Familiar company

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Cover sheet of a society's club book
Mug of the club

The Trusted Society e. V. (often just The Familiar ) is the name of an association of Leipzig merchants with charitable goals. She has been active in charity without interruption since 1680.


In the year of the plague in 1680, a few traders came together in Leipzig to help the neighborhood. Even after the epidemic subsided, they stayed together as a group of friends and continued their relief work. Since they carried out their actions in silence and the public learned little about their charitable work, they called themselves the confidants. The founding members of the soon-to-be-organized association were Hieronymus Jacob von Ryssel (1649–1715), and Johann Georg Rösner (1652–1715).

Statutes were adopted which, among other things, included caring for the poor by supporting institutions and individuals. For example, 200 thalers were donated in 1701 for the new building of the poor and orphanage ( Georgenhaus ). From the winter of 1800 free wood allocations to the poor were funded. Finally, in 1834, the company opened Leipzig's first children's institution.

It was regulated that the number of members remained at 16 or 17. When a member died, his successor was chosen from among his brothers, sons, grandchildren, business partners and friends. From among them they chose a senior confidante who had to keep the carefully kept bookkeeping of their work, which happened over centuries.

The confidants always came from the leading business class. In many cases it was men who actively helped to shape the local political and cultural life of Leipzig, sometimes with the use of personal resources. Among other things, you worked as an art collector, donor and patron. There were also close relationships with the Gewandhaus Foundation.

Because of the deletion from the register of associations, the Trusted Society moved its headquarters to what was to become the Federal Republic of Germany in 1948 and from there helped people in need in Leipzig with parcels and donations. From 1990 she supported, among other things, old people's homes and the church's unemployment initiative. In October 1996, the trusted company was re-entered in the Leipzig register of associations.

The association archive of the confidants, which was saved in what was then the Federal Republic of Germany after the Second World War and had been on permanent loan since 1981 in the Herzog August Library in Wolfenbüttel , was handed over to the Leipzig City History Museum in March 2007 .

Known members


  • Herbert Helbig : The Familiar 1680–1980. An association of Leipzig merchants. Contributions to social welfare and to the common sense of a business community. Anton Hiersemann Verlag, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-7772-8025-9
  • Katrin Sohl: The confidants. Association of Leipzig merchants, founded in Leipzig in 1680. Published on the occasion of the 325th Convent of the Trusted on November 5, 2005 in Leipzig, Leipzig 2005
  • The intimate society of Leipzig history booklet . Connewitz 1837
  • Gustav Wustmann: The familiar society in Leipzig: donated in the autumn of 1680. Festschrift dedicated to the members by the senior on November 22, 1880, Leipzig 1880

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dresden University of Technology, seminar “Saxon funeral sermons in the early modern period”: and family ties. The Leipzig trading family von Ryssel in their funeral sermons. ( Memento from November 10, 2010 in the Internet Archive )
  2. a b Horst Riedel: Stadtlexikon Leipzig from A to Z. PRO LEIPZIG, Leipzig 2005, ISBN 3-936508-03-8 , p. 617
  3. Monthly report of the Herzog August Library Wolfenbüttel, March 2007