Jakob Sturm

1498-1553. Reformer and statesman. Born at Strasbourg, he was of a family that had given the city able magistrates for two centuries. He studied at Heidelberg and Freiburg with Capito and Eck. He joined the faculty at Freiburg in 1503 and later became a city councillor. He was appointed chief magistrate (Stettmeister) of Strasbourg in 1526, representing the city ninety-one times in the government of the empire. An early adherent of Reformation doctrine, he advocated an alliance of all German and Swiss evangelical groups, supported in this by Martin Bucer.* He was one of the original “Protestants” at the Diet of Speyer* (1529), took part in the Marburg Colloquy,* and presented the Tetrapolitan Confession* to the Augsburg Diet (1530). Through his influence Strasbourg joined the Smalcald League* (1531), but after the disasters of the Smalcaldic War had to sue for the pardon of his city from Charles V. He stood for liberty of conscience in church matters and was respected by all parties.