Abbot (1544 to 1567) of the Cistercian Monastery in Hardehausen
In the history of the Cistercian monastery in Hardehausen, Martin
Thonemann from Warburg is named as 41st Abbot. (Abbot = father –
was applied to the director of the monastery and was limited in such
a way that spiritual paternity and legal management were connected;
the term Abbot is only found in the old orders.) Martin ruled in Hardehausen
from 1544 to 1567 in a very difficult phase of the history of the
of the monastery 1140
view of the former Cistercian monastery in Hardehausen.
Today, 1992, an educational centre housing the youth centre
of the archdiocese of Paderborn and the headquarters of
the Catholic state adult education school "Anton
Heinen”, founded in 1949.
(Enlargement by a click on the mouse)
Hardehausen is about 3 km north-west of Scherfede (today in the municipality
of Warburg) in a pleasant and charming wooded valley in the southern
part of Egge. At about the end of the first millennium there was a
small settlement "Hersuitehusen” in this wooded and marshy
wasteland. This settlement was later called Hardehausen. At the request
of Bernhard I, Bishop of Paderborn, Cistercian monks came to Hardehausen
on 28 May 1140.
In his piety, for religious and pastoral motives, Bishop Bernhard
I went to great lengths to secure this monastery foundation in his
diocese. The new monastery was to contribute to the increased worship
of God and to the further extension of the monastic life in several
other places. Presumably on his travels, the bishop got to know the
first settlement of the Cistercians in Germany in Kamp (Kamp-Lintfort).
This is about 10 km north-west of Moers on the Rhine. He probably
admired the industry, great knowledge and experience of the monks
in the cultivation of marsh and wasteland (Rhein-Altarm). In any case
the strict simplicity of the monastic buildings as well as the deep
piety and strict monastic discipline of the hard-working monks appealed
to him. As he gave the foundation of a monastery in his territory
his full support, and besides this promised rich donations, the required
approval from the general chapter of the mother monastery in Morimont/France
According to the statutes of the order, in 1140 Kamp Monastery sent
apart from Abbot Daniel twelve monks (like Jesus – 12 apostles)
to Hardehausen. The area was perfectly suited as the location for
a Cistercian monastery – in the opinion of the newcomers –
for the pious meditation of God as well as for cultural work. "Because
the ways of the world had forced their way into the monastery, a form
was sought which kept the world at a distance. Therefore the location
in remote wooded valleys and the endeavour to satisfy the simples
needs alone.” (F. Winter: The Cistercians of North-east Germany)
This was the beginning for difficult, but blessed work in Hardehausen,
which was to bear fruit not only for neighbouring Scherfede and the
surroundings, but for the whole Paderborn area.
Generous donations, the exchange of land and its additional purchase,
especially the generosity of Bishop Bernhard from Oesede ensured a
well-rounded property. (Note: surnames came gradually into fashion
in the course of the 12th century because by then the first names
in use to distinguish a person were no longer sufficient. Mostly the
place of origin or the birthplace was added to the name.)
In any event 15 years passed before all the monastic buildings were
finished, surfaces cleared and cultivated and the necessary economic
basis had been created for the monastery. Numerous negotiations with
previous owners in the area, with Corvey Monastery, Duke Heinrich
dem Löwen and Earl von Everstein and Schoneburg had to be concluded
before the ceremonious contract of foundation could be signed on 15
May 1155 in the presence of numerous secular and clerical guests.
A partial view of the former Cistercian monastery
(founded 1140) – coming from Scherfede.
For a better understanding of the effectiveness of the monastery throughout
the centuries, a brief mention of the Cistercians and their founder
The Cistercians started at the end of the 11th century in the Benedictine
reform monastery Citeaux (Cistercium) (French Departement Cote d’Or)
under Robert von Molesme in 1098. The Abbey "Abbaye Notre Dame
de Citeaux” is 23 km south of the city of Dijon at the crossing
of D 996 from Dijon to Seurre with the D 8 from Nuits-St. Georges
to Brezey-en-Plaine, 11 km east of the city of Agencourt. The founder
of the Cistercian monastery, Abbot Robert von Molesme, born in 1027
as the son of well-off parents in Champagne near Paris, was Prior
and Abbot of various monasteries. In 1073 he had been Head of a group
of settlers in the woods of Collan, with whom he founded "Molesme"
in Burgundy in 1075. This was a monastery with Benedictine character.
The aim was to prepare a "Home in the Lord” for the many
aimless and baseless roving itinerant preachers, mendicant friars
and hermits. At the beginning the residents of the Abbey lived exclusively
according to the rules of St Benedict from Nursia, which ran "Ora
Especially in its ecclesiastical culture, the time around 1075 was
a very unsettled epoch, sometimes affected to the marrow. High ecclesiastical
offices could be bought by secular lords. In many places the allocation
of ecclesiastical offices, denounced as simony, had shown itself in
a display of splendour in architectural style and way of living, which
brought a corresponding lifestyle with it. Ecclesiastical property
and monasteries were plundered, priests and abbots humiliated. Uncertainty
was widespread. Especially where orderly circumstances made a monastery
stand out or even where a modest wealth was accumulated, achieved
perhaps by donation, to support a community or commune. Its modest
prosperity secured a good livelihood. Pope Gregor VII’s battle
against simony met with only partial success. After his death the
decay of a healthy Church, was shown not only by a pope and anti-pope,
rather the crusades from the end of the 11th century up to the 13th
century shook the occident to the Near East and North Africa.
Finally the monasteries fought among themselves because some showed
allegiance to the rightful pope, others to the anti-pope. This was
a time in which right and justice were demanded. In this uncertain
flux the steadfastness and conviction of honourable, devout men and
women went to pieces.
Therein lies the explanation as to why not only many people set out
in search of the truth, to practise the contemplative life in the
hermetic lifestyle, but also why charlatans confused the people with
big speeches. This group under the blanket term "itinerant preachers”,
wandering men, tried to fleece the people, to transform words of emotion
into money. In addition these people robbed the church of its good
name. However this time of great uncertainty and of general decay
of moral values, a lack of orientation for life and the crippled church
rocked to its foundations, was opposed by a counter-movement with
reflection on the original Christianity and faith in Christian belief.
That was the time in which Robert von Molesme opened his new monastery
to all that had set out to dare to attempt to approach God by prayer
Molesme Monastery developed very strongly in the first few years,
however in the course of time Abbot Robert could not quell the widespread
irregularities, laxness and personal excesses of the monks with the
necessary strictness. He was a man of goodness and humility, constantly
guided by the wish to put the Benedictine strictness of rule into
practice and maintain it. Thus he decided with some followers after
long, secret discussion, to found a new monastery in which a meditative
way of life could be achieved. In 1098 Robert founded Citeaux, a monastery
in the forest, with 21 like-minded monks. The Monastery was to distinguish
itself by strict repentance and poverty. Before leaving Molesme, Robert
and the monks accompanying him had to subject themselves to heavy
floggings. A law of the time stated that no monk was allowed to leave
his monastery. He was not allowed to leave his originally chosen monastery
or to swap with another. A fleeing monk was allowed to be put up for
a maximum of one night in another monastery. Every prior was obliged
at the time to strongly recommend level-headedness to fleeing monks
and a voluntary return to their abbey. No other monastery was allowed
to grant accommodation to an imprudent monk. For lawbreakers there
was occasionally even jail, abuse and flogging as an instrument for
reasonableness and improvement. A year and a half after he had moved
out, Abbot Robert, due to a complaint of the monks who had stayed
behind, was forced to return to Molesme by order of the archbishop
and the instruction of Pope Urban II.
main building of the former Cistercian monastery in Hardehausen
– in 1803 its dissolution was decreed by King Friedrich
Wilhelm III – today state adult education school
under the auspices of the diocese of Paderborn.
It was through Bernhard von Clairvaux, who as a 21-year-old in 1112
asked to be taken into the Citeaux forest monastery, that the Order
achieved great esteem and dissemination in later years. From this
time on Citeaux Abbey experienced an unexpected, energetic upswing.
Young Bernhard soon began to implement reformatory efforts in the
monastery. He was an advocate of the strict Benedictine rule. The
Cistercians spread out from Citeaux Abbey. The young Cistercian monks
were also called "Bernhardines”.
Clairvaux founded by Bernhard von Clairvaux in 1115 was an abbey of
the Cistercians in the French Departement of Aube. Clairvaux is about
60 km east south-east of the city Troyes, 14 km south-east of Bar-sur-Aube
in the forest of Clairvaux. The motorway from Troyes (A5/E54) to Beauchemin
– Dijon passes 4 km southwards; a visit to Clairvaux is not
to be recommended; the big complex of buildings is today (1994) in
the possession of the French legal administration. There is a prison
there (with a security wing and watchtowers). Only few can enter on
The expansion of the Cistercian movement was so radical that at the
beginning of the 14th century more than 400 monasteries had been established,
especially in France, England and Germany.
Compared to the Benedictines, the constitution of the Cistercian order
was more centralised. As a basis for of the centralised foundation
of the Order, the "Charta Caritatis” was introduced under
Stephan Harding in 1119. The big upswing was based on the excellent
agricultural cultivation of the Cistercians. The East German colonisation
of the time to Weichsel was in large part carried out by them. From
the 14th century an internal decay showed itself again and again;
among the Reformation movements the Trappists were the most successful.
The Reformation, the French Revolution and secularisation contributed
to the downfall of most of the monasteries. The first Cistercian monastery
founded in Germany was the monastery in Kamp (Kamp-Lintfort) already
mentioned; Hardehausen was the fourth daughter monastery in Germany
and the first in the diocese of Paderborn.
A short description of the life of Bernhard of Clairvaux is added
here because the name Bernhard is chosen again and again in the history
of the family. Bernhard of Clairvaux was certainly one of the most
powerful men of his time. He was born in 1091 in castle Fontaines
near Dijon as the son of the knight Tecelin from the lineage of the
Earl of Champagne and his wife, the pious and noble Aleth. Bernhard
lost his mother when he was 14. The very gifted boy amazed his teachers
at the school in Chatillon by his rapid progress. The fame of science
or the glamour of the knight’s life beckoned. His being had
something so fine and noble that he won everybody and everything for
himself. At the age of twenty however, the scientifically highly educated
young man decided to renounce worldly life and to live the divine
one. The young boy chose the order in Citeaux because of its strictness.
By means of his rare talents, an amazing and winning eloquence, he
was able to convince his five brothers, his father, his uncle and
20 others to follow him into the strict life of the Order.
Due to Bernhard’s zealous work the number of monks became too
high for Citeaux. He left the monastery and settled in "Wermuththal”,
gloomy, feared and avoided due to ambushes by robbers. However due
to the hard work of the monks this desolate, deserted area was soon
changed into a big garden; the valley was called "Claravallis,
Clairvaux, Lichtental” due to the light that was sought and
At the early age of 25, Bernhard was elected Abbot of Clairvaux. This
monastery in Clairvaux became the mother monastery for many further
foundations. Among contemporaries the eloquence and power of the word
became famous; "His voice was strong, his articulation clear,
his knowledge of scripture and of the fathers extraordinary, his imagination
inexhaustible in ever new convolutions of a topic, with scholars he
spoke like a scholar, with farmers, as if he had always lived with
"The pale monk with the blond beard and hair is an adviser of
sovereigns, of kings, of bishops, of popes; from the tranquillity
of his monastery he guides the world. To unite Europe in faith and
strengthen it against Islam is the aim of his life”.
In 1153 at the age of 63 Bernhard died; in 1174 he was canonised on
account of "the grandeur of his way of living, the fervour of
his zeal and the purity of his teaching”. At the time of his
death there were 346 Cistercian monasteries founded by him in west
and east Europe. These lived according to the strict rule of Citeaux
and revered Bernhard as their father.
The economic base of the Hardehausen
The certificate of foundation for Hardehausen monastery was signed
in 1155; the beginnings of the Cistercians on this beautiful piece
of earth had already been made in 1140. But not until 25 years after
the beginning, in 1165, was it possible for the ceremonious consecration
of the monastery and church by Bishop Evergis from Paderborn to take
The founding bishop Bernhard I died on 16 May 1160; at his wish he
was not buried in Paderborn Cathedral, but in Hardehausen monastery
church (in the choir in front of the main altar). The later bishops
of Paderborn, Evergis (1160 to 1178) and Siegfried (1178 to 1188)
guaranteed the care of this monastery. It is known that the bishops
of Paderborn maintained a close connection to the monastery not only
during the relatively long foundation phase, but also for many years
later. Rich donations prove this. The monks for their part showed
their gratitude for this help by putting particularly great efforts
into their cultural work and their support by prayer. By their own
generous performance and also by acquiring additional properties,
also outside the immediate vicinity of Hardehausen, a healthy economic
basis was provided for the hastily growing convent with the large
number of monks and lay brothers (mostly tradesmen and farmers –
in contrast to the monks they wore brown cowls with hoods).
the steps to the main building former farm buildings of
the monastery can be seen on the left. Today these are
used for conferences.
The administration of the large, cultivated agricultural areas under
their own power (keeping to self-management) provided a solid prosperity.
Initially the economic base was pig breeding and fattening. The feed
basis was facilitated by the big oak and beech woods with pigsties
built there. Another task was the taming of wild horses as strong
agricultural helpers. The keeping of bees was also promoted; the resulting
wax was used for ecclesiastical and everyday purposes.
In the 13th century as the demand for wool became stronger and stronger,
the monastery provided for the satisfaction of demand with extensive
sheep-breeding and the erection of weaving mills. The big shoemaker’s
always had enough to do when it is considered that the convent in
its heyday had up to 450 monks and lay brothers. Big and small fish
ponds – some can still be seen on the former monastery site
– provided for an abundance of fish, especially as the rule
of the monastery prescribed fish as the staple food. Eating meat was
strictly limited, for a time even forbidden. Fruit and vegetable cultivation
acquired a high level among the Hardehauser Cistercians and became
an especially productive agricultural branch in the Paderborn Land;
the Hardehausen monastery apple is still known there (1994).
The former cloisters of Hardehausen monastery have been
The monastery on
the way becoming the biggest property owner in Paderborn Land
The internal development of the monastery in Hardehausen was completed
with the consecration in 1165. Now the task was to round off the property;
consequently big properties had to be acquired. That was achieved
by the purchase of the Scherfede administration and all the property
belonging to Corvey monastery for a price of 584 Denare in 1223. Likewise
by purchase, partly also by donations, Hardehausen monastery took
over ownership of the entire property of Earl von Everstein. Thus
around 1350 the major part of the land in Scherfede, amounting to
60 hides (1 hide = 7.5 ha), was owned by the monastery. Also in Rimbeck,
Nörde and Bonenburg, small villages between Warburg and Scherfede,
also farther north, lots of land was acquired; thus these settlements
also became administrative villages of Hardehausen. The big properties
in these villages required the establishment of administrative offices
of the monastery, called "Ämter”, these exercised
property rights, sometimes also judicial authority. Their character
as monastic office villages was retained until secularisation. The
main farms in the scattered properties were mostly walled for reasons
of security, but always enclosed. The whole property was under the
commercial head, a brother from the monastery, who was called "Kellner”.
Additional purchases were also made outside the actual area of the
monastery; the idea here was that in the remote properties either
new monastic foundations were to be made or at important places and
junctions night lodgings were to be provided for travelling members
of the monastery. Within this scheme of things, a vineyard was purchased
in Kessenich near Bonn and a farm in Fritzlar. The actual task of
the monastery, the reclamation of fallow land was always kept in mind.
Thus the monks increased the value of their property, but also gave
a stimulating and emulating example for other property owners in these
areas. The main farms or also the lodgings were later attached to
tithe barns, in which the tribute was collected or also crops and
products from the livestock to be sold in the towns were stored.
monks used to go from the cloisters through this door
to the refectory. Today (2001) this house is the Klaus
Of course the monastery also maintained a lodging in Warburg, Sternstr.
27 – still in existence today. The economic power of the Hardehausen
monastery can be completed with the fact that the fishing rights in
the Diemel from Billinghausen to Ossendorf belonged to the monastery
and that permission to hunt applied to the whole monastic property.
The monastery owned a total of 7,500 Morgen forest (1 Morgen = 0.25
ha). Thus – around 1350 – Hardehausen was the biggest
ecclesiastical property owner in the diocese of Paderborn.
More than 200 years of continuous building up and extending of property,
rich donations from nobles and free farmers, especially the unflagging
industry of the members of the monastery and clever commercial management
on the part of the leaders of the monastery led to this notable high
point. In addition came the constant financial embarrassment of the
nobles and the sovereign bishops, also of the neighbouring monasteries.
This enabled Hardehausen monastery, with a solid financial basis,
to make small and large loans, which in turn bore interest. Strict
parsimony at home also won pious allowances of noble donors, mostly
leading to a new purchase. For all the men of the monastery the basic
principle of the Cistercians "Pray and work” paid off.
The low point for Hardehausen in the 16th
century – the dissolution 1803
In these years – middle of the 14th century – Hardehausen
monastery experienced its heyday. The big property was consolidated
and the zealous cultural work bore rich fruit.
The religious life reached an internal depth, radiated love and fear
of God, this could be felt in the whole monastic sphere of action.
Strict fasting, only two meals daily, absolute silence and observation
of human dignity as well as gratitude to the maker, all this preserved
the real spirit of monastic life. The spiritual culture, the promotion
of the common choral singing, occupation with philosophy (Thomas von
Acquin), copying valuable religious books – a valuable book
of gospels has been preserved – the beautiful architecture,
provided the foundation for a smooth life together with God, for harmony
and a real Christian community within the monastic community. The
unison of prayer and work striven for was achieved in a masterly way.
But is everything not subject to the law of rise and fall? Nothing
stays the same, everything is affected by change. The number of monks
was limited to 40 in later years, the number of brothers to 300. The
time of infringements of the monks and laymen of the monastic rules
set in. There were also particularly serious cases of offences (see
the following sections "contemporary historical background –
referring to Hardehausen monastery” and "Martin’s
election and his difficult period in office”): The internal
structure of the monastery was greatly changed by the task of the
self-reliant economy. The monastery in Hardehausen experienced its
lowest point in the 16th century. By 1600 the number of monks had
sunk to 18. After the Thirty Years War the monastery had only six
In 1803 (29 January 1803) by Cabinet order of King Friedrich Wilhelm
III the dissolution of Hardehausen monastery was decreed. In 1927
the monks returned; they were driven out again by the Nazis in 1938.
In 1952 the archbishopric of Paderborn bought back part of the property
of the Hardehausen monastery. The old monastery buildings with the
adjoining narrow sites were set aside by Archbishop Lorenz Jäger
from Paderborn for an education house for the youth and as a state
adult education school. The favourite foundation of the founding bishop
Bernhard I was to continue to be a place of culture, education and
Martin Thonemann, Abbot of Hardehausen
from 1544 to 1567
Martin Thonemann, originally from a Patrician family in Warburg, was
elected 41st abbot in the history of the Cistercian monastery in Hardehausen.
Martin ruled from 1544 to 1567 in a very difficult period of the monastery’s
historical background related to Hardehausen monastery
The contemporary historical background was already mentioned in the
previous section "Hardehausen monastery”. An expansion
in connection with monastic events follows.
The predecessor of Martin I was Abbot Johannes VII, who ruled from
1530 to 1543. One of the first acts of his term of office was the
sale of the village of Sirixen for 200 guilders to the Dalsheim chapter
of the canons due to the high debts of the monastery that he took
over. His predecessor, Abbot Konrad III (1519 to 1529), had made various
sales in order to maintain the enterprise in Hardehausen. From 1544
there are documents available showing the efforts of Martin I to settle
the debts of his predecessors.
Paderborn Land was not spared the effects of Martin Luther’s
theses on the door of the castle church of Wittenberg on 31 October
1517. The Abbot of Scharmbeck, the third daughter monastery of Hardehausen,
converted to the Lutheran teachings. The "new doctrine”
and the conversion of the Abbot of Scharmbeck stirred up Hardehausen
monastery internally. Tensions rose. On top of that, just at this
time, differences and border disputes with Warburg arose. The monastery
went into decline. Towards the end of 1542 Bishop Hermann von Wied,
who was ruling the royal bishopric at the time, crossed over to the
Protestant faith and a few years later ordered the "Augsburg
Confession” to be adopted in his whole dioceses. The whole cathedral
chapter of Paderborn opposed this instruction.
The "Augsburg Confession” was the basic creed of the Lutheran
Church, which had to do with the faith and doctrines of the Evangelists
and the redressed abuses of the Catholic Church. It was constituted
for the Reichstag of Augsburg (1530) called by Kaiser Karl V, at which
a balance between the religious and political opposites was to be
arrived at, which came into being through the Reformation.
In 1552 something very unusual happened: The monk Cord von Brackel
had a big argument with his prior during which he hit the prior in
the monastery church. The perpetrator was quartered alive before Scherfede
– as we are told – and the four parts were displayed in
the four monastic villages "for the terrible fright and reflection
of all despairing, disobedient monks”.
The tensions in the monastery pushed to a solution. In June 1553 Abbot
Johannes VII of Hardehausen requested the Abbot of the mother monastery
Kamp at this stage to carry out the already planned visitation –
as was customary anyhow every 3 to 5 years – and to restore
order in Hardehausen. However this did not happen as Abbot Johannes
VII resigned prematurely on account of the great difficulties at the
time and especially those in Hardehausen monastery. After his resignation
on 31 May 1543 Borgentreich monastery farm – 12 km north-east
of Warburg was made available to him as a place suitable to his station
– as is said in the document.
The prior of the monastery ran Hardehausen monastery after the departure
of Abbot Johannes VII until the election of a new abbot.
modern fountain system in the courtyard of the former
and his difficult period of rule
With the new election the tensions of the convent broke out again.
Those monastery members entitled to vote who sympathised with the
"Augsburg Confession” chose Moritz (the "newer”)
as Abbot. However they remained in the minority in the count and lost
to the legal majority of voters who in 1544 elected Martin Thonemann
Abbot of Hardehausen as successor to Abbot Johannes. Martin came from
the Warburg family of Johann Heinrich Thone, called
Thonemann, who enjoyed great esteem in the town and had amassed considerable
wealth. His father Johann, Conrad’s brother, who was Provost
of St. Stephan in Mainz, had married twice. Joist I Thöne,
called Thonemann, was born during the first marriage, from the second
marriage with Metta Gerold, daughter of the rich Mayor Gerold in Warburg
and Anna von Geismar, came Martin Thöne, called Thonemann. As
a result of this marriage, the Christian name Martin, customary in
the Gerold family, entered the Thonemann family.
Proof of the wealth of the Thonemann family: in 1536 the average citizen
in Warburg paid 1 – 2 shillings in "Schott und Pflicht”
in the old town of Warburg; even the amount of 3 shillings was rare;
only two councillors gave 10 shillings. After the death of her husband
Johann Heinrich in 1536, Metta paid 14 shillings, as is shown in the
old tax lists of Warburg.
From the second marriage, besides Martin, came the brother Johann
VI Thöne, 1562 to 1588, councillor and chamberlain in the old
town of Warburg Martin became abbot in Hardehausen and thus one of
the highest regarded personalities in the royal bishopric of Paderborn.
In order to get the finances of the monastery under some kind of control
again, Abbot Martin borrowed large sums of money at various times
from his rich mother, the widow Metta Thone, called Thonemann, née
Gerold. In 1567, at the sudden end of his period of rule, the total
amounted to about DM 600,000 to DM 700,000 (EUR 300,000 to EUR 350,000),
converted to today’s values (1994). It took a long time till
the final settlement between the family and Hardehausen monastery
could be agreed. Five years after the death of Abbot Martin, the three
siblings Joist, Johann, and Else settled with the monastery regarding
the debt amount. Abbot Martin lived as a rule in the monastery, but
not constantly. It is reported from 1550 that he set himself up to
live on the main farm in Borgentreich. Can the reasons for this be
traced back to the existing tensions in the monastery or is there
another explanation for his stay?
On the occasion of the visit to Brenkhausen monastery on 14 October
1558, Martin concluded an agreement with Abbess Agnes Sluters with
the Cistercian father Jacob von Dotichem from Amelungsborn Abbey about
the office of priest in Brenkhausen and the spiritual care of the
women of the order of the monastery there. That Martin had to install
a priest from Amelungsborn for these two offices in Brenkhausen, makes
us conclude that there was still a difficult situation regarding the
convent in Hardehausen and there were no reliable monks available
in Hardehausen. This presumption seems to be justified because the
priest from Amelungsborn gave up his tasks in Brenkhausen after a
short time. Abbot Martin sent the Hardenhausen priest Pater Liborius
Bolten to Brenkhausen as the new holder of the position; he fell in
love with a woman of the order, married her and converted to Protestantism.
The next priest Bernhard Kopperschmied "did even better”
as is said in the chronicles of the monastery. He was sent to prison
for fraud and theft. The last priest sent from Hardehausen Monastery,
Petrus Krantz, was finally expelled from the order due to other serious
offences. The relationships between Hardehausen and Brenkhausen continued
to be tainted with these events. For the Hardehausen Abbot Martin
Thonemann, who in all decisions strove to maintain the rules of the
order in love and goodness, these unusual events were a heavy burden
and a depressing worry.
Wormeln Cistercian monastery was likewise under Hardehausen monastery.
When Anne von Senden the Abbess there died, Martin presided over the
polling for the election of an Abbess on behalf of the Abbey of Marienfeld.
He took this task very seriously; in individual conversations he got
all the sisters to give him their opinions as to which of them came
into question as the worthiest and most suitable successor. Katharina
von Lohn was chosen (24 April 1561). It was described in a protocol:
"The chosen one cried and fainted, on further persuasion did
not refuse”. In the presence of other monks from Hardehausen,
also of Johannes Focken, who some years later as Johannes VIII became
his successor in the office of Abbot of Hardehausen, Martin introduced
the chosen sister to the office of Abbess of the Cistercian monastery
On 15 September 1560 Abbot Martin I sealed the state treaty which
had been negotiated about the course of the border between Paderborn
and Waldeck. Abbot Martin is named in the document before eight other
personalities and in third place after Bishop Rembert and the two
Earls von Waldeck.
Martin Thonemann died
After more than 23 years of beneficial work and responsible exercise
of his high office, Abbot Martin I died in Hardehausen in 1567; for
the big monastery it was a time of economic and spiritual recovery,
but actually only a short break in the stormy time.
Abbot Martin Thonemann was held in high esteem in the royal bishopric
of Paderborn. This can be seen from the fact that at the consecration
of Rembert von Kerssenbrock (1547 to 1568) on 2 May 1548 in the monastery
church of Dalheim he was named as the first of the invited guests.
Martin likewise participated at the diocesan synod held in the autumn
of the same year, called by the new bishop, for the reform of the
It speaks for the newly acquired prosperity of Hardehausen, that at
the parliament of Schwaney in August 1558 for the assessment of state
tax, the highest amount was levied for the monastery of Hardehausen.
It was no easy task for the Abbot and Monastery Director Martin Thonemann
with all the inner strife of the times and the great disunity of the
monastery convent right at the beginning of his high office, to steer
and guide the large monastery property and the numerous monks and
lay brothers. A big debt, partly amassed by his predecessors, weighed
heavily on his shoulders. Martin had decided for the retention of
the Catholic faith and always stood for this decision with all clarity
and thus was in opposition to his Bishop of Paderborn and to the opinion
of some of his subordinate monks. Blatant incidents in his own monastery
and in the communities of the order connected with Hardehausen demanded
a great degree of goodness and tolerance, but also a strong and firm
hand if religious matters were in question. From his basic belief
he was not prepared to take the easier way, a "laissez faire”,
but remained true to the faith of his ancestors, defended it his whole
life long. He was not privileged to force a new blooming of the monastery
of Hardehausen, despite his enormous input, the circumstances were
simply greater. Nevertheless he was an important personality with
exemplary character and behaviour, his prodigy can be proud of him!
Martin’s seal from 16 October 1544 is in the State archive in
Münster – Hardehausen documents; it is the oldest seal
of the Thonemann family in existence. Under the picture of the Abbot
and the inscription going round there is a family mark, which was
also used in 1572 by Martin’s brother Johann VI, 1608 his nephew,
councillor Martin II as well as by his brother Heinrich.
of Martin Thonemann, Cistercian Abbot of Hardehausen Monastery
from 16 October 1544 – the old family mark is easily
recognisable under the picture of the Abbot.
(source: North Rhine-Westphalian State Archive Münster,
Hardehausen document no. 811)
(Enlargement by a click on the mouse)
It can be rightly supposed that the ancestors in Warburg did
not have a coat of arms, but a family mark, which was used for
seals on all documents. The mark developed from two right-angled
crossed bars; it was used by the old town members of the family
as well as by the new town family. The old town Thonemann line
extended this mark by adding another line at the two ends of
the bars left upwards and right downwards. In this form Martin
of Hardehausen also sealed (see seal) on 16 October 1544. The
seal of his brother Joist I Thöne, called Thonemann, shows
another bar over the vertical one.