The Semperfrei (actually "sendbar free", Latin homines synodales "sentbare men" ) of the Schwabenspiegel and other southern German legal books were originally intended to correspond to the lay judges of the Sachsenspiegel and were mostly - so z. B. in the Mainz Landfrieden of 1235 - also understood that way. While the word "schöffenbarfrei" expresses the right to occupy the layman's bench in the count's secular court, the word semperfrei indicates the place of jurisdiction before the spiritual court of the bishop, the Send . Both are privileges of a class of free people - which disappeared in the late Middle Ages - who on the one hand differ from the peasant class and on the other hand from ministeriality .
However, the Schwabenspiegel misunderstood the Sachsenspiegel's jury members and did not identify the Semperfree with the free - in contrast to the ministerial - lower nobility, but with the princes and free lords . This misunderstanding even led to the fact that in the 17th century the title "semperfrei" was used as a title above count and free lord e.g. B. was awarded to the Counts of Schaffgotsch . The Limpurg taverns also bore the title semperfrei in order to emphasize their imperial freedom.