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looking for Baresch
Georg Baresch, one of the key figures in the early history of
the VMS, seems to be no lesser an enigma than the MS itself.
As I reported earlier, a friend in Prague was assured
by the University information department that no one of that
name was affiliated to the Carolinum at the time in question.
My conclusion was that he must have been a wealthy burgher
of Prague, as burghers often had sizable libraries.
Also the fact that he had a book collection might indicate
that he should have had a house to keep it in.
I have now checked (and I should have thought of it long ago!)
the _Berni rula_. It is the tax census of the Czech lands
from 1653 and names everyone who owned something (house or land).
Part of it was published after the war and in the 1950's.
Unfortunately, the publication project was abandoned
in the 1960's - but fortunately for us the volume for Prague
(vol. 3) was published in 1949 with long footnotes etc.
If Baresch had a house in Prague, he should be there.
But he is not! The closest match is one Jiri Benes (s-hacek so
may have been spelt "Georg Benesch" in German), a mangler and
elder of the linen-dyers guild. There are also some other
people named Benes with a different first name. It is a popular
Czech surname - viz. the president of pre-war Czechoslovakia.
Most of the other players are easily found, however.
1. Marek Marci is recorded as "pan doctor Marek" and described
as "wealthy". He had a house with stables for six horses
at the Melantrichova street which was called "At the Golden Pig"
(U zlate svine). He also had another house at the same street
which he sold in 1657.
2. Just round the corner from Melantrichova, at Havelska
(and on the same page of the register) was the house
"At the Old Women" (U bab) of the late Raphael Mnisovsky
z Sebuzina, now owned by his two daughters (both adult
but one still unmarried). Raphael is also described as
wealthy, and the tax was 8 zlaty (Marek paid 7 only).
3. At the Fruit Market (Ovocny trh), there was a house without
any special name [pity - I like those names!] owned by
Karel Skreta Sotnovsky z Zaviric, a painter, who inherited
it from Johana Strosburgova, a daughter of Dr Tadeas Hajek
z Hajku [so it was probably Hajek's house where Dee and
Kelley had stayed].
4. At the corner of Dlouha and Dusni there was a house called
"At the Golden Stones" (U zlatych kamen) which was sold
in 1628 by representatives of the _emigrant_ Samuel Dobransky
z Nigropontu [ie. Pontanus] to the present owner - Jan Jiri
Tonner. Another member of the family - Jan junior Dobransky
z Nigropontu had 1/4 of the house of his wife at Betlemska.
But no Baresch...