Hans Lenz (1602-1667), Baker and Vintner During the Thirty Years’ War – 52 Ancestors #366

Hans Lenz was born on January 24, 1602 within the small village of Schnait, (Weinstadt) Germany to Johannes Lenz and Margarethe Vetterle.

Schait was a small village alongside the Rems River, nestled between hillside vineyards with a central church constructed about 1570, and perhaps 40 homes. This drawing from 1685 in Andreas Kieser’s forest register ebook exhibits Schnait, with the Protestant church as its coronary heart.

Whereas Schnait appears peaceable and idyllic, loads transpired within the years between 1602 and 1685.

In truth, Hans was fortunate to have been born in any respect. In 1595, the plague swept via the area. Had both of his mother and father perished, Hans would by no means have existed.

Plague and warfare had been a continuing risk, to not point out dysentery and varied diseases that swept half the kids away from their mother and father, and that’s in good instances.

Hans was the firstborn youngster of his mother and father, arriving the yr after their marriage. He in all probability had a number of siblings, however we don’t know who they had been.

We all know little about Schnait within the years between 1602 and 1618, however it’s probably that Hans was confirmed within the church when he was 12 or 13 years previous, in about 1614 or 1615.

The minister who confirmed Hans was in all probability his future father-in-law.

In 1618, the 30 Years’ War started, which was each dynastic and spiritual, and would devastate Germany over the following three a long time.

By Straty_ludnościowe_po_wojnie_30letniej.PNG: Mix321derivative work: Schoolinf3456 – This file was derived from: Straty ludnościowe po wojnie 30letniej.PNG:, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18755096

This area, marked with a pink star on the 30 Years’ Conflict Depopulation map above, noticed huge declines in inhabitants. All places on this a part of Germany noticed inhabitants reductions better than 66%. Some villages had been completely burned and deserted, their residents murdered.

It’s troublesome to seek advice from anybody who lived in Germany throughout this time as lucky, however comparatively, Hans Lenz was.

Hans Lenz was a baker.

Schnait was not burned to the bottom through the conflict, so it’s attainable that the “previous bake home,” proven under, is the unique baker’s house.

Historic bakery in “Haldenstraße 7” By Silesia711 – Personal work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67028703

The baker was solely situated only a few steps from the church at Haldenstrasse 7. Maybe individuals stopped and picked up baked items on their approach to and from church.

A village solely wanted one baker, and a baker’s oven would have been very specialised and costly to assemble. This was almost certainly the place Hans both lived or apprenticed.

Usually, sons apprenticed with their father and stepped into their professions as adults. After all, given the encircling vineyards, everybody was concerned within the wine tradition.

What goes higher with wine than bread!

In the present day, vineyards growing specialty grapes nonetheless encompass Schnait which stays a small village. This satellite tv for pc picture solely exhibits a complete of about 2-3 miles throughout. The traditional vineyards observe the contours of the hillsides.

As an grownup, Hans Lenz relocated to Beutelsbach, only a mile or so to the north. Maybe they wanted a baker. These two villages had been very intently related.

Previous to 1570, Schnait was too small to have its personal church so all the Schnait residents attended church in neighboring Beutelsbach, only a brief stroll up the highway.

Historian Martin Goll lives in Beutelsbach and in addition descends from the Lenz household. His main language is German, and his correspondence is translated into English. I’m extraordinarily grateful for his in-depth analysis on these households and the historical past of each villages.

Martin tells us that Hans Lenz “was one of many wealthy individuals on this time. He married the daughter of the reverend. Normally, a Reverend belonged to the higher class. It was not possible to marry in[to] such a household, in case you have not been a member of an higher class household. So, Hans Lenz will need to have [had] mother and father which had been coming from the higher class.”

However all was not peaceable within the Rems Valley.

In 1626, when Hans was 24, one other epidemic broke out earlier than the Battle of Nordlingen, pictured above, which occurred about 55 miles away on September 6th and was catastrophic for the Protestants.

After the battle, Beutelsbach turned a military camp for the fortified city of Schorndorf.

By the point Hans married, in 1627, everybody was in all probability sick and uninterested in warfare.

In 1627, Hans was 25 years previous and married Agnes Eyb, the daughter of the native reverend in Schnait. They had been in all probability married by her father, or her brother who turned the pastor after their father died.

Their solely surviving youngster, George Lenz (1627-1663), was born later that yr.

Sooner or later, the younger couple moved up the highway to Beutelsbach, maybe shortly after their marriage.

Maybe the bakery protected the household, not less than to some extent, for a short time.

Troopers routinely raided farms and homesteads, however they may not have been so keen to burn the bakery. Everybody must eat.

Nevertheless, their success didn’t final.

In 1634, Beutelsbach was plundered and set on hearth. Anybody who resisted was killed.

Martin tells us that “Agnes Eyb died through the 30 Years’ Conflict. She left Beutelsbach earlier than she died and went to Schnait, the place her brother was the reverend right now. She died in Schnait three days after she arrived, as a result of she was injured when the home in Beutelsbach was burned.”

On the time Agnes died, her brother, Mathias Jacob Eyb was the pastor in Schnait and writes of his sister’s loss of life within the E-book of the Useless, “Younger Hans Lenz’s spouse, Agnes, died, who had been my pricey sister, on December 9, 1634 after which was buried on the tenth.”

Conflict is Hell.

Hans and Agnes had moved to Beutelsbach – and their house burned when the troopers torched the city. Individuals may in all probability see Beutelsbach burning for miles in each route. It will function a warning to anybody else who thought-about resisting.

Sadly, we now have nearly no details about their youngsters, with one exception. Martin studies that “The one son of the pastor’s daughter, George Lenz, turns into a surgeon in Beutelsbach, which was nearly an instructional diploma by the requirements of the time.”

Surgeons had been the barbers of the day, plus they “bled” individuals as wanted.

Provided that Hans and Agnes had been married from someday in 1627 till her loss of life on December 9, 1634, it’s probably that they’d both 3 or 4 youngsters. I can’t assist however marvel if these youngsters died when the city burned too, or had they already perished? Was Agnes pregnant or did she have a babe in arms when her house was set aflame? Was it burned at night time when individuals had been sleeping? Did she make the “mistake” of resisting, or was she merely within the unsuitable place on the unsuitable time?

How did Hans survive? Possibly he was gone, or combating. Or did they, together with different residents, search shelter contained in the church partitions?

Who took Agnes to her brother’s in Schnait?

Almost everybody in Schnait and Beutelsbach was associated, in all probability many instances over. They might have watched Beutelsbach burn in horror, questioning if the troopers would burn Schnait subsequent.

A peasant begs for mercy in entrance of his burning farm; by the 1630s, being caught within the open by troopers from both aspect was tantamount to a loss of life sentence.

After Beutelsbach was plundered and burned, the following problem was famine and plague, which unfold simply as a result of individuals had been hungry and ate something, right down to and together with sawdust and acorns, which proved deadly.

I can’t even think about the extent of desperation.

Martin’s analysis signifies that even with the horrors of conflict, Beutelsbach and Schnait fared higher than most. By 1650, the inhabitants of Schnait had solely declined by about one-third, and in neighboring Beutelsbach, by about half.

Let that sink in for a minute. They had been the fortunate ones as a result of “solely one-third” and “solely half” of the residents perished.

By comparability, about one-third survived in neighboring cities, which means two-thirds died. Each Schorndorf and Waiblingen had been burned utterly, excluding a number of homes that in some way escaped, with a most of 20% of the inhabitants surviving.

It was a horrific time.

Martin says that there have been no Beutelsbach church information that survived between 1620 and 1646, having been stolen or destroyed by the troopers.

In 1634, when Agnes died of her burns, Hans Lenz would have been left along with his surviving small youngster, who was 6 or 7 years previous, to boost, and a bakery to rebuild, however principally, he needed to discover a approach to merely survive.

The following yr, in 1635, Hans Lenz married Katharina Lenz, additionally from Schnait. Clearly, the Lenz household has been residing in Schnait for generations, which is why marrying a Lenz feminine was deemed to be acceptable.

We do know Katharina’s father’s title, and the names of Hans’ father and grandfather, so Katharina and Hans would in all probability not have been nearer than the normal Catholic 4th degree of consanguinity, which meant that first cousins may marry. Subsequently, Hans and Katharina may probably have shared Lenz grandparents. After all, in the midst of a conflict, who is aware of. Potential companions had been in all probability scarce. I might wager that Hans’ former brother-in-law married them.

For the primary decade of their marriage, from 1635 to 1645, Hans and Katharina had no youngsters that survived, which could effectively have been associated to the continuing conflict.

Martin tells us that Hans had one other drawback too. His bakery was repeatedly pillaged. It’s unclear whether or not Hans was in a position to provide you with sufficient cash to forestall his bakery from being burned or if that’s what occurred in 1634 when Agnes died. He will need to have passionately hated the troopers.

With a purpose to keep away from the torch, neighborhood property needed to be handed over to troopers, and if that was not sufficient, the native authorities needed to confiscate tangible non-public property.

Based on Martin, “In Beutelsbach, the person in cost was the custodian Johann Jakob Schmierer (1593-1660). He demanded this cash, violently and brutally if vital. Apparently, he was additionally considering of himself and his personal benefit. Due to this, Hans Lenz had bother with troopers within the quarters who claimed that Schmierer had bought them wine however had not delivered the quantity paid to Lenz. This data exhibits that Hans was not solely a baker but additionally ran a wine commerce. The monastery custodian “dominated” the wine within the monastery cellar. He in all probability had Hans Lenz as his “negotiator” and received him into bother by delivering too little, so the troopers definitely had the higher hand.”

Troopers at all times have the higher hand.

The Thirty Years’ Conflict is taken into account to be probably the most harmful conflict in European historical past. Whereas many civilians didn’t perish in direct warfare, they had been by far probably the most frequent victims, with 4.5 to eight million deaths, principally from the results of the conflict. One other supply locations the discount of the inhabitants of the Holy Roman Empire by 7 million individuals, however which will additionally embody those that left. Individuals died from navy motion (3%), hunger (12%), bubonic plague (64%), typhus (4%), and dysentery (5%), plus unrecorded causes of loss of life.

Hans would survive to see the tip of the Thirty Years’ Conflict, in 1648, and stay one other 19 years past.

Hans would have been 46 years previous when the Peace of Westphalia treaties had been signed in Munster after weeks of negotiation.

The distinction in gown between the nobles who had been each the instigators and beneficiaries of the conflict, and the individuals residing within the countryside is telling.

Right here’s the Dutch envoy arriving in Munster for negotiations. Distinction that to the farmer begging for his life and the homes of villagers burning, leaving them with nothing in the event that they survived.

The residents of Schnait and Beutelsbach, together with the remainder of Germany, will need to have rejoiced as quickly because the phrase reached their ears. The horror was lastly over. Hans had lived his whole grownup life both amidst the combating or fearing it. Troopers quartered in his village and enterprise, his house was pillaged a number of instances and burned not less than as soon as, and his spouse perished. Who is aware of what number of relations he misplaced, straight or not directly, along with his first spouse.

Not directly, Hans was in a position to purchase a number of vineyards. Martin speculated that maybe Katharina’s mother and father had been rich and the vineyards escaped destruction through the conflict, stating, “Hans was in a position to rebuild his property which was broken through the 30 Years’ Conflict. When he died, he owned 5 homes and 10 wine yards, way more than the typical.”

Hans’ solely son with Katharina, Hans Lenz (1645-1725), would construct upon that fortune. Along with his father’s homes and vineyards, the son constructed a brand new home and died with greater than 1500 liters of wine within the cellar and a web value of just about 15,000 guilders.

Martin marked Hans’ property on the Beutelsbach map, above, in pink.

The decrease buildings nonetheless exist as we speak.

From 1650-1659, Hans was listed as a bread examiner, viewer, or inspector on the checklist of residents. Who knew there was such a factor?!

Hans Lenz died on Christmas Eve, 1667 in Beutelsbach.

Within the German custom, the household would have gathered to rejoice Christmas on Christmas Eve, both at house or at church, or each. I’m wondering if Hans had been ailing, or if he died instantly, both at house through the festivities or in church through the providers.

Maybe Krampus, the Christmas demon, visited and stole Hans away!

Hans was 65 years previous and left three residing youngsters from his marriage with Katherina. His son George had already died 4 years earlier. It’s unknown whether or not or not Katharina was nonetheless residing.

If Hans was buried on the conventional time, his funeral service would have been held on Christmas Day, and he would have been buried contained in the walled churchyard, only a few ft away from his house at 17 Stiftstrasse and the bakery he rebuilt after the conflict.

Maybe Hans is resting inside the very partitions that saved him.

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