Martin Rinckart

rinkart) (1586-1649. Born in Saxony, a cooper's son, he was educated at Eilenburg and Leipzig, where he graduated in theology. A good musician, he became a Lutheran cantor, then deacon at Eisleben. In 1617 he became archdeacon at Eilenburg, a walled town of refuge during the Thirty Years' War* which suffered from famine and pestilence. For some time he was the only clergyman there and in 1637, it is said, he buried nearly 5,000 people, including his wife. He also dissuaded a Swedish commander from imposing on the town an excessive tribute. “Now thank we all our God” (Winkworth*), a grace for his children based on Ecclesiasticus 50:22-24 and the Gloria Patria, became a thanksgiving for the Peace of Westphalia. Rinckart was also a poet and dramatist.