« Butterbriefe, Butterwoche Buttlar, Eva von Buttz, Henry Anson »

Buttlar, Eva von

BUTTLAR, EVA VON: The leader in a disgraceful aberration externally connected with Pietism, which is in no way responsible for it; b. at Eschwege (26 m. e.s.e. of Cassel), Hesse, 1670; d. at Altona after 1717. Educated without religious instruction, she married at seventeen a French dancing-master in Eisenach, named De Vésias. After ten years of a gay court life, she was touched by the Pietistic movement, left her husband, stopped going to church, and in 1702, with a group of friends, founded at Allendorf in Hesse a new Christian-Philadelphic society, like several others which had sprung up in the Netherlands and western Germany. The esoteric doctrine of these societies included the expectation of an approaching 322millennium, the rejection of marriage as degrading, and the extinction of carnal desires by unrestrained indulgence. Eva and her friends are said to have practised the most lawless excesses, as sanctioned by their beliefs. Driven from Allendorf, they sought refuge in Wittgenstein, the common asylum of the persecuted; but even there the tribunals were obliged to interfere. Eva and her special intimates, the theologian Winter and the physician Appenfeller, embraced Catholicism at Cologne pro forma as a means of protection, and then settled at Lüde near Pyrmont, where their blasphemous insanity reached its height in 1706. They were all again arrested, but escaped. Appenfeller, who had been legally married to Eva, settled with her in Altona as a practising physician; and she is said finally to have lived a decent, regular life with him there as a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

(F. W. Dibelius.)

Bibliography: Thomasius, Gedanken über allerhand gemischte philosophische und juristische Händel, iii, 208–624, Halle, 1726; Keller, Die Buttlarische Rotte, in ZHT, 1845, part 4; M. Goebel, Geschichte des christlichen Lebens in der rheinisch-westphälischen Kirche, Coblenz, 1852.

« Butterbriefe, Butterwoche Buttlar, Eva von Buttz, Henry Anson »
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