Paul Prele (Präle) (in Beck erroneously called Pretten) of Esslingen, Palatinate, Germany, was seized in Neuffen on 15 April 1573, together with Matthias Binder or Schneider, a preacher, on a journey through Württemberg. Prele had come to Württemberg previously as an apostle of the Hutterian Brethren in Moravia. This is inferred from a letter Paul Glock wrote to Peter Walpot on 29 September 1570, which says that Prele brought Glock a veil as a greeting from Moravia. He was acquainted with the country; Glock referred to him when he wrote of imprisoned Anabaptists. Thus Glock reported that Lienhard Sommer of Necklinsberg, one of the Swiss Brethren with whom he shared a prison on Hohenwittlingen, and with whom he had many an argument on the differences between Hutterian Brethren and the Swiss Brethren, must be acquainted with Prele. After their arrest Prele and Binder were held for several days in Neuffen. On 24 April they were cross-examined by a committee consisting of Johann Rucker, dean of Kirchheim, three clergymen, the magistrate Isaak Jäger, and a nobleman, probably Klaus von Greifeneck. The two were supposed to collect a debt in Frickenhausen, but the mayor arrested them and turned them over to the magistrate Isaak Jäger. Binder's cross-examination was lengthy, Prele's quite brief. In a letter written by Binder to Walpot dated 16 May they reported that they were well and that they were together in prison. At that time the magistrate said: "I have never heard of a Hutterite in this country who recanted his faith." On 15 May they were both questioned again. Prele was informed that by order of the prince he was to swear to leave the country permanently. He refused to render this oath, and was released without it. His petition to permit Binder to leave with him was rejected. Binder was held in Maulbronn and later in Hohenwittlingen. Presumably Prele took Binder's letter with him to Moravia. Nothing more is known of Prele.
Bossert, Gustav. Quellen zur Geschichte der Täufer I. Band, Herzogtum Württemberg. Leipzig: M. Heinsius, 1930.
Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. III, 392.
Wolkan, Rudolf. Geschicht-Buch der Hutterischen Brüder. Macleod, AB, and Vienna, 1923: 381 f.
Zieglschmid, A. J. F. Die älteste Chronik der Hutterischen Brüder: Ein Sprachdenkmal aus frühneuhochdeutscher Zeit. Ithaca: Cayuga Press, 1943: 491 ff.
Cite This Article
Bossert, Gustav. "Prele, Paul (16th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1959. Web. 16 Mar 2014. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Prele,_Paul_(16th_century)&oldid=96116.
Bossert, Gustav. (1959). Prele, Paul (16th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 March 2014, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Prele,_Paul_(16th_century)&oldid=96116.
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