Community ID
Alternate Names
Herzebrook; possibly Heberolle
in the district of Wiedenbrück
Medieval Location
The convent is located in the area of the upper Ems river.
Modern Location
Herzebrock; in the district of the city of Wiedenbrück
S. Christina, S. Petronella
Date Founded
860 (840?)
Date Terminated
1803, May 2
Religious Order
Benedictine by 1209
In 1467 it joined with the reformed Bursfeld Congregation.
Foundation Information

This convent was founded in 860 for canonesses on the upper Ems river. The community was founded on family property by a noble widow, Waldburg, and her daughter, Duda. In 1209 the community assumed the Benedictine Rule. In 1467 it joined with the reformed Bursfeld Congregation.

First Members

Waldburg sent Duda to Liesborn, where Charlemagne's sister was abbess, to be educated and later placed her as the abbess of Herzebrock (Die Anfänge der sächsischen Frauenklöster, 34-35).

Notable Heads

Abbess Jutteldis von Bevern led a group of sisters from this house to reform Gertrudenberg. Jutteldis was praised for her beauty and intelligence in the excerpts preserved from a lost chronicle of the house. She was described as strict but motherly, diplomatic and not swayed by gossip in making her decisions. She was remembered as being capable in business matters, multiplying the holdings of Gertrudenberg through wise land purchases and her own inheritance. She was credited with making improvements to the cloister's buildings without incurring debt.

Other Ecclesiastical Relations

The foundress, Waldburg, placed the convent in the protection of Bishop Egbert of Osnabrück. The bishop, however, had no influence over the appointment of the abbesses of the community. However, it appears that the bishop made inroads in the administration of the community, because in 1096 the abbess Fretherun purchased the same service or relationship (servitium) at a high price out of her own personal property so that in the future the convent would be free from all future demands. Abbess Jutteldis von Bevern led a group of sisters from this house to reform Gertrudenberg. Excerpts from a lost chronicle of the reform of Gertrudenberg describe Jutteldis as an ideal abbess. (Die Anfänge der sächsischen Frauenklöster, 35-36)


Waldburg's sons acted as benefactors of the convent. One son served as prebend (praebendarius) and the other as advocate (advocatus) of the convent (Die Anfänge der sächsischen Frauenklöster, 35).

Manuscript Sources

The archives are located in Rheda (fürstliches Bentheim-Tecklenburg-Rhedasches Archiv). The Münster Staatsarchiv containes a document of the community dating from the eleventh century and a fragment of a necrology from the twelfth century. The Chronicle of the community (16th century) is held in the Deutsches Staatsbibliothek in Berlin, #Boruss. 8o117. The Landesbibliothek in Darmstadt contains several Libri precum belonging to this house, dating from the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries; they are catalogued as # 76, 120-124, 1127 (written by Anna Berhorns), 1883, 1910, and 2693 respectively. This library also preserves a manuscript of the Rich. de S. Victore in low German (c. 1480), written by Gertrud Hudepoel, #851, a copy of Seuse's Büchlein (15th c.), #1827, and other miscellaneous works, #1850, 1860, 1863, and 1940. The Staatsarchiv in Münster contains a Liber cop., written by Joh. von Hamm circa 15th century that belonged to this house, #Msc I 98. An illuminated Gradual, written by Gysela de Herzebrock (Kerssenbrock?), dating from the 14th century, is preserved in the Priesterseminar in Osnabrück sine numero. The Landesbibliothek in Stuttgart contains a manuscript of the legend of S. Francis, written by Helena de Graffen, #Theol. et. phil. 4o135. The community's necrology is unfortunately lost.

Manuscripts Produced

The names of four women appear as copyists of works belonging to this house and likely represent members of the community. Gertrud Hudepoel appears as the copyist of the Rich. de S. Victore, written circa 1480; Anna Berhorns appears as a copyist for a Liber precum, written circa 1520; Gysela de Herzebrock appears as the copyist (illuminator?) of a fourteenth-century Gradual belonging to the house; and Helena de Graffen appears as the copyist of a Legend of S. Francis, written circa 1471. (see manuscript sources)

June Mecham
Contributors Notes

It appears that this community engaged in the production of books, based on references to female copyists.

Date Started
Date Finished