Front row seats

Again, I am taking you to the city of Zutphen in the east of The Netherlands. Their archives are just so fabulous, I could live there…

I found a church register from the year 1464, with list of owners of church benches in the Walburgiskerk. Built in the 13th century, it is one of the oldest churches in my country.

Source: Tripadvisor

During mass, it was customary for the church-goers to just keep standing but in the 13th century the introduction of wooden benches meant those who could afford them, would have their own bench. The poor would still have to stand…

They buyers, as you may expect, have some pretty cool names, you can download them hereunder. I was particularly happy to discover 2 gender neutral names, meaning I cannot make out if, in terms of buying a church bench it would be male or female. Simply saying ‘it was probably a wealthy dude’ will not work, as we have some affluent ladies on this list. So 2 more neutral names can be added to this list as well.

Now, bear with me, because I did not do my own research on this particular page from the year 1464. The archivists in Zutphen are much better skilled and equipped for this task. I did however, circle the names I could make out.

Source: Erfgoedcentrum Zutphen
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