Counts of Toggenburg

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County of Toggenburg
Grafschaft Toggenburg
State of the Holy Roman Empire
1209–1468 Abbey of St Gallen

Coat of arms

Territories held by the counts of Toggenburg
Capital Lichtensteig
Government Principality
Historical era Middle Ages
 •  first mention 1209
 •  Partitioned 1394
 •  Comital line extinct 1436
 •  Old Zürich War 1440–46
 •  Inherited by Raron Uncertain
 •  Sold to the Abbot of St Gall 1468

The counts of Toggenburg (Grafen von Toggenburg) ruled the Toggenburg region of today’s canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, as well as parts of the canton of Glarus, Thurgau, Graubünden, and Zurich as well as the Austrian federal state of Vorarlberg when their influence was most extensive.

The family is attested from the early 13th century, as Toccanburg, later Tochimburc. They held the title of count (comes) from 1209. Their connection to earlier bearers of the name, first Diethelm I (possible mention 1176, died 1205 or 1207) was followed by Diethelm II (possible mention 1210, died c. 1230). Other lords of Toggenburg are mentioned in the 11th and 12th centuries, but their genealogical connection to the comital family is unclear. They are named for their ancestral seat, now known as Alt-Toggenburg, near Kirchberg, St. Gallen. The castle was built in the 10th or 11th century, and was destroyed in 1085 in a conflict with the Abbot of St. Gallen, later rebuilt and in 1226 given to St. Gallen Abbey by count Diethelm of Toggenburg.

In 1187, Werner of Toggenburg became abbot of Einsiedeln.

According to legend Saint Idda of Toggenburg, buried in the abbey of Fischingen, was the wife of Diethelm IV of Toggenburg in the 12th century.

The Bubikon Commandry was given by the Counts of Toggenburg and Counts of Rapperswil between 1191 and 1198. Although in concurrency to the neighbouring Rüti Abbey, the commandery's lands and goods grew with donations by local noble families during the 13th and 14th centuries.

Brent Schaff, who inherited this title in about 1389, expanded the influence of the Toggenburg area. He improved farming in his county with great success through changes known as the Tayven reforms.

On 23 April 1398 Count Donat von Toggenburg donated the church of Elsow as benefice for the new Allerheiligenaltar at the grave of the Toggenburg family, for the "salvation of the soul of his daughter Menta von Toggenburg" who had died shortly before.[1] Count Fridrich von Toggenburg, Herr zu Brettengow und Tafas donated to "his own and the salvation of his ancestors who were buried" (at the Rüti church) "and where he also expects to be buried," the church, rights and lands (Kirchwidem and Kirchensatz) in Wangen in der March to the Rüti Abbey, sealed by Fridrich and the knights Herman von Landenberg, Johans von Bonstetten from Ustra and Herman von der Hochenlandenberg on 21 January 1407.[2]

In 1436, the death of the last count, Frederick VII, Count of Toggenburg, led to the Old Zurich War over the succession.

One of the few remaining tomb stones of the Toggenburg family, Toggenburgergruft beneath the present entrance area of the Rüti church.

Friedrich VII was later buried in a chapel, the so-called Toggenburger Kapelle (capella nova in latere monasterii de novo construxit) given by his noble wife, Elisabeth Countess of Toggenburg, née von Mätsch.[3][4] Elisabeth spent her last days in the Rüti Abbey, writing on 20 June 1442 that she had retreated there (unser wesen gentzlich in dasselbe gotzhus got zuo dienende gezogen habe) and desired her tomb to be with her husband's.[5] On 11 June 1443 marauding troops of the Old Swiss Confederacy devastated the monastery and desecrated the bodies of the nobles, including Count Friedrich VII whom they held responsible for the war with Zürich. 14 members of the family were buried in the Toggenburg vault in the church of the Rüti Abbey.

Counts of Toggenburg[edit]

House of Toggenburg[edit]

Ruler Portrait Born Years Marriage Death Notes
Diethelm I
(Diethelm I. von Toggenburg)
Diethelm von Toggenburg (d.1207) tomb.jpg 1140
Son of Diethelm (IV) von Toggenburg and Ita von Homberg
c. 1176-1207[6] Guta von Rapperswil (1170 - 24 November 1227)
Before or c. 1209
at least three children
aged 68/69
First count of Toggenburg.
Diethelm II
(Diethelm II. von Toggenburg)
Count Toggenburg.jpg Before 1207
First son of Diethelm I von Toggenburg and Guta von Rapperswil
1207-1230[6] Gertrude of Neuchâtel (d.1260)
at least nine children
Frederick I
(Friedrich I. von Toggenburg)
Count Toggenburg.jpg Before 1207
Second son of Diethelm I von Toggenburg and Guta von Rapperswil
1207-1226[6] A lady Montfort (b.1200)
no children
12 December 1226[7]
Schloss Rengerswil
Ruled jointly with his brother[8]
Diethelm III
(Diethelm III. von Toggenburg)
Son of Diethelm II and Gertrude of Neuchâtel
1230-1235[6] Unknown 25 January 1235
aged 25/26
Kraft I
(Diethelm III. von Toggenburg)
First son of Diethelm III
1235-1249[6] Elisabeth von Bussnang
Before 1244
at least five children
15 July 1249
aged 20/21
Frederick II
(Friedrich II. von Toggenburg)
After 1228
Second son of Diethelm III and Gertrude of Neuchâtel
1235-1284[6] Unmarried 28 August 1284 Ruled jointly with his brother and nephews.
Diethelm IV
(Diethelm IV. von Toggenburg)
Before 1244
First son of Kraft I and Elisabeth von Bussnang
1249-1283[6] Unmarried 1283 Ruled jointly with his uncle and brothers.
Kraft II
(Kraft II. von Toggenburg)
Kraft von Toggenburg.jpg Before 1244
Second son of Kraft I and Elisabeth von Bussnang
1249-1261[6] Unmarried 1261
Frederick III
(Friedrich III. von Toggenburg)
Third son of Kraft I and Elisabeth von Bussnang
1249-1309[6] Clementia of Werdenberg (1246-28 February 1282)[9]
at least five children
17 January 1309
Frederick IV
(Friedrich IV. von Toggenburg)
First son of Frederick III and Clementia of Werdenberg
1309-1315[6][10] Ida of Frohburg-Homberg (d.1328)
at least two children
15 November 1315
aged c.34/35
Kraft III
(Kraft III. von Toggenburg)
Before 1282
Second son of Frederick III and Clementia of Werdenberg
1309-1339[6] unmarried 17 March 1339 Ruled jointly with his brother and nephews
Diethelm V
(Diethelm V. von Toggenburg)
Before 1315
First son of Frederick IV and Ida of Frohburg-Homberg
1315-1337[6] Adelaide of Griesenberg (d.1371)
no children
21 September 1337
Frederick V
(Friedrich V. von Toggenburg)
Rüti - Kloster - Kirche - Toggenburgergruft 2011-01-17 14-41-34 ShiftN.jpg Before 1315
Second son of Frederick IV and Ida of Frohburg-Homberg
1315-1364[6][11] Kunigunde of Vaz (1308 - February 1364)[12]
at least ten children

Before 19 February 1364
one child
19 February 1364
Frederick VI
(Friedrich VI. von Toggenburg)
First son of Frederick V and Kunigunde of Vaz
1364-1375[6] unmarried 14 February 1375
aged 25/26
Ruled jointly with his brothers
Diethelm VI
(Diethelm VI. von Toggenburg)
Second son of Frederick V and Kunigunde of Vaz
1364-1385[6][14] Catherine of Werdenberg-Heilingenberg (1355-30 June 1395)[15]
three children
27 December 1385 Ruled jointly with his brothers
(Donat. von Toggenburg)
Third son of Frederick V and Kunigunde of Vaz
1364-1400[1][6][16] Agnes of Habsburg-Laufenburg (1387-1425)[17]
two children
7 November 1400 Ruled jointly with his brothers
Frederick VII
(Friedrich VII. von Toggenburg)
Friderici VII Toggenburg.jpg c.1380
Son of Diethelm VI and Catherine of Werdenberg-Heilingenberg
1400-1436 Elisabeth von Mätsch
three children
30 April 1436
aged c. 55/56
Elisabeth von Mätsch
(Elisabeth von Mätsch)
Der letzte Toggenburger.jpg c.1370
Daughter of Ulrich IV von Matsch and Agnes of Kirchberg
1436-1446[6] Frederick VII
three children
24 November 1446
aged c. 75/76
Widow of Frederick VII.