Justus Henning Böhmer

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Justus (Jobst) Henning Böhmer

Justus (Jobst) Henning Böhmer (born January 29, 1674 in Hanover ; † August 23, 1749 in Halle ; also Boehmer ) was a German legal scholar , canon law scholar , Privy Councilor , Hofrat and Hofpfalzgraf as well as government chancellor of the Duchy of Magdeburg .


Justus Henning Böhmer was born in the building of the - then - house Osterstraße 49 in Hanover as the son of the imperial notary and legal consultant Valentin Böhmer (1634–1704) and Anna Margarethe Schirmer (1640–1714) and brother of the hymn poet Maria Magdalena Böhmer . He was the first authoritative legal scholar of the Böhmer / Boehmer / von Boehmer family of lawyers , which belonged to the so-called Pretty Families in Kurhannover and the early Kingdom of Hanover in the 18th and 19th centuries .

Coat of arms of the Count Justus Henning Böhmer
Certificate of appointment as Count Palatinate (1715)

After completing his schooling in the city ​​school of Hanover , where he had been taught especially in the ancient languages, Justus Henning Böhmer enrolled at the University of Jena in 1693 , where he studied law with Nikolaus Christoph Lyncker , among others , as well as additional lectures in philosophy and attended theology. In 1695, under the chairmanship of Professor Wildvogel , Böhmer disputed his upcoming first dissertation. He then initially worked as a lawyer in his hometown of Hanover, but that didn't really fill him up.

In 1697 he therefore accepted the offer, as a steward at the University of Rinteln to come when he was young nobleman first lectures. A few months later he moved to the Martin Luther University of Halle , founded in 1694 , where he prepared for his second dissertation with Christian Thomasius , Johann Franz Buddeus and Samuel Stryk , which he received on August 27, 1699 with a licentiate in secular and ecclesiastical matters -Recht (both rights, "Juris Utriusque") successfully completed. This was followed by a period of usual lecture activity until he got in touch with the Prussian royal court in Berlin and the ministry there as a mentor of the young Count Heinrich Georg von Waldeck. On this occasion, he should “be royal with them. Such ministers insinuated , "have thus drawn attention to himself, that he was appointed associate professor in Halle on 27 July 1701 where he finally on August 11 doctorate received. Stryk, his old mentor and meanwhile Prussian privy councilor and dean of the law faculty, had Böhmer to thank for being appointed adjutant on December 9, 1704 and full professor of the faculty on November 24, 1711. Five years after Stryk's death, on June 29, 1715, Böhmer received his professorship for institutions and feudal law and was appointed royal Prussian councilor .

Justus Henning Boehmer, engraving by Georg Paul Busch (1733)

On August 16 of the same year, Prince Christian Wilhelm von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen awarded him on behalf of Emperor Karl VI. For "his personal merits in the service of the King of Prussia" for a fee of 100 specie ducats the (non-hereditary) privileges of the small Palatine , thus elevated him to " Imperial Palatinate and Court Count ". In the certificate of appointment, the comitiva minor, a number of executive and judicial rights actually reserved for the emperor were assigned to him, as was customary at the time , which he was now allowed to exercise in the name of the emperor and whose obstruction by third parties was punishable by law:

Due to his repeated function as prorector of the University of Halle, Böhmer would later also have the office and dignity of a court palatinate. The granting of such privileges in the name of the emperor was, however, perceived by the royal sovereign as an interference with his rights, and their exercise was therefore monitored with suspicion. In a letter to the Magdeburg government in 1716 , King Friedrich Wilhelm I expressed his displeasure that Böhmer had “presumed to legitimize a wife”, although it had been decreed for several years that no Counts of the Palatinate Court were allowed to do this in his country. Overall, however, Böhmer remained in the mercy of the Prussian king: he promoted him to the Privy Council on May 23, 1719 and finally appointed him director of the university and vice-professor of the Faculty of Law in Halle on May 25, 1731, after he had the king by means of a from the king had convinced himself of the importance of this university in a commissioned report. With these tokens of favor, the Prussian King wanted to tie Böhmer to Halle and thus to Prussia , as Vienna in return tried constantly to poach him for its own purposes. In 1724 he was supposed to take up the vacant position as Reichshofrat and successor to Nikolaus Christoph Lyncker in Vienna, but Böhmer, as a staunch Prussian, declined with thanks. Other offers from the universities in Bern, Kiel, Helmstedt, Frankfurt / Oder, Tübingen and Celle could not dissuade Böhmer from his loyalty to Halle. In his place, Justus Henning Böhmer recommended the curator of the University of Göttingen, Gerlach Adolph Freiherr von Münchhausen , who had studied with him in Halle around 1710, his son Georg Ludwig Böhmer and the Prussian Minister Samuel von Cocceji his son Johann Samuel Friedrich Böhmer to the university Frankfurt / Oder (Viadrina) to take over.

After the death of government chancellor Johann Peter von Ludewig , Justus Henning Böhmer was entrusted with the office of government chancellor of the Duchy of Magdeburg on December 14, 1743 and at the same time promoted to full professor of law. But only a few years later, about a year after the death of his son Karl August, he died on August 23, 1749 after a severe stroke. He was buried in the 16th century Stadtgottesacker zu Halle, one of the few Renaissance cemeteries in Germany, in crypt arch No. 78.

Legal merit

Justus Henning Böhmer was not only distinguished by his excellent erudition, but also by his deep religious feeling. So he wrote, mainly in his younger years, some significant hymns , which were published in Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen's Spiritual Hymn books in 1704. In the legal field, Böhmer concentrated not only on civil law but also on canon law and was initially a supporter and champion of the dominant territorial system and thus the imperial immediacy with its theocratic legal and state conception, according to which every head of state also has spiritual power. In later years he represented a tendency towards sovereign law based on natural law and towards collegialism , which his sons Johann Samuel Friedrich and Georg Ludwig in particular modified with further reform steps. In his great works on canon law such as the five-volume Jus eccelsiasticum protestantium , which contains the first systematic presentation of evangelical canon law, he still referred to traditional canon law, but reformed it for the Protestant church to the effect that the principles of the Reformation of Pre-Reformation principles and resistance and rigid orthodoxy as well as pure dogmatism , both of the pre-Reformation and the Reformation direction, were spared. In the middle of the Age of Enlightenment and influenced by its currents, he represented an increasingly critical and scientific development instead of a religious-religious fundamentalism of legal propositions

Shields on crypt No. 78 by Justus Henning Böhmer

Bohmer's methods and conceptions dominated the entire Protestant church law of the 18th century and were the basis for further reforms up to the present day. In doing so, he consciously avoided an acid test and a break with conservative contemporaries, but always tried to promote a historical evolution instead of a boisterous revolution in a balancing and convincing way . There are also a large number of dissertations, among which there are significant works, for example under the title of a dissertation collection XII Dissertationes a iuris ecclesiastici antiqui , an approximately 500-page legal history of the early Church.

No less were his successes in the field of civil law. In his major work Introductio in jus digestorum , a Pandekten compendium, which held up until the 20th century, he frees the applicable German law from the influences of the old Roman law and thus prepares the groundwork for the General Law Code for the Prussian States before . With his Introductio in ius publicum universale he became one of the co-founders of natural law, general constitutional law in Germany. He was thus one of the most important representatives of the usus modernus pandectarum .

A wealth of other important and noteworthy civil and canonical works and more than 1,500 expert opinions have emerged from his pen, some of which were later published by his son Georg Ludwig Böhmer, who had also dealt with canon law, among other things, in the compilation Exercitationes ad pandectas posthum were published.

His contemporary Christoph Weidlich remarked in 1748 that Böhmer was "without dispute the greatest legal scholar". Hans Liermann counted Böhmer "among the classics of Protestant canon law, for which he has created a solid theoretical basis in canonical, legal and historical terms". R. W. Dove says: "Boehmer's method and material dominate the entire treatment of Protestant canon law of the 18th century". Peter Landau thinks that Böhmer was "perhaps the most important German legal scholar of the 18th century" because of the level of legal history of his works.


House of the Böhmer family - Große Märkerstraße No. 5 in Halle an der Saale (status 2007)

Justus Henning Böhmer was married to Eleonore Rosine Stützing (1679–1739), daughter of the combing secretary and Pfänners Johann Gotthilf Stützing and his wife Dorothea Hahn. With her he had five children, four sons and a daughter who, however, died at the age of 14 months. Three of his sons, namely Johann Samuel Friedrich von Böhmer , Karl August von Böhmer and Georg Ludwig Böhmer , also pursued a career in law, while the fourth son, Philipp Adolph Böhmer, professor of medicine and anatomy and personal physician to King Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia has been.

In 1717 Justus Henning Böhmer acquired the stately house at Grosse Märkerstrasse number 5 in Halle, which he bequeathed to his son Philipp Adolf after his death. The listed building was bought by the city of Halle in 2008, but due to a lack of funds, it continued to fall into disrepair. In September 2016, the city announced that it had sold the house again so that it could be restored and refurbished in accordance with listed buildings with subsidies .

Works (selection)

  • Jus parochiale . Hall 1701.
  • Ius parochiale ad fundamenta genuina revocatum . Hall 1701.
  • Ius parochiale . Hall 1701.
  • Introductio in jus digestorum . Hall 1704.
  • Jus ecclesiasticum protestantium . 5 volumes. Hall 1714.
  • XII Dissertationesa iuris ecclesiastici antiqui . Hall 1729.
  • Usus moderni Strykiani continuatio… . Hall 1733.
  • Institutiones iuris canonici tum ecclesiasticum . Hall 1738.
  • Corpus juris canonici . Hall 1747.
  • Introductio in ius publicum universale . Hall.


Web links

Commons : Justus Henning Böhmer  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Franz Hinrich Hesse : Böhmer memorial plaque , in ders .: Guide through Hanover city and country. Local landmarks. A companion on hikes through the city of Hanover and the surrounding area. Compiled and described according to location, origin, importance, etc. , 227 pages with 16 plates, Hanover: Helwingsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1929, p. 10f.
  2. Klaus Mlynek : Pretty families. In: Klaus Mlynek, Waldemar R. Röhrbein (eds.) U. a .: City Lexicon Hanover . From the beginning to the present. Schlütersche, Hannover 2009, ISBN 978-3-89993-662-9 , p. 310.
  3. 1689 Böhmer participated in a later published memorial poem for the deceased director, see Daniel Eberhard Baring : Entwurff der Hannoverische Altstädter Schul-Historia. In: ders .: Addendum to the Hanover Church and School Historia as explained with a few documents and a preface From famous memorials, especially those that are in and around Hanover, accompanied in two parts. Förster, Hannover 1748, p. 74.
  4. a b Jürgen Arndt (arrangement): Hofpfalzgrafen-Register, Volume 2 . Ed .: Herold, Association for Heraldry, Genealogy and Related Sciences in Berlin , Neustadt an der Aisch u. Göttingen, Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Verlage Degener & Co., 1971, without ISBN
  5. entry. In: Johann Heinrich Zedler : Large complete universal lexicon of all sciences and arts . Supplement 4, Leipzig 1754, sheet 22.
  6. Gold coins common at the time with a fineness of around 3.4 g each
  7. see, for example, the Palatinate diploma, which Prince Ludwig Günther zu Schwarzburg had awarded the Hofrat and Doctor of Philosophy Wilhelm Friedrich Hezel in 1778 , pp. 103-114 of Section II in: Heinrich Elias Gottfried Schwaben: “Summarischer Lehr von Hofpfalzgrafen und Notarie: besides a judge, advocate u. Library of Notaries (...) “, Frankfurt and Leipzig, 1787
  8. Hofpfalzgrafen-Diplom (comitiva minor) for Justus Henning Böhmer, awarded in 1715 by Prince Christian Wilhelm von Schwarzburg-Sondershausen on behalf of Emperor Karl VI., Cited above. n. Copy from 1892, 23 p., archive of the Böhmer'schen Familienverband, Kähnert
  9. ^ Letter from King Friedrich Wilhelm of March 18, 1716, University Archives Halle-Wittenberg, Rep. 27, No. 1288, fol. 44r
  10. ^ Hans Liermann:  Böhmer, Justus (Jobst) Henning. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 2, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1955, ISBN 3-428-00183-4 , p. 392 ( digitized version ).
  11. RW Dove:  Böhmer, Justus Henning . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 3, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1876, pp. 79-81. Here page 80
  12. Description on kulturfalter.de
  13. Große Märkerstraße 5 City has sold monument ruins , in: Mitteldeutsche Zeitung of September 13, 2016