Short Cross Sterlings
Bishopric of Münster
The Bishopric of Münster was an ecclesiastical principality in the Holy Roman Empire, located in the northern part of today's North Rhine-Westphalia and western Lower Saxony. From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, it was often held in personal union with one or more of the nearby ecclesiastical principalities of Cologne, Paderborn, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, and Liège.
Münster was bordered by the United Provinces to the west, by Cleves, Vest Recklinghausen, and Mark in the south, Paderborn and Osnabrück in the east. In the north and north-east it bordered East Frisia, Oldenburg and the Electorate of Hanover (est. 1692).
As with all the other prince-bishoprics of the Holy Roman Empire, it is important to distinguish between the Prince-Bishopric of Münster and the Diocese of Münster although both entities were ruled by the same individual. The dioceses were generally larger than the corresponding prince-bishoprics and in the parts that extended beyond the prince-bishopric, the prince-bishop's authority was strictly that of an ordinary bishop and limited to spiritual matters.
The 12th century was marked by a considerable growth of the bishops' secular power. Bishop Ludwig I, Count of Tecklenburg (1169–73), restored to the see the temporal jurisdiction over its domains previously exercised by the Counts of Tecklenburg. Hermann II, like his immediate predecessors, Frederick II, Count of Are (1152–68), and Ludwig I, was a partisan of Frederick Barbarossa. With the overthrow of Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony, the last obstacle in the way of the complete sovereignty of the bishops was removed, and Hermann appears as a great feudatory of the empire. During the episcopate of his second successor, Dietrich III of Isenberg-Altena (1218–26), the position of the bishop as a prince of the empire was formally acknowledged in 1220 by Frederick II. Hermann II was the last bishop directly appointed by the emperor. Dissensions arose about the election of his successor, Otto I, Count of Oldenburg (1204–18), and Emperor Otto IV decreed that thenceforward the cathedral chapter alone should elect the bishop. The See of Cologne retained the right of confirmation, and the emperor that of investiture. The bishop's temporal authority was limited in important matters; particularly in taxation, the consent of representative bodies of his subjects was necessary. Among these, the cathedral chapter appears early in the 13th century; later, the lower nobility, and, lastly, the city of Münster. In course of time the cathedral chapter extended its rights by agreements made with bishops before election.
The temporal power of the see increased greatly during the episcopate of Bishop Otto II, Count of Lippe (1247–59). The city, at the same time, struggled to become independent of the bishop, not, however, with complete success, notwithstanding its alliance with the cathedral chapter. Even as early as the eleventh century the bishops all belonged to noble families, generally to those possessing lands in the neighbourhood; only too often the bishopric was administered for the benefit rather of the bishop's family than of the Church. The bishops were, in consequence, frequently involved in the quarrels of the nobility; ecclesiastical affairs were neglected and the prosperity of the inhabitants of the prince-bishopric suffered. Conditions were at their worst during what is known as the Münster Diocesan Feud (1450–57). The arbitrary conduct of Bishop Henry II of Moers (1424–50) had aroused a very bitter feeling in the city. After his death the majority of the cathedral chapter elected Walram of Moers, brother of Henry and also Archbishop of Cologne, while the city and a minority of the chapter demanded the election of Eric of Hoya, brother of Count John of Hoya. Although the election of Walram was confirmed by the pope, open war for the possession of the see broke out, and Walram was unable to gain possession of the city of Münster. In 1457, after his death, a compact was made by which Eric of Hoya received a life income, and the privileges of the city were confirmed, while both parties recognized the new bishop appointed by the pope, John II, Count Palatine of Simmern (1457–66).
Half sterling, Bishopric of Münster, Anonymous, (Münster?), ca. 1220-1250, Chautard 388/391
|Reign/Issue Authority:||Prince-Bishopric of Münster, anonymous|
|Denomination/Type:||Half sterling / Cut halfpenny|
|Issue date:||Ca. 1220-1250|
|Reference:||Chautard 388 (obv) / Chautard 391 (rev), Ilisch VII.8|
|Obverse description:||Facing Saint Paul with aureola.|
|Obverse legend:||[+SANCTVS …]VSTAS|
|Reverse description:||Short cross voided with quatrefoil in each angle.|