Legal and social history of Mansfeld mining and metallurgy, as illustrated by the Brunner family
In the history of the Mansfeld mining and metallurgy industries, a remarkable number of individuals became known outside the region. Among others, they included Heinrich Ulrich Erasmus von Hardenberg (1738-1814), Johan Carl Freiesleben (1774-1846), Franz Wilhelm Werner von Veltheim (1758-1839), Ernst Leuschner (1826-1898) and Karl-Heinz Jentsch (1921-2004). In various cases, several generations of a single family exerted a strong influence on technical and economic developments. Apart from the Ziervogel, Brathuhn and Sander families, mention should be made of the Brunners, whose name appeared in the records several times from the 17th century onwards. A line of the Brunners that can be traced over eight generations in the Mansfeld region assisted and influenced the mining and metallurgy industries there in various sectors and in many positive ways. The motto "For my neighbour's well-being" appearing in the seal of Thomas Gottfridt Brunner, a notary and judge, became the guiding principle for subsequent generations.
After briefly reviewing major legal problems up to the 17th century, the essay deals with the achievements of individual members of the Brunner family in connection with key events in the history of the Mansfeld region, taking account of technical and ethical considerations.