Count Friedrich Rudolf was twelve years old when his father died, and lived to the age of fifty-three, when his son Maximilian Franz was twenty-one years old. The latter reached the age of forty-seven. At the time of his death, his son Prosper Ferdinand was nineteen years old, and he lived to the age of forty-two. Prosper Ferdinand’s son Joseph Wilhelm Ernst was orphaned at age five and assumed the rule at age twenty-two. The seventeenth-century rulers of Stühlingen spent most of their careers in military or administrative service to the empire, leaving little time to manage their own county. The tactical administration of county business was left to local officials, chief among them the quasi-hereditary bailiffs of the Balbach family.
Allowing a Jewish community to exist in Stühlingen was based not on liberal generosity, political necessity, or economic strategy. It was merely an easy route to quick loans and taxation. Such a policy could easily be reversed by other considerations.