Ulrich von Sax

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Ulrich von Sax (also von Hohensax ) (* approx. 1462 ; † August 23, 1538 in Bürglen TG ) was a Swiss diplomat, mercenary leader, military entrepreneur and first commander in chief of the Swiss army.



As the son of Baron Albrecht von Hohensax and Ursula Mötteli, Ulrich von Sax was born into what was then the leadership of Eastern Switzerland. He was the owner of the dominions Sax-Forsteck in the Rhine Valley (later to the city of Zurich) and Bürglen in Thurgau. He was married twice, first to Agnes von Lupfen and then to Helena von Schwarzenberg (daughter of Freiherr Johann von Schwarzenberg). In 1529 he and his rulers converted to the Reformed faith, but in 1531 he returned to the Catholic Church.

Military career

1476–77 he took part in the Burgundian Wars under the leadership of Hans Waldmann . In 1485 he was involved in the Mötteli trade for the benefit of his uncle. In 1486 he became a citizen of the city of Zurich. From 1487 to 1497 he appeared in the service of the Habsburgs as a mercenary leader and received commissions for it. During the Swabian War of 1499, he sided with the federal side, where he took part in the Battle of Frastanz . 1501–1503 and 1508–1509 he was again active as a mercenary buyer for the benefit of the Habsburgs, not always with the consent of all confederates. In the piano procession in 1512 he worked as federal commander-in-chief. And from 1516 he was in the service of the King of France.

Diplomatic career

From 1501 Ulrich von Sax was the imperial envoy to the confederates. In 1503 he represented the Confederates in the Peace of Arona to the King of France. This made the Blenio Valley , the Riviera and Bellinzona definitely federal. In 1511 he was the driving force behind a renewed union with the Habsburgs. In 1521 he arbitrated a dispute among the confederates in which it was about Mendrisio and Balerna .


Individual evidence

  1. ^ Anna-Maria Deplazes-Haefliger: Sax, Ulrich von. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .