The burgrave was the king's representative; he was charged with the administration of the royal estates in a given district, and in general with watching the royal interests therein.
The Franconian branch of the Hohenzollerns was represented in 1227 by Conrad, burgrave of Nuremberg, whom the emperor Frederick II.
Schwabach was purchased in 1364 by the burgrave of Nuremberg.
Later the overlordship was claimed by the archbishops of Mainz, on the strength of charters granted by the emperor Otto I., and their authority in Erfurt was maintained by a burgrave and an advocatus, the office of the latter becoming in the 12th century hereditary in the family of the counts of Gleichen.
In the nth century a burgrave (chatelain, castellanus), who was an episcopal officer, is found exercising jurisdiction in the city as well as the Vogt.
The office of burgrave dates from the time of Charlemagne, although its holder was not at first called by this name, and it soon became one of great importance.
The magistrates, the Schout or high bailiff and his assessors, the Schepenen (scabini, echevins), were nominated by the burgrave from the order of knights.
Of Hohenzollern, burgrave of Nuremberg, and in 1391 did the same for the Teutonic Order against Ladislaus V., king of Poland and prince of Lithuania.
Daughter and heiress of Conrad, burgrave of Nuremberg, and about 1192 he succeeded his father-in-law as burgrave, obtaining also some lands in Austria and Franconia.
Conrad became burgrave of Nuremberg, and, receiving the lands which had come into the family through his mother, founded the Franconian branch of the family, which became the more important of the two; while Frederick, receiving the county of Zollern and the older possessions of the family, was the ancestor of the Swabian branch.