Fugger, Barbara Baesinger (d. 1497)

views updated

Fugger, Barbara Baesinger (d. 1497)

German textile merchant. Name variations: Barbara Baesinger; Barbara Basinger. Born in Augsburg, Germany;died in 1497 in Augsburg; married Ulrich Fugger, a textile merchant of Augsburg (died 1469); children: 11, including sons Ulrich, George, and Jacob, and eight daughters (names unknown).

Barbara Baesinger Fugger was a wealthy German merchant. Born into the affluent Baesinger family of Augsburg, Germany, she married Ulrich Fugger, a textile merchant, as a teenager. Barbara was widowed after bearing 11 children. Because her sons were too young to succeed their father, she proceeded to take over the management of the family business herself. She had phenomenal success, eventually dealing internationally in wool and linen.

Fugger was a careful manager of her children's futures as well; she planned for them, providing each daughter with a suitable dowry and saving enough money to establish each son in his own business. Two of her sons remained with her to learn the textile trade, while her youngest, Jacob, was sent to Rome to become a priest. Before he had completed his studies Barbara called him home due to the deaths of several other children. Jacob remained in Augsburg and eventually, with his mother's capital and training, was able to establish a tremendously profitable banking company. "Jacob the Rich" became one of the most successful of all medieval bankers, acting as principal banker to the ruling Habsburgs of Austria. Barbara Fugger continued transacting business until advancing age forced her to retire.


Anderson, Bonnie S., and Judith P. Zinsser. A History of Their Own. Vol. I. NY: Harper and Row, 1988.

Gies, Frances, and Joseph Gies. Women in the Middle Ages. NY: Harper and Row, 1978.

Laura York , Riverside, California