The millers’ dispute of 1560

At that time one could not choose which mill to use to grind the grain and each mill and miller had legal limitations and you had to have licence to erect a new mill. Nevertheless some miller tried to circumvent these limitations. This was the main issue in this dispute which was arisen by the millers of Wegscheid county who obviously lost some income due to other new mills which had been erected and were planned to be erected.

So, in 1560 – according the protocols of Passau around 11th of March 1560 –  they started this dispute at the high court of Passau and complained about these other news mills and their miller including Lienhardt Hutstainer as one of the main defendants. One central point of this court trial was whether erecting of the mentioned mill and paid grinding of grain had been illegal or not.

Also our Lienhardt had to prove this in some way. In 1560 he stated in a hearing that years ago together with the local judge in Wegscheid, Sebastian Schopper (1543-47), he went to the high court in Passau to receive a permit, but erecting of a mill was refused. Then 13 years ago, in 1547, when judge Östernberger resided in Wegscheid the licence of another miller was discontinued and the guardian of the dominion Marsbach, a neighbouring dominion under the rule of the bishop of Passau, decided to give our Lienhardt a provisional licence, which was restricted by the judge Östernberger of Wegscheid to a single grinder wheel. Finally, in 1553 this judge Östernberger in Wegscheid approved the licence in full, too.








In 1560 obviously Lienhard was well known for his good job and his timely payment of local taxes he had done in the past. Therefore the prince-bishop discontinued and limited some of the new mills to a single mill wheel and grinding for their own needs only, but he accepted Lienhardt’s provisional licence and decided to issue a new permit for him – together with two other millers’ permits – and ended the court dispute.

Bishop Wolfgang’s decision concerning Lienhardt 03.05.1560



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