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The Merchant and Skipper Brotherhood of Stade
Since 1764 the above brotherhood is in possession of a book which lists their founders and members starting with the years 1556 through 1846. The brotherhood is still in existence today. Their cause is mainly to support the needy. In earlier times they took care of their own, i.e., needy sailors. Today they sponsor cultural values, are curators of monuments, and support aspects of youth welfare and education.
In medieval times Hamburg and Stade were rivals on the river Elbe. Stade held a prominent position as a seafaring harbor in the 12th century, however, was outmaneuvered by Hamburg according to a document issued by Emperor Barbarossa in 1189. Only in the 20th century it was proven that this piece of paper turned out to be a forgery. The Hamburgers wanted total control of the Elbe and therefore blockaded the Stade harbor in the 16th century. However, the Stade ship merchants armed their vessels and broke through the barricades to deliver their goods in Holland. They made it safely back and donated the proceeds of what was left of their ammunition for the good of the poor. Thus they formed the brotherhood of merchants and skippers. The members’ names can be found online. The earlier the membership, the less information about the particular member is available, especially any time frame. The number next to the name indicates the compensation payment in lieu of accounting duties.