1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Stumpf, Johann

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STUMPF, JOHANN (1500–1576), one of the chief writers on Swiss history and topography, was born at Bruchsal (near Carlsruhe). He was educated there and at Strassburg and Heidelberg. In 1520 he was received as a cleric or chaplain into the order of the Knights Hospitallers or of St John of Jerusalem, was sent in 1521 to the preceptory of that order at Freiburg in Breisgau, ordained priest in Basel, and in 1522 placed in charge cf the preceptory at Bubikon (north of Rapperswil, in the canton of Zürich). But Stumpf soon went over to the Protestants, was present at the great Disputation in Berne (1528), and took part in the first Kappel War (1520). He had carried over with him most of his parishioners whom he continued to care for, as the Protestant pastor at Bubikon, till 1543, then becoming pastor at Stammheim (same canton) till 1561, when he retired to Zürich (of which he had been made a burgher in 1548), where he lived in retirement till his death in 1576. In 1529 he married the first of his four wives, a daughter of Heinrich Brennwald (1478–1551), who wrote a work (still in MS.) on Swiss history, and stimulated his son-in-law to undertake historical studies. Stumpf made wide researches, with this object, for many years, and undertook also several journeys, of which that in 1544 to Engelberg and through the Valais seems to be the most important, perhaps because his original diary has been preserved to us. The fruit of his labours (completed at the end of 1546) was published in 1548 at Zürich in a huge folio of 934 pages (with many fine wood engravings, coats of arms, maps, &c.), under the title of Gemeiner loblicher Eydgnossenschaft Stetten, Landen, und Volckeren chronikwirdiger Thaaten Beschreybung (an extract from it was published in 1554, under the name of Schwytzer Chronika, while new and greatly enlarged editions of the original work were issued in 1586 and 1606). The woodcuts are best in the first edition, and it remained till Scheuchzer’s day (early 18th century) the chief authority on its subject. Stumpf also published a monograph (very remarkable for the date) on the emperor Henry IV. (1556) and a set of laudatory verses (Lobsprüche) as to each of the thirteen Swiss cantons (1573).  (W. A. B. C.)