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First page of the Urgicht by Anna Roleffes from December 28, 1663. (The transcription is on the picture description page .)

As Urgicht (from old German gichten, jehen = say confess confess) or gouty mouth ( "confessed mouth") refers to the confession as a process element of medieval and early modern jurisdiction.

The Urgicht ( Middle High German urgiht = statement, confession) in the narrower sense was the repetition or confirmation of a confession by the defendant that was initially only produced under torture . Only after the first gout could the court pass its final judgment. However, if the original gout did not take place, although the defendant was strongly suspected, the accused could be subjected to another " embarrassing questioning " (torture) in order to then bring about an original gout.

The gouty mouth was part of the triad of raising hand , looking glow and gouty mouth , which formed the three essential elements of the taking of evidence in medieval proceedings. The following legal ruling can be found in the documents of the Westphalian Femgericht :

It is said that one should not kill anyone without a judgment, that is true, but these are things that naturally contain their judgment as a raising hand, a gouty mouth and a glancing look. "


  • Johann Georg Krünitz : Economic Encyclopedia , or general system of the state, city, house and agriculture . Vol. 202, Hildesheim 1773-1858, pp. 145f. ( Online version )
  • Gouty mouth . In Meyer's Großes Konversations-Lexikon, Volume 7. Leipzig 1907, p. 828.
  • Nabil Osman: Small lexicon of submerged words: word extinction since the end of the 18th century . 16th edition CH Beck 2007, ISBN 9783406560040 , p. 210 ( limited online version in the Google book search)
  • Urgicht . In Pierer's Universal-Lexikon, Volume 18. Altenburg 1864, p. 284.
  • Heinrich Zoepfl: History of the German legal sources . A. Krabbe 1844, pp. 409–413 (§131) ( full online version in the Google book search)

Individual evidence

  1. Paul Wigand: The Femgericht Westphalens . Schulz and Wundermann 1825, p. 406 ( complete online version in the Google book search)