Peasants’ War

Von Veinau – Feinauer in the Peasants’ War from 1476 to 1525 – an overview

Florian Geyer, Götz von Berlichingen and other noblemen

Florian, of noble gender of the Geyer von Geyersberg, resided at the castle of Giebelstadt, half way between the towns of Wuerzburg and Mergenheim.

He, as well as Count Rudolf von Werdenberg, resigned their knighthood and volunteered to join the farmers as their brothers.

The well known knight Goetz von Berlichingen also joined the farmers. He promised the farmers to recruit more of his noble acquaintances who, just like the farmers, were also taken advantage of by the present ruler. The striving of the monarches to subdue the free knights stood against the will of the aristocrats to remain on their estates as free knights.

Götz and his brothers remitted a letter to the franconian knighthood, to appear for a meeting well armed in fourteen days. On the Grünbühl, a signal point of the Hohenlohe revolt, located between Waldenburg and Neuenstein, the counts of Hohenlohe met with the leaders of the farmers.

Goetz von Berlichingen was named Commander-in-Chief of the rebelling farmers. Florian Geyer established a “Black Bunch of warriors” consisting of battle hardened farmhands, former estate landowners, Knights and vassals of the prince of Hohenlohe. This constituted the core of the Franconia farmers.

Götz von Berlichingen is mentioned as the highest captain of the farmers. Florian Geyer’s “Black Haufe”, formed from experienced war servants and former noble men, knights and vassals of the monarches of Hohenlohe, was the core of the franconian farmers. Among them we also find von Veinau which henceforth called themselves Veinauer; spelled by the writers as Vynawer, Vinower, Feynawer, Feinaber, Feinawer, Veinower, Veynower, and other variations, Veinauer and finally Feinauer written. Undoubtedly this is the same gender.

In the historic records the noble knights von Veinau as well as a number of the low aristocracy (out of laziness) are mentioned as deceased. Church registers did not exist at the time. Only by decree of the Evangelical church records were kept as of 1556. The Roman Catholic church followed this example in 1563. The churchbooks were usually written by the pastors who, as we can see, did not always care much about keeping the records. Therefore we had to depended on the treasure books, tax records of the feudal lords and the authorities during our research.

Sources:

‘Der große Bauernkrieg’ by Wilhelm Zimmermann (1807-1878), Dietz Verlag
Berlin 1952.

‘Die Bürgerschaft von Schwäbisch Hall von 1395 bis 1600’ by Gerhard Wunder,
Kohlhammer Verlag Stuttgart 1956.

Evangelical churchbooks of Enslingen/Kocher from 1561 on and the churchbooks of
Geislingen/Kocher from 1586 on.

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