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What are the connections between Great Britain and the City of Worms?

What are the connections between Great Britain and Germany, and in particular between Great Britain and Worms? In our view there are various aspects that play a role, and, apart from the historical connections, one of these is a certain way of life. It is not by chance that Europe’s biggest Christmas market outside Germany and Austria is in Birmingham, where it is called the “Frankfurt Christmas Market”. British people clearly like the cosy atmosphere that Germans call Gemütlichkeit and delight in authentic culinary specialities, including hot mulled wine and beer brewed in the traditional way.

The English Reformer William Tyndale, who was burned at the stake in Belgium  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The first New Testament printed in Worms

It is also true that most British people are members of a reformed church and thus have a special connection to the scholar William Tyndale. The first complete edition of the New Testament to be published in English in William Tyndale’s translation was printed in Worms in 1526.

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Diet of Worms (Source: Wikimedia.de)

Shakespeare’s allusion to the Diet of Worms

Almost everyone who grew up in an English-speaking country knows Worms from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, with its political reference to the Diet of Worms and the play on words in this phrase, in which Shakespeare suggests that Martin Luther was not “eaten away” by the Imperial Diet (the legislative assembly) but by the worms present at this Imperial Diet.

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Frederick with his falcon. Taken from his book “De arte venandi cum avibus” (On the Art of Hunting with Birds), a so-called Manfred Manuscript (Biblioteca Vaticana, Pal. lat 1071), late 13th century (Source: Wikipedia)

The Emperor Frederick – a fairy-tale wedding in Worms Cathedral

A further connection is the royal wedding in the Cathedral of Worms in 1235between Frederick II and Isabella of England, the niece of Richard I (Richard the Lionheart). A relief commemorating this event can be seen on the Town Hall in Worms at the entrance to the Registry Office.

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Statue of Robin Hood outside Nottingham Castle (source of photograph: Wikipedia)

King of England behind bars in Worms

And finally, the famous Richard the Lionheart spent some time in prison in Worms.

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