Re yours of 5 Dec 2001 (!):

I am a little uncertain about the terminology of the Lutheran church of that (or any other) time, but the "Ältesten" are obviously "elders" (lit. "eldest"), and I would translate "Vorsteher" as perhaps "deacon" (in modern business a "Vorsteher" is a director or manager or administrator, = 'fore-stander).

The German is an odd mixture of archaic usage, some old spelling (in addition to the Gothic script) and a few surprising Anglicisms (contribuirend, Publication...)

Plan for establishing the rights of contributing lay-persons

in our St. George's Church

printed at the behest of the present church council.

Printed by T. Brewman, Globe Court, Shoe Lane, Fleet Street 1778

Price 6 stiver (= pence?)

[The following is the gist of the text, which is mostly not of detailed interest: I could translate it all if you think it useful.]

In the previous Laymen's "guidelines" of 28 Nov 1767, the first Article, page 3, says:

Church rights are vested in the whole contributing laity and are to be administered by a duly constituted consistory.

Now the consistory and the congregation have to give substance to the said Article...

...taking account of written and oral input from the members...

...the following plan is to be voted on...

The Articles are as follows:


The "contributing laity" is deemed to consist of those who

1. For a whole year have had a pew or seat and have paid for it.

2. Amongst their communicants subscribe the sum of half a guinea per year; and who have attended our church for a whole year votes for those in arrears...


Every contributing member has one vote. In the case of family pews, the head of the family will have as many votes as the family has communicants, who have a seat in the pew and "hold to" our church.


If a member has paid his dues for 10 consecutive years, he obtains an additional vote. If he has to go to some distant place, even for a matter of years, and has paid up to date before his departure and hands over his pew-key, on his return, if he starts contributing again, he will reacquire his previous rights.


Whoever has twice been a deacon acquires an additional vote. After four times, he obtains a further additional vote. Those who have been deacons are subsequently to be known as lay elders and the elders of the consistory will be chosen from among them. Lay elders together with the consistory constitute the "college of lay elders". The consistory represents the first stage in any proceedings [lit. "court of first instance"]. The college of elders is the second instance [level of appeal]. The contributing laity is the third or final instance. Deacons are examined by the consistory. The six who are to be replaced each time are not involved in this nomination process. When possible, the consistory must nominate twelve... must be contributing members... no two "blood-friends" at the same time.. nominees' names to be posted in the church... election to be held, with 8 days notice, after the morning service... the six with most votes considered elected. If there is a vacancy for an organist, sexton or schoolmaster, the consistory will nominate three whose names will be posted. ...8 days notice…election by the laity. Other minor posts will be filled by decision of the consistory. If a deacon dies, his place must not remain vacant more than a month; it will be filled by decision of the consistory from among the ranks of the college of elders.


An elder of the consistory usually only chosen from longest-serving deacons... acquisition of additional votes... vacancies may not last more than three months... nominations and election…


The pastor, who presides over all three levels of appeal, starts out with four votes. If he faithfully fulfils his office for 10 years, the consistory may decide to give him another two votes. He also has the casting vote when necessary... For election of a pastor, which involves the whole contributing lay congregation, the consistory has casting vote…decision by lot is last resort...


Church rights may not be inherited, but a widow maintains her husband's rights so long as she remains a widow and continues to belong to this church...


[Procedures for changing church rules...]


Importance of the school for future generations…anyone contributing a guinea annually to the school obtains an additional vote. For two guineas annually over five years, two extra votes, and so on in proportion, but only so long as contributions continue. Smaller contributions, after they have added up to five guineas, confer an extra vote, but contributions must continue.


Rights set out here are valid only in case of vote by contributing laity. [Voting procedures... sexton to call up voters in alphabetical order... voters must appear in person... etc.]


If a member is accused by two other members of selling his vote for money, his voting rights are annulled, but he may appeal... If case proven, he loses voting rights for life.


To exercise an additional vote, a member must produce a certificate from the consistory. Such a certificate costs six pence.


All elections by ballot.


Each member of the consistory must sign off on decisions of the laity, confirming that they were made according to the rules. [What to do if he doesn't agree with the substance...]


The consistory and college of elders make their own internal rules, consistent with the rights of the contributing congregation.


Preachers of heresy or loose-living individuals can have no rights...


[Handling differences of opinion about interpretation and application of rules...]


Anyone can attend the monthly meetings of the consistory or can call an extraordinary meeting of same. An appeal to consistory costs five guineas... appeal from consistory to college of elders, five guineas…from college of elders to contributing laity, ten guineas... if appeal won, money back…if lost, money to church coffers.


If one party to a dispute wishes proceedings to be carried on in English and the other wishes proceedings to be carried on in German, proceedings will be carried on in German...

As evidence of our full agreement with this plan, we have appended our signatures on the following pages.

In the church sacristy, 2 November 1768

Gustav Anton Wachsel,

Doctor of Divinity and Pastor of the Church



... [Among other names...]

Johann Conrad Kraußhaar



After multiple readings of this plan from the chancel, and after an announcement from the chancel that Christmas 1768 was the last chance for objections, and no objections having been received, it has been signed as a valid church act.

In the sacristy of the St. George Church, 9 January 1769

Gustav Anton Wachsel, President

4 x elders

9 x deacons



In the Rights of the Contributing Laity of 9 Jan 1769, Article 8 stipulates

[how to make modifications]

Too onerous to have all lay-persons sign individually... certain decisions could be made by ballot. In this case, the contributing laity must personally sign for or against the change. Decided by the college of elders in the sacristy of our Lutheran Church of St. George's, 2 April 1769.

For the old order | For the ballot

... | ...

... | ...

... | Johann Conrad Kraußhaar

... | ...

... | ...

[After publication and various readings of the proposed change, no objections having been received, the undersigned members of the church council declare that to the best of their knowledge the change is agreed to by the congregation, and so give their approval to its adoption.]

26 April 1769

Gustav Anton Wachsel

+ 11 others



Notes to the Church Articles

[I gather this justification for the printing of the articles in 1778 is linked to some polemic with Pastor Wachsel. JCC]

...The church articles were not intended to be restricted to the hands of the church council, but to be available to the whole congregation; otherwise no unity in the congregation. So the church articles signed on 2 Nov 1768 have been pushed under the table, so to speak, not only by the consistory but also by the congregation, which is not right, for as soon as a person joins the congregation, he should acquaint himself with these articles, so that he will be able to play his part as required, in a timely fashion.

The present church council has asked several times after these articles, and has demanded that they be brought out and published. However, Mr Wachsel has put the matter off, saying that they were not complete and had to be improved; and the church council would have done so, even if they had no more success in improving the church articles than they had with the school-articles. Nevertheless, the articles have finally been put in the hands of the printer, so as to be made available to the lay congregation. should be noted that, in order to assure ourselves that all the articles had been transcribed from the original book, a member of the consistory went to visit the late Mr Hanschman seven hours before his end, not knowing that he was so close to his end. The late Mr Hanschman was asked, after he had viewed the church articles:

Q: Is this your handwriting?

A: Yes, it is.

Q: Can you remember when you wrote this?

A: Yes.

Q: Did you copy out everything?

A: Yes.

Q: Are you certain that no article was overlooked?

A: I copied everything that was in the original book, and gave a copy to every single elder.

...The articles would not have been printed, were it not to demonstrate to the congregation that the rights are vested in the entire contributing laity, and what is decided by the same has absolute force.




New School Articles

Voted for on 11 October 1788 by the contributing laity of our Church of St. George in London, and signed by the current church council.


The school's governing body includes the subscribing church council and the teacher; as well as those who subscribe a guinea per year to the school and continue to do so. Anyone can subscribe, but our lay members retain without doubt all the rights ascribed to them by Article 9 of our Church Rights.


School governing body to meet in the sacristy at least quarterly... anyone can attend... members have only one vote.

[voting method...]


...two-man committee to oversee finances of "this poor-school" and student intake (acceptance of recommended children etc.)


Governing body makes no promises about which or how many children to accept. Good of the school comes first. Only children of contributing members or ex-contributing members, or at least communicants in our church. The children of those who can pay for education should not be accepted. And if there are two or three witnesses to the fact that the children or their parents are not leading respectable lives, or are unwilling to accept discipline, they will not be tolerated. Can put their case to the quarterly meeting.


The children of the charity school should not sit behind the congregation, but in front, before the altar where they formerly sat, so that if they misbehave, all may see it and a majority may decide whether such should continue to enjoy the benefits of the school.


Whenever a person dies who has been contributing a guinea per year to the charity school, the children shall sing before the body, if so desired. If someone else should desire this service, a guinea must be paid.



Notes to the School Articles

That these school articles are consistent with the church articles is beyond doubt, for

1. They were drawn up and presented by desire of Mr Wachsel, elder and deacon, member of the church council;

2. They were improved and approved by the church council;

3. Herr Wachsel had them for four days, and re-presented them, declaring them to be acceptable;

4. They have passed through the college of elders and have been signed by many of them;

5. The lay congregation voted on them on 11 Oct 1778: 81 for, 12 against.

If this is not sufficiently clear, the church council does not know what more must be done to convince those who like to stir up trouble in the congregation and those who decry as enemies of the church and school such as attempt to support the church and school. May the Lord bring peace again to the congregation; this is the desire of a peace-loving church council, which is willing to open the matter to discussion, provided that:

1. the rights of the congregation not be impinged upon;

2. the German[-speaking?] congregation not be harmed;

3. our conscience be kept clear.

We remain, in Christian love, the

Elders and Deacons

of the congregation.

3 x Elders

11 (!) x Deacons, amongst whom Conrad Kraußhaar (sic).

[It would seem that these rules must later have been changed if so many Kraußhaar boys attended the school. JMK would certainly not have needed to send JLK to an alms-school. Perhaps by then, it had become more a question of linguistic identity?? JCC]




B. The handwritten pages 16 and 24.

These were presumably supposed to be the signatures of those involved. Though the handwriting varies (some names are in the old German script, which I cannot read, some in modern script, almost copperplate), there is too much consistency for one to believe that the names were written by their individual owners. Georg Friederich (sic) Schmidt was clearly illiterate. It is interesting that Krausshaar is spelt thus, or more precisely Kraußhaar (the sz, pron. "es-tset", is the equivalent of a double "s" - but the two letters must be in the same syllable; the simple adjective meaning "curly" does not have a double-s). One presumes that he did not object, so perhaps that was the "real" (original) spelling, as found in many of the Mormons' records etc. in Germany. Or perhaps at that time it didn't seem to matter one way or the other.

Interesting that there are some thoroughly English names amongst them. Native or Anglicized names? But in the printed version, many of them have been Germanicized back again (John becomes Johann).

The fact that JCK signed the school articles as Conrad Kraußhaar certainly seems to indicate that that was how he was known. Still with the double-s. Perhaps he later simplified it for English purposes. In modern German, Conrad would normally be Konrad.

I would say that in modern Germany the use of the "second Christian name" is no longer common, though I do know one family which has the same first name in succeeding generations, so they are all known by their second "given" names.

It is interesting to note how much emphasis was placed on the contribution of money, but I suppose it was a question of survival. How they financed the original construction would also be of interest. Their preoccupation with Teutonic order and discipline is also noteworthy.

John Crawshaw