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Pack, Otto von

(ca. 1480–1537). Ger. conspirator; studied at Leipzig; counselor and vice-chancellor of George* the Bearded, duke of Albertine Saxony; early in 1528 he informed Philip* of Hesse (some think with Philip's own connivance) of an alleged plot by George the Bearded, Joachim I of Brandenburg (see Joachim, 1), and other RC leaders, secular and religious, to conquer Hung. and then suppress the Reformation in Ger. In response to the alleged impending attack, Philip of Hesse made an alliance with John* the Constant, elector of Saxony, March 1528 with a view to defense and possible preemptive measures. But on the advice of M. Luther, P. Melanchthon, and J. Bugenhagen, the defensive (or preventive) attack was largely deferred and, instead, the RC leaders accused of the plot were confronted to explain the information that Pack had supplied. The plot was denied; the papers were called forgeries. Under examination in Kassel, Pack maintained that he had transmitted genuine documents bearing official seals; but then he fled, was apprehended in the Neth., admitted forgery under torture and was executed. Neither Luther nor Philip were convinced that the documents were forged. Philip and John came out ahead on balance by securing repayment of armament costs from the Frankish bishoprics (Bamberg and Würzburg) and surrender of jurisdiction over Hesse and Saxony by Mainz. Resultant distrust of Prots. by RCs helped consolidate the latter's position at the 1529 Diet of Speyer.*

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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