Brandenburg-Ansbach, a Hohenzollern principality, ceded to Bavaria in 1806. At the time of the Reformation the Anabaptists here had attained a considerable following; the foundation was apparently laid about 1527 when Hans Hut and Eucharius Binder traveled from Lower Franconia to Austria (Falkenstein, Schwäbische Chronik, 194). Several years later Julius Lober, a refugee from Bruchsal and a leader of the congregation there, settled here; Bernhard Witgenannt, who accompanied him, was arrested, but was released when he recanted (Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins). The Anabaptist movement did not reach any great importance in the margravure (Schulin, Ansbachische Reformation-Geschichte, 41). Nevertheless the government issued several edicts against them. The moving force behind their suppression seems to have been Andreas Althamer. In 1528 he wrote the polemic, Ein Kurtze Unterricht den Pfarhern und Predigern, against them. The influence of the Anabaptists, however, remained, as is shown by the church regulation of the margravure and Nürnberg published in 1533, which stipulates "(1) that godfathers should be present, especially because of the Anabaptists, who now pretend that they do not know whether they have been baptized or not, so that the godfathers can be the chief witnesses besides other persons; (2) that persons baptized privately should not be baptized again, which has heretofore been an unnecessary and false act, especially in order that the Anabaptists may not have a good reason for their error" (G. A. Will).
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe; Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 255.
Schornbaum, Karl. Quellen zur Geschichte der Wiedertäufer II. Band, Markgraftum Brandenburg. (Bayern I. Abteilung). Leipzig: M. Heinsius Nachfolger, 1934.
Schornbaum, Karl. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer, V. Band (Bayern, II. Abteilung) Gütersloh: C. Bertelsmann, 1951. The second volume contains supplementary Ansbach court records and also Anabaptist records of the Bavarian imperial cities of Kaufbeuren, Nördlingen, Regensburg, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Weissenburg, and Schweinfurt.
Westermayer, Hermann. Die brandenburgisch-nürnbergische Kirchenvisitation und Kirchenordnung 1528-1533. Erlangen: Junge, 1894.
Will, G. A. Beyträge zur Geschichte des Antibaptismus in Deutschland. Nürnberg, 1733: 115.
Zeitschrift für die Geschichte des Oberrheins 54 (1905): 84.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, p. 404. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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