Every now and again I’ll be debunking myths and legends related to the life of Huldrych Zwingli. That because 1) too few people actually read Zwingli. And 2) too many people read about Zwingli in sources that aren’t always reliable.
It was related by a Professor of Church History to our undergrad class (back in the early 80’s) that when Zwingli rejected the playing of organs at Zurich’s churches that he took the key to the organ at the Grossmunster and tossed it in the Limmat, the river that bisects Zurich and empties into the Lake Zurich.
That Professor was wrong. He was merely repeating a legend he had either heard or he made it up himself (the same way Scott Bailey does when he writes about Zwingli, by the way- evidently forgetting that Rev 21:8 proclaims that all liars have their place in the lake of fire).
I have combed all the primary sources, the major biographies by Potter, Morikofer, Locher, and Farner, consulted with every Historian familiar with Zwingli’s life including my colleagues in the Zwingliverein as well as WP Stephens and Diarmaid MacCulloch and none have ever heard of such a deed.
That myth is simply busted. So if anyone ever tells you that Zwingli threw the key of the organ into the river you can confidently assert- no he didn’t!