Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership
Switzerland Ecclesiastical Territories 

See also Swiss Substates and Princess-Abbesses

In Switzerland there were a number of Ecclesiastical Territories were  ruled by an Abbess. The Princess-Abbess was a member of the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire - in some cases with right to vote.

The sources of this list are "A.M.H.J. Stokvis "Manuel d'Histoire, de Généalogie et de Chronologie de tous les Etats du Globe - 1888 - 1893" and "Dictionaire d'histoire et de geographie ecclesiastique" 1907-. Thanks to Bob Hilkens for supplying the list.

Fraumünster
The abbey of Frauenmunster (Frauenstift) was founded in 853. The abbesses became Princesses in 1234 and acquired much possessions in Uri Schwyz and principally Zurich. In 1524 the abbess became protestant and sold the possessions of the abbey to Zurich. 


853-859 Hildegard

863-877 Berchta

875-893 Richarda

Around 893   Kunigunde

928-958 Regilinde

Around 1000    Ermenhidis

1067-1043 Irmgard

Around 1080  Hedwiga von Wohlhausen

1145-1153 Machtild I von Tirol
Member of the house of Counts of Tirol,

Around 1212  A...

Around 1214  Machtild II

1220-1222 Gisela von Spiegelberg

1222-1227 Adelheid von Murghard

1228-1254 Judentha von Hagenbuch

1255        Elisabeth I

1255-1269 Machtild III von Wunnenberg

1270-1298 Elisabeth II von Wetzikon

1298-1308 Elisabeth III von Spiegelberg

1308-1340 Elisabeth IV von Matzinger

1240-1358 Fides von Küngen

1358-1398 Beatrix von Wohlhausen

1398-1404 Anna I von Bussnang

1404-1412 Benedicta von Bechburg

1412-1429 Anastasia von Hohenklingen

1429-1484 Anna II von Höwen

1484-1487 Sibylla von Helfenstein

1487-1496 Elisabeth V von Wissemburg-Krenkingen

1496-1524 Katherina von Zimmern


Schänis
The abbey of Schänis was founded ca 809.
In 1045 it was granted Royal Immunity and free right of choice of Abbess, and the abbesses were first mentioned as Princesses of the empire in 1347. It remained a Free-Worldly Ladies Chapter with rather relaxed rules. The The abbey had many possessions in Schwyz, Glarus Sankt Gallen and Zug. n the 14th century the chapter lost its estates in Vorarlberg (Now Austria) and in the Rhine Walley, and in 1803 the territory of the abbey became part of the canton of Sankt Gallen and in 1810 the abbey was suppressed.

In spite of continued attempts to reform the chapter, it still did not have wows and only noble ladies were accepted as members. In the beginning they had to have least 4 and later up to 16 ancestors of high noble birth, and the convent thereby functioned as an institution for the survival of unmarried South German noble ladies.

----. I

Around 1045  Adelheid I

Until  1091 Regilinda

Around 1127 Ita

Around 1144  Magdalena von Heidelberg

Ca.1178 - 1185 Adelheid II von Buchberg

Circa 1237 - 1262 Euphemia von Bichelsee

Until 1271 Adelheid III von Sigisperg

1271-75 Machtild

Circa  1282-1301 Elisabeth I von Schalchen

Circa 1303-08 Anna I

1308-10 Elisabeth II

Around 1310 Williburg

1321-29 Katherina I

1330-43 Ursula I von Grunenstein

1348-59 Anna II von Arbon

1362-1400 Princess-Abbess Agnes von Wildenberg
She sold the church treasure of Nuolen, a parish within her juristiction. Reached a compromise with the canonesses about the incomes from Benken. The area was under the overlorship of the Habsburg until 1388 when they lost the majority of the possessions in the Schänis Area. Daughter of Freiherr Heinrich II von Wildenberg.

1402-20 Adelheid IV von Schwandegg

1420-51 Elisabeth III von Greiffensee

1451-78 Adelheid V Trüllerey von Trostberg

(1460-71 Agatha von Seengen
Appears in some lists but this is probably wrong as it is well documented that Adelheid V was in office until 1478).

1478-82 Dorothea von Jestetten

1483-91 Barnara I Blaarer von Wartensee

1492-93 Elisabeth IV von Goldenberg

1494/95 Sussana van Sal

1495-1525 Barbara II Trüllerey

1525-55
Ursula II Muntprat von Spiegelberg

1555-75 Anna III von Mosheim

1575-87 Barbara III Blaarer von Wartensee

1587-1612 Katherina II Brümsi von Herblingen

1612-38 Anna IV von Bellheim

1638-52 Maria von Ramschwag

1652-64 Maria Caecilia von Greuth

1664-77 Maria Franzisca zu Rhein

1677-1701 Maria Eva Schenkin von Casteel

1701-11 Maria Anna Sussana zu Rhein

1711-13 Princess-Abbess Maria Eva Rosa von Römerstal
 
1712 Acting Princess-Abbess Maria Anna Margaretha von Wessenberg
As the only one to remain in the chapter when the Fürstäbtissin and the other canonisses fled from the troops from Zürich she acted as Stadtholder (Statthalterin) from May to August.

1713-35 Maria Clara Salomé von Roggenbach
Resigned because of a mental ilness, and lived (1668-1736).

1722-35 Reigning Koadjutorin Maria Anna Eleonore Reichlin von Meldegg

1735-63 Maria Anna Franzisca zu Rhein

1763-96 Maria Anna Anastasia von Eptingen

1796-1810 Maria Walburga Theresia von Liebenfels-Worblingen  


Königsfelden
The Chapter of Königsfelden (Damenstift) was founded in 1310. It acquired many possessions in Argau, Swabia and Alsace, but did apparently not have the dignity of Princess. In 1528 the Chapter was secularized and its possessions in Aargau were annexed to Bern (until 1803). The possessions in Swabia and Alsace were sold.

1310-1313 Elisabeth von Goritz

Around 1313  Hedwiga von Kuntzlau

1318-1324 Guta von Bachenstein

1329        Benigna von Bachenstein

Around 1330 Agnes of Hungary

Around 1334 Adelheid I

Around 1355  Elisabeth I von Leiningen

Around 1371 Anna I von Goldenberg

1374-1383 Irmengard von Hohenberg

Around 1405  Adelheid II von Hallwyl

1406-1408 Margaretha I von Wachingen

1411-1415 Margaretha II von Grünenberg

1416-1456 Elisabeth II von Leiningen

Around 1456 Ursula von Mirlingen

Around 1459 Eva von Erpach

Around 1471 Osanna Jäger

1472-1492 Apollonia von Hohenberg

1497-1506 Anna II von Stein

1511-1513 Emerita Lutschern

1516-1528 Katherina von Waldburg

 

Last update 28.01.09