in the interests of the elector in many of his manipulations. In 1727 the bankruptcy proceedings were finally ended and most of Romanus' property passed into the possession of his wife Christiana Maria, who also received the house.

After the death of Friedrich August I in 1733 , Romanus made a petition for clemency to Count Heinrich von Brühl , which was also rejected. Romanus remained imprisoned on the Königstein without a sentence until his death on May 14, 1746.


The reasons for the irreconcilable behavior of August the Strong and Brühl towards the former Mayor of Leipzig remain a mystery and have not yet been proven.

Perhaps the hardship applied by the Saxon Elector can be explained by the collapse of Leipzig's city finances in 1626. Due to the lack of profits from the Mansfeld copper mining, the trade fair city got into debt and therefore declared itself insolvent. Elector Johann Georg I then set up an electoral commission that controlled the financial administration of the city of Leipzig until 1688. Since the representatives of Leipzig had a considerable reputation in the assembly of estates, this led to the deterioration of the political position of the cities in Electoral Saxony and to the political strengthening of the nobility.

August the Strong needed solid economies in cities. Even suspicion of irregularities was punished severely. Furthermore, at the beginning of the 18th century there were considerable difficulties in financing the state budget, building projects and wars. Only John Law or Joseph Suess Oppenheimer should be mentioned here, both of whom failed with their methods of restructuring the state budget. Likewise, Johann Friedrich Böttger should be remembered, who was supposed to produce gold for the Elector, who was constantly demanding money, at the Albrechtsburg in Meißen.

Marriage and offspring

Romanus had married Christiana Maria Brummer in August 1694 , with whom he had eight children, but only two of them reached adulthood.

Romanus' daughter Christiana Mariana von Ziegler (1695–1760) administered her father's property and organized a poetic and musical salon in the Romanushaus . The "Zieglerin" played the piano, the lute and the flute herself. She wrote cantatas, composed and made friends with Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Christoph Gottsched . In 1731 she became the first female member of the "German Society" headed by Gottsched , a society for the research and promotion of German literature and language. The "German Society" honored Christiana Mariana von Ziegler twice with the poetry prize, and in 1733 the University of Wittenberg awarded her the title "Emperorly Crowned Poet" .


Individual evidence

  1. History ( Memento of the original from June 30, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Internet presence of the New Bach Collegium Musicum  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /