1621–1681

Introduction

portrait

Born: March 16, 1621, Lang­en­sal­za, Thu­rin­gia.

Died: Ju­ly 18, 1681, Wei­mar, Ger­ma­ny.

Biography

Neumark was ed­u­cat­ed at the Gym­nas­i­ums in Schleu­sing­en and Go­tha. He re­ceived his cer­tif­i­cate of de­mis­sion from the lat­ter in Sep­tem­ber 1641.

He left Go­tha in the au­tumn of 1641, with a numb­er of mer­chants go­ing to the Mi­chael­mas Fair at Leip­zig. He then joined a sim­i­lar par­ty go­ing from Leip­zig to Lü­beck, plan­ning to pro­ceed to Kö­nigs­berg (now Ka­lin­in­grad, Rus­sia) and en­roll at the un­i­ver­si­ty there.

After pass­ing through Mag­de­burg, they were at­tacked by ban­dits on the Gar­de­le­gen Heath, who robbed Neu­mark of all he had, ex­cept his pray­er book and a lit­tle mon­ey sewed up in his clothes.

He re­turned to Mag­de­burg, but could not find a job there, nor in Lü­ne­burg, Wins­en, or Ham­burg, to which in suc­ces­sion the friends he made passed him on. In the be­gin­ning of De­cemb­er he went to Kiel, where he found a friend in Nic­o­laus Beck­er, a fel­low Thu­rin­gi­an and then chief pas­tor at Kiel.

Day af­ter day passed with­out an op­en­ing, till about the end of the month the tu­tor in the fa­mi­ly of judge Steph­an Hen­ning fell in­to dis­grace and fled from Kiel.

On Beck­er’s rec­om­men­da­tion, Neu­mark got the job, and this sud­den end of his an­xi­e­ties was the oc­ca­sion of the writ­ing of his hymn Wer nur den lie­ben Gott lässt wal­ten.

Neumark passed the time hap­pi­ly in the Hen­ning home un­til he had saved enough to pro­ceed to Kö­nig­sberg, where he en­rolled June 21, 1643, as a law stu­dent.

He stayed five years, al­so stu­dy­ing po­et­ry un­der Dach and main­tain­ing hims­elf as a fa­mi­ly tut­or. Dur­ing this time (in 1646) he again lost all his be­long­ings, this time by fire.

In 1648 he left Kön­igs­berg, was for a short time in War­saw, and spent 1649–50 at Thorn. He was then in Dan­zig (now Gdańsk, Po­land), and by Sep­tem­ber 1651 in Ham­burg.

By the end of 1651 he had re­turned to Thu­rin­gia, and was no­ticed by Duke Wil­helm II of Sach­se-Wei­mar, the pre­si­dent of the Fruit­bear­ing So­ci­e­ty, the prin­ci­pal Ger­man lit­er­a­ry or­gan­iz­ation in the 17th Cen­tu­ry.

The Duke, ap­par­ent­ly in 1652, ap­point­ed Neu­mark as court po­et, li­brar­i­an, and re­gis­trar of the ad­min­is­tra­tion at We­imar; and fin­al­ly sec­re­ta­ry of the Du­cal Ar­chives.

In Se­ptem­ber 1653 Neu­mark was ad­mit­ted as a mem­ber of the Fruit­bear­ing So­ci­e­ty, of which he be­came sec­re­ta­ry in 1656.

In 1679, Neumark be­came a mem­ber of the Peg­nitz Or­der. In 1681, he went blind, but was per­mit­ted to keep his posts un­til he died.

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