The history of Mestlin

This part tells about the first mentioning of Mestlin, the development to a big village, and the heavy fate during the Thirty-Years-War.

Stone Age
In the pre-historic and early historic times was the first settlement in the area of today's Mecklenburg, which is proven by a number of finds.

Finds prove the existance of humans in that area about 16000 years ago, a first settlement could have started about 10000 years ago (hunter-gatherers). Around 3000 BC, our ancestors became settled, they started cultivating the soil and keeping animals.

Bronze Age
The period between 1800 BC and 600 BC is being called Bronze Age.

Finds of tools, weapons and jewelry document the stage of development of our ancestors. Also from this time, are a number of burial mounds still preserved.

Iron Age
Between 600 BC and 600 AD, the "Warnen" (Teutonic tribe) lived in our area.

This period is marked by the use of iron instead of bronze. Other Germanic tribes on the area of today's Mecklenburg are the "Langobarden" and the "Semnonen". At the end of the 4th century, the big germanic migration to the south-west started. At the beginning of the 6th century, there is almost no soul in that area.

In the 6th and 7th century, the entire land, that had been left by the Germans is being resettled by the Slavs. The Slav-Time lasts until the middle of the 12th century.

The area of today's Mecklenburg is being settled by the tribes of the "Obotriten" and the "Wilzen" (later called "Lutizen"). Parts of the "Obotriten" settle:

  • 6quot;Obotriten" between Wismarer Bucht and the southern end of the Schweriner See
  • "Rereger" around the area of Wismar and Schwerin
  • "Warnower" at the upper Warnow and at the Mildenitz
  • "Polaben" at the Elbe around Lauenburg, Boizenburg and Ratzeburg

Parts of the tribe of the "Wilzen6quot; (Kessiner, Zirzipaner, Tollenser, Redarier) settled further to the East in the area between the Warnow and the Oder.

The "Michelenburg" is mentioned for the first time in a document by King Otto III.
Conquest of the land of the Obotriten by Henry the Lion, duke of Saxony and Bavaria

In 1160, Henry the Lion invades Mecklenburg with his army; The duke of the "Obotriten" Niklot, died during that invasion in 1160. In 1167, his son Pribislaw received a saxon fief; In 1160, Schwerin was founded as the first city in Mecklenburg.
The German settlement of Mecklenburg continues until the middle of the 13th century, above all by settlers from Holstein, Lower Saxony and West-Phalia. The peasants received tax-free fief-land as fief-property. The German city-foundings took part mostly in the 13th century, above all by the territorial sovereignties.

Founding of the monastry in Dobbertin as a monk's monastry for the holy Benedikt under duke Henry Borwin I.
First major separation of Mecklenburg

For the four grand-sons of Henry Borwin I. (son of Pribislaw, grand-son of Niklot), Mecklenburg is being divided into the territories Mecklenburg, Rostock (line dies out in 1314), Werle (dies out in 1436), and Parchim- Richenberg (until 1256).
Around this time, one still speaks Slav in Mecklenburg. The family-names, that consolidate around 1300, establish. Approx. 200 years later, the Slav language is hardly being spoken at all in Mecklenburg.

Around 1250, the first church in Mestlin is being built, the choir has been preserved until today. "Lisch" writes about that in 1856:

Historic Cultural Dictionary
Yearbooks of the Union for the History and Classical Antiquity of Mecklenburg, Friedrich Lisch, Schwerin 1856
The church of Mestlin near Dobbertin consists of a choir, a nave and a tower.
The choir has a quadratic ground plan, with an even altar wall, and is built of field stones (granite ashlars); the base and the corners are hewed evenly. The narrow window openings have sloping even loafings; whether they are round or in the transitional style softly sharpened, is impossible to see, since the window arches have been remodelled a number of times. The gable has round arch niches. So the choir is definitely from the time in which most of our churches have been built, approx. from the year 1230.
The nave is a high, beautiful building in the pointed arch style, made of very big bricks and has three-parted pointed arch windows. In the middle of the nave stand two slim pillars, which carry beautiful pointed arch vaults. Thereby, the church is being devided into two naves. The pillars, that have bases, are octagonal and placed in such a way that four corners stand under the vault seperations and are dressed with services; so there are four services running up the pillars to the four cardinal points. In younger times, the vault rips have been colored in black, grey and white, and have a very special ornamentation, that has not been seen anywhere else so far; it is trimmed with a number of lamellas and rip shields. These lamellas, of 10" diameter and approx. 1" thickness, are made of light yellow clay and decorated with various reliefs, like stars, crosses, rosettes, and so on, that are painted in a number of different colors. The southern gate is lined by six torusses and decorated with alternating black, green and red bricks. The nave is probably from the middle of the 14th century and has been furnished this way in that time as well.
The portal of the tower is also made of light green glazed and red bricks.

Approx. from 1230 until 1256, the settlement on the area of today's district Parchim was pushed by duke Pribislaw of Parchim (reigned from 1229 till 1256, after his expulsion was Nicolaus of Werle the local sovereign). He was supported by a number of aristocrats. Their names are being mentioned on documents of that time.

On October 9th, 1312 Mestlin is being mentioned in a document for the first time. The place name was Mustelin / Mostelin back then. It is of Slavic background: the word for "bridge" was "most" (Pol., Czech., Russ., Bulg.). The old-polabic form (the Polabs were a sub-tribe of the Obotriten) was probably "Mostelin". The middle syllable "el" is hard to interpret, maybe it's an indication of a person's name.

1312 Octbr. 9th. Mestlin
Eric, King of Denmark, signs a treaty with the margrave Waldemar of Brandenburg on the division of the sum, which is to be expected from Rostock for the demolition of the tower of Warnemünde.
Aar 1312. S. Dionysii Dag, til Mustelin bleff fothandlet imellen Konning Erich oc Margreff Woldemor, at huad som de begge kunde bekomme aff de Rostocker, formedelst Forhandling, for at det Taarn for Verneminde bygd, igien maate affbrydis, oc aldrig siden byggis ved nogen, det skal de lige skiffte: vi skal lade Margreuffuen strax vide, huad os biudis, hand maa hafue otte Vgers frist at beraade sig der om, oc see til om hand kand faa meer end Kongen biudis, Margreffven skal giore os det samme igien, om hannem biusdis nogenslig Fordrag.
[= In the year 1312, on St.-Dionysius-day, was negiotiated between King Eric and the margrave Waldemar, that that, what they have to expect through negotiation with Rostock for the demolition of the tower that had been built in front of Warnemünde and that should never be built up again by anybody, should be divided up evenly between the two of them. We shall let the margrave know at once, what we are being offered; he is given eight weeks time for consultation and to find out if he could get more, than what the King is being offered. The margrave shall do the same, when he is offered such a contract.

OnJuly 8th, 1317 Mestlin is being mentioned in a document for the second time.

1317 July 8th. Mestlin
Johann j. j. duke of Werle(-Goldberg), confirms the city Goldberg on the basis of the city-letter for the same, that had been granted by duke Pribislaw of Parchim in 1248.
Nos [P.] dominus in P(er)archem - -. Nos igitur Johannes dei gratia domicellus de Werle notum esse volumus omnibus, tam presentibus quam futuris, quibus hoc scriptum manifestum fuerit sive promulgatum, quod de inclaritate animi nostri maturoque consilio nostrorum fidelium vasallorum in hiis scriptis ratificamus omnem donationis proprietatem civitatis nostre Goltberch, sicut ipsa est a nostris progenitoribus fundata et constructa modis omnibus, [cu]m aquis, aquarumdecursibus, piscationibus, pratis, pascuis, lignis, silvis, nemoribus et paludi[bu]s, rubis, rubetis et sespitibus, usuagiis, ferrifodi[ni]s, cultis et non cultis, viis et inviis aliisque omnibus proventibus, modo quocunque poterint evenire, a nobis et nostris sequacibus in perpetuum omnia et queque premissa sine molestia possidenda et perfruenda pacifice et quiete. Ne vero quis nostrorum successorum super premissa hesitando dubitet, presentum paginam nostro cum sigillo fecimus roborari. Testes sunt: Tesmar[us], Reymar[us] de Mallin, Johannes de Havelberch, milites, [et] alii quam plures fide digni. Datum et actum Mostelin, anno domini M.CCC.XVII., feria sexta post octauas apostolorum Petri et Pauli, nostra in presentia.

1350 Henry Präemule is pastor of Mestlin / Ruest.

On Febr. 27th, 1352, Dankqward of Gutzstevel is being mentioned in Mestlin, the document (in Latin) includes a number of other names (among which there are 18 peasants from Mestlin). Ruest is also being mentioned here for the first time in a document.

1352 Febr. 27th. Goldberg
Dankqward of Gutzstevel and his son Johann improve a curation near Mestlin, but place an obligation on the owner to give alms and say Masses there.
In nomine domini, amen. Vniuersis ac singulis, ad quorum noticam presencia peruenerint, Dancquardus de Guzsteuel, armiger, et filius suus Johannes, morantes in villa Mustelyn, Zwerinensis diocesis, salutem in omnium saluatore. ... Hinrici Arnoldi ... Hinrici Hartwici ... Hartwici ... Ludekini Bolten ... Hinrici Hoppener ... Wernekini Dobbin ... Gherardi Robben ... Hennekini Ghildemester ... Hennekini Colwalck ... Hermanni Bernardi ... Hinrici Scampman ... Dancquardi Caluen ... Hermanni Langhemowe ... Hinrici Pramitten ... Hennekini Burlehosen ... Tyderici Blockes ... Bolrauen ... Tyderici Blockes ... Ludekini Croghers ... Johannis Demen ... Hermanni Jacoby ... Henrici Hoppener ... Lutteke Kauele ... Johannes Sternebergh ... Bernardus ... Johannes de Damme ... Wylhelmus de Bomgarde ... Heyno Kule ... Hermannus de Haghenowe ... Ywanus de Belowe ...

1354 Dankqward of Gutzstevel receives Mestlin as a church fief (document, in Old-German).

1354 Jan. 6th. Parchim
Nicolaus, duke of Werle, enfiofs Dankqward Gutzstevel with the villages and courts Mestlin, including the Neuenhofe, Rüst and Hohen-Augzin, with property and all freedoms and legitimacies.
Vy her Nycolawes, van der gnade godes en here tu Werle, vnde vse rechten eruen don wytlyck al den ieghen, de dessen breef seen, lezen vnde horen, vnde begheren openbare tu werdende, dat wy myd rade vser radgheuen vnde vulbord vnde myd wetenegheyd vser eruen hebben leghen vnde lathen vseme leuen ghetruwen Dancquarde van Guzsteuele vnde zynen rechten eruen, dese ieghenwardych synt vnde tukomende, also hyr na screuen steyd, dat dorp tu Mostelyn vnde dan hof an deme dorpe vnde den Nygenhof, de dar lycht vppe der suluen veldmarke, vnde dat dorp tu Hoghen Eutzyn, myd aller bede, myd manbede, myd wynterbede vnde ...

1381 Mestlin is being mentioned in another document.

1381. Decbr. 4th.
Henning von Hagenow makes a court, two "Hufen" and a cottage over to his brother-in-law Henry of Gloveke as a dowry of his sister.
Ich Henning van Haghenowe bekenne vnde bethughe openbar vor allen luden, ... Hinric van Gloueke ... Henneke Dorman ... Dambeke ... Johan Wylz van Mostelin ... Hinrich Gusteuel ... Ludeke Weltzin ...

1389 Rektor Lowitz is pastor of Mestlin / Ruest

1391 / 1392 People from Mestlin and Ruest complain about robberers.

Documents on robberers and their crimes in the area of Wismar.
... [J]tem Henneke Gusteuel to Mostelyn de was mede in der reyze. Jtem Hinric Ernst to Belowe de krech Domelowen perde eyn van Mustine. Item Henneke Dolghe to Rust de kofte Domelowen perde ...

1448 - 1461 The monastry of Dobbertin (founded in 1220) receives Mestlin (from seven different descendants of Gutzstevel).

In the Middle Ages, Mecklenburg experiences a revival. The dukes are being confronted with belligerent aristocrats, the later knighthood, in the 15th century. Attacks on salesmen, fights of the monarchs and social commotions in the cities are typical for this time-period.

Mecklenburg-Schwerin has approx. 130,000 inhabitants.

1496 Mestlin is the biggest village in the area of the monastry - office of Dobbertin: its inhabitants pay eight Mark and four Schilling taxes. Dobbertin (5 Mark 4 ß) and Ruest (4 Mark minus 1 ß) are the next biggest.

At the state parliament of the classes in Sternberg, the evangelic believe becomes binding for Mecklenburg. The reformation of Martin Luther has gained acceptance.

In the late Middle Ages, the influence of the dukes on churches increased. In the bigger cities of the country, the social tensions grew in the 16th century. The dissatisfaction in the population helped the reformation to its success.
After the victory of the reformation, the properties of the church had been divided up between the dukes of Mecklenburg. Around 1750, there was no catholic church in Mecklenburg.

1541 Joachim Harney is pastor of Mestlin / Ruest. (Ruest becomes subsidiary church of Mestlin in 1557, Schlie writes 1557)

1567 There are 21 peasants, and 14 people with cottages (Kossaten) in Mestlin.

1569 Nikolaus Georgius is pastor of Mestlin / Ruest (Buchholz doesn't mention Georgius at all!)

In the "Sternberger Reversalen", the knighthood is being given the disposition over the monastries Ribnitz, Dobbertin and Malchow as well as their property.

1557 Johannes Lonnies is pastor of Mestlin / Ruest. (Schlie writes 1586)

1585 Andreas Schnepel is pastor of Mestlin / Ruest. (Schlie writes 1595)

1601 There are 25 peasants, 7 people with cottages (Kossaten) and 6 annexes living in Mestlin, 14 peasants, 2 people with cottages and 1 annexe in Ruest.

1611 There are 30 peasants, 7 people with cottages (Kossaten) and 9 annexes living in Mestlin

1617 Bartholomäus Simonis becomes pastor of Mestlin / Ruest

1618 - 1648

Big devastations and a high number of human sacrifices in Mecklenburg Plünderung

Second major seperation of Mecklenburg

Mecklenburg is being divided into Mecklenburg-Schwerin and Mecklenburg- Güstrow.

1627 Troups of the Swedish colonel Hunich march through Dobbertin / Kläden (Mestlin, Ruest, Dabel, Kläden, Dobbin and Sehlsdorf are being affected)

On the picture "Looting" (lithograph of a drawing by Ph. Wouwermanns), one can see, how a peasant's family is being turned out from their land and pestered by the marauding troops.

1627 - 1631
Wallenstein's troups conquer Mecklenburg, Wallenstein becomes the duke
King Gustav Adolf of Sweden invades Mecklenburg

... swedish reign in Mecklenburg (alliance of March 13th, 1632)

1637 - 1640
frequent coming and going of Swedish and imperial troups

1645 Johann Simonis becomes the pastor of Mestlin / Ruest

Passing of the rabble-law
End of the Thirty-Years-War: Westphalian peace treaty

This first big war in Mecklenburg was disastrous for the development. The number of inhabitants has been reduced to one-sixth (from 300,000 to 50,000). Only one quarter of the countless peasantries before the war, have been taken up again. The aristrocrats took their advantage off this situation. After the war, especially in 1755 and 1806, they took down many peasant's villages and built estates there.

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