Caretaker (middle ages)

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In the Middle Ages, a keeper was a kind of burgrave or bailiff who was responsible for the administration and defense of a castle or a monastery . In Bavaria there was also the designation “care commissioner” who, if necessary, represented a carer (in the sense of “provisional carer”).

In the late Middle Ages , the nurse developed into a public official with administrative and legal tasks. In the Old Kingdom, i.e. H. in the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until its dissolution in 1806, a parish or a main team formed the lowest administrative level. In the Rhineland, larger parishes were sometimes divided into honnships . Several parishes were each united to a nursing office, in the Rhineland Pflege . At its head there was usually a nurse or a nursing administrator who, as an administrative and supervisory officer, looked after public order and security and logged contracts.

In Tyrol and Salzburg , nurses have been employed as royal officials of the nursing courts as well as administrators of aristocratic landowners since the late Middle Ages .

The nurses were often recruited from the lower landed gentry ( feudal bearers ). Sometimes there were also nurses who had risen from the peasant class to the civil service.

In the past, the sovereign exercised the functions of the legislature (he gave orders); On his behalf, the nurse embodied the other two functions in one part of the country, e.g. B. the size of a current district . The keeper thus exercised the offices of today's district administrator and magistrate in personal union (in Austria-Hungary this existed until 1918).

Pfleger was the designation of the head of an "office" in the administrative hierarchy of the Teutonic Order . The area of ​​the order was divided into commanderies , which in turn consisted of offices. The nurse was basically a knight and the highest administrative officer of the office. At the central place of the office there was always an order castle where the caretaker had his official seat.

Martin Luther translated the function of the Roman “ governorPublius Sulpicius Quirinius in the province of Syria as “Landpfleger” (“... but it happened at the time of Emperor Augustus, ... because Cyrenius was a governor in Syria ...”). Apparently in his day he could assume that everyone was familiar with the functions of a governor.


Web links

  • Marcus Schmöger: Carer . In: The coats of arms and flags of the district of Erding (Upper Bavaria) , glossary
  • Castle directory