Counts of Toggenburg

County of Toggenburg
Grafschaft Toggenburg
Flag of Toggenburg
coat of arms
(until 1308)[1]
coat of arms (from 1228)[1] of Toggenburg
coat of arms
(from 1228)[1]
Territories held by the counts of Toggenburg
Territories held by the counts of Toggenburg
Status County
Capital Lichtensteig
Government County
Historical era Middle Ages
• first mention
• Partitioned
• Comital line extinct
• Sold to the Abbot of St Gall
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kyburger House of Kyburg
Abbey of St. Gall Abbey of St Gallen
League of Ten Jurisdictions Zehngerichtebund
ZĂĽrich ZĂĽrich
County of Sargans Sargans

The counts of Toggenburg (Grafen von Toggenburg) ruled the Toggenburg region of today's canton of St. Gallen, Switzerland, and adjacent areas during the 13th to 15th centuries.

A baronial family of Toggenburg is 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.

The family is attested from the early 13th century, as Toccanburg, later Tochimburc. Diethelm I (possible mention 1176, died 1205 or 1207) was followed by Diethelm II (possible mention 1210, died c. 1230). Either of these was the beneficiary of the inheritance of a number of local noble families (among these Alt-Rapperswil) in c. 1200 and adopted the title of comes (count) from 1209. In 1187, one Werner of Toggenburg became abbot of Einsiedeln. The legend of a Saint Ida of Toggenburg is recorded in 1481, making her the wife of a count of Toggenburg, possibly either Diethelm, or one Heinrich. According to the legend, the husband defenestrated his innocent wife on suspicion of adultery. She survived and lived as an anchoress in Fischingen. Her veneration there is attested for 1410.

The early counts were in competition with St. Gallen Abbey, the bishops of Constance and the counts of Kyburg. The inheritance disputes motivated the donation of religious establishments in Bubikon, Rüti, Oberbollingen and Wurmsbach in the 1190s, and a fratricide by one Diethelm (fl. 1209–36) of his brother Rudolf in 1226.

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.[2] Count Fridrich von Toggenburg, Herr zu Brettengow und Tafas donated to "his own and the salvation of his ancestors who were buried" (at the RĂĽti church) "and where he also expects to be buried," the church, rights and lands (Kirchwidem and Kirchensatz) in Wangen in der March to the RĂĽti Abbey, sealed by Fridrich and the knights Herman von Landenberg, Johans von Bonstetten from Ustra and Herman von der Hochenlandenberg on 21 January 1407.[3]

In 1436, the death of the last count, Frederick VII, Count of Toggenburg, led to the Old Zurich War over the succession. 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.[4][5] 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.[6] 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.

List of counts

House of Toggenburg

Ruler Born Reign Death Ruling part Consort Notes
Diethelm I ? fl.1044[7] ? Lordship of Toggenburg Unknown
at least two children
First documented lord of Toggenburg,[7] probably the founder of the family.
Berthold ?
Son of Diethelm I
fl.1044[7] ? Lordship of Toggenburg Unknown Probably brothers, confirm the same document as their father.[7] It's not known if he succeeded him, or if the succession went through his brother Ulrich.
Ulrich ?
Son of Diethelm I
? Lordship of Toggenburg Unknown
Fulknand ?
Son of Ulrich or Fulknand
?-1081[7] 1081[7] Lordship of Toggenburg Unknown Probably brothers, it's not known which one succeeded the previous count. It's probable, however, that these belonged to the next generation. There's also an unnamed Toggenburg belonging to Fulknand and Diethelm II's generation, who married a woman named Irmgard (died in January of known year).[7]
Diethelm II ?
Son of Ulrich or Fulknand
1081-1102? After 14 July 1102[7] Lordship of Toggenburg Unknown
Diethelm III ?
Son of Diethelm II
c.1102-c.1146 c.1146[7] Lordship of Toggenburg Unknown Has a known sister, Kunigunde, who married a nobleman from the StĂĽhlingen family.[7]
Diethelm IV ?
Son of Diethelm III
c.1146-1176? c.1176[7] Lordship of Toggenburg Ita of Thierstein (Saint Ida of Toggenburg?)[8]
(d. 19 August 1200/1226?)
one child
Diethelm V Diethelm von Toggenburg (d.1207) tomb.jpg c.1140
Son of Diethelm IV (and Ita?)
c.1176-1207[9] 4 January 1205 or 5 January 1207[7] Lordship of Toggenburg Ita? (of Kirchberg?) (Saint Ida of Toggenburg?)[8]
one/two children[10]
Gave an important donation to Ritterhaus Bubikon c.1192. He was buried there and is also represented there in a fresco with his family.
Diethelm I the Elder[11] Diethelm II.png c.1160
First son of Diethelm V (and Ita of Kirchberg?)
c.1207-1209[9] 1230 Lordship of Toggenburg Guta of Rapperswil (Saint Ida of Toggenburg?)[8]
(1170-24 November 1227 or after 1227)
before or c.1209
three children
Probably ruled jointly. Diethelm was numbered VI as lord. In 1209 the brothers were raised to counts. After Frederick's assassination, Diethelm rule alone.
1209-1230[9] County of Toggenburg
Frederick I Frederick I.png c.1160
Second son of Diethelm V (and Ita?)
c.1207-1209[9] c.1214[11]
Lordship of Toggenburg Unmarried
1209-1214[11][9] County of Toggenburg
Diethelm II the Younger[11] 1209
Son of Diethelm I and Guta of Rapperswil
1230-1235[9] 25 January 1235[7] County of Toggenburg Gertrude of Neuchâtel
c.1220 or January 1221
nine children
Frederick II c.1220
Son of Diethelm II and Gertrude of Neuchâtel
1235-1284[9] 28 April 1284 County of Toggenburg Unmarried Frederick, Diethelm and Kraft ruled jointly as sons of Diethelm II. After Kraft's death, he was replaced in the co-rulership with the former's two eldest sons, Diethelm and Kraft II.
Kraft I 1228
Son of Diethelm II and Gertrude of Neuchâtel
1235-1249/54[9] 15 July 1249 or 1254[7] County of Toggenburg Elisabeth of Bussnang
(d. after 13 January 1277)[7]
three children
Diethelm III c.1220
Son of Diethelm II and Gertrude of Neuchâtel
1235-1248[9] 4 September 1248[7] County of Toggenburg Elisabeth
c.1247 (before October)
no children
Diethelm IV c.1240?
Son of Kraft I and Elisabeth of Bussnang
1249-1282/3[9] After 23 April 1282[7] or 1283 County of Toggenburg Unmarried
Kraft II the Minstrel[11] Kraft von Toggenburg.jpg c.1240?
Son of Kraft I and Elisabeth of Bussnang
1249-1261[9] 1261 County of Toggenburg Unmarried
Frederick III 1244?
Son of Kraft I and Elisabeth of Bussnang
1284-1303/5/9[9] 22 November 1303 or 7 December 1305[7]or 17 January 1309 County of Toggenburg Clementia of Werdenberg
(1246-28 February 1282)[12]
five children
Kraft III c.1280?
Son of Frederick III and Clementia of Werdenberg
1303/5/9-1339[9] 7 March 1339[7] County of Toggenburg Unmarried Kraft and Frederick IV ruled together as sons of Frederick III. After Frederick IV's death, he was replaced in the co-rulership by his son, Diethelm V.
Frederick IV the Younger[11][13] c.1280
Son of Frederick III and Clementia of Werdenberg
1303/5/9-1315[9] 15 November 1315[7]
County of Toggenburg Ida of Frohburg-Homberg
(d.19 March 1316/28)[7]
five children
Diethelm V c.1300?
Son of Frederick IV and Ida of Frohburg-Homberg
1315-1337[9] 21 September 1337[7]
County of Toggenburg Adelaide of Griesenberg
two children
Frederick V [14] RĂĽti - Kloster - Kirche - Toggenburgergruft 2011-01-17 14-41-34 ShiftN.jpg c.1300?
Son of Frederick IV and Ida of Frohburg-Homberg
1339-1364[9] 5 February 1364[7] County of Toggenburg Kunigunde of Vaz
(1308 - February 1364)[15]
23 April 1337
ten children
Donat [2][9][16] 1358
Son of Frederick V and Kunigunde of Vaz
1364-1400[9] 7 November 1400[7] County of Toggenburg Agnes of Habsburg-Laufenburg
two children
Sons of Frederick V, ruled jointly.
Diethelm VI [18] 1353
Son of Frederick V and Kunigunde of Vaz
1364-1385[9] 27 December 1385[7] County of Toggenburg Katharina of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg
(1355-30 June 1395)[19]
three children
Frederick VI 1349
Son of Frederick V and Kunigunde of Vaz
1364-1375[9] 22 January or 28 May 1375[7] County of Toggenburg Unmarried
Frederick VII Friderici VII Toggenburg.jpg c.1380
Son of Diethelm VI and Katharina of Werdenberg-Heiligenberg
1400-1436[9] 30 April 1436[7]
County of Toggenburg c.1410-30
three children
After his death, and with no surviving children, he left his wife as his heir.
Elisabeth of Mätsch Der letzte Toggenburger.jpg c.1370
Daughter of Ulrich IV, Lord of Mätsch and Agnes of Kirchberg
1436-1446[9] 24 November 1446[7] County of Toggenburg Widow and heiress of Frederick VII.


  1. ^ a b The house of Toggenburg used two coats of arms. The older one, used throughout the 13th century but falling out of use after 1308, shows a lion and an eagle party per pale. This is the coat of arms shown in the donor portrait of Bubikon Commandery, dated 1192. The younger coat of arms shows a hound with a wolf collar. This is the coat of arms shown in Codex Manesse, and is used by the bailiwick and reeves of Toggenburg after the extinction of the comital line.
  2. ^ a b "C II 16, Nr. 215 Graf Donat von Toggenburg, Herr zu Brettengow und Tavas, hat den Kirchensatz von Elsow dem Abt und Konvent des Prämonstr... (1398.04.23)" (in German). Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  3. ^ "C II 12, Nr. 277 Graf Fridrich von Toggenburg, Herr zu Brettengow und Tafas, schenkt zum eigenen Seelenheil und dem seiner Vorfahren dem ... (1407.01.21)" (in German). Staatsarchiv des Kantons ZĂĽrich. Retrieved 2015-08-14.
  4. ^ "Summarium Amt S, Band 1, Seite 10" (in German). Klosterarchiv Einsiedeln. Retrieved 2015-07-31.
  5. ^ "A 142.4, Nr. 9 Stiftung einer Messe am Altar einer Kapelle des Klosters Rüti durch Gräfin Elisabeth von Toggenburg, 1439.09.05 (Dokument)" (in German). Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich. Retrieved 2015-08-02.
  6. ^ "C II 12, Nr. 407 Gräfin Elizabeth von Toggemburg geborene von Maetsch, Witwe, - deren [im Jahr 1436] verstorbener Mann Graf Ffriedrich vo... (1442.06.20)" (in German). Staatsarchiv des Kantons Zürich. Retrieved 2015-08-10.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab Cawley 2001.
  8. ^ a b c Cawley mentions Ita as wife of Diethelm IV, but, if she is in fact the unidentified Idda of Toggenburg, her chronology is more fitting as wife of Diethelm V (d.1207). Cawley cites Codex Giessensis when referring to Diethelm V: "Dyetalmum" [V] as the son of "Dyetalmo de Tokkenburch" who married "Itam". It's not clear if the subject of the "who" is Diethelm "father" or Diethelm "son". However, Saint Ida has also been identified with Guta of Rapperswil, wife of Diethelm VI, given the proximity of their death dates. Cawley, however, states that Guta passed away probably after 1227, when Saint Ida's death is fixed in c.1226.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Toggenburg (S.G.) in German, French and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland.
  10. ^ Cawley mentions that Diethelm VI, the first count, may have had a brother, Frederick, attested in 1217, asserting, however that he may be identical with Frederick I, Diethelm VI's son. Opposing this, is the Bubikon donation fresco of 1192, where Diethelm V appears with two children.
  11. ^ a b c d e f [1]
  12. ^ Clementia von Montfort
  13. ^ Friedrich IV, Graf von Toggenburg
  14. ^ Friedrich V, Graf von Toggenburg
  15. ^ Kunigunde von Vaz
  16. ^ Donat von Toggenburg
  17. ^ Agnes von Habsburg-Laufenburg
  18. ^ Diethelm VI, Graf von Toggenburg
  19. ^ Katharina von Werdenberg-Heilingenberg


  • Cawley, Charles (2001), Medieval Lands - Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Grafen von Toggenburg,