Community ID
Alternate Names
Heniggi; Heningi
S. Mary, S. Peter and S. Paul
Date Founded
993-1002 (circa)
Date Terminated
Religious Order
Augustinian by 1126
Foundation Information

The noblewoman Hildiswit and her daughter Walburg founded this convent in the time of king Otto III and Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim (circa 993-1002). In 1013 Heinrich II took the convent into his protection. In 1128 Provost Gerhard of Riechenberg was commissioned to restore discipline within the convent (Hoogeweg, 56-57). According to Krämer, the community existed as a house of canonesses from 1013-1126; from 1126 until its dissolution in 1810 the community was a house of Augustinian canonesses.

Secular Political Affiliations

After a familial feud in the late fifteenth century, the convent came within the possessions of the counts of Braunschweig.

Art & Artifacts

In the tapestries remaining from the convent, the names and initials of the seamstress are embroidered in the borders of the tapestry (Appuhn, 42).

Manuscript Sources

Several works from this house survive. The Landesbibliothek in Dresden contains an Evangeliar (c. 1160/90) from the house, #A 94. The Staatsarchiv in Hannover contains the annals of the house, dating from the fifteenth -sixteenth century, #Beverin. 546. The British Library in London possess a twelfth-century manuscript of the Gopels of Luke and John from this house, #Add. 27926. The Pierpont Morgan Library in New York contains the Gospels of Mathew and Mark, c. 1200, in the De Ricci collection, #M 565 (Phill. 16388). Numerous works are held in the Herzog-August-Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel. These are: a manuscript of Thomas Aquinas (c. 1431), #Helmst. 17 (20); a fifteenth-century manuscript of Thomas Aquinas, #Helmst. 19 (22); Sermons (15th c.), #Helmst. 158 (184); a Mariale, (15th c.), #Helmst. 159 (185); Sermons (15th c.), #Helmst. 160-161 (186-187); a Quadragesimale (c. 1465), #Helmst. 162 (188); Sermons, (15th c.), #Helmst. 163 (189); the Meditations of Bernard of Clareveaux (1461/65), #Helmst. 217 (249); a work of Jac. de Cracovia (c. 1452/53), #Helmst. 237 (270); Sermons of Alkinus (15th c.), #Helmst. 257 (290); Sermons of Jac. de Voragine (c. 1439), owned by Elerus Swerten, #Helmst. 265 (298); a work of Thomas Aquinas, c. 1431, #Helmst. 345 (380); a work of Humb. de Romanis (15th c.), #Helmst. 353 (380); an Off. missae, (1453), written by Joh. Brunswk, #Helmst. 359 (394); a work of Rob. Holkot, (1443), owned by Elerus Swerten, #Helmst. 368 (403); a Passionale (c. 1446/47), #Helmst. 388 (423); Sermons (15th c.), #Helmst. 410 (445); De apibus by Thomas Cantimpratens., (1462), #Helmst. 452 (487); a Liber ordinarius (15th c.), #Helmst. 649 (699); Summula of Raymond de Pennaforte (c. 1448/53), #Helmst. 693 (757); "AugCan auf der Sulten" from Hildesheim, sine datum, #Helmst. 719 (783); a Horol. devotionis (15th c.), #Helmst. 807 (903); a fragment of a regula monialis (12-13th c.), #Helmst. 877 (979); an Evv. domin. gloss. (15th c.), #Helmst. 909 (1011); De imitatio Christi by Thomas a Kempis (15th c.), #Helmst. 953 (1055); "De arte disputandi" (14th c.), #Helmst. 1054 (1156); a Liber precum (14-15th c.), #Helmst. 1146 (1253); "De pass. Christi" in German (c. 1476), #Helmst. 1180 (1288); an Ordo receptionis novitiarum (15th c.), #Helmst. 1271 (1379).

Published Primary Sources

[1]Fundatio monast. Heiningen, in MGH, SS, XV, p. 1054.
[2]Urkundenbuch des Hochstifts Hildesheim I-V, von Münchhausen in Zeitschrift des Harzvereins 1876.

Miscellaneous Information

In the middle of the fifteenth century, Prior Berthold brought the convent into the Windesheimer Reform and restored the impoverished convent to prosperity (Hoogeweg, 57). The canonesses initially fought the imposition of the Lutheran reform in the sixteenth century. They refused to give any food to the Protestant preachers sent to the convent, hiding whatever they had. None of the canonesses gave in to ducal pressure to leave, despite the promise of a twenty-gulden dowry (Wiesner-Hanks, 16). The convent converted to Lutheranism for a time until it was restored to Hildesheim through a "Restoration Edict." (Hoogeweg, 57).

Manuscripts Produced

Several literary works from this convent's library are still extant. The convent owned several manuscripts of sermons, works by Thomas Aquinas, Bernard of Clairveaux, and Thomas a Kempis. The community also held several mystical works, a rule for women, and a Liber precum. (See manuscript sources)

Admin. Notes

Gerhard Taddey, Das Kloster heiningen von der Grundung bis zur Aufhebung, Gottingen, 1966. further source

June Mecham
Date Started
Date Finished