The  Law  in  everyday  Hunting  Life

in  the  Century  of  Ridinger

Hunting Edicts by the Dukes of Brunswick-Luneburg 1705-1805. A collection of 13 one-sided and therefore also very framing-attractive decrees from four generations in succession as broadsheets determined for placarding “in the villages and else at the usual places and ends”, each with the signatures of the reigning duke printed together with the L(oco) S(igilli) stamp and, mostly, of their first ministers as well as decorative woodcut initial “V” in such attractive oblong formats of 12⅜-13¾ × 13⅞-16¾ in (31.5-35 × 35.2-42.5 cm). Under framing-ready acid-free museum boards with gilt date in ruby morocco Solander box with ornamental raised bands and two green back-plates, title on the front cover, Ridinger-stag-vignette on the back cover and line on both covers, all in 23.5 carat gilt tooling, and ruby elephant skin inner covers with gilt sequence of potentates at the beginning.

Hunting Edicts 1705-1805

Continuously  represented  will  of  game-law

of  a  whole  century

by a dynasty that in its standing and its family connections up to, most closely, Emperor Charles VI belongs to the most distinguished ones in Ridinger’s 18th century. As

highly  interesting  block

of  such  precious  documents

as in this chronologically, provenanceally and thematically consistent form up to a

communicating  among  one  another  bridging  the  decades ,

equal appearance and excellent condition with uncut wide margins in eleven cases it has not happened here up to. Thus a favour of the hour par excellence.

Interspersed with the

fascinating  red  thread

of the opening of the hunt occupying the whole century as a result of the calendar shift of St. Bartholomew’s Day to August 24, the collection also contains usually partially only rarely mentioned themes like the pheasantry in the Lecheln wood from which additionally a quite personal ducal engagement becomes obvious, on the increase of sparrow heads to be submitted as a country-crossing short-sightedness that soon resulted in the

ecological  collapse

and caused Frederick the Great in Prussia to import and release sparrows for the containment of damages.

Furthermore such interesting regulations as on the appointment of field-guards to minimize damages by the game, on carrion places + shooting cabins, on poacher’s excuses of collecting mushrooms in the Weser district, as then on poaching as such and postponement of the opening of the hunt due to weather.

Hunting Edicts 1705-1805

Starting with Anton Ulrich (1704-1714), documented per March 27, 1705 + October 16, 1711, over Augustus William (1714-1731) per August 2, 1719 as communicating Renewed Decree of June 29, 1778*, Louis Rudolph (1731-1735) per November 19, 1732 + March 20, 1734*, Charles I (1735-1780) per December 11, 1749*, September 14 + November 5, 1767*, February 18, 1768*, August 19, 1773* + June 29, 1778 up to Charles William Ferdinand (1780-1806), represented per August 18, 1785, August 23, 1799* + July 30, 1805*.

Without consequence the non-presence of Ferdinand Albrecht II, cousin and son-in-law of Louis Rudolph and last of the house Wolfenbüttel reigning for just half a year (March 1 – September 13, 1735). Since not forming a generation of his own his missing does not break the chain of four generations in succession. So it can be left aside if during his short reign really something relevant has been issued.

This  all  adequately  reflected  by  an  outward  appearance

whose  noble  garment

Hunting Edicts 1705-1805

duly  complies  with  princely  pretensions .

Offer no. 12,567 / price on application

* These edicts also available separately


In  detail :


Duke  of  Brunswick-Luneburg

reigning  exclusively  1704 – 1714

“ One  of  the  most  distinguished  princes  of  his  time ” ,

who married grandchildren – daughters of duke Louis Rudolph – with the later Emperor Charles VI and, as bad flop, with Alexei, son of Peter the Great, resp. The first became mother of empress Maria Theresa. – On Anton Ulrich see Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie I, 487 ff.


March 27, 1705

The Poaching and the Shooting of high and small Game

In Our forests / hunting=districts and preserves especially at the Hilß / Vogeler and Sölling as Renovated Edict.

In great detail, urging the “head forest and game keepers” etc. to arrest armed people met beyond streets and paths, in case of resistance to shoot them in the last resort. – At the beginning “Poaching” underlined in ink by old hand. – Centerfold with backed 4 x 1 cm injury under intellectually easy addition of lost text. A similar minimal spot with omission/impairing of three letters only. The left white lateral margin added below for 14 cm.


October 16, 1711

Disregard and temporal Abuse
of the right Preserving and Breeding Time

at stalking hunts / hunting with hounds / baiting and shooting for wild animals and hares / as well as with hunting for winged game on the part of even the own hunt and forest servants, but also the nobility and its servants as Renewed Edict.

Reminding of the edict of 1697 and again stating that “on the one side because of the damage at their field crops of Our subjects caused by such untimely hounding and hunting / for the other side, however, because of the preserving and breeding time observed from time immemorial / (not) longer having this irregularity spreading for the considerable ruin of Our hunting grounds … We want, too, … that … from Candlemas till St. Bartholomew’s Day, after the old calendar / and when the fields are vacant again / and can be hunted without damage / but by no means after the new one …”. Therewith, however,

of  high  documentary  evidence

in regard of the dispute spanning over the whole century on the opening of the hunt after the calendar shift of St. Bartholomew’s Day from September 4 to already August 24. See on this, too, the following decrees from June 29, 1778, August 18, 1785, August 23, 1799, and July 30, 1805. – On the back old written date and registration note in ink. – Typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins.


Duke  of  Brunswick-Luneburg

reigning from 1714 to 1731

Third son of Duke Anton Ulrich + brother of Louis Rudolph.
See ADB I, 664 f.

See  June  29, 1778


Duke  of  Brunswick-Luneburg

reigning from 1731 to 1735

Youngest son of Duke Anton Ulrich and father-in-law of Emperor Charles VI.
See ADB XIX, 541 ff.


November 19, 1732

Poaching and the Shooting of high and small Game

in Our forests / hunting districts and preserves on the part of wicked people and loafers of both foreign as adjacent places as of own subjects as Renovated Edict.

Similar, but differing, to his father’s above of 1705New  here the menace to those who “consciously house and care poachers” as thief receivers to put them “also even for some time to the great carriage” or the warning to purchase game from unknown persons only after due inquiry. No longer contained, however, the use of fire-arms allowed as last resort and the general assumption of guilt of armed people beyond streets and paths. – At the beginning “Poaching and the shooting … prohibited under severe punishment” underlined in ink by old hand and numbered upper right with “13” and “(69/b”) (?). On the back slightly paled contemporary note in ink on the expedition of 6 pieces (of this decree). – The left lateral margin with traces of folding and backed tiny tears. – Also see under August 19, 1773.


March 20, 1734

The Pheasantry in Lecheln Wood

as  thematically  very  rare,
personally  especially  engaged  edict .

“… that by the pheasantry set up … attracting and taming of this winged game shall be furthered by all means / and … set into the open; So it will be especially necessary / that this preserve installed for Our pleasure (underlining not in print) will be treated gently by any means / and nobody shall dare to shoot / to capture pheasants at whatever places … these might be met / or be after them otherwise / and to disturb them … to lay hands on their eggs and young brood … with rifle / nets and yarn / or by other means …” – Threatening with 100 dollar “for every piece / that is shot or captured” , alternatively prison or other punishment. 10 $ for the informer though. – Typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins.


Duke  of  Brunswick-Luneburg

reigning from March 1 – September 13, 1735

Founder of the Bevern line as successor of his cousin and father-in-law Louis Rudolph as the last of the house of Wolfenbüttel. Since not forming a generation of his own his missing does not break the present presentation of decrees by four generations in succession. Therefore it can be left aside if during his short reign anything related has been issued at all.


Duke  of  Brunswick-Luneburg

reigning from 1735 to 1780

nephew of Emperor Charles VI and brother-in-law of Frederick the Great,
founder of the Collegium Carolinum. – See ADB XV, 266 ff.


December 11, 1749

The Increase of the Number of Sparrow Heads to be Submitted

“… for now those means by which those pernicious birds can be catched with little effort and in great numbers have been made known publicly by the Brunswick gazette: So … those who have to deliver sparrow heads … shall deliver from now on four times as much as … till now …” and the civil servants are urged “to refer to the mentioned means of capturing (and) if necessary to make them clear and understandable.” – Typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins.


September 14, 1767

The Appointment of Field Guards
for the Reduction of Game Damages

“After … complaints submitted about the damages caused by the game in the fields … that each municipality whose field … stretches before woods, should arrange between themselves certain field guards who drive away the game appearing thereupon at night.” For which alternatively it is allowed “to take along with them one … also … even two small dogs furnished with hanging sticks as the so-called Pomeranian or Icelanders are, (but) by no means big dogs that hold out long in hunting, or even bring down game”. The latter would have to be shot by the forest and game keepers. – Typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins.


November 5, 1767

Carrion Places and Shooting Cabins

Consideration between the lower chase interested in such places and cabins for “felling the game” and the high chase fearing disadvantages by this and also the concern, the game could “be driven out of the wood (by this) to the disadvantage of the public”. Ergo “that none should be allowed to set up a carrion place or shooting cabin in his lower chase under which, however, the craw, starling or other cabins in which only birds are chased are not comprehended”. – Typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins.


February 18, 1768

The Excuses of Mushroom Collecting
while Poaching in the Weser District

“Since … it has been noticed that poachers, when they fear to be picked up, have hidden their guns, crept around in the forests, and pretended to search mushrooms; as We decree by this … that from now on nobody furthermore shall dare to collect mushrooms without a written and each time to be shown concession granted by the superior forest servants … (otherwise they) shall be brought into arrest, and proceeded with the inquisition against them.” – Typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins.


August 19, 1773

The Poaching and the Shooting of high and small Game

in the forest, hunting districts and preserves, but now, too, (1773) in the gardens, especially before the gates of Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel, as Renewed (and enlarged) Decree of Louis Rudolph from November 19, 1732 by Charles.

Accompanied by new preliminaries and closing and enlarged by these the word-for-word reproduction, adjusted only in orthography, of the decree of 1732 and in this form, but also in regard of the gardens, a rare variant of the never-ending theme. – Of the First Ministers counter-signing in the print for 1773 G. A. S. von Praun (ADB XXVI, 536 ff.) interesting who as then supervisor of the ducal library appointed  Lessing  as its librarian in 1770. – On the back fold from previous stitching. Except for the centerfold slightly torn and backed at top and bottom of also impeccable freshness and uncut wide margins.


Hunting Edicts 1705-1805

June 29, 1778

The Prohibited Game Shooting in the Breeding Time

as  Renewed  Decree  by  Augustus  William
of  August 2, 1719.

Accompanied by new preliminaries and closing, and by this just formally quite rare, above all, however,  in  its  indirect  evidence  revealing  document  and interesting interpretation of the only orthographically adjusted, otherwise word-for-word up to signature and Loco Sigilli stamp reproduced pre-decree which itself referred to previous ones, that is that high and small chase “within the breeding time usual from old, that is from Candlemas till St. Bartholomew’s Day styl. vet. (from Feb. 13th till Sep. 4th) under no pretext, it may have names as it likes, the most trifling game (among which We also understand the free game) which is not allowed sportsmanlike, in specie no deer, roes, nor wild sows to shoot or catch … Otherwise … shall be proceeded with the punishment noted at the publicly set preserve pillars”.

While Augustus William stressed the “significant loss (otherwise threatening) Our hunting grounds” for substantiation only, so Charles additionally refers to the fact that “the harvests in Our country, especially in the area of the cold Harz Mountains, are almost never ended completely towards Aug. 24 … therefore the damages which are caused by hunting and hounding”. The

real  and  quite  special  charm

in this connection the reference to August 24 as the opening of the hunt lately thought to be, at least intellectually, possible now. For after the new calendar St. Bartholomew’s Day fell on this very day as criterion and therefore apple of discord. Because for the huntsman Bartholomew was Bartholomew, if not even, as reprimanded here by Charles, August 14 had to be the day which. To the dukes, however, invariably September 4 was sacred. And quite obviously not just for practical considerations in view of the advantage of the own hunting grounds, so still Augustus William, or that of the farmers as placed into the foreground by Charles as developmentally interesting. For if necessary the latter could be helped by the usual postponement of the deadline.

By making this after all two generations old decree as obviously the last one issued in this matter word-for-word subject of his own will he represents the old time once more in spite of obvious personal flirting with. Only seven years later by decree of August 18, 1785, – see this – his successor will not remind of this and indirectly take August 24 as granted for the opening of the hunt. This constitutes

the  special  quality  of  these  two  decrees .

And is not reduced because that one later returned to September 4 as in his decrees of August 23, 1799, or July 30, 1805. Here thus

once  more  the  old  calendar ,

St. Bartholomew’s  Day  once  more  on  September  4th .


Duke  of  Brunswick-Luneburg

reigning from 1780 to 1806

nephew of Frederick the Great full of artistic
(close relations with Winckelmann in Rome)

and reformative (appointment of the later Prussian chancellor of the state Hardenberg as Brunswick-Luneburg Privy Councillor, 1782-90) merits, commander-in-chief of degree died in 1806 after the battle of Auerstädt and last reigning duke before the Napoleonic divide (1806-1813) with the personal verdict by the Corsican “The house Brunswick has ended to reign”. Of whom Zimmermann summed up in ADB – XV, 572 ff. – on occasion of the voyage as hereditary prince to France in 1766:

“ His  appearance  was  royal

adequate  to  the  reputation  of  his  house
and  its  family  connections . ”


August 18, 1785

Postponing of this Year’s Opening of the Hunt to September 12th

First reminds of his father’s decree of June 29, 1778, – see this – by which the opening of the hunt “was set to Sep. 4 for moving reasons and mainly in regard of … the harvests taking place later”, for then for reasons of this year’s weather “to postpone the date of the rise of the hunt further and set precisely September 12 this year”.

The reference here, September 4 had been  “changed  already”  by Charles for reason of weather only conditionally correct. For without mentioning St. Bartholomew’s Day by name Charles only stated that “the harvests … are about never ended completely by Aug. 24” by which personally he declares himself indirectly for August 24 as valid Bartholomew’s Day according to the new calendar, in fact, however, he outwardly insists on the “breeding time usual of old” already by reprint of the previous patent of 1719.

By not reminding of this in the present edict and even quite obviously suppressing Charles’s unmistakable will Charles William Ferdinand proves to be reformer also in this regard. That later September 4 became obligatory for him, too, does not take anything off the quite special rank of this present decree of 1785 as neither off Charles’ directly preceding one of 1778. That of 1785 remains

the  hunting-historical  document

of  the


St. Bartholomew’s  Day  leaped  to  August  24 .

His retreat in this regard came in legs. So according to the documents here first his decree of August 23, 1799, lapidarily determines “the opening of the hunt (shall be) postponed to September 12 this year” without mentioning the 4th itself as the rule as mostly given and administered that way, too, in the respective own one of July 30, 1805. Growing through the years his tendency to indecisiveness and giving way in view of usual norms may have furthered this turnaround. – Typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins.


August 23, 1799

Postponing of this Year’s Opening of the Hunt

in agreement with similar Royal Prussian and Electoral Brunswick decrees to September 12th in which the reference to especially the former is interesting.


July 30, 1805

Postponing of this Year’s Opening of the Hunt
from September 4th to 16th because of belated Harvest

The explicit mention given here of September 4, thus Bartholomew’s Day of the old calendar, as the date of the usual start of the hunt that this time has to be postponed “in regard of the field hunt”

as  its  direct  re-acknowledgement

of  great  value  of  evidence .

As known by decree of August 18, 1785, the duke had indirectly imputed to this August 24 according to the new calendar and still with the postponing decree of August 23, 1799, he had not mentioned September 4 expressly again.

Attractive, too, the reference to the leash hunts by the “non-resident interested parties” in which he trusts that they would follow suit.

Irrespective of the relatively late time once again typographically especially effective and with uncut wide margins. In view of the mentioned interregnum it might deserve as hunting decree the standing of a preliminary historic keystone.


Initial "V"

The Red Series - a creation of lüder h. niemeyer The Red Series - a creation of lüder h. niemeyer