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Hergot [Herrgott], Hanslocked

  • Marie Louise Göllner

(b ?Nuremberg; d Leipzig, May 20, 1527). German printer. He was officially registered as a printer in Nuremberg from 1524 to 1526. Most of the actual business, however, was apparently conducted by his wife Kunegunde (d 7 Feb 1547), while he travelled about the country distributing pamphlets, often of a heretical or politically radical nature. He was caught circulating one of these, Von der newen Wandlung eynes Christlichen Lebens, in Leipzig, then ruled by Duke Georg of Saxony, a fierce opponent of both the Reformation and peasant reform. In proceedings supervised by the duke himself he was tried and condemned to death, and after a futile attempt on his wife's part to persuade the Nuremberg city council to intercede, was publicly executed. His widow continued the printing business in her own name until 1538, although she had married another Nuremberg printer, Georg Wachter, shortly after Hergot's death.

As a printer Hergot was known mainly for his piracy of Luther's writings, which he reprinted with such brazenness that the author himself was moved to complain. However, he was the first printer to include melodies for the Lutheran Mass, adding the notes by means of block printing. His widow published numerous sacred songs, generally in the form of small leaflets of four to eight folios each, making them readily saleable. Wachter also preferred this format which was continued into the 1560s by such Nuremberg printers as Valentin Neuber and Christoff and Friderich Gutknecht.

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