In 1976 Bob Scribner published a famous article entitled ‘Why was there no Reformation in Cologne?’1 The article aroused considerable interest for it appeared at a time when research on the urban Reformation was in full flow. Historians as diverse as Bernd Moeller,2 Hans-Christoph Rublack,3 and Geoffrey Dickens4 were in agreement that early Reforming enthusiasm was a specifically urban phenomenon: evangelical notions of the Christian commonweal and divine justice chimed with urban precepts of peace, good neighbourliness, and communal solidarity. Though much admired, Scribner’s article found few imitators – Cologne was indeed the exception which proved the rule. Other urban communes in which no Reforming movement developed were regarded as isolated and backward, or else prevented from following the new doctrines by a lack of political and constitutional autonomy.