Hermann von Kerssenbroch
Hermann von Kerssenbrock (also Kerssenbroick or Kerssenbroch) was a German teacher and historian, b. Mönchshof, Barntrup
Barntrup is a town in the Lippe district of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It has an area of 59.46 km² and 9.431 inhabitants , and has 433 people who are out of work....

 (Lippe), about 1520; d. Osnabrück
Osnabrück is a city in Lower Saxony, Germany, some 80 km NNE of Dortmund, 45 km NE of Münster, and some 100 km due west of Hanover. It lies in a valley penned between the Wiehen Hills and the northern tip of the Teutoburg Forest...

, 5 July 1585. He attended school first in Paderborn
Paderborn is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, capital of the Paderborn district. The name of the city derives from the river Pader, which originates in more than 200 springs near Paderborn Cathedral, where St. Liborius is buried.-History:...

, and after 1533 in Münster
Münster is an independent city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located in the northern part of the state and is considered to be the cultural centre of the Westphalia region. It is also capital of the local government region Münsterland...

 until his parents were banished from that city by the Anabaptists. He completed his studies at Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, where, in 1541, he received his degree of Bachelor of Philosophy and the Liberal Arts. In 1545 he left Cologne to teach in a superior school, probably at Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

, after which he was rector at Hamm
Hamm is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia , Germany. It is located in the northeastern part of the Ruhr area. As of December 2003 its population was 180,849. The city is situated between the A1 motorway and A2 motorway...

 (1545–50), and head of the Pauline Gymnasium at Münster, which had formerly held a high reputation. After twenty-five years of fruitful activity there, he was obliged to leave Münster, and he was placed in charge of the Schola Salentina in Düsseldorf, founded by the Electoral Prince Salentin of Cologne, where he remained, however, only three years. In 1578 he took charge of a superior school in Werl
Werl is a town located in the district of Soest in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.-Geography:Werl is easily accessible because it is located between the Sauerland, Münsterland, and the Ruhr Area...

, which he soon gave up to return to Osnabrück, where he remained as rector of the cathedral school for the rest of his life.

It is reportedly chiefly owing to his farsightedness that the school system of Westphalia
Westphalia is a region in Germany, centred on the cities of Arnsberg, Bielefeld, Dortmund, Minden and Münster.Westphalia is roughly the region between the rivers Rhine and Weser, located north and south of the Ruhr River. No exact definition of borders can be given, because the name "Westphalia"...

, which was on the decline, began in a short time to show signs of new life. His first care was to place on a better financial footing the poorly paid teachers of the time who were chiefly dependent on the contributions from the parents of their pupils. A still extant programme of studies of the Pauline Gymnasium for the year 1551, entitled Ratio studiorum scholae Monasteriensis, saeculi, XVI, shows that as teacher he laid greatest stress on a thorough grounding in Latin and Greek, advocating also the study of Hebrew, but utterly disregarding the exact and historical sciences (Realien). He required a high degree of skill in the preparation of written work, and careful and constant practice in oral recitation.

While in his capacity of teacher he was held in high repute, as historian he suffered much criticism. His first known work, written while he was in Cologne, was a poem in dactylic hexameter
Dactylic hexameter
Dactylic hexameter is a form of meter in poetry or a rhythmic scheme. It is traditionally associated with the quantitative meter of classical epic poetry in both Greek and Latin, and was consequently considered to be the Grand Style of classical poetry...

s, Brevis descriptio belli Monasteriensis contra anabaptistica monstra gesti. His principal work deals with the same subject, Historia Anabaptistarum Monasteriensium (History of the Anabaptists of Munster). It was written on a broad scale, forming a history of the whole city from 1524 to 1554, including many eyewitness accounts. It is suggested by some that the work, written at the instance and with the assistance of the cathedral chapter, was biased against the municipal authorities and the patricians. They compelled him to retract several passages as being erroneous, to deliver over his manuscript, and to promise on oath to write no more books.

This work was published in 1730 in Leipzig
Leipzig Leipzig has always been a trade city, situated during the time of the Holy Roman Empire at the intersection of the Via Regia and Via Imperii, two important trade routes. At one time, Leipzig was one of the major European centres of learning and culture in fields such as music and publishing...

 by Meneke in Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum, vol. III, and in a German translation in Frankfurt in 1771 under title Geschichte der Wiedertäufer zu Münster nebst einer Beschreibung der Hauptstadt, Detmer brought out a revised edition: Hermanni a Kerssenbroch anabaptistici furoris Monasterium inclitam Westphaliae metropolim evertentis historica narratio (Münster, 1899). Kerssenbroch's position in Münster having become insupportable, he went to Paderborn, and while there, in spite of his oath, he published Catalogus episcoporum paderbonensium eorumque acta (Lemgo, 1578), availing himself of Person Gobelinus
Person Gobelinus
Person Gobelinus was a German historian from Westphalia and a reformer of monastic life in his native land.-Life:He came from either Paderborn or the nearby area, and received his first schooling in that city...

and others. The open violation of his oath lost him the respect of many friends, and forced him to leave Paderborn. At Werl he prepared a vindication, Causarum captivitatis M. Hermanni a Kerssenbrock succinta narratio cum earundem vera et solida confutatione, which, however, was never printed. To revenge himself upon his enemies, he resorted to a means which imperilled his life; he wrote a biting satire, "Noctua", in which he so exasperated his opponents that they sent a delegation to Werl to call him to account for perjury and breaking his oath, and his only safety lay in flight.
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