Pardubitzer Herrschaft - Jewish landownership in 1793, Part 3 #austria-czech
Celia Male <celiamale@...>
In the last posting I wrote: Low Jacob MAUTNER sounds
even more exalted - for he lives in the Schloss
[castle] itself! He has the distilling concession and
owns "188 Metzen Ackern" of Wiesen [meadows].
I have rarely, if ever, come across quantified land-
ownership in the Bohemian Jewish census of 1793 and
must now scour it for more entries.
I did however come across these interesting reference
about Bisenz and Goding [Moravia]: In the time of the
Margraves .... [ca 15th century] the Bisenz Jews must
have enjoyed great privileges.... for they were
permitted to own vineyards, it as it was very
important to the Margraves to market their wine
through the agency of Jewish traders. Similarly,
between 1648 and 1661 large vineyards and cellars in
the villages in the vicinity of Goding were owned by
wealthy Jews. - see Jewish Encyclopedia under
*Bisenz* [Bzenec] and *Goding* [Hodonin]:
The only other entry for the Pardubitzer Herrschaft is
Raachel [sic] BAUMANNIN, a widow living in Semin.
She was without Schutz [protection] and owned a
distillery. Her sons, all single, in birth order were
David, Joseph and Moyses, she had two daughters: Sara
and Rebecca and the luxury of a maid, Suhanna [sic].
As well as her distillery Raachel owned a meadow of
"30 Metzen in Area" - the actual words in the census.
This meadow, it is stated, was used for cattle
This was indeed a surprising piece of information to
me as I thought that Jews in Bohemia, and Moravia, of
that era, were generally not allowed to own land.
In these days of unified euro measure: liters,
kilograms, hectares etc - where the imperial measures
such as our UK/US gills, pints, quarts, gallons,
ounces, pounds etc are now antediluvian, it was an
eye-opener to see listings of old measures used in the
Habsburg Empire. Not only were there dozens of
different areas, lengths, weights and measures, but
they varied by district - eg Bohemia, Moravia, Tyrol,
Silesia, Trieste, Venice, Lombardy and Hungary all had
different standards. I particularly like the Hungarian
measures in the first listed URL - what a nightmare
and source for confusion [see references below].
How much land was involved? This is a bit of a puzzle:
*Area* is obviously area in English. *Ackern* means
"area" in archaic German and it can also mean fields/
meadowland. *Metzen* appears to be a measure of volume
- perhaps how much grain is produced on that area of
land. But in the third URL there is another clue:
1 osterr. Metzen Aussaat = 1/3 Joch = 0.191821 ha
(Metze = Czech: merice)
We read in reference 3: Joch, also Morgen, is an old
field measure [Jugerum in Latin] where one Joch was
the area of field that could be ploughed by a pair of
harnessed oxen (= Joch) in one day (>from 6 a.m to 6
p.m., this period was originally one morning = Morgen
= Czech: jitro).
So apparently MAUTNER's 188 Metzen is equivalent to ca
37 hectares [ca 92 acres] and BAUMANNIN's 16 Metzen
for grazing is equivalent to just over 3 hectare [ca 8
acres]. This seems a substantial amount of land, when
I compare it with the minute back-gardens of my own
KOHN family in Grossbock, Koniggratzer Kreis, Bohemia
in the 1700s. They were surrounded by acres of fields,
but I presume were not allowed to own any land.
Has anyone any further details of landownership in
late 1700s Bohemia and Moravia in their family, to add
to this discussion?
Celia Male [U.K.]
References: Units of lengths, area, volume, weights
and measures in the Habsburg Empire: