At the time of Hendrick Jaachemsen Schoonmaker's s birth in 1624, the City of Hamburg was a unique entity in and of itself. In 1510, Kaiser Maximillian I of the Holy Roman Empire [HRE] declared Hamburg to be an Imperial City. By decree, the inhabitants of the previously independent city-state now owed their allegiance to the Kaiser. However as the Holy Roman Empire was an empire in name only, the city-state maintained a level of independence as the largest member of the Hanseatic League.
To be continued. . . .