Tucher von Simmelsdorf, Paulus XII

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Hierarchical Path: War of the Spanish Succession (Main Page) >> Personalities >> Tucher von Simmelsdorf, Paulus XII

Tucher von Simmelsdorf, Paulus XII.

Franconian General-Feldwachtmeister (1703-1709), Feldmarschall-Lieutenant (1709)

born 2 February 1656, Nuremberg

died 26 July 1709


Paulus Tucher’s parents were Anton Tucher (1616-1669) and Anna Maria Loeffelholz (1616-1669), both belonging to important Nuremberg patrician families. Four of his brothers died young as did his only sister. Only Johann Melchior, born in 1660, made it to Imperial captain, taking part in the defence of Vienna in 1683, but died in 1686. So it was rather important that Paulus in 1687 married Maria Helena Holzschuher (1668-1697), she of course also of patrician descent and a wealthy heiress. The pair had three sons and three daughters, two of the sons died young. Hopes of continuing this branch of the family failed in 1747, when his grandson Johann Christoph Tucher died.

In early childhood Tucher became an orphan: in 1668 both his father and his mother died. He was given into the custody of deacon Georg Polster. His primary education was taken over by the rector Simon Baumeister.

After three years Paulus Tucher began his studies at Altdorf university (1669 to 1673 (?)), quite a long time for a noble son. But in 1672 he already was page-boy to Count Johann Wilhelm von Sinzendorff, who was lieutenant-colonel in the Imperial regiment Massini or Massimi (raised in 1672, disbanded in 1679), thus proceeding in an education befitting his rank. When Sinzendorff regarded him as “grown too much” for a page-boy, Tucher began his military service as a volunteer in the count‘s company, “carrying the pike” in Raab/Hungary, where the regiment was stationed.

In May 1674, Tucher returned to Nuremberg and proceeded to Würzburg, where he entered service with the regiment Leyen in the Frankenstein company. Six months he served as a Gefreiter, 18 as a corporal and one as a Fourier. In 1676 he became ensign. After twelve months he was promoted lieutenant.

In 1676, Tucher was present at the siege of Philippsburg, where he was wounded.

In 1679, the Bamberg-Würzburg Prince-Bishop Peter Philip gracefully allowed Tucher to continue his education by a typical nobleman’s Grand Tour. In the following two years Tucher went along the Rhine to Holland, the Spanish Netherlands, through parts of France, to Savoy, Rome, Naples and via Tyrol back to Nuremberg.

Tucher resigned his Würzburg commission when Nuremberg offered him a company in the Franconian regiment Andlau, raised in 1682. Only reluctantly Prince-Bishop Peter Philip let him go.

With regiment Andlau, Tucher attended the relief of Vienna and the battle of Barcan (Parkany) in 1683. In the following campaigns in Hungary he was present at Filleck-Schwaba (Fiľakovo, Fülek), Waitzen (Vác, Vacov) and Novigrad.

In Nuremberg an unpleasant affair earned him not honor, but an arrest: in 1684 he had made pregnant Maria Juliana Pömer (1654-1727), like him from a patrician family. Maria Juliana had already “let herself be congratulated and titled as a Tucherin.” Although from a status point of view a possible match, no wedding followed. The child, born in June 1685, died. In the winter of 1685/86, the Vienna Reichshofrat, one of the high courts of justice in the Reich, had to decide if the arrest put on Tucher by the Nuremberg magistrate to force a marriage had been justified. No result is known, but obviously it all went in Tucher’s favour. On 4 April 1687, he married the aforementioned Holzschuher heiress. Maria Juliana Pömer had already married an unknown Baden-Durlach lieutenant named Wolfgang Victor Seeberg von Edla on 22 September 1686.

In 1685, the Franconian regiments were divided. One half from each unit was present at the siege of Neuhäusel (Nové Zámky, Érsekújvár, Uyvar), the other (with Tucher) at Gran (Esztergom, Ostrihom). After winter-quarters in Silesia, Tucher made a short trip home with the half-regiments.

Tucher then returned to Hungary to take part in the battle of Mohacz, proceeded with the army to Transylvania and was garrisoned with his regiment at Zattmar (Satu mare, Szatmárnémeti, Sathmar).

In 1688, Tucher’s company was given to Carl Volckamer and he himself is listed as captain of a company of the so-called Stadt-Miliz, a company which around 1700 would develop into an invalid’s unit. But again in 1691, Tucher was made major and in the same year lieutenant-colonel in the newly raised Franconian regiment of foot Schönbeck.

In 1692, Tucher became member of the Nuremberg City Council as a so-called Genannter or Junior Mayor (Junger Bürgermeister). As a member of the so-called Schöpfen-Amt, he was made juror in a lower court of law one year later. In 1696 Tucher obtained an important appointment with the Nuremberg administration as Kriegsherr, one of five directing counsellors in the war-office. In 1698, he was made Nuremberg deputee to the Franconian Circle. This included travelling in diplomatic affairs, for example to Landau or to the congress of the Imperial Circles in Neckarsulm.

Probably during the 1690s, Tucher had the castle in Maiach, a small town south of Nuremberg (nowadays an urban district) rebuilt. It had been burnt down during the Thirty Years War, now more something like a noble mansion, one might say. In 1944 the mansion was burnt once more during the bombings of the Second World War and refurbished in 1956 in simplified forms.

At the beginning of the War of Spanish Succession, Tucher with FML Erffa made a tour along the Franconian-Bohemian border region to check the situation there.

In 1702, Tucher was promoted colonel of one of the regiments of the Franconian militia, but the militia was dissolved and supplanted by new, regular regiments of infantry. The Franconians had raised them in 1703 to have independent units at their disposal to defend their territories (as the old regiments of course formed part of the Reichsarmee). This was of no disadvantage to Tucher: he now was made colonel and proprietor of one of the new regiments. A Tucher from another branch of the family, Christoph Berthold, was his major and later lieutenant-colonel. During the siege of the Fortress of Rothenberg in 1703, which posed an exceptionally uncomfortable threat to Nuremberg, being located only 24 km north-east of the city, Tucher was one of the deputies of General Jahnus, who was directing the siege.

On 22 December 1703, Tucher was promoted major-general. As a major-general, he was lucky enough to get the appropriate salary of 280 fl. - generals’ salaries were scarce in Franconia, but the Circle obviously had granted additional payments in this case. Tucher was the first of six Nuremberg officers ever made general by the Franconians.

His regiment was deployed to Neumarkt, later he marched by way of Dietfurt to Kelheim to take part in the siege of this town under General Herbéviller from 10 June 1704. Due to the advance of the Bavarians, the siege had to be lifted. The regiments then were deployed to Heideck and Hilpoltstein, and later marched to the Schellenberg.

With the occupation of Bavaria, Tucher became governor of the fortified town of Rain (from 17 July 1704) with a garrison of 500 men from the three Franconian regiments Tucher, Zollern and Jahnus. The curriculum vitae read at his funeral mentions his benignant conduct there, lauded by his soldiers and the citizenry alike, which may be true or a formula to be expected in the circumstances.

According to seniority, in 1705 Tucher was made Nuremberg Alter Bürgermeister, one of Senior Mayors doing duty by turns in the city government. At the same time, he was incorporated in the Imperial Knighthood Gebürg canton, although only in 1708 he bought the Rittergut Rüssenbach (35 km north of Nuremberg) from the von Stiebar family, which had been already in possession of a Tucher family trust as a pledge. This led to a new increase in the reputation of the family.

Until July 1707, Tucher had to represent General Bagni as governor of Ingolstadt. On that occasion, he obviously had the opportunity to get a number of recruits from the Bavarian units made prisoners. He transferred 71 men of his own regiment (maybe partly ex-Bavarians) to the Nuremberg companies of the regular, “old” regiments Erffa, Helmstätt and Boyneburg, where they at least got 3 fl. Bounty . In the same year 1707, Tucher was made counsellor to the court of appeal in Nuremberg and Waldherr, one of the directors of the administration of the so-called Reichswald, the Imperial forests around Nuremberg in administration of the city. One year later, he was appointed Zeugherr, being one of the administrative directors of the Nuremberg arsenal.

When the French took the Upper Rhine lines of defence, the four Franconian regiments in Munich and Ingolstadt were moved to the Franconian borders. Tucher was given the command of the Franconian militia. Later, he marched to Ettlingen with the four regular regiments.

On 12 August 1709 Tucher was promoted FML, but died in great pain the same year on 28 October from lumbago scorbutica and a liver abscess.

Paulus Tucher von Simmelsdorf und Winterstein auf Rüssenbach, to quote his full name and titles, is not only described as lenient to the citizens of the towns he had been governor of, but also especially interested in the Church and schools, he read mostly spiritual books, was charitable, a great scholar and “a friend and patron of the Muses.” A life-size bust of Tucher, commissioned by his children, was destroyed in the bombing of Wöhrd in 1943. His regiment was given to Johann Adolph von Jaxtheim and disbanded in 1714.


Biedermann, Johann Gottfried: Geschlechtsregister des Hochadelichen Patriciats zu Nürnberg... Bayreuth, Dietzel 1748, Taff. DIV, DLXXXII.

Documents from the Bavarian state archives and city archives at Nuremberg.

Fleischmann, Peter: Rat und Patriziat in Nürnberg. Neustadt/A. 2008, pp. 1031 f.

Wülffer, Johann: Quies in turbis oder Ruhe in der Unruhe bey hoher und Stands-mässiger Beysetzung des wohlgebohrnen Herrn, Herrn Paulus Tuchers… Nürnberg, Endter 1709.

A copyrighted portrait is to be found in portraitindex.de


Klaus Roider for the initial version of this article