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SMOL VON DERENBURCH (SAMUEL OF DERENBURG):

Court banker to the archbishops of Magdeburg in the fourteenth century; died after Oct. 5, 1382. In some of his financial transactions he was assisted by two of his brothers, Marquard and Ephraim. On Nov. 28, 1347, Archbishop Otto acknowledged the receipt from the town council of Brunswick of the sum of 300 marks which it had promised to pay on the followingEaster, and assigned it to the brothers Smol, Marquard, and Ephraim of Dernenburch, and to three citizens of Magdeburg. In a document dated Oct. 24, 1364, Smol, together with Hermann von Werberge (provost of the cathedral) and others, testified that Prince Waldemar I. of Anhalt had failed to attend a meeting at Barby which had been arranged between him and Archbishop Dietrich of Magdeburg. The clever Jewish financier was also a member of the commission appointed to decide the controversy which had arisen between Archbishop Dietrich and the city of Halle on account of the appointment of a superintendent of a salt-mine (document of Feb. 27, 1365). In a record of March 22, 1366, he appears, together with three knights, on the bond of the Archbishop of Magdeburg; and he also aided the counts and nobles who brought about the reconciliation between that prelate and the nobleman Hans von Hadmersleben. Smol enjoyed the favor of Archbishop Peter of Magdeburg as well, and when the latter took the Jews of Magdeburg under his jurisdiction on April 21, 1372, the patent of protection expressly stated that Smol and his children were excepted, since they enjoyed special privileges. This action on the part of the archbishop was reproved by Pope Gregory XI. in a letter dated at Avignon June 15, 1372, especially as the court banker was said to have established a synagogue in a building at Salince (Gross Salze) which had formerly been used as a chapel.

Bibliography:
  • Monatsschrift, 1904, pp. 457 et seq.
S. A. Lew.
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