Ms. Codex 1221 - [Documents concerning Magdalena Sibylla von Neitschütz and the trial of her mother, Ursula Margarethe von
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[Documents concerning Magdalena Sibylla von Neitschütz and the trial of her mother, Ursula Margarethe von Neitschütz] [manuscript].
[Saxony?, after 1733]
76 leaves : paper ; 339 x 206 (250-280 x 145-160) mm. bound to 344 x 215 mm. + 1 booklet and 2 leaves.
Collection of copies of documents concerning Magdalena Sibylla von Neitschütz (Neitschitz, Neidschütz), the mistress of
Johann Georg IV, Elector of Saxony, as well as the witchcraft trial, in 1695, of her mother, Ursula Margarethe von Neitschütz
(née von Haugwitz), who had been the mistress of the previous elector, Johann Georg III. Document 1 is the letter by Emperor
Leopold I that elevated Magdalena Sibylla to the status of Countess of Rochlitz (Gräfin zu Rochliz; p. 2), prepared and attested
by Caspar Florenz Consbruch, and signed by vice chancellor Leopold Wilhelm von Königsegg und Rothenfels. Document 2, issued
by the law faculty of the University of Leipzig, as jurors (Schöppen; p. 45), summarizes the trial, in which Ursula Margarethe
von Neitschütz was accused of being a witch and using magic (beschuldiget, dass sie eine Hexe seij, auch sich der Zauberein
beflissen; p. 17) to bring about the death of Johann Georg III, and to make his son fall in love with her daughter (p. 17).
Footnotes in the same hand include citation of a work published in 1733 (p. 25). Documents 3 (a letter in French) and 4 (an
impersonal account) are contemporary descriptions of the funeral of Magdalena Sibylla von Neitschütz, on 12 April 1694. Document
4 seems to end with citation of bible verses as funeral orations (Nahum 3: 3-7, Ecclesiastes 3:16; p. 52), and possibly Document
5, a poem, is part of the same piece. The latter, purporting to have been written for the deceased by her surviving brothers,
ends with a derogatory epitaph (p. 55). Document 6 is a marriage contract (Eheverschreibung) by Johann Georg IV, acknowledging
his intentions toward Magdalena Sibylla von Neitschütz. It includes annotations (p. 58-59) stating that it was thought to
have been retroactively dated (retrodatiret; p. 58) to before his marriage (to another woman, in 1692), and reporting related
testimony by Ursula Margarethe von Neitschütz, and by Jean Roussenet, a confidant of Johann Georg. Document 7 (partly in
Latin), written in defense of Ursula Margarethe von Neitschütz, is signed by Dr. Mayer, as defensor, apparently assigned
by the court (ad commissarios, dem churfürstlichen Amtmann nun auch dem Rathe zu Dresden; p. 105). Document 8 is an unattributed
contemporary eyewitness account of the viewing of the corpse (Leichen Besichtigung) of Magdalena Sibylla von Neitschütz at
the Sophienkirche in Dresden on 30 April 1694. Document 9 comprises a moralistic commentary on the Neitschütz trial (p. 109-116),
followed by a collection of poems (some in Latin) about Magdalena Sibylla, her mother, or the Neitschütz family. The commentary,
entitled All sins must be revealed by God (Alle Sünden müsset offenbaret werden durch Gott; p. 109), includes rubrics naming
3 privy councillors (Graf Callenberg, Ober-Hofjägermeister Erdmannsdorf, General-Major Friese; p. 110); the rubric Soli deo
gloria, dated 26 May 1694 (p. 111); and a list of names of individuals implicated in the Neitschütz trial (p. 114-116). The
poems include epitaphs; a composition resembling an oratorio (p. 130-136); and 2 anagrams (in Latin; p. 124). Additional material
is laid in at the back of the manuscript: 1) the printed article Zuverlässige Nachricht von der Gräfin von Rochlitz, as
published in Sammlung vermischter Nachrichten zur sächsischen Geschichte vol. 10 (1775), pp. 361-414, which responds extensively
to an article by Anton Friedrich Büsching in Magazin für die neue Historie und Geographie, part 8 (1774; pp. 461 ff.); it
includes a fold-out genealogical table for Magdalena Sibylla von Neischütz (between pp. 362 and 363) and printed documents
(p. 398-413) corresponding to 1 and 8 in the present manuscript; 2) a publisher's brochure for Die Liebeszaubereien der Gräfin
Rochlitz, by Johann Friedrich Klotzsch, ed. Johannes Jühling (Stuttgart: Robert Lutz, 1914; vol. 3 in Rara, eine Bibliothek
des Absonderlichen); and 3) a clipping of a feuilleton piece (in Dutch) entitled Een vorstelijk bigamist uit de 17de eeuw
(signed M.G.W.; 13 May 1926, Rott Courant).
Title supplied by cataloger.
Pagination: Paper, i + i (different paper, pasted in) + 74; contemporary pagination in ink, upper outer corners, 1-148 (inside
lower cover is numbered 155, with 3 leaves cut or torn out after end of text).
Layout: Written in 30-36 long lines, except for a poem written in 2 columns (p. 119-120); frame-ruled and line-ruled in pencil.
Script: Written in a German cursive hand, with Latin text in a book script.
Decoration: Title of document 1 within a frame filled in with pen-and-ink design of leaves and diagonal crossbars (p. i);
pen-and-ink design marking end of text of last document (horizontal bar and short vertical bar in the middle, filled in, respectively,
with a feather-like design and a design resembling owl heads, p. 147); printed sheet bearing Rochlitz coat of arms in circular
medallion (p. ii); around border: Magdal Sibyll: Reichsgraefin v. Rochlitz); initials decorated with pen flourishes (p. i,
1, 49, 61, 106, 109, 110).
Binding: Contemporary boards (Zacour-Hirsch).
Origin: Written in Saxony, after 1733 (p. 25).
UPenn Ms. Codex 1221
Rare Book & Manuscript Library University of Pennsylvania Ms. Codex 1221