Faesch (family)

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Coat of arms of Joseph Fesch as a sovereign prince, French prince and cardinal.

Faesch is the name of a Basel family that can be traced back to the early 15th century.


Probably coming from the Breisgau , the Faesch family acquired Basel citizenship in 1409 and from 1494 belonged to the upper class through a seat on the city council. From the middle of the 16th century until the end of the 18th century, the Faesch were always represented by a family member in the highest city authorities. The family was ennobled by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1563 .

Portrait of the family of the Basel guild master Hans Rudolf Faesch and Anna Glaser (1559), Hans Hug Kluber , Kunstmuseum Basel .

The permanent membership of the Basel elite was not least thanks to a clever and happy marriage policy . Through the marriage of Franz Faesch, an officer in Corsica in Genoese service, with the widow Ramolino, the Faesch even connected with the Bonaparte family . The daughter Laetizia of the widow Ramolino from her previous marriage became the mother of Napoleon , the son Joseph Fesch (1763-1839) from her subsequent marriage to Franz Faesch became his uncle. He made an important career and after converting to the Catholic faith became cardinal and archbishop of Lyon . He also became French ambassador to Rome, senator and count, received the rank of sovereign prince in 1806 , became French prince in 1807 , became peer of France in 1815 and then Roman prince.

In the middle of the 17th century the Faesch were the richest family in Basel, their previously established family foundation still exists. The "Museum Faesch", a typical 17th century art chamber , was created by the lawyer, university rector and art collector Remigius Faesch (1595–1667) and existed as a Fideikommiss until 1823; the parts of the collection came into the possession of the University of Basel and, like the Amerbach cabinet, became the core holdings of the Basel state museums .

Other family members


  • Collected messages from the Fäsch or Fesch family in Basel, from which Se. Eminence of ... Cardinal Fesch descends. Monday, Regensburg 1806 ( digitized version )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Dutch Atlantic connections, 1680-1800: linking empires, bridging borders / edited by Gert Oostindie, Jessica V. Roitman. Leiden: Brill, 2014. 440 pp.: Ill. ISBN 978-90-04-27132-6 . Pages 40f
  2. Caroline Weldon on ancestry.com ; accessed on March 17, 2016