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kuchler kreyg20 March 1434 – On the behalf of Hans von Villenbach the fencing Master Hans Talhoffer was taken to the fortress of Salzburg and was imprisoned. There he confessed that he was bribed by Nuremberg merchants to let the brother of Hans von Villenbach die (see 1434 Hans Talhoffer and case of Wilhelm of Villenbach). After the nobel Hans Kuchler and his wife Katharina von Kreyg had vowed for him, he was set free.

In his 1436 last will he gave some money to his servant “Talheymer” –
“Auch schaff ich meinem diener dem Talhevmer zu dem solde zwelff pfunnt pfennig “. (AT-HHStA, SbgE, AUR 1436 VIII 11). This is not to be mistaken as a mispelling of “Talhoffer”. There had been a member of the Talheimer-family in Hans Kuchler’s service.

This article is written to investigate a possible connection between Hans Talhoffer and Hans Kuchler. For this a research is done on the family and life of Hans Kuchler especially from 1420-1436.

Johannes Hartlieb

The Knight Hans Kuchler is known to historians for his connection to Johannes Hartlieb, a famous author of magical, astrological, and medicine treatises. The critical view on the work of Hartlieb, who’s famous name had surely been used for counterfeiting and selling books, hat put the knight into the spotlight of researches (4, and 1). The Fencing Master Hans Talhoffer copied or ordered a copy of a early work of Johannes Hartlieb to his book (MS Chart.A.558, Universitäts- und Forschungsbibliothek Erfurt/Gotha in Gotha, Germany). This book is currently date terminated to 1443.  The manuscript itself contains to dates: the year 1443 on fol. 1r and 1448 at fol. 18r.

Johannes Hartlieb wrote his treatise  “Ueber die Erhaltung des Sieges” for the knight Hans Kuchler probably in 1434. Hans Talhoffer was in Salzbourg in April 1433 and March 1434 and 12 February 1435). He travelled a lot to Passau (4 February 1435) and Vienna (1 September 1434). At 17. February 1436 Johannes Hartlieb wrote a letter from Ingolstadt how the case of Villenbach could be resolved by paying money and thus helping Talhoffer who still under suspicion.

Johannes Hartlieb,  Hans Kuchler and his wife Katharina von Kreyg are connected to Hans Talhoffer not later than March 1434 until at least 1436. The connection of Hartlieb to  Kuchler and his wife Katharina is documented in notations on several volumes written or copied 70 years later (2):

  • Wien, ÄNB 4773, 1490, folio 89, “Dise 28 wohnunge sind usß der drien hailgen kunig buch zu tutch transferiert worden durch doctor Johanns Hartlieb im 1434 jare zu Wienn”
  • Freibug, Hs 458, 1474, folio 134, “Dise kunst ward zu teutsch gemacht von eimem lerer der heist doctor Johannes hartlieb de meglingen und geschach in Osterrich einem Ritter und seiner husfrowen zu dienst der hies herre hans kuchler Anno domini MCCCCXXXIII”
  • Wolfenbütel, Cod. Guelf. 29.14 Aug 4°, 1497, folio 24 “das buchs der heyligen 3 künig, das lasz doctor Johannes Harttleib in dem jor 1435 zu Wien und”
  • BSB cgm 7958 (ca. 1500), folio 9 “das puch hat zw dewsch pracht maister Hanns Hartlieepp doctor medicinae durch pett willen der edelen wolgeporn frawen Katherina”

The current state of research on the Kuchler family was done by Dr. Walter Brugger in his title “Die Gründung des Kollegiatstifts Mattighofen: ein Beitrag zur Kirchengeschichte Oberösterreichs in der ersten Hälfte des 15. Jahrhunderts” (Trauner, 1981).  The most extensive research to some documents seemingly lost to us due WWII was done be Johann Evangelist Lamprecht in 1885 on his work about Mattighofen.

The House of Kuchler

The house of Kuchler is connected to the archdiocese of Salzburg since the 12th century. A “Wigand de Hochinchuchin” (1146) and a “Eppo de Hohencuchen” (1150) had witnessed Latin written charters. In 1204 the name is reduced to “Gottschalcus de Chuchil” and in 1228 to “Heinricus Chuocheler”. The very same Heinrich is named “Heinrich Kuchler von Hohenkuchel” in a tournament in Zurich, and two knights named “Wernher and Erhard die Kuchler” took part in a tournament in Cologne in 1179. While the tournament books are often questionable sources, the other documents are more reliable. They document a strong connection to Salzbourg. This is covered in 1351 by Konrad I von Kuchel as a captain in Salzbourg. He earned the goodwill of the archbishop Ortlof and thus the castle Abtsee with the village Abstdorf (sold in 1385 to the dukes of Bavaria).

Konrad I had two sons: Konrad II and Hartneid I. During the war (of Rudolf IV. of Austria together with the archbishop of Salzbourg) against the Dukes of Bavaria the brothers burned down a church at the 27 June 1364 with 30 rebellious peasants and serfs in it in Kirchberg near Mattighofen. In the same year Konrad II. and his both sons  Konrad III and Hartneid II) are named as castelan of Friedburg.

In 1377 the sons bought the castle Friedburg and the surrounding fiefdom from the bishop of Bamberg.

kuchler fiefdom

List of ownership by the Kuchler family to houses and land

The Kuchler were economical successful and bought on several occasions more land, villages, and the respecting rights arround the castle Friedburg. Her success is to see in the accounts of fiefdoms and houses in the list of 1434.

It was Konrad IV who bought castle and fiedom Mattighofen in 1400 from the counts of Ortenburg with the permission of the bishop of Bamberg. Konrad IV became Marshal of Salzbourg in 1400 by duke Albrecht. From at least since 1429 Hans and or Konrad V Kuchler sons of Konrad IV continued the family business. There names are found mostly together on several documents from 1401 to 1430. Konrad V married and had three daugters. He became castellan of Ortenberg in 1404.

Hans Kuchler, inherited the title of the marshal, and had three housewifes: von Preising, von Ehrenfels, and Katharina von Kreig. But none of this marriages resulted in a child.

In 1414 Hans Kuchlre accompanied Archbishop Eberhard III to the Council of Constanz (where they burned Jan Hus in 1415). At this place in 1418 they tried to end the quarrel the Kuchler had with the archdioscese of Salzbourg since 1372 regarding some rights on fishing, legal rights and taxes. If both parties should not end the trouble the well known Jörg Frauenhofer von Hag (see blog post: 1436 Epitaph of Jörg Frauenberger) and a Hans Leimiger shall judge.

The splinter of the Holy Cross

kuchler kreuzHans Kuchler is said to have done a journey to Outremere. Returning from Jerusalem in 1434 he brought with him a splinter of the Holy Cross. He carried it to the place called Heiligenstatt, Lengau, near Friedburg and tried to split it into to splinters. He wanted to donate the splinter to two churches. As they tried the splinter dropped blood but was untouched. So they kept the splinter as one piece. Where it is until today. The journey must have been in 1433. Hans witnessed a document at 12 January 1433 (AT-WStLA HAUrk 2419) and issued another in 8 January 1434 (DE-BayHStA  KUVilshofen 240).

kuchler
This triptych from the late 15th century shows Hans Kuchler and Katharina von Krey. On the right side Hans Kuchler is presenting a splinter of the Holy Cross to the church.

The Church of Mattighofen

peterlehner kuchlerThe plan to create a collegiate church was first documented in 1430 when the clergyman Friedrich Peterlehner coming from the dioscese of Passau. This man was well-versed in juristic things and helped the brothers.

From 1432 the Kuchler brothers sponsored the service done by three vicars in Mattighofen. To pay for this they give several estates in the surroundings to the church in Mattighofen. If this some kind of reparation for the burning of the church done by their grandfather, is unknown to us.

kuchler 1434In 1434 Hans Kuchler gave his “Hube” near Rudemberg to the church of Vilshofen that they pray masses for his soul.

kuchler krey

Tomb slab by Hans Kuchler and Katharina von Kray, Catholic parish church of the Assumption, Mattighofen, Innviertel region, Upper Austria, Austria

Hans Kuchler died in 1436. The brothers Hans and Konrad will was to build the collegiate church of Mattighofen. Katharina von Krey fulfilled this will. She is buried on the side of his husband in the collegiate church. A beautiful tombstone of the pair is naming Hans Kuchler as the founder, but Katharina is shown in a widows gown, thus we know that he was already dead when the founding took place in 29 November 1438. The church is still there in Mattighofen to visit and there is the tomb of Hans Kuchler and his wife Katharina to see and a painting by Johann Nepomuk della Croce done 1785  showing both on the ceiling of the church.

The collegiate church was confirmed by the popes Nikolaus V. und Pius II. But due to bad management had some economical problems in the following century. It was saved by Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria, who convinced the pope Innocent XI and Johann Philipp Kardinal Graf von Lamberg (Bishop of Bamberg) to convert the collegiate church to a priory. This worked out fine and in 1864 pope Pius IX allowed the priors to act as bishops in certain services (pontifical vestments). In recent times the church changed their statues but this is a completely another story, not to be told here.

From 1420 to 1436

to be continued….

Books used for this article:
(0) Most original documents were acquired by Monasterium.net
(1) StArchiv-N, Rep. 2 b Rst. Nürnberg, Losungsamt, 7-farbiges Alphabet, Urkunden Nr. 873n ( Braun M Nr. 7)
(2) Johannes Hartlieb: Untersuchungen zu Leben und Werk, Frank Fürbeth, Walter de Gruyter, 01.01.1992
(3) Martin Wierschin, Johannes Hartliebs ‘Mantische Schriften’. Untersuchungen zur Handschrift der J. Hartlieb zugeschriebenen Chiromantie – Die Zuschreibungsformeln der Gesamtüberlieferung, in: Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur 90 (Tüb. 1968), S. 57-100, hier S. 81f.
(4) Schloß, Stift, Markt & Bad Matighofen in Oberösterreich und dessen Umgebungen Persons involved: Lamprecht, Johann Ev., 1885