Hemmerlin or HämMerlein, fElix (mAlleolus)
Hemmerlin or Hämmerlein, Felix (Malleolus)
a Swiss theologian, was, born at Zurich in 1389. After studying the canon law at the University of Erfurt he went to Rome. On his return to Switzerland in 1421 he was appointed canon at Zoffingen, and the year after he was made provost of St. Ursus, in Soleure. With the revenues of these livings he collected a large library. He took part in the Council of Basle (1441-3), and was conspicuous there for his zeal in reforming ecclesiastical discipline. He made many bitter enemies, and in 1439 they made an attempt on his life, and wounded him seriously. This did not, however, deter him from continuing his reproofs of the loose lives of the clergy, and the general lack of discipline. After long-continued disputes with his colleagues at Zurich, he was stripped, through their influence, of all his emoluments. He also drew upon himself the hatred of a party of his countrymen by the thirtieth chapter of his treatise De Notilitate, in which he condemned the Swiss confederates, who in 1444 made war on his native city. Some members of this party, who attended the Carnival at Zurich in 1554, seized Hemmerlin and carried him to Constance, where he was thrown into prison, and treated with great cruelty. He was unwilling to retract any of his writings, and was condemned to perpetual imprisonment in a convent. He was taken to a monastery of barefooted monks at Lucerne, and died there in 1457, a martyr to his devotion, not, indeed, to evangelical, but to ecclesiastical discipline. Many of his writings are collected in Varice Oblectationis Opuscula et Tractatus (Basle, 1497, fol.). — Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Géneralé, 23, 268; Reber, Felix Hemzerliz (Zurich, 1746); Herzog, Real Encyklopädie, 5, 732.