Löhneyss (or L
Löhneyss (or Löhneis or Löhneyssen), Georg Engelhardt von
(b. Witzlasreuth, Fichtelgebirge, Germany, 7 March 1552; d. Remlingen, near Wolfenbüttel, Germany, 1625[?])
Löhneyss, who came from a noble family, was brought up in Würzburg and Coburg. Before he was twenty, he entered the service of the prince of Ansbach. In 1575 he went to the court of Elector Augustus I of Saxony as equerry. Beginning in 1583 he held the same position under Augustus’ son-in-law, Heinrich Julius Brunswick and Wolfenbüttel, who in 1589 made director of Brunswick’s mines and foundries in Upper Harz. In 1596 Löhneyss was appointed inspector general of the mines of Zellerfeld, Clausthal, and Andreasberg. He carried out his official duties first in Wolfenbüttel and on the estate at Remlingen; and from 1613 he worked in Zellerfeld. He was inspector general until 1622, During this time he kept many mines and foundries from being shut down.
Löhneyss was highly regarded as a writer by his contemporaries. From 1596, after a quarrel with his publisher, he brought out his works himself in printing shops he established in Remlingen and Zellerfeld. To illustrate his books he hired a woodblock engraver and a copperplate engraver. Along with Della cavalleria, both the text and the illustrations of which command respect, and Aulico-politica oder Hof-, Staats- and Regierungskunst, one should mention above all his Bericht vom Bergkwerck, which appeared in 1617. The intrinsic value of this book, which treats technical as well as economic and administrative aspects of mining and metallurgy, lies solely in the economic sections. Otherwise, Bericht vom Bergkwerck contributes nothing new; and even though it has frequently been called an outstanding description of mining and metallurgy, it in no way merits this praise. The technical material is shameless plagiarism: without citing his sources Löhneyss summarizes Agricola’s De re metallica libri XII (1556) and copies word for word Lazarus Ercker’s Beschreibung allerfürnemisten mineralischen Ertzt und Berckwercksarten… (1574), then combines them with the mining regulations of Brunswick to form a book.
I. Original Works. Löhneyss’s major works are Della cavalleria, grundtlicher Bericht von allem was zu der löblichen Reiterei gehörig und einem Cavallier davon zu wissen geburt (Remlingen, 1609-1610; 2nd ed., 1624; 3rd ed., Nuremberg, 1729); and Bericht von Bergkwerck, wie man dieselben Bawen und in guten Wolstandt bringen soll, samptallen darzu gehörigen Arbeiten, Ordnung and rechtlichen Process (Zellerfeld, 1617); undated new eds. appeared between 1650 and 1670; in 1690 there appeared an ed. entitled Gründlicher und ausführclicher Bericht von Bergwercken, wie man dieselbigen nützlich and fruchtbarlich bauen, in glückliches Auffnehmen bringen, und in guten Wolstand beständig erhalten.
II. Secondary Literature. See “Georg Engelhard[t]von Löhneyss,” in Allgemeine deutsche Biographie, XIX (Leipzip, 1884), 133-134; W. Serlo, Männer des Bergbaus (Berlin, 1937),99-100; H. Dickmann, “Das grösste Plagiat im berg-und hüttenmännischen Schrifttum,” in Das Werk (Düsseldorf),16 (1936), 572;W.Hommel, “Berghauptmann Löhneysen, ein Plagiator des 17. Jahrhunderts,” in Chemikerzeitung,36 (1912), 137-138; and “Über den Berghauptmann Löhneysen,” ibid 562; M. Koch, Geschichte und Entwicklung des bergmännischen Schrifttums (Goslar, 1963), 60-62; and “Berghauptmann Georg Engelhardt von Löhneyss, Bergbauschriftsteller und Plagiator,” in Glückaufl100 (1964), 49-50.