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The Traugott David Rosentreter & Johanne Louisa Caroline Rauschard (1797) Document
This document is a ‘Letters Patent of Nobility’ from the God of Marriage, Hymen (Hÿmenäus), made by friends and colleagues of the groom as a joke (and possibly part of the Best Man’s speech), for the marriage on 20 Aug 1797 of Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louisa Caroline Rauschard in Ansbach, Baravia, Germany.
The Foundation decided to adopt the crest shown within this document as our logo (in the absence of a ‘real and verifiable’ coat of arms), and thought the humour was fitting. The document has been purchased and gifted to the foundation and forms part of the collection.
Note: Traugott David Rosentreter was a Lawyer and Government Councillor at Ansbach in Bavaria, at the time when Frederick William II was King of Prussia, Prince Elector of Brandenburg and Sovereign Prince of the Canton of Neuchâtel (via the Orange-Nassau inheritance of his grandfather).
Surprisingly, for such a notable Rosentreter, we know very little about his family. We only know that his father was Gottfried and that he and Johanne had six children (and a total of only 18 documented descendants so far):
- Albertina Charl Elisabetha * 17 Aug 1798
- Elias Carolina Friede * 3 Jan 1800
- Carl Georg Wilhelm Traugott * 30 Sep 1802 +31 Jan 1880
- Carl Georg Friedrich Heinrich * 7 Feb 1805
- Gustav Adolph * 21 Oct 1812 +11 Aug 1874 (Assessor at the Higher Regional Court and Father of the Prussian Major General Fedor Rosentreter, who the Rosentreter Gambit in Chess is named after.)
- Emilie Friederike Wilhelmine Johanne *27 Mar 1814 +28 Jul 1902
Letters patent of nobility
for the Royal Prussian Government Councillor
Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard
We Hymen, the First by the Grace of God, God of Marriages, Emperor of all Emperors, King of all Kings, and Lord of all Lords and Ladies, no matter what names they have, near and far, Arch Torchbearer of the holy realm of love, and Prince-Elector, Sovereign Duke of all married in the East, West, South and North etc. etc. We publicly confess with this letter, and make known to everyone, how well We, out of imperial royal high and dignity, wherein the Almighty has set Us according to his divine will, are also always inclined, out of Our innate goodness and benevolence, to consider and promote the honor, benefit, acceptance and best of all and every one of Our and the Holy Realm’s subjects and faithful; thus, Our imperial royal mind is justly more moved to communicate Our grace and gentleness to those, also to elevate their names and tribes to higher honor and dignity, also to provide them with special Our imperial royal graces and freedoms, who are endowed with good morals and right virtues, also with special reason and intellect, and who have consistently proven themselves to be faithful subjects of Our realms, suitable, proper and due.
When We then graciously looked at, perceived and considered the charming virtues of mind, chastity, honesty, uprightness, also noble manners, pleasant nature and reason, which became famous before Us with Our and the realm’s dear faithful, Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard, and which have drawn Our imperial royal mind to both of them, and have driven Us to send Our and Our Realm’s faithful much beloved Lord Brother Cupido directly to them five years ago, and to kindle in them the fire of an honest upright love and inclination towards each other, which they have remained unwaveringly until now with firm and unshakable loyalty and constancy, to Our special gracious good pleasure, and have not allowed themselves to be turned away from it by anything; likewise, the pleasant, faithful, obedient and undaunted services that their ancestors proved Us at all times and in all important tasks for many long years for the special benefit and immortal glory of Our Realm, whose footsteps they can, may and should praisefully follow, persevere in such fidelity and steadfastness, and continue to do so most humbly.
Thus, with well-considered courage, good counsel and right knowledge, We have granted the grace and freedom to the named Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard, and have deigned to elevate them to the nobility of Our realm, in such a way and manner that they will be considered equal in all respects to the nobility living in Our Realm, and will be added and assimilated to its community, society and guild, they shall also enjoy, possess and rejoice all the rights, privileges, pardons, immunities, liberties, by whatever name they may be, both present and future, which all other nobles and respective spouses loyal to Us and Our Realm enjoy. And in order to further increase the testimony and remembrance of such Our grace and elevation to the status and degree of nobility of Our realms, We have graciously permitted them to bear the following coat of arms and jewel. Namely, a simple escutcheon, the green field of which is sown with roses, on which rest two golden R’s tightly intertwined and interlaced. The open tournament helmet is covered with a sky-blue cushion, on which stands an erect column divided into black and white. The mantling is rose-red and gold. As such coat of arms and jewel is then painted in the midst of this letter of Ours and is actually painted out with colours, and give them the grace and the right to bear and use such coat of arms and jewel from now on, and in doing so they may remember not only of Our imperial royal grace, but also of their hopes, which are indicated by the green colour of the shield, their perfect and blooming happiness, which already lies in their name, and is denoted by the scattered roses, on which the intimately intertwined first letters of their name tread or rest, indicating their golden union, by which they are, as it were, melted together into one; their constancy combined with gentleness, and the firm duration of their present affections and resolutions, whereunto the pillar standing erect on a sky-blue frill, and marked with the colour of her bridal ornaments, may remind. All by imperial royal power and perfection, essentially in virtue of this letter, and mean, set and will that now for this purpose often named Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard be for and for ever true noblemen and respective spouses, and by everyone in all places and ends, in all and every actions, transactions and things, spiritual and secular, shall be so held, honoured, called, known, thought of and written, and shall have and possess all and every grace, honour, dignity, liberty, advantage, right, justice, as custom and good usage, tribe and tournament ability to shame and earnestness of which their nobility of Our realm has used from time immemorial and may still use, own and possess.
However, in order that it may be all the more evident of Our imperial and royal gracious disposition and the special affection and pleasure with which the said Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard are regarded, we have freely and graciously willed to reward them mutually and reciprocally with and among each other. We have therefore bestowed in Our rightful honour, and also lend with this letter of Ours, to the several times mentioned Traugott David Rosentreter, a right honest spouse of 23 years, of slender stature, as carried by Our much-loved sisters Aglaja, Thalia and Euphrosine, Our dear, Our dear, Our dear, with such a graceful divine highness, and blond hair, gifted with an excellent mind and adorned with all the pertinences belonging to a perfect consort, clothed in the lily colour of innocence, and namely we lend him in such a way and so that he may take this spouse henceforth completely in possession and use it to his best advantage for eternity, but with the modesty that he may not alienate either the whole or one of the parts, in whatever way that may be, as dear to him is Our imperial Grace.
In the same way, We have also bestowed a rightful fiefdom, and by virtue of this letter of Ours, we bestow upon the several times mentioned Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard, a husband of 30 years of age, who is well founded and experienced in law, and who has therefore been appointed by His Dear Royal Majesty in Prussia to be the most highly trusted Government Councillor in his principality of Ansbach, of good build and physique, round face, a friendly and inviting countenance, brown eyes, black-brown hair, with all those characteristics, peculiarities and perfections which have attracted her heart to him, and have impelled her to choose him as her lover, in such a way and manner that she may possess, use, and employ him for her benefit in the quality of a true husband, according to her own pleasure, and that to date and for ever, so that no one of any standing or dignity, kind or condition, may, with some right, lay claim to him; but in such a way that she holds him dear and worthy, and adheres to him with all loyalty, as befits, be proper and is due to a faithful subject of Our realm. And in order that Our gracious disposition and pleasure in the said Our faithful, Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard, may be all the better recognised, We have issued Our gracious order for the constant kindling of mutual love and affection between the thickly praised spouses, to Our much beloved Lord Brother Cupido, by virtue of which, as Our Realm’s permanent Chargé d’Affaires, he shall frequently intercede with them, and seduce them to Our continual grace and favour. And so that Our grace and favour may shine forth all the more clearly, We promise to bless the above-mentioned Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard with all kinds of lovely blessings, abundantly and superfluously, and to start it a date within a year and to continue it annually.
Likewise, We decree, order and want that the often mentioned Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Raunschard shall not only possess and use all the privileges of grace, immunities, pardons, rights and liberties, together with all the property and spiritual and bodily possessions to which they are entitled, as a rightful and perfect fief ad dies vitae, undisturbed and unimpaired; but may also bequeath to their heirs and descendants in a straight descending line, in such a way that however many they may be, each shall possess the whole. And should anything occur to the several times mentioned Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard, which they feel inclined to wish for, demand, desire, or strive for, which We would not have granted them expressis verbis, but which would nevertheless be useful and necessary for their good, benefit, and advantage, all this We grant them by virtue of this letter of Ours, and promise above all that they shall never lack any of those things which men recognise and value as wholesome, useful, and good. And although Our gracious will and opinion is that each of and Our realm’s faithful subjects may be as happy as mortal men are allowed to be; we want to make, by very special grace, Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard a model and example in this, which others should follow and try to equal, so that all and every one of Our faithful subjects may be as happy as mortal men are allowed to be, that all and every one of Our faithful subjects shall strive to come close to, and indeed equal, the said Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard in regard to marital happiness, but none shall be permitted in Our vast realm to surpass them in this. It is therefore Our gracious and earnest will that none of Our subjects should allow themselves to be happier than the said Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard in avoidance of Our supreme disgrace, which We are willing to uphold with all rigour and severity.
And in order that the much-named Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard may remain unchallenged in peace and tranquillity with the above-mentioned freedoms of Ours; We rightly have accepted and received them into Our and Our realm’s special grace, promise, protection and protection, and have graciously informed and given them Our and the realm’s free assistance, security and escort against violence. We do this knowingly by virtue of this letter, so that they may be in Our and the realm’s special grace, promise, protection, shield and escort, and also have, enjoy and use all and every grace, freedom, advantage, right, honour, dignity, justice and good custom. And thereupon We command all and every of emperors, kings, electors, princes, ecclesiasticals and seculars, prelates, counts, barons, knights, servants, marshals, governors, vicedomes, bailiffs, keepers, stewards, magistrates, county judges, mayors, reeves, judges, councillors, heraldic authorities, herolds, pursuivants, burgesses, parishioners, and all other of Ours and of the realm’s subjects and faithful, whatever their dignity, status or being, earnestly and solemnly with this letter and wish that often appointed Traugott David Rosentreter and Johanne Louise Caroline Rauschard for and for eternity with all the above mentioned of Our imperial graces, endowments, freedoms, privileges, honors, dignities, advantages, rights, righteousnesses, customs, societies, communities no one shall hinder or mislead them, but they shall use, rejoice, enjoy and remain entirely in all and any of them in all and any things and actions, calmly and without error, and will not do anything contrary thereto, nor allow anyone else to do so, in any way but dear to each one, to avoid Our and Our realm’s severe disgrace and punishment, as well as a fine, namely a thousand marks of weighty gold which each one, as often as he would do contrary, shall be obliged to pay without fail, ad pias causas, for the endowment of poor girls.
In witness of this letter, sealed with Our Imperial seal attached. Given at Our residence, in the pale full moon of the twentieth of August, after the birth of Christ, seventeen hundred and in the seventh and ninetieth, of Our realms, in the five thousand seven hundred and six and fortieth years.
Tragoutt David Rosentreter – Document As translated by Heidi Heil
Tragoutt David Rosentreter
Born: 1767 in Aschersleben.
Father: Gottfried, a manufacturer (“Fabrikant”) in Aschersleben.
Schooling: No evidence exists concerning his early schooling.
Course of studies:
From 21 June 1786 he dedicated himself to the study of law at “Halle der Rechtswissenschaften”; he left the academy as a candidate of law.
After the first exam on 15 June 1789, he was a junior lawyer for the government; likewise, he was active from 3 April 1790 with the judiciary deputation of the KDK(?); after the second exam on 21 January 1793, he advanced to the position of a law clerk in Halberstadt for the government; in December 1793, he applied to take the major exam, had excellent certification from the public institution (“des Landeskollegiums”); he passed the oral exam in February 1794 with distinction; he was appointed by official edict on 22 February as an assessor for the superior court of justice, so that he might prepare himself here before his return to Halberstadt; at his own request in June 1794, he relocated to Halberstadt as a government assessor, concurrently serving as an associate in the chamber of justice deputation (“Kammer-Justizdeputation”) there; from March 1795, he was the elected assessor for the government in Marienwerder; he opposed the transfer and demanded a position at the administrative district office, and for this reason, H.J. von Goldbeck, who knew him personally and thought highly of him, apparently allowed him to get away with such a move; in September of the same year, he was again in Halberstadt; on 23 September 1795, he was promoted to the council in Marienwerder; in early 1796, he was shifted to Ansbach (and respectively, Bayreuth); he moved here to replace the retired F. Hirsch; the district president von Schroetter designated this relocation a grievous blow for his council; Rosentreter was his “best man,” was considered honest, and exhibited “great skill, judgement and good will”; but Rosentreter left in August of that year for Franconia; his successor in office in Marienwerder was F.W. Sietz, q.v.; after initial struggles in April 1799, he switched from judicial- to cameral-official; he held office in 1800 as a government-councillor and second chamber justice in Ansbach; he was considered honest, capable and industrious; he was in the subsidiary office of chief-lottery-judge (“Ober-Lotterie-Richter”); in mid-1803, he was designated for relocation; in the beginning of 1804, he was appointed general counsel to the court in Halberstadt and at the same time, as a protegee of C.A. von Hardenberg, he won against the candidate of the ministers of Angern and Schulenburg-Kehnert; from mid-1804, he also attended to part of the excise justice matters. His position in Ansbach went to J.H. Luz, q.v.; he held office at least until 1806.
- It is a single piece of vellum (calf skin) measuring 81cm (32″) x 53cm (21″).
- The crest in the centre is hand painted and the yellow you can see in it is gold leaf.
- The seal at the bottom (measuring 6cm or 2 3/8″) is made of Silver and the wax inlay shows the gods Minerva (Roman Goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare, justice, law, victory, and the sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy) & Hymen or Hymenaeus (Greek Goddess of marriage) at the altar. These two would not normally occur together so the stamp for the seal must have been custom made.
- It has two official stamps at the top, both with the word ‘dispensed’ written over them.
- On the back are the words Letters Patent, as one would receive if they were elevated to the nobility. So, in every way, it appears that it was designed to look like a proper, legal, ‘Letters Patent’ document of the time.
(Last Update – 21 Mar 2021) This is a work in progress and more information will be added as it is discovered. If you have additional information, or want to tell a story, please email us.