HämMerlin or hAmmerlein, fElix

Hämmerlin or Hammerlein, Felix (Lat. Malleolus), a Swiss theologian, was born at Zurich in 1389. He studied canon law at Erfurt, was in 1421 appointed canon of Zofingen, and in 1422 provost of Solothurn. With the income of these offices he bought a large library, and applied himself earnestly to study. He subsequently took part in the Council of Basle, where he showed great zeal for the restoration of ecclesiastical discipline, and thus made himself a number of enemies. An attempt was made to assassinate him in 1439, but he escaped, though not without being dangerously wounded. The 30th chapter of his De Nobilitate, in which he abused the confederate cantons which had waged war on Zurich in 1443, made him an object of hatred to a large party of his countrymen. A number of these, having gone to Zurich on the occasion of the Carnival of 1454, seized Hammerlin, dragged him to Constance, and had him thrown into prison. As he refused to retract anything he had said or written, he was condemned to imprisonment for life in a convent. He was accordingly placed in a convent of barefooted monks at Lucerne, where he died some time after 1457, a victim to his zeal for justice and truth. He wrote Variae Oblectationis Opuscula et Tractatus (Basle, 1497, fol.), containing a number of treatises on exorcism, on monkish discipline, against the Beghards, etc. He is very severe in these writings against the prevailing corruptions of the clergy and the convents. He also left some MSS., which are preserved in the collegiate library of Zurich. See Bodmer u. Breitinger, Helvetische Bibliothek (Zurich, 1735): Hottinger, Schola

Tigurina, p. 24; Niceron, Memoires, vol. 37; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, 23, 268: Reber, Felix Hemmerlin (Zurich, 1846).

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