Thomas von Absberg

Last updated

Hans Thomas von Absberg (1477 3 July 1531) was a Frankish knight of the Absberg family, known as a robber baron.

He kidnapped important travellers like royal legates or merchants from Nuremberg or Augsburg. He was supported by several Frankish knights, who helped to hide the hostages, e.g. members of the houses of Sparneck or the Guttenberg. The hostages were taken on a route with several castles far away from the point they were kidnapped. An advantage for Thomas von Absberg were the nearby borders of several principalities and sometimes he escaped to Bohemia. He was known for the cruelty of cutting off the right hand with a dussack and sending it to the family of his victims to underline his demands for ransom.

Eventually prisoners held at the Waldsteinburg were able to escape and reveal who the supporters of Thomas von Absberg were and where their castles were. To punish the behaviour of Thomas von Absberg the Swabian League destroyed the family's castle seat in 1523, as well as all of the castles belonging to the House of Sparneck. This was documented in a series of woodcuts by Hans Wandereisen. But Thomas von Absberg was not caught and continued his robbery, until he was murdered in Alten-Sedlitz in 1531 by one of his accomplices.

Related Research Articles

Fugger family Augsburg based family of European bankers

Fugger is a German upper bourgeois family that was historically a prominent group of European bankers, members of the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century mercantile patriciate of Augsburg, international mercantile bankers, and venture capitalists. Alongside the Welser family, the Fugger family controlled much of the European economy in the sixteenth century and accumulated enormous wealth. The Fuggers held a near monopoly on the European copper market.

Landshut Place in Bavaria, Germany

Landshut is a town in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria. It is also the seat of the surrounding district, and has a population of more than 70,000. Landshut is the largest city in Lower Bavaria, followed by Passau and Straubing, and Eastern Bavaria's second biggest city.

Katharina von Bora Protestant reformer, wife of Martin Luther

Katharina von Bora, after her wedding Katharina Luther, also referred to as "die Lutherin", was the wife of Martin Luther, German reformer and a seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation. Beyond what is found in the writings of Luther and some of his contemporaries, little is known about her. Despite this, Katharina is often considered one of the most important participants in the Reformation because of her role in helping to define Protestant family life and setting the tone for clergy marriages.

Ulrich von Hutten

Ulrich von Hutten was a German knight, scholar, poet and satirist, who later became a follower of Martin Luther and a Protestant reformer.

Florian Geyer

Florian Geyer von Giebelstadt was a German nobleman, diplomat, and knight. He became widely known for leading peasants during the German Peasants' War.

Casimir, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth

Casimirof Brandenburg-Bayreuth was Margrave of Bayreuth or Margrave of Brandenburg-Kulmbach from 1515 to 1527.

Bad Iburg Place in Lower Saxony, Germany

Bad Iburg is a town in the district of Osnabrück, in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated in the Teutoburg Forest, 16 km south of Osnabrück.

Bibra family

The Bibra family was one of the leading Uradel families in Franconia and present day Thuringia from the mid-15th century to about 1600. Later on the family rose from Reichsritter to Reichsfreiherr. After the Holy Roman Empire dissolved, they were made ‘’Freiherr’‘ (Barons) of Bavaria and Bohemia.

Brenz Castle

Brenz Castle is Renaissance castle located in the Brenz an der Brenz borough of Sontheim in Heidenheim district of Baden-Württemberg in Germany. The current castle was built in 1672 and rests on the remains of an earlier castle destroyed during the Thirty Years' War. Within the castle is a small Community Heritage Museum that is open on Sundays, Holidays or by appointment and hosts several concerts throughout the year.

Katzenstein Castle

Katzenstein Castle is one of the oldest remaining Hohenstaufen castles in Germany. It is located in a borough that shares its name with the castle in the Dischingen municipality of the Heidenheim district of Baden-Württemberg. The castle is open to visitors and contains several dining rooms as well as hotel rooms.

Ludwig II of Bavaria King of Bavaria

Ludwig II was King of Bavaria from 1864 until his death in 1886. He is sometimes called the Swan King or der Märchenkönig. He also held the titles of Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, Duke of Franconia, and Duke in Swabia.

House of Waldburg

Waldburg is a princely family of Upper Swabia, founded some time previous to the 12th century; the cadet lineages are comital families.


The Waldsteinburg, also called the Red Castle is a ruined castle on the summit of the Großer Waldstein in the Fichtel Mountains of Germany. It is also known as the Westburg to distinguish it from the older ruins of the Ostburg.

Sparneck family

The House of Sparneck was a local noble family in Franconia.

House of Absberg

Absberg was a local noble family in Franconia.

The Bavarian War from 1459 to 1463, also known as the Princes' War, was a result of the expansionist ambitions of the two warring Principalities, pitting Margrave, later Elector, Albert Achilles from the House of Hohenzollern, which by this time had already annexed the principalities of Brandenburg-Kulmbach and Brandenburg-Ansbach, against Duke Louis "the Rich" of Bavaria-Landshut from the House of Wittelsbach.

Rothenberg Fortress

Rothenberg Fortress is a fortress on the eponymous hill, 588 m, near Schnaittach in the Franconian Jura.

Katharina von Zimmern

Katharina von Zimmern, also known as the imperial abbess of Zürich and Katharina von Reischach, was the last abbess of the Fraumünster Abbey in Zürich.

History of Franconia

Franconia is a region that is not precisely defined, but which lies in the north of the Free State of Bavaria, parts of Baden-Württemberg and South Thuringia and Hesse in Germany. It is characterised by its own cultural and linguistic heritage. Its history began with the first recorded human settlement about 600,000 years ago. Thuringii, Alemanni and Franks, who gave the region its name, settled the area in the Early Middle Ages. From the mid-9th century, the Stem Duchy of Franconia emerged as one of the five stem duchies of the Empire of East Francia. On 2 July 1500, during the reign of Emperor Maximilian I, as part of the Imperial Reform, the empire was divided into Imperial Circles. The Franconian Circle, which was formed as a result of this restructuring, became decisive in the creation of a Franconian national identity. A feature of Franconia in the Middle Ages and Early Modern Period was its Kleinstaaterei, an extreme fragmentation into little states and territories. In the 19th century under Napoleon, large parts of Franconia were incorporated into the newly created Kingdom of Bavaria.

Franconian War

The Franconian War was waged in 1523 when the Swabian League attacked several robber baron castles in Franconia, whose nobles were supporters of Hans Thomas of Absberg in the Absberg Feud.