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 of Wormeln.
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.