County Lippe

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
County Lippe (-Detmold)
coat of arms
County of Lippe, late 18th century.jpg
County Lippe in the late 18th century

Form of rule county
Ruler / government Count
Today's region / s DE-NW
Parliament Lower Rhine-Westphalian Imperial Counts College : 1 vote
Reich register 1663: 4 horsemen, 18 foot soldiers
Reichskreis Lower Rhine-Westphalian
Capitals / residences Detmold
Denomination / Religions from the beginning of the 16th century mostly Lutheran from 1615 Calvinist
Language / n German Low German

currency from 1752 the thaler
Incorporated into Principality of Lippe-Detmold

The Grafschaft Lippe , also Grafschaft Lippe-Detmold , was a verifiable imperial territory in the Holy Roman Empire from 1413 , which from 1512 belonged to the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire , was elevated to the rank of imperial count in 1528/29 and belonged to the Westphalian imperial count college of the Reichstag . In 1789 it was elevated to the Principality of Lippe .


Reign of Lippe until 1528

Lippe was first mentioned in a document in 1123, a document names the nobleman Bernhard I as Bernhardus de Lippe . Later documents name him together with his brother Hermann I as regent. "De Lippe" refers to the river Lippe , on which the Hermelinghof (Hermanns Hof) is said to have stood in what is now the city of Lippstadt .

With large parts of today's Lipper country they were in 1173 from Paderborn bishop Evergis invested after her, his property to the cousin precious Werner Brach to enter into holy orders Kloster Gehrden had transferred and the bishop returned his fief. Probably it was the areas around Lemgo, Detmold, Lage and Horn, for which the Paderborn prince-bishops are later attested as feudal lords.

Bernhard II , the son of Hermann I, succeeded in consolidating the sovereign rights of the House of Lippe. He founded Lippstadt in 1185 near his allodium. That was the first high medieval city foundation in Westphalia . As a link between Lipperode and Lipperland, he acquired the rule of Rheda in 1190 . Probably in 1190 he founded Lemgo , the oldest town in today's Lippe district . Bernhard III. , Descendant of Bernhard II, confirmed the rights of the city of Lemgo in 1245 and founded the cities of Horn (before 1248), Blomberg (before 1255) and Detmold (1263).

His successors acquired large areas of the county of Schwalenberg in the southeast in 1332/1358 and expanded their property northwards to the Weser by acquiring Varenholz and Langenholzhausen . The greatest territorial expansion reached the rule under Simon I (1275-1344), not to be confused with the eponymous bishop of Paderborn , his great-uncle .

After the death of Simon I in 1344 the rule was divided. One part on this side of the forest was first by Otto and later by his son Simon III. (1365-1410) ruled. The other part went to Bernhard V , like Otto a son of Simon I. When Bernhard V died in 1365 without a male heir, Simon III hoped that the part beyond the forest would now also fall to him - after all, at the time of the division in 1344 it was decreed that in the event of the heirless death of one of the brothers Otto and Bernhard V, “such sin del herschap neither komer in the right erven hant” (rule should come back into the right hand of the heir). However, the inheritance was also claimed by Count Otto von Tecklenburg , Bernhard V's son-in-law, which led to a long feud over Rheda and Lipperode that lasted until 1401 . In the process, Rheda finally fell to Tecklenburg. The city of Lippstadt came to the Grafschaft Mark as part of the dispute ; however, in the middle of the century it succeeded in converting it into a " velvet rule ", a jointly administered area (most recently from 1666 to 1850 together with Brandenburg-Prussia).

In addition, Simon III tried . to prevent further division of rule. On December 27, 1368, the castle men of the lordly castles and the representatives of the cities of Horn , Detmold and Blomberg declared in the Pactum unionis that in all future they would only recognize the heir as sovereign to whom Lippstadt and Lemgo, the most important cities of rule, are based , agreed.

The reign of Simon III. Lasted until 1410. Around 1400 he first pledged the towns of Barntrup and Salzuflen and Sternberg Castle under his rule. In 1405 the entire county of Sternberg finally followed . However, the attempt to take over Everstein County through a hereditary brotherhood agreement remained unsuccessful . After the Eversteiner feud with the dukes of Braunschweig-Lüneburg , the county finally fell to Braunschweig in 1408.

The feuds of Bernhard VII (1430–1511) were even more unfortunate . He had inherited the rule at the age of one and was under the tutelage of the Archbishop of Cologne in his capacity as Duke of Westphalia until 1446 . As an opponent of the Archdiocese of Cologne, he took part in the Soest feud , in which Bernhard's residence city Blomberg and Detmold were destroyed. Lemgo and Horn were spared due to monetary payments. In addition, he had to hand over parts of his rule to Hesse in order to get them back as an inheritance and thus become a liege-man of the Hessian landgraves.

Elevation to the county, confessionalization and Reformation

The Hessian feudal sovereignty played an important role in the period that followed, when Lippe approached the Lutheran creed under Simon V zu Lippe . This rapprochement happened against the will of Simon V, who remained an advocate of Catholic doctrine throughout his life. However, Simon V was a vassal of two feudal lords : the Prince-Bishop of Paderborn and the Hessian Landgrave of Hesse , who had been Lutheran since 1524 , Philip I. Simon was thus restricted in his freedom of action. The approach to the Lutheran creed was also favored by the strong position of the cities, especially Lippstadt and Lemgo, vis-à-vis the sovereign.

Lemgo: Market place, right town hall bay

The first contact with Lutheran teaching in Lippe was probably made in Lemgo: Luther's 95 theses were read there as early as 1518 - only one year after their publication . In the years that followed, the city came closer and closer to the Lutheran creed. Citizens of Lemgo attended Lutheran church services in Herford ; Protestant songs were sung in Lemgo before and after mass. During a Lent in 1527, some citizens of Lemgo demonstratively ate meat. In 1530 an open conflict with the sovereign began: during the Catholic Easter Mass, Protestant songs were sung. Simon V was angry and spoke of "rebellious peasants who do not want to tolerate any authority over themselves". Philip of Hesse warned the citizens of Lemgo to give satisfaction to the sovereign.

During this time of confessionalization, Simon V was awarded the title of imperial count in 1528 . The previous rule of Lippe was thus elevated to one of the approximately 140 imperial counties.

From 1532 the Lutheran creed spread to the other cities. When Simon V sought support for military intervention against Lemgo in 1533, Philip intervened as an intermediary. In the same year Lemgo took over the Brunswick church order and became officially Evangelical-Lutheran.

Simon V and Duke Johann III. von Kleve-Mark attacked Lippstadt, which had become Protestant in 1535. The city capitulated to its sovereigns. In Lemgo, too, the fear of military action grew, but because of Philip's continued mediation, it did not materialize.

Simon V died in 1536. His still minor son Bernhard VIII (1536–1563) got two Catholic and one Protestant (Philip I) guardians. Jobst II von Hoya , one of the Catholic guardians, joined the Protestant side in 1525. With reference to Anabaptist activities, Philip demanded a church renewal for Lippe in early 1538. In a total of five state parliaments in Cappel , cities and knights decided to introduce a Protestant church order for Lippe, which was completed on September 15, 1538.

Lippe was drawn into the Schmalkaldic War (1546–1547), which was lost to the Protestant side. As a result, Lippe became a direct Reichslehen .

The second step of the Reformation in Lippe, towards the Reformed Confession, was the personal work of Simon VI. , one of the most impressive and powerful sovereigns Lippe has ever had. Well educated and interested in many things, he probably mastered a large part of the knowledge of his time, as evidenced by a splendid example of his Astronomieae Mechanika dedicated to him by Tycho Brahe . The count's extensive library was the basis of today's Lippe State Library . The emperor charged him with numerous diplomatic and other missions.

Theologically inclined Count Simon VI. to the Reformed creed, which during his time spread in the Palatinate , in Saxony and also in neighboring Hesse. He gradually introduced this creed in Lippe as well. "The [...] methods with which the resistance that existed everywhere was broken were good persuasion, instruction, admonition, removal from office and calling of Reformed preachers." (Kittel). The year 1605 is generally given as the date for the introduction of the Reformed Confession in Lippe, in which Simon VI. for the first time took the Reformed Lord's Supper , that is, with wine and bread (not with wafers). However, Simon's efforts failed in the city of Lemgo, which stuck to the Lutheran creed. This led to a grueling conflict that lasted for years, even among Simon's successors, in which the city even directed its guns against the lordly castle in Brake . It was not until 1617 that the disputes in the Röhrentrup recess were settled, and Lemgo remained Lutheran.

Lippe in the Thirty Years War

The will of Simon VI also had far-reaching consequences for the history of Lippe. Although he had had the primogeniture confirmed in 1593 , in his will he decreed extensive compensation for the younger sons by means of parages . These were extended by additional rights, such as the right to pay homage or be heard before a state assembly was convened . Numerous lawsuits dragged on between the ruling Detmold line and the younger lines Lippe-Brake and Lippe-Alverdissen until after the end of the Holy Roman Empire .

In 1644, the Alverdisser Line gained government in part of the Grafschaft Schaumburg , thereby establishing the future Principality of Schaumburg-Lippe . The younger lines were also favored by numerous changes (1627, 1636, 1650 and 1652) and guardianship (1627–1631 and 1636–1650) at the head of the older Detmold line in the perception of their interests.

In the Thirty Years' War Lippe did not take sides, but was badly affected. At the beginning of the war Christian von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel , also known as the great Christian , went through Lippe on his train against Paderborn - as did the Imperial General Tilly, who was pursuing the Braunschweig . The county was forced to billet on both sides . As a result, Lippe remained complained of high contributions , occasional drafts and spreading robberies.

Lippe was hit particularly hard in the last years of the war. In 1634 Swedish troops settled in Minden, while imperial troops were able to stay in the Paderborn bishopric . Lippe stood between the fronts. Lemgo has been captured and looted by the Swedes twice, and raids and harassment have spread across the country. Attacks on the sovereign are also recorded.

"For the rest of my life, I will not forget the terrible condition that I saw in the grave and other people [...]. Graff Simon Ludewich didn’t keep his pants on, the woman’s room was draped in old, dirty clothes. […] Your Gn. have not kept a single horse, the house and spots have been plundered. ” (quoted from Kittel).

Like many German cities, the Lippe cities also lost about two thirds of their population by the end of the war; in the countryside the loss was around 50 percent. Over two million Reichstaler were paid in contributions, two thirds of them from Lemgo alone.

See also: Lippspringischer original comparison

Baroque and Enlightenment

The period after the Thirty Years' War in Lippe was characterized by the centralization of the administration and the establishment of the state that came to a head. These general tendencies in the Baroque era were opposed by some special features in Lippe:

First, the small size of the territory, which in particular hindered the military and foreign policy development of power. However, this did not prevent Friedrich Adolf (1697–1718) in particular from attempting such a display of power. While Lippe had fulfilled his military obligations to the Reich by paying subsidies by 1697 , Friedrich Adolf succeeded in setting up his own Lippe company , which in the meantime was expanded to include battalion strength beyond what was required by the Reich . However, the small troop was only used once, in 1776, to enforce Lippe goals, when Count Simon August (1734–1782) had the castle of Gemen occupied by 30 men to confirm Lippe claims to the rule of Gemen . However, the troops were arrested by the administrator of the castle with the support of some farmers.

A second obstacle were those from the will of Simon VI. arising from extensive rights of the split-off lines. Until 1709 it was mainly disputes with the Braker line that opposed Count Friedrich Adolf's claim to absolute rule. In 1705 the Brake Line even concluded a protective alliance with Prussia and operated the separation of the Brakes offices. These efforts came to an end in 1709 when the Braker line died out. The disputes continued with the Alverdisser line, which in the meantime ruled the county of Schaumburg-Lippe . Wilhelm Graf zu Schaumburg-Lippe intervened in the Lippe military sovereignty through recruitment and fortification measures in his offices . There were numerous lawsuits before the Reichshof and Reichskammergericht , also on other issues.

The third factor that was typical of the development of absolutism outside of Lippe was the power of the estates . In Lippe, this meant in particular the right of the estates to be involved in the assessment, raising and even issuing of taxes in addition to the approval . The Lippe counts only had the option of obstruction against these rights. They tried to replace regular state parliaments with so-called communication days , during which real decisions could not be made. In the meantime, Friedrich Adolf completely refrained from convening rural class assemblies; In 1712 he even prohibited the independent assembly of the estates. Towards the end of his reign, however, he was forced to convene the estates again, as the lack of money could no longer be dealt with in any other way. His successors could no longer do without the cooperation with the estates. The unbroken power of the estates posed a serious problem in the modernization of the country in the 19th century.


Under the influence of Hesse, the country joined the Reformation in 1538 and switched to Calvinism in 1605 . The Reformed Lippe regional church still exists in Lippe today .


Lippe thaler, 1528

Main article : Lippe coin history

According to the convention of 1752, the county of Lippe-Detmold had the taler as its currency . 1 Taler = 36 Mariengroschen = 288 Pfennig = 576 Heller .

coat of arms

The earliest coats of arms of the House of Lippe already showed the Lippe rose - but without sepals. In 1528 the star of Grafschaft Schwalenberg - a natural swallow on a golden (yellow) eight-pointed star - was added to the coat of arms. The early count's coat of arms depicted rose and star twice each in the four-part shield. In 1687, the four-field coat of arms of the Vianen and Ameide rulers in what is now the Netherlands, acquired through marriage (and sold again in 1725 due to financial difficulties), were included in the coat of arms of Lippe. The coat of arms recorded twice showed three black columns in silver - later designed as mill iron crosses (coats of arms of the Lords of Vianen), and on the other hand a shield area divided five times by Feh and Red, which in turn was the coat of arms of the Lords of Vianen 1350 married burgraviate Utrecht was. The Feh was also interpreted as an iron hat in the Lippe coat of arms .

After 1798 the Sternberg county star was added twice. In the center of the then nine-field coat of arms, the rose from Lippe, now depicted only once, but in its own shield, moved as the family coat of arms of the Lippe family. The shield wears five helmets. The coat of arms is held by two angels. The prince's rank symbolizes the prince's hat , which crowns a coat of arms surrounding the coat of arms.

See also


  • Neithard Bulst (ed.): The county of Lippe in the 18th century. Population, economy and society of a small German state. Bielefeld 1993, ISBN 3-89534-102-9 .
  • Hans Kiewning: The foreign policy of the county Lippe from the outbreak of the French revolution to the Tilsiter peace. Detmold 1903.
  • Hans Kiewning: Lippe history. Until the death of Bernhard VIII Detmold in 1942.
  • Jürgen Miele: The Lippische Hofgericht 1593-1743. A contribution to the history of the origins, court constitution and procedural proceedings of the civil higher court of the County of Lippe, taking into account the provisions of imperial law. Göttingen 1984.
  • Wolfgang J. Neumann: The Lippe state. Where he came from - where he went . Neumann, Lemgo 2008, ISBN 978-3-9811814-7-0 .
  • Peter Nitschke: Fight against crime and administration. The creation of the police in the county of Lippe 1700–1814. Münster 1990, ISBN 3-89325-040-9 .
  • Heinz Schilling: Confessional Conflict and State Building. A case study on the relationship between religious and social change in the early modern period using the example of Grafschaft Lippe. Gütersloh 1981, ISBN 3-579-01675-X .
  • Gisela Wilbertz (Ed.): Witch persecution and regional history. The County of Lippe in comparison. Bielefeld 1994, ISBN 3-89534-109-6 .

Web links

Commons : Grafschaft Lippe  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Lippe  - sources and full texts

Individual evidence

  1. Diether Pöppel: The Paderborn bishopric - origin and development of state sovereignty. Paderborn 1996, p. 54.
    GJ Rosenkranz: The constitution of the former Hochstift Paderborn in older and later times. In: WZ 12, 1851, pp. 1–162, p. 80.
  2. ^ Roland Linde: The manor Gröpperhof: farms and families in Westphalia and Lippe . tape 2 , 2005, p. 20 out of 268 ( digitized in Google book search - up to 1508).
  3. Bartolt Haase: "Allerhand Erneuerung ..." A study of church history on the transition from German territories in the early modern period to Reformed teaching from the perspective of the County of Lippe . Foedus-Verlag, Wuppertal 2005, ISBN 3-938180-00-5 , pp. 74-75.
  4. Claus Gröger: Rose - coat of arms - home mark . In: Landesverband Lippe (Hrsg.): Heimatland Lippe . tape 102 , no. 1 , 2009, p. 16-18 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 56 ′ 10.3 "  N , 8 ° 52 ′ 40.7"  E