Jakob Fugger the Elder

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Jakob Fugger the Elder

Jakob Fugger (1398 in Augsburg – 1469 in Augsburg) was a German master weaver, town councillor and merchant, as well as the founder of the Fugger dynasty. He was later known as Jakob Fugger the Elder to distinguish him from his son Jakob Fugger, who took over his father's company and oversaw its rise to be the largest and richest trading house in Europe.


Jakob's father was Hans Fugger, who came from Graben to the free city of Augsburg as a Landweber in 1367. Through hard work and two marriages to good women, Hans left his family a large fortune on his death in 1408. His widow Elisabeth Fugger-Gfattermann led the weaving and the textile-trading side of the business until her own death in 1436. She was helped in these areas by Hans and Elisabeth's sons Andreas and Jakob, who also learned gold-working as apprentices. Together the three of them built the family business into a thriving but still low-level business and in the first three decades of the 15th century made a considerable fortune. On their mothers' death Andreas took over leadership of the firm and held it until 1454, when the company split, with Jakob taking his shares in the firm and began successfully operating on his own, becoming one of the twelve richest citizens of Augsburg eight years before his death.

Marriage and issue[edit]

On 13 April 1441, Jakob married Barbara Bäsinger, daughter of the Münzmeister Franz Bäsinger. They had eleven children, including Ulrich, Georg and Jakob Fugger.

Family tree[edit]


  • (German) Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München: Die Fugger im Bild. Selbstdarstellung einer Familiendynastie der Renaissance. Exhibition catalogue, Quaternio Verlag, Luzern 2010, ISBN 978-3-88008-003-4.
  • (German) Johannes Burkhardt: Das Ehrenbuch der Fugger. Facsimile, transcription and commentary, 2 Bände, Wißner Verlag, Augsburg 2004, ISBN 3-89639-445-2.
  • (German) Götz von Pölnitz: Die Fugger. 6. Auflage. Mohr & Siebeck, Tübingen 1999, ISBN 3-16-147013-3.
  • (German) Franz Herre: Die Fugger in ihrer Zeit. 12. Auflage. Wißner-Verlag, Augsburg 2005, ISBN 3-89639-490-8.