Dominion Gemen

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Banner of the Holy Roman Emperor with haloes (1400-1806) .svg
Territory in the Holy Roman Empire
coat of arms
Gemen van wapen.svg Wapen Gemen.png

Today's region / s DE-NW
Parliament Reichsfürstenrat , Secular Bank: Part of a curiate voice of the Westphalian Count Bank
Reichskreis Lower Rhine-Westphalian
Capitals / residences Gemen
Dynasties House Gemen
1492: Schaumburg-Holstein
1635: Limburg-Styrum
Denomination / Religions Roman Catholic
1560: Protestant
Language / n German
surface 15 km² (1784)

Incorporated into 1806: Salm
1810: France
1815: Prussia

Gatehouse and mill of Gemener Freiheit

The rule of Gemen (also Gehmen ) was a small territory of the Holy Roman Empire , only imperial since 1700 , located in West Münsterland . It was initially owned by the Lords of Gemen before it passed to other owners.

Lords of Gemen

Originally there was a royal court in Gemen . Queen Mathilde transferred this to the Nordhausen Abbey in the 10th century . The lords of Gemen have been occupied since 1092. These were based at Gemen Castle . Pressed by the bishopric of Münster , they made the castle a fiefdom to the Duke of Kleve around 1250 . The noblemen were at times also bailiffs of the Vreden monastery .

Under Henry III. the expansion of the sovereignty began in 1370. This process was continued under his son Johann II. This also received Vest Recklinghausen from the Archbishop of Cologne as a pledge . This property was lost again under Henry IV. He received the glory of Wewelinghofen through marriage, which his heir Katharina brought to Count Eberwin II Bentheim zu Steinfurt († 1498). With him, the noble lords died out.

Further development

Gemen came to the Counts of Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg in 1492 through the marriage of Johann IV († 1527) with Cordula von Gemen († 1528), an heir to Heinrich IV . This rule became Protestant under Jobst II in 1560 , making it one of the oldest Protestant communities in Westphalia. Because Jobst II also supported the Dutch struggle for independence against Catholic Spain, Gemen was besieged and sacked in 1568 by Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba. When Jobst Hermann von Schaumburg died unmarried in 1635, an inheritance dispute broke out between the Holstein-Schaumburg (Count Otto V. † 1640) and Limburg-Styrum families over the rule of Gemen, since 1591 Countess Maria, daughter of Otto IV. Von Holstein -Schaumburg and cousin of Heinrich V von Holstein-Schaumburg-Gemen, whom Count Jobst von Limburg-Styrum had married. It could be Agnes of Limburg-Styrum , her character abbess of the pins Elten , Vreden , Borghorst and Freckenhorst prevail. Her family held the rule of Gemen for two centuries. A short time later, Agnes ceded her inheritance to her nephew, Hermann Otto I. von Limburg-Styrum . His second son, Adolf Ernst , inherited in Gemen in 1644. After his marriage to Isabella, daughter of Field Marshal Count Alexander II of Velen , he resided in Gemen and tried unsuccessfully to reintroduce Catholicism.

Count Hermann Otto II of Limburg-Styrum succeeded in enforcing imperial immediacy in 1700. His son Otto Leopold Ernst von Limburg-Styrum came into the possession of the Raesfeld estate in 1733 .

The rule Gemen consisted of the castle of the same name and the place (today part of the city of Borken ) as well as two farmers. It was only 0.5 square miles in 1784.

After recognition of the imperial immediacy, Gemen belonged to the Lower Rhine-Westphalian Empire . The owners were members of the Niederrheinisch-Westfälische Reichsgrafenkollegium .

In 1801, after the Gemener line of the Counts of Limburg-Styrum died out, the rule fell to Alois von Boineburg-Bömelberg . On July 12, 1806 lost by Mediatisierung their imperial immediacy and fell under the provisions of the Act of Confederation of Frederick IV. Of Salm-Kyrburg and thus became part of the Principality of Salm . On December 13, 1810, the Principality of France was annexed and at the Congress of Vienna it was assigned to Prussia. From 1815 to 1920 , the territory of the former rule of Gemen was the basis of a class rule , which was sold by Baron von Bömelberg to Ignaz von Landsberg-Velen in 1822 . The von Landsberg-Velen family still own the castle to this day.

From 1946 the castle was leased to the Bishop of Münster and is used as a youth education center under the name Jugendburg Gemen .

Coat of arms of the Lords of Gemen

Coat of arms of the Lords of Gemen

The coat of arms shows a red bar with three golden stakes in silver. On the crowned helmet with red and silver blankets an open eagle flight marked like the shield.

List of Lords of Gemen

  • –1467: Lords of Gemen
    • 1455-1458: Johann III. von Gemen (enfeoffed with Gemen in 1455) and Heinrich IV. von Gemen
    • 1458–1467: Heinrich IV. Von Gemen (* approx. 1420, † 1492), gives Gemen in 1467 to his nephew Heinrich IV. Von Nassau-Beilstein as a gift in the event of his death.
    • 1492. With the death of Heinrich, the lineage of the noble lords and dynasts of Gemen in the male line expires. The heirs are the daughters Katharina and Cordula. In 1458 Katharina married Arnold von Bentheim-Steinfurt and Cordula in the first marriage in 1457 Goswin von Stecke, Hereditary Marshal of the Duke of Kleve, in the second marriage in 1476 Johann IV. Count of Holstein-Schaumburg and Sternberg. As a result, the rule of Gemen came into possession of the House of Holstein-Schaumburg.
  • 1492–1635: House of Holstein-Schaumburg-Gemen
    • 1492–1512 Johann IV. Von Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg († 1527), rule Ge (h) men handed over to his brother
    • 1512–1531 Jobst I of Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg († 1531)
    • 1531–1544 Adolf XIII. von Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg († 1556), Archbishop of Cologne since 1547
    • 1544–1557 Otto IV. Von Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg († 1576), reign Ge (h) men handed over to his brother
    • 1545–1581 Jobst II , from 1557 sole lord of Gemen
    • 1581–1597 Heinrich V of Holstein-Schaumburg-Gemen
    • 1597–1614 Mechthild von Limburg-Stirum († 1622, regent and widow of Heinrich V)
    • 1614–1635 Jobst Hermann , from 1622 also Count of Schaumburg and Holstein-Pinneberg

His cousin Otto V. von Holstein-Schaumburg-Gemen († 1640) is the actual heir. After an inheritance dispute, Agnes inherited from Limburg-Styrum , who passed the rule on to Hermann Otto I. von Limburg-Styrum (1592–1644)

  • 1640–1798: House Limburg-Styrum-Gemen
  • 1798–1806: House Bömelberg
    • Baron Alois Sebastian von Bömelberg zu Erolzheim

See also


  • Burgsteinfurt. Schloß, IV. Rep. G. 2. a) Gemensche Güter . In: Ludwig Schmitz-Kallenberg (edit :): Inventories of the non-state archives of the Steinfurt district . (Publications of the Historical Commission of the Province of Westphalia. Inventories of the non-state archives of the Province of Westphalia 1,4). Aschendorff, Münster 1907, p. 130 (= p. 618 *) ( digitized version of the University and State Library of Münster)


  • Gerhard Köbler : Historical lexicon of the German countries. The German territories from the Middle Ages to the present. 7th edition. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-54986-1 , p. 212. (partially digitized)
  • Friedrich von Landsberg-Velen and Gemen, history of the rule of Gemen by their masters and their families , digitized
  • Hans Leenen, "The rule of gems in pictures and documents" - Verlag Aschendorf Münster 1981
  • Heimatverein Gemen "Gemener Geschichte (n)" A collection of over 80 essays that have been published on the history of Gemen over the past 100 years. 2003.

Web links