55. Registry with the delivery of copper and silver to Fugger and the Höchstetters of Augsburg

Fugger Archive
FA 40.1
GENERAL INFORMATION: Paper, H. 49.7 x W 46.7 cm. Dated Innsbruck, 22 January 1524.

The document, dated 22 January 1524, appoints Jakob Fugger’s nephew Anton and the trusted merchants Georg Hörmann and Konrad Mair as representatives of the Fugger company in Tyrol. It illustrates the way in which Jakob Fugger (1459–1525) operates the Tyrolean trade. He gives loans to the sovereign either on his own or in partnership with others and provides the administration in Innsbruck with monthly advances. In return, he receives ores at a certain price, which he is then allowed to distribute at a fixed price. In this way, loans are secured and repaid. After 1519, this related in particular to the enormous costs for the election of Emperor Charles V. Now, in 1524, a settlement is also made for outstanding ore deliveries from the ‘Kupferkauf’ or copper contract. Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519) had already concluded this contract with Fugger and the Höchstetter brothers/company in 1515 for a period of four years. At the same time, the government and the administration in Innsbruck, on behalf of Archduke Ferdinand, the emperor’s brother, agreed on another copper contract with the same companies for an eventual value of 86,718 gulden. They had already advanced 40,000 for this at Christmas 1523, and the remaining 46,718 gulden were due on St George’s Day (23 April). With this contract, the sovereign forced the ‘Gewerken’ or mine operators to deliver their ‘Fronerze’ (the ore subject to delivery), primarily to the smelter in Rattenberg am Inn operated by Fugger with a partner from Schwaz, at a fixed price. Thus, in addition to the credit business, the Fuggers were also active as smelters. Since the recent bankruptcy of the Paumgartners, they had also become tradesmen themselves by taking over the Paumgartners’ ore mines. This is why Jakob Fugger sends his two young nephews, Ulrich (1490–1525) and Anton (1493–1560), to Tyrol together with the experienced Hörmann.

(Franz Karg)