Joachim Sparkuhl’s Miscellany

Illicit Foundations?

Johannes Joachim Sparkuhle (born ca. 1695) is the earliest Sparkuhl identified in the present genealogy. Little is known about him apart from the fact that he was a dragoon [mounted infantryman] in the company of Capitain von Bibow.


In 1739 the Brush and Broomakers Guild of Wolfenbüttel petitioned Duke Carl of Braunschweig, and Lüneburg to take action against a certain dragoon by the name of [Johannes] Sparkul who they claim had violated the Guild’s monopoly on the manufacture and sale of brushes and brooms.


The petition states that Guild had discovered to its horror that while Sparkul was in charge of prisoners in the stockade at Wolfenbüttel he had bought up most of the hair and bristles available on the market and had set his prisoners to making brooms and brushes for his own profit.


The members of the Guild claim they had suffered substantial damage both to their incomes and to the honest reputation of their profession because of Sparkul’s inferior products. They petition the Duke to seize the tools and hair and finished products from Sparkul, and to punish him accordingly.


Alas we have no record of the Duke’s reply but it appears that Johann Joachim Sparkuhle likely profited from this enterprise since he later had the resources to send his son Johann Andreas to law school. Ironically the son’s successful legal career may have been made possible by the questionable efforts of his father. Johann Andreas Sparkuhle ended up as prominent district judge in the office of the Prince of Wolfenbüttel and was granted a coat of arms by Friedrich August II, Elector of Saxony. Two of Johann Andreas’ sons went on to become lawyers and the other two became pastors.