publisher colophon

151. Seal of Berwout the Jew


Dimensions: approximately 22 cm. Impression.

Location: Arnhem Community Archives, Inventory 4490, Register No. 206.

Bibliography: Nijhoff, 1830.

This seal is ravaged by age, but some of the Gothic letters can still be seen. A small shield in the center of the field shows three Jews’ hats, one in each corner. Running around, separating the shield from the boldletters, is a free lineal representation of the shield form in a rather attractive loose design.

Debt settlement from Gelderland, April 28, 1287, sealed by Daniel. State Archives in Gelderland, Arnhem, Charter Collection No. 71.

The parchment document to which this seal is attached dates from January 20, 1364, and has a curious background. Apparently the city fathers of Arnhem passed a municipal ordinance dealing with fùneral services which infringed on or was in conflict with Church regulations. Seeking to protect themselves from possible ecclesiastical wrath, the city magistrates then guaranteed collectively, each for the other and together, that all would support the action if the Church sued any one of them. Among those signing and sealing was “Berwout die Joede,” who must have been a city official.

*The wording may be BERWOUT DICTI IVDEI, or “Berwout said the Jew,” as in the preceding seal.

*The wording may be BERWOUT DICTI IVDEI, or “Berwout said the Jew,” as in the preceding seal.


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