Burkhard VII. Münch

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Burkhardt falling off his horse, hit by a rock. Detail of the St. Jakob an der Birs scene in the Tschachtlanchronik of 1470
The scene of Arnold Schick throwing the rock at Burkhard as depicted in a 19th-century fresco in the winery at Münchenstein. Burkhard's rather contrived utterance is given as Heute baden wir in Rosen" ("today we bathe in roses") in the inscription, a simplification that had been current since the 18th century.[1]

Burkhard VII. Münch (died 29 August 1444) was a knight and life peer, a renowned late member of the Landskron branch of the Münch family. He achieved sad reputation after the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs.

Being a Habsburg faithful, Burkhard VII. rode as knight with Dauphin Louis XI and Jean V de Bueil. He was also named by the French as Bourgeamoine. He joined the Armagnacs in the battle against the Swiss Eidgenossenschaft as negotiator, translator and guide. His demeanour following the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs is a theme in Swiss patriotic historiography.

The Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs was fought on 26 August 1444, this was a battle within the Old Zürich War. During the battle the Swiss suffered heavy casualties and were virtually wiped out by the Armagnacs.

Following the bloodbath, Burkhard VII. rode his horse across the slaughter field to witness the dead and the wounded and sarcastically mocked the Eidgenossen. He raised the visor of his helmet and uttered a sentence that was to become famous: Ich siche in ein rossegarten, den min fordren geret hand vor hunderd jar ("I gaze out into a rosarium, that my ancestors planted one hundred years ago").[2]

Provoked by this arrogant phrase, one of the dying Swiss, one Arnold Schick of Uri, hurled a rock into the open visor. According to the legend, the equally famous answer that accompanied the throw was: Da friss eine der Rosen! ("Here eat one of the roses"). The Horse he was riding jolted and fled. Burkhard VII. fell from his saddle and was dragged from the battlefield. He died from his wounds three days later.

Burkhard's death spelled the end of the family Münch of Landskron, which ended completely when his brother Johann IX. died in 1461.

A depiction of Arnold Schick throwing the rock, with the inscription citing his dictum of ''Da friss eine der Rosen alongside Für Freiheit und Vaterland ("For Liberty and Fatherland") appears on a silver medal cast for the cantonal tir at Binningen, Basel in 1893.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ so in Jacob August Franckenstein's Schweitzerisches Theatrum of 1724, p. 40
  2. ^ a historically documented dictum according to the 122nd Neujahrsblatt der Gesellschaft zur Förderung des Guten und Gemeinnützigen", Theme: Die Schlacht bei St. Jakob an der Birs, issued 1944 in Basel
  3. ^ engraved by Franz Homberg, Bern / Karl Jauslin, Muttenz, cited after coincommunity.com