In the space of two months in mid-1524 crowds of women in three small German towns rallied to protect their evangelical preachers from arrest or banishment. These events, in Waldshut on the Rhine, Allstedt in Thuringia, and Kenzingen in the Breisgau, are the only recorded (or surviving) examples of collective action by women in the early Reformation in Germany, though they were preceded by an incident in Riedlingen on the Danube the previous year when women sought to prevent the expulsion of another evangelical preacher, albeit in circumstances at first sight not directly connected to his religious beliefs. No significance as such can attach to mere chronological propinquity, though it certainly lends piquancy to the events. Women did, of course, subsequently take part in acts of collective protest and violence during the Peasants’ War – notably in Rothenburg ob der Tauber – but so rare are the instances of open solidarity by women on behalf of their preachers that a comparison of the highly differing circumstances of the three communities should encourage us to reflect more broadly on ordinary women’s responses to early evangelical preaching, a topic which has largely been ignored in Reformation scholarship. In so doing, we must broach questions of mentality, psychology, and charisma, with which conventional historians have seldom felt comfortable or conversant. If the results of our enquiry seem tentative and cautious, that is in large measure because the fragmentary and complex nature of the sources does not allow us to draw firm conclusions – and also because historians should fight shy of vapid speculation.