Salomon Friedrich Merkel

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Salomon Friedrich Merkel (born February 13, 1760 in Schmalkalden ; † February 21, 1823 in Kassel ), pseudonym : Adolf Emmerich Kroneisler , was a German lawyer.


Salomon Friedrich Merkel was the son of the doctor Johann Christian Valentin Merkel (born June 6, 1731 in Schmalkalden; † November 7, 1793 in Kassel) and his wife Catharina Sophie (born February 14, 1738 in Schmalkalden; † October 8, 1787 ibid) , Daughter of Johann Friedrich Habicht. After the death of his sister Christiane Marie (born January 28, 1763, † April 24, 1772) he grew up as the only child of his wealthy parents.

He attended the Lutheran school in Schmalkalden and received private lessons from the vice principal; He also received piano lessons from Johann Gottfried Vierling and after a while mastered this instrument with a not insignificant skill, so that he could express his feelings according to his own fantasies without notes.

After his confirmation, he came to the Halle Education Center and studied law at the University of Halle , where he became friends with the later professor of medicine Johann Christian Wilhelm Juncker . From 1779 to 1782 he continued his studies at the University of Rinteln and heard lectures from Johann Nikolaus Möckert (1732–1792) and Carl Wilhelm Wippermann (1728–1797), in whose house he lived. After passing his public examination, he received the Dr. jur., but then continued to study at the University of Göttingen , where he heard lectures from Johann Stephan Pütter , the ancient scholar Christian Gottlob Heyne , who gave him a private lecture on archeology, and from August Ludwig von Schlözer . In order to be able to continue his studies, he was briefly employed by Privy Councilor Zanthier from Kassel during his studies as court master of the son, who was also studying in Göttingen, but his son returned to Kassel shortly afterwards and so Salomon Friedrich Merkel also left the University of Göttingen.

In 1785 he applied for the vacant position of lower court attorney, received this and from then on worked as a court attorney in Kassel. With the death of Friedrich II. Von Hessen-Kassel there was a change of government, which meant that all feudal relationships had to be renewed; those concerning the Schmalkalden rule came almost exclusively on his table, so that a lucrative source of business opened up for him right at the start of his activity: after only six months he had become a senior court attorney. He became so successful that ... hardly any trustee before him in Cassel had a more comprehensive practice, so that during the flourishing of the same, which lasted for about a quarter of a century, few legal disputes of importance were heard in a local court without his not being a lawyer Would have taken part in it .

He was also legal advisor to foundations, lawyer at the University of Marburg and various noble families from Hesse; General Martin Ernst von Schlieffen entrusted him with the administration of his patrimonial jurisdiction .

Under French rule in the Kingdom of Westphalia , he had to familiarize himself with the new legislation, and he was now called to court as a defense attorney. In several cases he succeeded in getting defendants charged with conspiracy to be acquitted by a French-only court, although they usually had the defendants shot; even in two cases in which the death sentence had already been requested by the king. Only in the case of the Marburg professor Johann Heinrich Sternberg , who was involved in the Dörnberg uprising, did he not succeed, although in this case the court did not pronounce a verdict, but left the accused at the mercy of King Jérôme Bonaparte , who ordered the execution by standing trial on.

In addition to his other offices, he accepted the position of secretary, which had to be filled by a legal scholar, at the Israelite-Westphalian Consistory in Kassel, in order to secure his eldest son's training at the pedagogy in Halle, with whose head August Hermann Niemeyer he was friends because he received 2,000 francs a year for this ; his son later succeeded him as government procurator in Kassel. Salomon Friedrich Merkel gave the opening speech at the opening speech, which was published in print in 1808 and got to know Israel Jacobson , who was the president of this consistory.

After the dissolution of the Kingdom of Westphalia, he would have liked to see newly introduced legal provisions been retained because they proved to be appropriate, but the previous jurisdiction was reintroduced, although it no longer corresponded to progressive education and this led to his being as an electoral Hessian-Kassel high court attorney brought critical contributions to the legal discourse of his time and, for example, published his work Defense of Public Justice in 1817 . But because nothing changed, he withdrew from legal practice and transferred his duties to his eldest son, who had meanwhile received the power of attorney in Kassel; he only remained their lawyer for his friends and old clients.

In his spare time he also devoted himself to fine literature and wrote articles for the Jenaische Allgemeine Literatur Zeitung , the Morgenblatt for educated estates , the Journal des Luxus und der Moden and the Dresdner Abendblatt , with whose publisher Theodor Hell he was friends. Under his anagrammatic pseudonym Adolf Emmerich Kroneisler , Fürstlicher Scherz und Ernst was also published in 1819 . He had already written two texts in the past with Fest der Laune in 1802 , after the first performance of the Maid of Orlean in Weimar and in 1803 with Die Postscripte, or The Epigrammatic Banquet of Herr von Kotzebue , which accompanied current theater events with humor.

In 1788 he married Friederike Caroline Wilhelmine (born February 13, 1763 in Steinbach ; † January 30, 1813 in Kassel), daughter of the judicial officer Bauer, with whom he had eight children, four of whom died in childhood. Three sons and one daughter reached adulthood:

  • Amalie Christine Merkel (* January 7, 1789 in Kassel; † January 6, 1854 there):
  • Christian Carl Friedrich Merkel (born August 20, 1793 in Kassel; February 25, 1848 ibid), Dr. jur., City Court Director in Kassel, married to Henriette Friederike Marie, b. Heuser;
  • Wilhelm Heinrich Philipp Friedrich Merkel (born August 8, 1797 in Kassel; † June 16, 1882 in Treysa ), forester , married to Justine Wilhelmine (1805–1872), daughter of Johann Christoph Rabe;
  • Heinrich Emil August Merkel (born March 14, 1801 in Kassel, † August 19, 1861 in Hebel ).


Salomon Friedrich Merkel belonged to the Freemasons for seventeen years . He was a member of the Kassel lodges Königlich Hieronymus Napóleon for loyalty and Wilhelm for steadfastness . In both, as in the associated grand lodges, he held various offices.

Fonts (selection)

  • Monument to his unforgettable mother . Schmalkalden 1787.
  • Friendship and love on the throne. A monument to the cordial bond between Russia and Prussia's sublime monarchs . Cassel in commission of the Griesbachschen Hofbuchhandlung 1802
  • Feast of the mood . 1802.
  • The Postscripts, or The Epigrammatic Banquet of Herr von Kotzebue . 1803.
  • Speech at the opening of the Royal Westphalian Consistory of Israelites . 1808.
  • Defense of the public administration of justice . Marburg near Krieger 1817.
  • Princely joke and seriousness . Leipzig near Hartknoch 1819.


Individual evidence

  1. Ortrud Wörner-Heil: The members of the Masonic lodges in Kassel 1766 to 1824 . Kassel 1998, p. 60 and 97 .