Fugger, the name of a Swabian family that rose from humble mercantile position to princely rank. John Fugger, the founder of the house, was a master weaver at Graben, near Augsburg, a member of the Westphalian Vehmgericht, and a fairly prosperous citizen, who died in 1409, leaving a modest fortune. His eldest son, Andrew, was the progenitor of the noble Fuggers vom Reh, extinct for over three centuries. The second son, Jacob, remained a weaver, but accumulated a large fortune that was shared by three brothers, Ulrich, Jacob, and George. All were ennobled by Maximilian in return for timely loans, and together they built the famous almshouses known as the Fuggerei at Augsburg.
George alone handed on the name and business to the next generation, and his two sons, Raimond and Antonius, were the wealthiest men of their day and strong opponents of the Reformation. Charles V. stayed in the house of the latter at the Diet of Augsburg in 1530, and was warmed by a fire of cinnamon kindled with his own bond. Such generous hospitality met with its reward, and the brothers were not only made princes, but received large grants of land and the privilege of issuing currency. Antonius died in 1560, leaving six millions of gold crowns as well as vast landed estates all over the world. The families of both still exist as the Fuggers of Kirchberg and Weissenhorn, enjoying the highest hereditary honours in Bavaria and Austria, and being allied by marriage with the best blood in Germany.