Mansuetus (sometimes Mansuet) is an extraordinarily unusual name. The Zumbrunnen used a couple distinctive names, with Mansuetus being by far the rarest. There were four different men named Mansuetus Zumbrunnen over the centuries, with this Mansuetus being the first. The name appears in nearly no other Swiss families. The name is Latin, not German, and seems to mean something like the “calm, quiet, meek or gentle one.” It’s hard to know where his parents even encountered the name. There are two obscure Catholic saints named Mansuetus (the Zumbrunnen were all staunch Catholics at this time), one named Mansuetus of Toul who died in 375 and one named Mansuetus of Milan, who was the archbishop of Milan in 685. Nearly no information survives about these saints, but perhaps Mansuetus’s parents had encountered their relics on a pilgrimage.
He inherited the family land in Altdorf and was also an investor in a mining company established by a man named Erasmus Klug. He married Barbara Aschwanden, from another old family from Uri and they had an enormous brood of 11 children, which was large even for the time.
He followed the family custom of participating in civic life. He was a member of Uri’s council, he was the Treasurer of the Canton from 1527-36, and a representative to the Swiss diet from 1530-48. He moved to Thurgau from 1536-38 to serve as the landvogt or bailiff of Thurgau. While in office he would have lived in the Frauenfeld Castle. He remained in Thurgau for an additional two years after his time as Landvogt was over, serving as the guard of the Feldbach Monastery there.
He must have returned to Uri in 1540, and in 1548 he became the landammann of Uri, the sixth Zumbrunnen man and fourth generation in a row to hold the office. He died in office in 1549.
Name: Mansuetus Zumbrunnen
Birth: Late 1400s or early 1500s
Offices: Landammann of Uri, 1548-49; Hauptmann of Feldbach Monastery 1538-40; Landvogt of Thurgau 1536-38; Treasurer of Uri 1527-36; Swiss diet representative 1530-48
Spouse: Barbara Aschwanden
Children: Landammann Johann Zumbrunnen III, Erasmus Zumbrunnen, Magdalena Zumbrunnen, Margarita Zumbrunnen, Walter Zumbrunnen, Dorothea Zumbrunnen, Lucretia Zumbrunnen, Mansuetus Zumbrunnen, Kunigunda Zumbrunnen, Hugo David Zumbrunnen, Josue Zumbrunnen