Thomas Haemerken Or Hammerlein Also Known As Thomas A'kempas

1660 words - 7 pages

Thomas Haemerken or Hammerlein was born in the lower Rhine District in Kempen Prussia which is now in present day Germany. The lower Rhine District was the capital of Cologne and the third largest district of Prussia. In the year of either thirteen eighty or thirteen seventy nine Thomas was born. Thomas's birth place Kempen is where his most known last name a'Kempas was derived Thomas would not be known by this name until the time of his schooling in Deventer. Thomas's parents were John and Gertrude Haemerken or Hammerlein. Gertrude his mother was the keeper of the village's schools, and his father John most probably was a black smith or a metal worker of some kind. Being a smith or metal worker in Thomas's time was more than likely most common job for the average man in Kempen. This is also the most likely meaning of Thomas's father's last name Haemerken or Hammerlein. The names Haemerken and Hammerlein seem to be a derivative of the Latin word for a little hammer. Thomas had one sibling that has been proven to definitely have been his brother. This brother's name was John. John was older than Thomas by at least around fourteen years. Thomas's family was of the artisan class during that time. Thomas was only around twelve or thirteen when he left his home in Germany and set out on his journey of life. Thomas's first stop the school of Deventer which was in Holland. John Thomas's brother John had gone to this school at least ten to twelve years earlier. Despite the large amount of time between John's and Thomas's departures Thomas still expected to find his brother John in Deventer when he arrived. Upon arrival Thomas did not find John but rather found out that John had left two years earlier with five brothers of the Common Life. They had gone to begin the building of a new congregation of Canons Regular at Windesheim, a place that is about twenty miles from Deventer. Thomas after hearing this went to Windesheim to meet his brother who received him joyfully. John even provided Thomas with a letter if introduction to the superior of the Brother of the Common life at Deventer. His name was Florentius Radewyn. Radewyn also extended a warm welcome to the young Thomas a'Kempas. Radewyn then placed Thomas in the house and under the care of a noble and devout lady. She then presented him the rector of the schools and even paid his first fees, which the master returned after learning that it had, came from the lady who was watching over Thomas. Thomas remained in Deventer for around seven years and was among the first of Florentius Radewyn's "disciples". Thomas a'Kempas even lived in Radewyn's house and under Radewyn's immediate care for the majority of the time that Thomas stayed in Deventer. This had a very important and positive influence in his character. The new devotion had its center point in Deventer at this time. The new devotion was a revival in the low countries in the fourteenth century a fervor. This was all started by the...

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