GHDI logo

Protestant Resistance – The Schmalkaldic League (1531/35)

page 6 of 6    print version    return to list previous document      next document

The nine military councilors shall swear to the full assembly, they will be steadfast and loyal, obedient and prepared, to do their best, to warn against threats, and to advise according to their best understanding and conscience on the matters for which they were chosen. Also to help decide and, when a vote needs to be taken, to do so without dissimulation and according to the following oath: Forma juramenti [Oath to be taken by the War councilors.]

If one commander by God's will – may He graciously prevent it – dies or for some other reason is indisposed, we, the other commander shall immediately call the voting estates to assemble in a month's time at a convenient place and time. They or their envoys, equipped with sufficient powers, shall together with the war councilors exercise their duty to elect and install another, suitable commander in the manner in which his predecessor was chosen. This shall be done without complaint or delay, and they will consult and discuss speedily and faithfully with the war councilors [ . . . ] concerning the commandership. And if the assembly cannot agree, the commander shall be chosen by the [nine] voting members, that is, by their envoys and not by their war councilors. The former shall have the power to negotiate immediately with the commander concerning his installation and to administer his, just as was done with his predecessor.

If one or more war councilors should die, or cannot perform his office for other pressing reasons, those who appointed him shall without delay and at the orders of the ruling commander appoint another man who is conversant with these matters, trustworthy, and able. And so that the commander may find no fault in the appointment, before the new councilor is admitted to the council, he will swear to the commander in the manner the other councilors have done.

Accordingly, we have elected and installed as our commander our dear cousin, uncle, brother-in-law, or brother, the most gracious lords, Duke John Frederick of Saxony, elector, and Landgrave Philip of Hesse, etc. [ . . . ]

Source of original German text: Ekkehart Fabian, Die Entstehung des Schmalkaldischen Bundes und seiner Verfassung 1524/29-1531/35, 2nd edition. Tübingen: Osiander, 1962, pp. 347-53, 357-76.

English translation: Thomas A. Brady Jr.

first page < previous   |   next > last page