Zapff, Hauptrecht (1546-1630)

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Hauptrecht Zapff, a Hutterite Anabaptist, born 1546 in Sprendling, Hesse, joined the brotherhood in Moravia as a lad of fourteen. In 1594 he was made Diener des Wortes (minister), and for thirty years he was the secretary-clerk of the bishop. His major contribution was his work on the great chronicle of the Hutterites, the Geschichtsbuch, which Kaspar Braitmichel had begun to write in the 1570s and completed up to 1542. In the days of the Vorsteher Hänsel Kräl, 1578-1583, Zapff first copied the Braitmichel original (no longer in existence), most likely at the Neumühl Bruderhof, and continued it chronologically to 1591. This work was done apparently conjointly with the bishops, first with Hänsel Kräl and then with Klaus Braidl, more or less as Braitmichel had started it. Zapff and the bishops used the large archives at the Neumühl center. The title page of the Chronicle, as it still exists today, bears the name of Krai and then the initials "H. Z." for the writer. At the end of Braitmichel's "Vorrede an den Leser" Zapff expressly signed also, as "continuer and worker on this book."

Zapff died in 1630 in Slovakia, at the age of 84. Five hymns were written by him, three now in the Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 846-849, and two in a hymn codex in Bratislava.


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. IV.

Wolkan, Rudolf. Die Lieder der Wiedertäufer. Berlin, 1903, reprinted Nieuwkoop, B. De Graaf, 1965: 241.

Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: xxiii-xxiv.

Author(s) Robert Friedmann
Date Published 1959

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MLA style

Friedmann, Robert. "Zapff, Hauptrecht (1546-1630)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 26 Jan 2020.,_Hauptrecht_(1546-1630)&oldid=146768.

APA style

Friedmann, Robert. (1959). Zapff, Hauptrecht (1546-1630). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 26 January 2020, from,_Hauptrecht_(1546-1630)&oldid=146768.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1017. All rights reserved.

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