Even today, road and flames all over Germany point to the mills industry. Since there were several multers among my ancestors mainly in Saxony and Bohemia, I will now describe the mills industry.
While in the villages many of the former mill buildings still exist, they have almost completely disappeared from the old towns. For centuries, mills have been one of the most striking buildings in the settlement area. This was more than just outward. Like no other trade, the mills' craft has influenced the development of the river landscape in addition to its economic importance. Mills and mill piles were built where mills were built, paths and bridges were laid, and other trades were settled.
The milling industry has always had a special place in commercial life. Economically, the cereal and oil or percolating mills until the introduction of the potato at the beginning of the eighteenth century were decisive for the diet of the population.
The mills have always enjoyed increased legal protection as an important aid for food preparation and their location in solitary places, mostly in shrubbery and pasture grounds. The mediaeval pamphlets expressly classify the mills as pacified objects protected against violence ("mills peace") and punish the peace break with heavy punishments.
In the tenth century, the smallholding of the town disappeared, and in its place came the landed property. The mills, serviced by servants, became part of the Fronhöfe of the founders who appropriated the rights to cooperative property, the "Allmende", and they remained until the 12th century. Thereafter, they were lent to annual tenders for tenants, which they operated at their own expense. With the training of the territorial state in the 12th century, there was a state-owned mill, which together with the Mühlenbann created a completely new legal basis for the mills industry until the 19th century. There were two types of mills: the stately ones, which were the property of the landlords, and the private mills of private persons, who were, as a rule, secular and spiritual masters. Private and state-owned mills were usually not run on their own, but either on a lease or in a lease of time. The miller, however, could at any time withdraw from the contract as tenant.
Until the abolition of the grinding force and the introduction of the freedom of trade (in Saxony in 1838 and 1861), the mills industry remained strictly regulated. While the Mühlbann protected the entrance of a mill by forbidding the construction of additional mills in the area concerned, the grinding obligation forced the peasants to have their grain milled in a particular mill. Both regulations were expressed in mill regulations. Since not every village had its own mill, the mill forced the formation of mill roads.
The lethal letter specified the conditions under which a mill was inherited. In addition to the one-time leasing fee, the payment of the annual rent, usually to Martini, to the stately cellar, was calculated from a quantity of grain calculated according to the "Malter" (grain size) for the lease. Depending on the size of the mill, one or two muller pigs as well as geese and eggs were required to pay this fruit lease.
The miller achieved some good income. The fan expressed his expression in frequent godparades and high tax assessments. On the other hand, many mu- sters were dependent on the acquisition of the land (agriculture or fish- ing). Looting and the effects of war, flood and drought, ice and fire, were present to them, like all the contemporaries. Muller's proven reputation was countered by the fact that the profession was considered fraudulent and contentious. Numerous processes, which the muller jointly and more frequently led together, had their cause in the production conditions of the mills. The use of water (water rights) was based on strict observance of the applicable regulations. If a miller piled too much water, the conditions for the mill operation deteriorated.
It was especially in the eighteenth century that the miller applied for the conversion of their natural lease into a money lease. When the mill was not able to grind because of drought or flooding because of flooding or ice, and the grain was scarce because of the miseries or looting of the lonely mills during war time able to refund the rent in kind. The misconduct was that the muller had no right to rent a lease, if they had once been impaired in the use of the mill. The landlord, however, usually left something of the rent, if they were submissive to it and justified the expert opinions which they had brought up, such as the Landeskeller; but that did not change the fact that this was a landlord's act of grace.
The leaseholder had to bear the ongoing maintenance costs for buildings, equipment and waterworks, with the exception of extraordinary repairs, at his own expense. This was fixed in the mills' letters. While the maintenance of the mills' buildings, which were mostly constructed only of wood and loam in half-timbered buildings, did not entail any major costs, the repair and restoration of the mills required considerably higher costs.
The mill buildings had modest dimensions. There was a dwelling-house and a mill-room under a roof that was usually covered with straw. In addition there were the stables for pigs, cows, donkeys and horses. Almost all mulcher operated as an agricultural industry.
Source: partially taken http://www.neue-ufer.de