BREMEN: A free city and state of the German Empire. The city is situated on the Weser, about forty-six miles from its mouth and 215 miles by rail w.n.w. of Berlin. The state includes also the
BIBLIOGRAPHY: W. von Bippen, Geschichte der Stadt Bremen, 2 vols., Bremen, 1892-98; Jahrbuch für bremische Statistik, ib. 1905.
BREMEN, BISHOPRIC OF: A former diocese of Germany, whose foundation belongs to the period of the missionary activity of Willehad on the lower Weser. He was consecrated July 15, 787, at Worms, on Charlemagne's initiative, his jurisdiction being assigned to cover the Saxon territory on both sides of the Weser from the mouth of the Aller, northward to the Elbe and westward to the Hunte, and the Frisian territory for a certain distance from the mouth of the Weser. Willehad fixed his headquarters at Bremen, though the formal constitution of the bishopric took place only after the subjugation of the Saxons in 804 or 805, when Willehad's disciple, Willerich, was consecrated bishop of Bremen, with the same territory. The diocese was probably at that time ecclesiastically subject to Cologne. When, after the death of Bishop Leuderich (838-845), it was given to Ansgar, it lost its independence (see ANSGAR), and from that time was permanently united with Hamburg. The new combined see was regarded as the headquarters for missionary work in the north, and new sees to be erected were to be subject to its jurisdiction. Ansgar's successor, Rimbert, the "second apostle of the north," was troubled by onslaughts first of the Normans and then of the Wends, and by renewed claims on the part of Cologne. The see of Bremen attained its greatest prosperity and later had its deepest troubles under Adalbert (see ADALBERT OF HAMBURG-BREMEN). The next two archbishops, Liemar and Humbert, were determined opponents of Gregory VII. Under the latter the archbishopric of Lund was erected, and Bremen had suffragan sees only in name, the Wendish bishoprics having been destroyed. Schisms in Church and State marked the next two centuries, and in spite of the labors of the Windesheim and Bursfelde congregations, the way was prepared for the Reformation, which made rapid headway, partly owing to the fact that the last Roman Catholic archbishop, Christopher of Brunswick, was also bishop of Verden and resided there. By the time he died (1558), nothing was left of the old religion outside of a few monasteries and the districts served by them. The title of archbishop, with the secular jurisdiction, was borne for a time by Protestant princes. The Peace of Westphalia (1648) secularized it and made it (with Verden) a duchy and an appanage of the crown of Sweden. In 1712 it passed into the possession of Denmark, and three years later was sold to Hanover, to which it was restored in 1813 after the Napoleonic disturbances. Its former territory was distributed ecclesiastically at this time among the neighboring dioceses of Hildesheim, Osnabrück, and Münster, the imperial city of Bremen and the surrounding district being administered by the vicar-apostolic of the northern missions.
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