As Reich prelates were referred to the abbots , abbesses and provosts and priors of direct imperial monasteries , Carthusian monasteries , abbeys , cathedral chapter , Kollegiat- and Frauenstift in the Holy Roman Empire , which reports directly to the emperor were under. They were represented in the Reichstag and divided into two colleges, the Rhenish and Swabian prelate banks, each of which granted them a curate vote and thus a say in matters of Reich policy.
The status of imperial immediacy resulted in a number of freedoms and privileges . They enjoyed immunity , were not dependent on any prince and were able to acquire large territories themselves, in which they had sovereignty and in most cases could also exercise lower and high jurisdiction . In particular, the high judiciary put them on an equal footing with princes. They owned the imperial estate and were members of the imperial church in addition to the prince archbishops and prince-bishops with whom they ruled the spiritual areas of the empire . Very few imperial prelates, however, were given their own virile votes , which would have been a condition for placing them as prince abbot or prince provost on the same level as the other ecclesiastical and secular imperial princes . The Empire prelates with only one Kuriatsstimme on a prelate bank of the Reichstag also Reichsabt or Empire abbess or imperial provost called, some of them were but traditionally also referred to as abbots or Fürstäbtissinnen.
History and composition in modern times
Some of the wealthiest imperial monasteries were built in the High Middle Ages in the Lake Constance area or in Upper Swabia , where after the dissolution of the Duchy of Swabia, very many cities and monasteries were granted imperial immediacy.
The imperial register of 1521 lists a total of 83 imperial prelates, the number of which was reduced to 40 by 1792 through mediatization , secularization , assignments to other European states and elevations to the imperial prince .
At the beginning of the early modern period belonged the 14 abbesses of Quedlinburg , Essen , Herford , Niedermünster in Regensburg , Thorn , Obermünster in Regensburg , Kaufungen , Lindau , Gernrode , Buchau , Rottenmünster , Heggbach , Gutenzell and Baindt as well as the balls of the Teutonic Order of Koblenz , Alsace and Burgundy , Austria and on the Adige to the imperial prelate status. The Grand Master of the Teutonic Order and the Grand Master of the Order of St. John also belonged to it. At the end of the early modern period, only those in Koblenz and Alsace and Burgundy remained of the Balleien, whereas only two of the abbesses, one through secularization and the other through being elevated to the rank of imperial prince, no longer belonged to the inner circle of imperial prelates.
The abbots and provosts of Fulda , Kempten , Weißenburg , Muri , Ellwangen , Murbach-Lüders , Corvey , Stablo , Berchtesgaden and Prüm were prince and received a seat and vote in the Imperial Council of the Reichstag . The imperial abbeys in Hersfeld , Saalfeld , Walkenried , Maulbronn , Herrenalb and Königsbronn were secularized and some others, such as B. Reichenau , St. Blasien , Riddagshausen , Selz and St. Peter in the Black Forest lost their imperial estate. But the exit of the Swiss Confederation also contributed to the reduction in the number of imperial prelates, since St. Gallen , Schaffhausen and Einsiedeln, and thus the monasteries there, no longer belonged to the empire.
The areas that belonged to the imperial prelates were mostly very small and sometimes only comprised a few buildings. Yet they were often cultural centers.
In the course of secularization and mediatization , the imperial monasteries were withdrawn from imperial immediacy between 1802 and 1806. Most of them were then completely abolished - their territorial and material possessions came to the beneficiary larger secular principalities such as Baden , Bavaria or Württemberg .
Role of the Reich Prelates in the Reichstag
In the Reichstag, the imperial prelates belonged to either the Swabian or the Rhenish prelate college and each had a common vote (= curate vote) with the other prelates, which then counted as much as the individual vote (virile vote) of an imperial prince.
In the Rhenish college, 19 prelates from the southern and western halves of the empire were gathered, including those from Werden , Corneli-Münster , the St. Emmeram Abbey in Regensburg and the two local ladies' monasteries from Obermünster and Niedermünster . The abbess of the important women's abbey in Essen , the Cistercian abbey in Kaisheim and St. Ulrich and Afra in Augsburg were also members .
The Swabian college comprised only the many small prelatures from the Upper Swabian region. These included the abbeys of Elchingen , Irsee , Roggenburg , Schussenried , Ursberg , Rot an der Rot , Wettenhausen , Marchtal , Ochsenhausen , Zwiefalten and Weingarten . The Benedictine Abbey of Ottobeuren also belonged to the college, but was not represented in the Reichstag. In fact, in the Swabian Imperial Prelate College, it was mostly the Benedictines and Premonstratensians who passed the most important positions on to each other and who took turns providing the directors of the college. Weingarten Abbey most frequently provided the director. The Imperial Abbey of Salem , which was at the top of the ranking, only succeeded once, with Anselm Schwab , as director.
The Swabian Imperial Prelate College was formed in 1575 due to the cohesion developed by the geographical proximity of the prelatures and strengthened it. Due to the cohesion of the members of the college, it achieved much greater political weight than the Rhenish college. Thus, the Swabian kingdom prelates could always send a representative to interständische committees and had the abbot of the Upper Swabian convent Weingarten one since 1555 legally enshrined representatives in Ordinary Reichsdeputationstag .
Reich prelates belonging to the Reichsfürstenrat
The names are ordered according to rank.
- Abbot of Fulda , later Bishop of Fulda
- Abbot of Kempten
- Provost of Ellwangen
- Abbot of Murbach and Lüders (French Lure )
- Provost of Berchtesgaden , promoted to prince provost from 1380, from 1559; Incorporation into the Prince Archbishopric of Salzburg (1393–1404) and Kurköln (1594–1723)
- Provost of Weißenburg , personal union with the Bishop of Speyer
- Abbot of Prüm , personal union with the Archbishop of Trier
- Abbot of Stablo and Malmedy
- Abbot, later Bishop of Corvey
The following are also mentioned as principals:
Swabian Imperial Prelate College
- Abbess von Schänis , 1529–1531 temporarily secularized
- Abbot of Maursmünster , secularized after 1790
- Abbot of Kaisheim
- Abbot of Salem / Salmansweil (he)
- Abbess of Baindt
- Abbess of Heggbach
- Abbess of Gutenzell
- Abbess of Rottenmünster
- Abbot of Herrenalb , secularized in 1536
- Abbot of Waldsassen , 1543 loss of imperial immediacy, later repeatedly secularized and reconstituted
- Abbot of Maulbronn , 1504 loss of imperial immediacy in favor of Württemberg, finally secularized in 1555
- Abbot of Weingarten
- Abbot of Ochsenhausen
- Abbot of Elchingen
- Abbot of Irsee
- Abbot of Petershausen
- Abbot of Zwiefalten
- Abbot of Gengenbach
- Abbot of Neresheim
- Abbot of St. George
- Abbot of Comburg , 1467–1488 as OSB abbey, then until 1541 as worldly. Canonical pen directly to the empire
- Abbot of Disentis
- Abbess of Frauenchiemsee , imperial monastery from 788 to 1062 and from 1077 to 1201
- Abbess of Fraumünster , secularized in 1524
- Abbess von Göß , secularized in 1782
- Abbot of Schuttern
- Abbot of Ottobeuren
- Abbot ofprüfunging
- Abbot of St. Emmeram
- Abbot of Reichenau , 1540 renouncement of imperial immediacy in favor of the diocese of Constance
- Abbot of Mondsee , secularized in 1791
- Abbot of St. Gallen , 1527–1532 temporarily and from 1798 secularized
- Abbot of Ursberg
- Abbot of Roggenburg
- Abbot of Weißenau
- Abbot of Schussenried
- Abbot of Marchtal
- Abbot of Red
- Provost von Lorsch , secularized in 1556
- Provost of Comburg , 1488–1541 direct from the empire
- Abbess of Lindau , secularized in 1802
Rhenish prelate college
Information for 1792
- Kaisheim Monastery
- Deutschordensballei Koblenz
- Deutschordensballlei Alsace and Burgundy
- Knights' monastery in Odenheim and Bruchsal
- Werden monastery
- Kloster Sankt Ulrich and Afra Augsburg
- Isny Monastery
- Kornelimünster Imperial Abbey
- Saint Emmeram Monastery
- Pen food
- Buchau Abbey
- Quedlinburg Abbey
- Herford Abbey
- Gernrode Abbey , secularized in 1728
- Niedermünster Abbey in Regensburg
- Obermünster Abbey in Regensburg
- Imperial Abbey of Burtscheid
- Gandersheim Monastery
- Thorn Abbey
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