Crisis in the Habsburg Monarchy and Hungary, 1619–1622: The Hungarian Estates and Gábor Bethlen*
The essay examines the network of relations between the estates of the Kingdom of Hungary and Gábor Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania (1613–1629) and elected King of Hungary (1620–1621), between 1619 and 1622. Because these years in the midst of the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) represented a genuine crisis period for the Central European Habsburg Monarchy, the topic demands particular attention from an international perspective as well. Despite this, hitherto neither Hungarian nor international scholarship have examined this question. The study attempts to fill this gap on the basis of research conducted in archives in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. First, it will demonstrate how many of the political elite in the Kingdom of Hungary supported the Transylvanian prince in 1619–1621 and in what way. Second, it will draw attention to an almost completely forgotten compromise between Emperor Ferdinand II (1619–1637) and the Hungarian estates reached at the Hungarian diet at Sopron (Ödenburg) in the summer of 1622. Finally, it will present the winners and losers of this new compromise, as well as how Emperor Ferdinand and the monarchy’s political leadership were able to cooperate with the Hungarian estates.
Keywords: Emperor Ferdinand II, Hungarian estates; Diet of Sopron (1622), Protestant religious freedom, coronation of Eleonora Anna Gonzaga (Queen of Hungary)
Gábor Bethlen, Prince of Transylvania (1613–1629) and elected King of Hungary (1620–1621), has attracted considerable attention, especially in Hungarian historical literature.1 His name appears in virtually every summary about the Central European Habsburg Monarchy and the Holy Roman Empire, as well as of the great European war, as an active military participant in the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) or as the ally of the rebellious Bohemian estates and the supporter of Protestantism.2 At the same time, research in major languages has subjected only certain aspects of his foreign policy, his relations with the Confoederatio Bohemica and the Ottoman Porte, as well as his military campaigns in Hungary, to a more thorough examination.3 Even his first biography in a major language has had to wait until the present day to appear.4 At the same time, what is characteristic of works that have appeared in foreign languages—apart from analyses of military history—is that they mainly examine the subject primarily from the viewpoint of the Principality of Transylvania and Bethlen himself.
However, Gábor Bethlen’s activity and his military campaigns in Hungary merit special attention beyond this, both from the point of view of the history of the Habsburg Monarchy, as well as naturally from that of the Kingdom of Hungary, which had formed a crucial part of the Monarchy since 1526.5 As is widely known, the Transylvanian prince attacked the composite monarchy of the Austrian branch of the Habsburgs at one of the most critical moments in its history, late August 1619, in Hungary. While Ferdinand of Habsburg was working in Frankfurt towards acquiring the imperial throne during these weeks, the rebellious Bohemian estates in opposition to him elected the Elector Palatine, Frederick V of Pfalz, as their king (August 26, 1619 in Prague). It was one year after this that Bethlen was elected by the Hungarian estates joining him as their ruler (August 25, 1620 in Besztercebánya, today Banská Bystrica, Slovakia). At this time the Transylvanian prince’s armies controlled a significant part of the territory of the Kingdom of Hungary, including its capital (Pozsony, today Bratislava, Slovakia) since October 14, 1619. Although Ferdinand II at last obtained the imperial crown in September 1619, up until the Battle of White Mountain (November 8, 1620) the Habsburg Monarchy experienced a grave crisis.
The jeopardization of the Bohemian and Hungarian crowns put the survival of the monarchy at stake. In addition, Hungary was the Monarchy’s bulwark and larder against the Ottomans,6 and with the loss of Pozsony Vienna itself, the city of imperial capital and residence, also came under direct threat. Thus, relations between the Hungarian estates and Gábor Bethlen between 1619 and 1622 decisively influenced the fate of the Habsburg Monarchy and in part even how the Thirty Years’ War evolved. In light of all this, it is almost incomprehensible that up till now neither international nor Hungarian scholarship has dealt with this question substantively.7
The present study seeks to fill this gap by raising a few questions of critical importance, though as yet unexamined. How many of the political elite of the Kingdom of Hungary supported the Transylvanian prince in the years 1619–1622, and in what manner?—a question which in the midst of the Bohemian rebellion was of fundamental importance from the viewpoint of the Viennese court and the monarchy as well. Furthermore, how was the compromise between the Hungarian estates and Ferdinand II reached at the Hungarian diet in Sopron (Ödenburg in German) in 1622? In other words, on what conditions and amidst what concessions after 1608 was a new compromise between the estates and the Hofburg reached?8 Especially intriguing is the question of who were the winners and losers of the new compromise and the concomitant new division of power. The complexity of this question itself is clearly reflected in the case of Szaniszló Thurzó, one of the Transylvanian prince’s captains general attacking the Habsburg Monarchy (1619–1622), who was elected by the Hungarian estates as palatine of Hungary, that is, the country’s most important secular dignitary, in June 1622 at the diet in Sopron. Finally, it is worth contemplating what significance the compromise of the summer of 1622 had from the viewpoint of the history of the Central European Habsburg state.
The Hungarian Estates Split into Two Camps (1619–1621)
Well over a decade following István Bocskai’s uprising (1604–1606) and later the compromise between the Hungarian estates and King Matthias II (1608–1619) in late 1608,9 the estates of the Kingdom of Hungary were once more split into two camps. Following Prince Gábor Bethlen’s successful campaign in Hungary in the fall of 1619, more and more members of the Hungarian political elite went over to his side. Although armed pressure also fundamentally determined the choice to join the Transylvanian ruler, it was also fostered in large part by the fact that the goals of the estates’ various factions, formulated and in fact confirmed by law in 1608, were only partly realized. Protestant religious freedom became a reality only in part. In the spring of 1618, for example, the country once again had a Catholic palatine (Zsigmond Forgách), which in and of itself clearly symbolized the success of Counter-Reformation ambitions supported by the court and the Hungarian Catholic elite. In addition, the secular and Protestant estates were only partially able to drive back the prelates in the leadership of the country, while the kingdom’s highly centralized military and financial administration was not fundamentally altered either. Because of this, discontent grew increasingly, particularly among the ranks of the nobility of Upper Hungary, overwhelmingly Protestant and situated close to Transylvania.10 All of this explicitly favored the Transylvanian prince, who at the time of his military campaign in Hungary in the fall of 1619 showed extraordinary tactics by including support for the religious freedom and privileges of the Hungarian estates among the basic themes of his war propaganda.
Growing military success encouraged the majority of the Hungarian estates to back the Transylvanian prince by 1621. This is proven, in addition to the contemporary estimate by Miklós Esterházy, the later palatine of Hungary (1625–1645) who adhered to Ferdinand’s side,11 by our latest broad-ranging archival research.12 This shows that among the supreme leaders of the Hungarian estates, i.e., members of the Upper Chamber of the Diet, only a small albeit influential group remained loyal to the legal Hungarian sovereign. Included among them were: first, the entire ecclesiastical estate (status ecclesiasticus), which after 1608 preserved and indeed strengthened its position gradually; second, with similar unanimity, the estates of Croatia and Slavonia (which had a common ruler with Hungary after 1102); and lastly, a few all-powerful aristocrats from Western Hungary. It was first and foremost Miklós Esterházy, lord steward of Hungary, György Zrínyi, district captain general of Transdanubia (1620–1622), Kristóf Bánffy, Pál and Miklós Pálffy who made up this last group.
In the midst of the war there was for the most part a high price to be paid for remaining loyal to the Habsburg ruler. Although scholarship records mainly the Protestant refugees in connection with the early modern Habsburg Monarchy,13 it is worth noting that in 1619–1621 in the Carpathian Basin many of the Catholics also met such a fate. During Bethlen’s campaigns the better part of the high clergy was forced to emigrate abroad for a number of years. The archbishop of Esztergom, Péter Pázmány (1616–1637), and a number of his fellow bishops found refuge in Vienna, several in Croatia, while the members of the Provostry of Jászó in eastern Hungary (today Jasov, Slovakia) and the Cathedral Chapter of Eger found shelter in Poland. In addition, the well-known patron of the Jesuits, György Drugeth of Homonna, the Hungarian chief justice and lord-lieutenant of Ung County, was also forced to seek refuge abroad with almost his entire court. From here—understandably—he moved to push back Bethlen’s armies with newly recruited troops.14 As for the two abovementioned members of the Pálffy family, it was their good fortune that, after the occupation of Pozsony in mid-October 1619, they were still able to withdraw to their nearby estates in Lower Austria (Marchegg) in time. They, in fact, thanks to their father, Miklós Pálffy, possessed, in addition to Hungarian, Lower Austrian nobility as well.15
Flight to the Croatian–Slavonian territories was promoted by the fact that the estates here steadfastly remained on the side of Ferdinand II—as they themselves declared to their sovereign in early July 1620.16 A number of factors played a role in their conduct. First, in defending the border against the Ottomans the Habsburg provinces, above all the lands of Inner Austria (Styria, Carinthia and Carniola), were in need of financial support.17 Second, there was a geopolitical fact, i.e., that the Transylvanian armies did not reach south of the Drava. And finally there was the religious factor: Croatia and Slavonia after all had remained overwhelmingly Catholic even after 1608. The members of the Drašković, Erdődy, Frankopan/Frangepan, Keglević, Konsky and Ráttkay families thus remained the dynasty’s main pillars. Their ranks were reinforced by the two prominent high dignitaries of the joint Hungarian–Croatian state, Nikola Frankopan, ban of Croatia and Slavonia, and Tamás Erdődy II, royal treasurer of Hungary (magister tavernicorum regalium) as well.
The second faction of the Hungarian estates, roughly similar in size to the previous one, was formed by mostly those whom Bethlen’s armies had compelled to join the prince by force of arms. Included among them were the leading dignitary of the kingdom, Palatine Zsigmond Forgách, who died in mid-1621, and Gáspár Horváth, the president of the Hungarian Chamber, who with the taking of Pozsony were forced onto the side of the prince. In Upper Hungary a similar fate befell Menyhért Alaghy, master of the doorkeepers of Hungary, and András Dóczy, master of the chamber and general of Upper Hungary, who died in Transylvania in 1621 while in the prince’s captivity. Apart from them, numerous other magnates (from the Balassa, Czobor, Esterházy, Forgách, Károlyi, Liszthy, Melith, Osztrosics and Rákóczi families), mostly Catholicized, were no longer able to flee from Bethlen’s troops, who were rapidly advancing in the fall of 1619. The pro-Habsburg border fortress captains (e.g., István Pálffy, Péter Koháry and Tamás Bosnyák), on the other hand, were generally thrown into actual captivity by the princely armies.
Lastly, belonging to the third group of the Hungarian estates were those who either encouraged Bethlen’s attack on Hungary or, favorably disposed to it, joined in voluntarily. Considering the example of the Bohemian rebels worthy of emulation, they tried to remedy their grievances vis-à-vis the Viennese court and the Hungarian prelates with the prince’s help as well. In this most populous camp numbered, in addition to influential aristocrats, a large number of lesser nobles and border fortress officers as well. In the list of names all three districts of Hungary extending from the Drava to the Transylvanian border (Transdanubia, Lower and Upper Hungary)18 were represented in great numbers.
Among them, from Transdanubia, Ferenc Batthyány, master of the horse of Hungary and the prince’s captain general here, as well as Miklós Zrínyi and Pál Nádasdy, the lord-lieutenant of Vas County, stand out. In Lower Hungary, the noted guardian of the Hungarian Crown and chief seneschal, Péter Révay, along with the son (Imre) and close relative (Szaniszló) of György Thurzó, the one-time Lutheran palatine (1609–1616) and Bethlen’s general here, as well as their extensive kin (from the Erdődy, Jakusics, Illésházy, Thököly and Vízkelethy families) formed the prince’s power base. Their defection may be considered quite telling, since in 1604–1606 the majority of them had not supported István Bocskai. The power ambitions and counter-reformatory aspirations of the Viennese court and the Hungarian Catholic elite significantly violated the 1608 compromise and therefore had grave consequences. Finally, that György Rákóczi (later prince of Transylvania, 1630–1648), István Nyáry, György Széchy and others in Upper Hungary joined Bethlen is no surprise. Several members of their families had previously been adherents of Bocskai as well; Catholics were rare among them, while they cultivated traditionally close relations with the Transylvanian prince, thanks equally to the close proximity of their estates and their kindred ties. They thus soon attained prominent positions (captain general, lord steward, etc.) in Bethlen’s military organization in Hungary as well as in his court.
Summarizing all this the following conclusion can be drawn: in February 1621 Gábor Bethlen was not exaggerating when he declared to his envoys in Istanbul that about half of the estates of the Kingdom of Hungary were on his side.19 In fact, a significant group of high dignitaries and aristocrats playing decisive roles in the control of Hungary’s military and financial affairs, as well as its domestic politics and estates institutions—unlike Bocskai, whom almost no high dignitary had joined20—supported Bethlen voluntarily. As for another of their factions, thanks to his rapid military advance, the prince succeeded in “disconnecting” them so to speak from the political life of the kingdom. His election as king of Hungary in late August 1620 was a logical outcome of this process.
All this threatened to have catastrophic consequences for Ferdinand II. By the fall of 1620 his rule in Hungary, ever so important to the Habsburg dynasty, was tottering, the number of his adherents there had dwindled at an alarming rate, and the prince’s troops on several occasions threatened the imperial city. Bethlen moreover came very close to actually acquiring the Hungarian throne, since at this time the Holy Crown of Hungary was also in his possession. For, with the taking of the town of Pozsony, the Hungarian coronation insignia had fallen into his hands, which he then held onto until March 1622 (carrying them all the way to the castle of Ecsed in eastern Hungary).21 In principle, therefore, Bethlen might have opened up a completely new chapter in the history of the realm of St. Stephen, if he had crowned himself king of Hungary. In this case, two Hungarian states would have existed under the leadership of two completely legitimate Hungarian kings, as had happened back during the reigns of Ferdinand I of Habsburg (1526–1564) and John I Szapolyai (1526–1540) after the Battle of Mohács in 1526.22 It must be noted that the Viennese military leadership, the Hungarian prelates, the Croatian lords and the Hungarian aristocrats led by Miklós Esterházy likewise held out resolutely, and thus Bethlen would have had a real chance to completely occupy Hungary and Croatia only in the event of the Habsburg Monarchy’s collapse.
Gábor Bethlen ultimately became a ruler of great consequence by being capable, as a true Realpolitiker, of setting limits to his otherwise unparalleled ambitions. However, he did so not for the sake of unifying the country or pan-Hungarian interests, as Hungarian historians frequently opine,23 but rather just the opposite. In fact, still months before the defeat of the Bohemian rebels at White Mountain, very strongly supported by the Hungarian estates, and in possession of the Holy Crown, he had abandoned any plans of being crowned as fully legitimate king of Hungary. For Bethlen was aware of how seriously limited his opportunities in Hungary were. Despite his noteworthy successes achieved within the European Protestant alliance system—and this is to be highly emphasized—he continued to be the sultan’s vassal after all, and thus he was able to conduct an independent foreign policy only up to a certain point. Istanbul took a tactical approach throughout, waiting to see what Bethlen and his Central European allies would be capable of against Emperor Ferdinand II.24 However, the Porte would no longer have supported a new major Ottoman–Habsburg war, since it was at war at this time on the Polish front (1620–1621).
Thus, a number of factors combined to save Ferdinand II’s rule in Hungary. First, the interests of the Ottoman Porte, which did not wish for an additional major war in the Danubian Basin. Second, the grasp of Realpolitik demonstrated by Bethlen, who even in the midst of his significant military and political successes recognized the limits of his westward expansion. Third, the military defeat of the prince’s Bohemian allies at White Mountain. Fourth, the successful advance of the imperial and royal troops into Hungary in the spring of 1621. Lastly, but by no means least, something that scholarship up to the present has almost entirely forgotten about: the allegiance, not to mention the considerable military involvement against Bethlen, of the Hungarian–Croatian estates; although in the minority, they remained steadfastly on Ferdinand’s his side.
A New Compromise in Hungary in the Summer of 1622
The settlement of the balance of power in the Hungarian state ultimately had to wait until the summer of 1622, since the signing of a peace treaty between the emperor and the prince, that is, the conclusion to the war in Hungary, was still a precondition to an agreement between King Ferdinand II and the Hungarian estates, as well as between the two parties of the divided estates. This took place at the very end of December 1621 in Nikolsburg in Moravia (today Mikulov, Czech Republic). At the time of the latter’s ratification on January 12, 1622, the Hungarian ruler proclaimed a general amnesty for the Hungarian estates who had forsaken him.25 From the point of view of our topic, the peace treaty merits attention also because at the negotiations Bethlen was represented not by one of his foreign diplomats, but at first by Imre Thurzó, then after his death (Oct. 19, 1621) by Szaniszló Thurzó, while Ferdinand II was represented, from among the Hungarian estates, by Péter Pázmány, the archbishop of Esztergom, and Miklós Esterházy. The Transylvanian prince relinquished his Hungarian royal title at this time and promised to return the Holy Crown, which finally occurred in March 1622.26 In return for all this he received seven counties in Upper Hungary for life (Borsod, Abaúj, Zemplén, Szabolcs, Szatmár, Bereg and Ugocsa), as well as the Silesian duchies of Oppeln and Ratibor. Thus, it was only in return for a significant loss of territory that the Habsburg Monarchy was able to retain the remainder of Hungary, which, however, it still greatly needed for its defense and provisioning against the Ottomans.
Following this, in the summer of 1622 at the Hungarian Diet in Sopron the estate structure and administration of the Kingdom of Hungary was virtually reborn. To put it another way, after the years 1606–1608 once again a compromise of decisive importance came about between the Viennese court and the Hungarian estates, as well as between the individual factions within the estates. The peculiarity of this is indicated by the fact that this had to be established in such a way as to both pacify the country, racked by the turmoil of the civil war during the previous two years, as well as compensate those who had maintained their loyalty to the ruler and had as a result suffered serious damages at the hands of the prince’s armies, or had been arrested by him. Yet all this was to be done in such a way that in the meantime the Hungarians who had gone over to the prince not suffer major losses either, since this might have had serious consequences regarding the future. Settling the situation in Hungary and the Hungarian theater of war was also a vital interest for Ferdinand II and his Hungarian followers. A further internal and civil war in Hungary, or perhaps a potential Ottoman war, had to be avoided at all costs, since in the meantime the great European conflict was also unfolding.
All these things demanded a willingness to compromise even greater than that witnessed in 1606–1608, indeed a forced compromise, on the part of both the court in Vienna and the various factions within the Hungarian estates, and thus entailed substantial concessions. This brought about a realignment and redistribution of power in several areas. After 1608 the Habsburg court and Ferdinand himself was forced once again to make very serious concessions to the Hungarian estates in general, but even to those returning from Bethlen’s side, in Sopron in 1622.27 This overall was demonstrated symbolically by the fact that for the first time in the history of the Hungarian state (moreover, at the beginning of the decrees, in Article 2) the 1618 coronation diploma of Ferdinand II (diploma inaugurale) was enacted into law. This guaranteed the privileges of the estates and the successes gained in 1608 (among them religious freedom) in 17 points.28 This was of crucial importance in the long term as well, since it remained an established custom right up until the nineteenth century!
The court and the ecclesiastical members of the Upper Chamber in the summer of 1622 attempted to block one of the main demands of the majority of the estates, the election of a palatine, for only a brief time. And yet in the sixteenth century they had achieved this successfully on a number of occasions.29 In fact, among the two Protestant candidates the ruler also included—alongside Ferenc Batthyány, who really had no chance and in fact did not attend the diet in person due to his allegiance to Bethlen—the often-mentioned Szaniszló Thurzó. Meanwhile the two Catholic delegates were Tamás Erdődy, who because of his advanced age could likewise be viewed as a nominal candidate, and one of the protagonists loyal to the king in recent years, Miklós Esterházy. However, in my opinion it was not Thurzó’s hitherto unproven intention to convert (as Anton Gindely believed)30 that played a role in his nomination but rather more relevant factors. It was due in part to his constructive activity in the peace negotiations at Nikolsburg, with which he contributed substantially to the pacification of the country, and in part to his considerable influence in Lower Hungary on account of his larger estates. And lastly, the main reason was that he appeared the most acceptable member of Bethlen’s Protestant camp, and in addition his prestige there was also significant, while as the lord-lieutenant of Szepes County he could also form a “base” for the ruler in Upper Hungary. The trust in him, though not unconditional, is indicated also by the fact that in February 1622, when Bethlen gave back the key stronghold of Érsekújvár (Germ. Neuhäusel, today Nové Zámky, Slovakia), Ferdinand II also accepted him temporarily as its captain general. As was written, cryptically but revealingly, in the Aulic War Council, this had happened thus for serious reasons.31
Although the outcome of the election for palatine could not be predicted because of the actual vote, Ferdinand II and his main advisors—evidently chiefly on the recommendation of Pázmány and Esterházy—reckoned with the least evil, so to speak, from which, moreover, they might temporarily forge even an advantage. In reality they chose a scenario in which even in the worst case the victor could be a Lutheran lord who showed a willingness to cooperate with the Habsburg court as well. Their calculations proved correct: while Erdődy and Batthyány received only a few votes, the palatine election was won by Thurzó on June 3 in a close contest with Esterházy (by a tally of 80 to 65).32 It was thus that one of the captains general of the Transylvanian prince who had attacked the Habsburg Monarchy could become in half a year the palatine (incidentally, the last Lutheran) of the Kingdom of Hungary.
In the meantime Thurzó also benefitted greatly. Without Bethlen’s attack he hardly would have reached the top of the kingdom’s secular elite, and despite his sizeable estates the palatine’s annual salary of 22,000 forints came in handy to him.33 In addition, his jurisdiction as palatine with regard to the armed levies of the nobility (Lat. insurrectio) was confirmed (Art. 21),34 while in his position, like György Thurzó, he could also act as the protector of the Lutheran estates. His election clearly showed both the unique compromise of the court and the estates, and the more significant strengthening, even compared to 1608, of the Hungarian estates, which were using Bethlen’s campaign to further their own interests.
This latter had numerous other signs, too. Ferdinand II and his advisors were forced to yield to the estates in other areas as well. The latter saw to it that the important and at the same time symbolic administrative office of chief postmaster of Hungary, previously occupied by members of the foreign Paar family,35 from this time on would be overseen by Hungarian nobles (first by István Bornemissza) for decades.36 They even succeeded in several stages in pushing through the demand that the Viennese military leadership—under Article 11 prior to the coronation of 160837—once again fill the post of deputy captain general of the border fortress in Győr with a Hungarian.38 In return, in the interests of peace, the captains general of Győr and Komárom (today Komárno, Slovakia) could continue to be foreigners (Art. 23). In addition to this, confirming the resolutions of the 1608 and 1618 diets the estates tried to increase the jurisdiction of the Hungarian Council (Consilium Hungaricum) and the Hungarian Court Chancellery (Cancellaria Hungarica Aulica) (Art. 17). Indeed, they once again declared the Hungarian and Aulic Chambers to be on an equal footing (Art. 18).39 Nevertheless, as in 1608 the latter must have been only a political aspiration and a propagandistic demand at this time as well, since in practice its realization was almost an impossibility.
In the end, the new political and military government of the Kingdom of Hungary was set up in Sopron in merely a few days, between August 4 and 7, 1622. At this time more than half of the Hungarian high dignities, and all of the estates-controlled district captain generalcies (Kreisgeneralat), were assumed by new persons.40 Even in the context of the entire sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this counted as an almost extraordinary turnabout. Yet in this case, too, all this happened in accordance with the guiding principle that Hungary’s hard-won peace and its potential defense against Bethlen in the future should be guaranteed as much as possible.
The “Catholic comet,” Miklós Esterházy, who to the Protestants’ good fortune came up short in the election for palatine, became all at once one of the chief secular and military leaders of the Hungarian estates: the ruler appointed him chief justice (Aug. 4), that is, the second man of the secular elite, replacing the deceased György Drugeth of Homonna. Then, within days he obtained the post of Captain General of the Mining Towns (Bergstädtische Grenze) and District Captain General of Lower Hungary (Aug. 7).41 Additionally, in his latter posts he could organize not only his own estates but also, in the foreground of Vienna and Pozsony, the defense of the kingdom against Bethlen. Meanwhile, for the loss of his estate in Munkács (today Mukačeve, Ukraine) in Eastern Hungary he was granted significant mortgage estates in Western Hungary (Fraknó and Kismarton, today Forchtenstein and Eisenstadt, Burgenland in Austria). For his unparalleled loyalty and material losses after 1619, therefore, his compensation was substantial and satisfactory. At this same time, the third high dignitary, the post of ban of Croatia–Slavonia, vacant due to the resignation of Nikola Frankopan, was obtained likewise by an aristocrat unconditionally loyal to the king, György Zrínyi, district captain general of Transdanubia, father of the noted poet and military leader Miklós Zrínyi (Aug. 7). Succeeding him in his post of district captain general, despite his loyalty to Bethlen, was Pál Nádasdy, since the prince’s general in Transdanubia, Ferenc Batthyány, could not have been considered for this.
It was the situation in the most critical Upper Hungary that saw the most interesting developments, since more than half of the territory of this region (7 out of 13 counties) came under Bethlen’s authority. As a compromise solution, here the post of captain general was given to the lord-lieutenant of Gömör County, György Széchy (Aug. 7), the former captain general of Bocskai and Bethlen who had reverted to loyalty to Ferdinand II in April 1621. His seat, however, could not be the previous residence of the captains general, the town of Kassa (Košice), for Bethlen held that.42 Thus, while a permanent seat was not designated for him, his newly appointed deputy, Miklós Forgách, was assigned to Eperjes (Sáros County, today Prešov, Slovakia),43 it was at this time that the latter’s career began to soar. Here to administer the revenues of the six counties left under Habsburg authority the Szepes Chamber was also in part reorganized, albeit under the supervision of the Hungarian Chamber in Pozsony.44 In addition, Széchy—like Miklós Esterházy, Szaniszló Thurzó, Pál Pálffy and Miklós Forgách—as further compensation was even made an imperial chamberlain (kaiserlicher Kämmerer) in Sopron,45 indeed, Hungarian master of the chamber, that is, a high dignitary of the land.
At this same time, the office of lord steward, formerly held by Miklós Esterházy, now promoted to chief justice, was assumed by Imre Czobor, who had drifted to the prince only under duress; in addition to this, he was compensated for his wartime losses with lands as well. Péter Révay, the chief seneschal who died in early June 1622, was succeeded by one of Bethlen’s former captives, Tamás Bosnyák, though he would have to wait another half a year for this (March 14, 1623). Finally, the newly elected palatine Szaniszló Thurzó’s former office of master cup-bearer was granted to a Transdanubian lord who similarly had been pro-Habsburg throughout, Kristóf Bánffy. In the meantime, through the ruler’s good graces the Catholic Gáspár Horváth was allowed to remain in his post of chamber president and even assume the Transdanubian Calvinist lord Ferenc Batthyány’s post as master of the horse. As Révay’s successor as guardian of the Hungarian Crown, the Hungarian estates elected one of the signers of the 1606 Peace of Vienna, Pál Apponyi, who likewise had become Bethlen’s follower under duress.
The new distribution of offices and power of early August 1622 therefore made it possible all at once to compensate the pro-Habsburg members of the Upper Chamber, conciliate the former Bethlen supporters and ensure the peace, functioning and defense of the Kingdom of Hungary. All this at the same time attests to a greater ability and willingness to compromise on the part of Ferdinand II, unlike the old cliché portraying him as a Catholic bigot. He could work at the Diet of Sopron with the Protestant Hungarian estates, if necessary, in order to stabilize his rule in the Danubian Basin. This represented an important series of steps from the viewpoint of the subsequent history of the Thirty Years’ War as well.
Major Winners and Minor Losers at the Diet of Sopron
In addition to concessions, the Viennese court devoted particular attention to compensating the nobles, church figures and border fortress officers who had suffered serious damages at the time of Bethlen’s campaigns, as well as officials assuming a role in the country’s administration.46 This could be done in a number of ways. The more prominent were granted the title of count (Germ. Graf, Lat. comes) or baron (Germ. Freiherr, Lat. baro or magnas), the former assuring ascension into the highest elite of the aristocracy, and the latter entry into the aristocracy. At the same time, for the majority the bestowal of various offices, estates, pensions (Gnadengeld), benefices and increased pay, the return of estates seized by Bethlen’s armies, the remittance of unpaid wages, as well as various exemptions and privileges represented compensation and a guarantee of continued loyalty.47
It is sufficient to demonstrate these rewards with a few typical examples. For his loyalty Kristóf Bánffy became not only a dignitary in Hungary (master cup-bearer), but a count as well. It was with this same title that Ferdinand II also rewarded the son of the deceased György Drugeth of Homonna (János), combining it, furthermore, with the perpetual lord-lieutenancy of Ung County (supremus et perpetuus comes comitatus Ung).48 Thus, following György Thurzó (1606) they became the second and third possessors of the title of count (Graf), based on German roots, in Hungary. Thus they preceded even Miklós Esterházy, who earned this preeminent rank only in 1626.49 For their part István Orlé and Márton Móricz, captains of Putnok and Szendrő respectively, who had resisted the prince’s armies in Upper Hungary, became barons.50 Their loyalty and military resilience therefore propelled them into the Hungarian aristocracy, while Móricz reacquired his lost estates, received his unpaid pay, and even the cannons hauled away from the fortress of Szendrő by Bethlen’s soldiers.51 Yet it is less known that it was thanks to their anti-Bethlen service demonstrated in the years 1619–1621 that the advancement of a number of well-known noble families began: among the later countly families the Zichy, the Koháry and the Cziráky; and among the lesser nobles momentarily striving upward, such as the border fortress captains Ferenc Káldy or Pál Sibrik. In 1622 their loyalty was confirmed with various offices, pensions and estates.52
In the meantime, virtually every border fortress captain who had experienced the Transylvanian prince’s captivity not only returned to his post, but was also granted a substantial pension and estates. In this regard, a February 1622 memorandum of the Aulic War Council may be considered symbolic as well. This stated that wherever an occasion for promotion presented itself, Ferdinand II had to consider it according to the merits of the petitioner who had suffered damages.53 Yet it also goes without saying that the officials working alongside the Hungarian high dignitaries at the peace negotiations in Nikolsburg, namely the councilors of the Hungarian Chamber, Fridericus Hermann and Jakab Szentkereszti, did not go uncompensated either, both receiving gold chains valued at 300 thalers—and precisely on one of the crucial days of the compromise, August 4.54 Thus, in 1622 efforts were made to reward those who had created the peace in Hungary, so important to the monarchy, even despite the difficult financial situation.
The members of the large court of György Drugeth of Homonna, forced into exile in Poland, at this same time were aided with pensions from the revenues of the Silesian Chamber.55 In turn, with the ruler and his court visibly compelled to compromise, the most varied groups within the Hungarian estates attempted to exploit the situation. Even the royal free towns, the various monastic orders (Jesuits, Franciscans and Paulines) or, for instance, the cathedral chapter of Győr used the Diet of Sopron to have the ruler confirm their privileges, or actually expand them, and have their grievances remedied. The venue for the diet itself, the town of Sopron, may be considered the most symbolic example: right in the middle of the compromise negotiations, on August 4, it received a new coat of arms, with the imperial eagle on its crest, as well as the monogram of Ferdinand II and his new wife, Queen Eleonora.56
While the majority of magnates were not ruined even despite their former allegiance to Bethlen, many of the minor border fortress officers, nobles and officials who had joined the prince were faced with permanent exclusion.57 Because they could be replaced in the kingdom’s leadership from the sizeable nobility and soldiering stratum, they multiplied the camp of the losers. However, the greatest damages were suffered by, on the one hand, the ecclesiastical estates, forced into exile and losing a multitude of estates, and on the other hand, the population of Hungary, that is, commoners. However, while the court in Vienna for the most part compensated the damages incurred by the former, both Ferdinand II and Bethlen only rarely did so for the latter.
The situation of Hungarian society increasingly deteriorated when, beginning in the fall of 1619, it was forced to bear the waves of devastation caused by the princely and imperial armies. As it happened, the imperial military leadership regularly reacted to Bethlen’s military campaigns, which the prince also strove always to reciprocate.58 This created, mostly from Pozsony to the area of the Garam River, conditions of war and civil war for several months each year, which is well indicated by the fact that the Hungarian capital was besieged four times within a brief period of time (Bethlen, Oct. 1619; Henri Duval de Dampierre, Oct. 1619; imperial armies, April–May 1620; Bethlen, Aug.–Sept. 1621).59 Taken together, all this represented the beginning of a tragic process—one lasting right up until the Rákóczi War of Independence (1703–1711)—because civil war conditions arrived in Hungary in 1619–1621, later becoming chronic time after time almost every decade, before Hungary’s society had recovered from the enormous destruction of the largest conflict in its history up until then, the Long Turkish War (1591/93–1606).60
The Symbolic Significance of the Queen’s Coronation
One further event in Sopron marked the significance and uniqueness of the compromise of the summer of 1622 symbolically as well: the coronation of Ferdinand II’s new wife, Eleonora Anna Gonzaga, as queen consort of Hungary on July 26. The event itself, the date, the persons attending the ceremony and their duties all spoke volumes.61
The event itself clearly indicated that, compared to July 1618 and August 1620, the world had taken a great turn in Hungary. After the coronation of Ferdinand II in Pozsony, and then Gábor Bethlen’s election as king in Besztercebánya the wife of the emperor and Hungarian king was accepted by the Hungarian estates as their queen. This in itself clearly symbolized that in spite of the substantial loss of territory, the balance between the Viennese court and the Hungarian estates had nevertheless been restored; the overwhelming majority of the estates that had elected Bethlen as their ruler was also present at the event. For the political and military leadership of the Habsburg Monarchy this was of decisive significance, since the loyalty of the estates of the Kingdom of Hungary had been successfully recovered and the peace of the Hungarian bulwark and larder ensured. With this the crisis that had threatened the very existence of the monarchy came to an end in Hungary in the summer of 1622. This naturally was true even despite the fact that the date of the coronation preceded by a few days the new distribution of power that occurred in the first week of August, outlined above. To put it another way: the court and the estates prepared the actual system of compromises through the coronation of the queen consort as a symbolic political act. Following the ceremony all this was celebrated moreover with one of the monarchy’s earliest opera performances.62
The Hungarians granted a more important role in the ceremony likewise clearly reflected the birth of the compromise. At the lavish ceremony, held in the Franciscan church, the Holy Crown was carried by the newly elected palatine (and Bethlen’s often-mentioned former captain general), Szaniszló Thurzó; he then handed it over during the ceremony to the archbishop of Esztergom, Péter Pázmány, so that he might touch the shoulder of the queen consort with it, as the ruler’s support, according to ancient Hungarian customs. And the queen herself was crowned with her “house crown” (Germ. Hauskrone) by the bishop of Veszprém, likewise according to the medieval traditions.63
Out of the Hungarian political elite, representing the secular and ecclesiastical elite, it was the archbishop and the palatine who were permitted to sit to the royal table at the coronation banquet. Moreover, also in keeping with ancient traditions, the archbishop was seated in a more prestigious place, i.e., closer to the ruler. Although Palatine Thurzó strongly resented this, Pázmány did not yield. With this the latter vividly indicated that despite the strengthening of the secular elite and the Lutheran estates, in the future they would have to seriously reckon with the prelates as political opponents as well. In fact, the archbishop continued the symbolic political struggle with the secular elite even at coronation banquets. At the coronation of Ferdinand III in December 1625, likewise in Sopron, he even managed to secure a place at the table for the archbishop of Kalocsa. Thanks to this, the ecclesiastical elite occupied twice as many places at the table as the secular. This subsequently remained the practice right up until the coronation of the last Hungarian sovereign in late 1916 in Budapest.64
Several others from Bethlen’s former camp were allotted roles at the coronation of Queen Eleonora in July 1622. The frequently mentioned György Széchy was rewarded for his loyalty not just with offices: among the coronation insignia he was allowed to carry the orb, and later allowed to hold the post of master seneschal at the banquet. And he was allowed to do all this in the company of none other than Miklós Esterházy, Kristóf Bánffy, György Zrínyi and István Pálffy, who had been pro-Habsburg throughout. Taken together, all these things clearly show the compromise both between the Viennese court and the Hungarian estates, as well as between the estates split into two camps in 1619–1620. At the same time, it likewise shows the ongoing domestic political struggles.
Overall, both Emperor Ferdinand II and the Hungarian estates could depart from Sopron satisfied in August 1622. After Gábor Bethlen’s military campaigns the political leadership of the Habsburg Monarchy succeeded in stabilizing the military and political situation in Hungary, even if the price for this had been territorial losses on the eastern border as well as serious concessions to the estates. It is for this reason that the formerly pro-Bethlen Transdanubian lord, Pál Nádasdy, could write with such satisfaction about the second compromise reached by the Viennese court and the Hungarian estates in the seventeenth century (one almost forgotten by international and Hungarian historiography to the present) on August 7, 1622, i.e., the day the new distribution of power was concluded, the following lines: “Thanks be to God, the Lord granted the assembly a good ending beyond our hopes, according to the wishes of the Hungarians and perhaps even more than that which we desired.” 65 Similarly, a few days later the deputies of the free royal town of Lőcse (today Levoča, Slovakia), meeting in the Lower Chamber, also declared with great satisfaction that the ruler ultimately had yielded in almost everything and pledged to respect the liberties and privileges of the Hungarian estates.66
The compromise reached in Sopron in the summer of 1622 would prove quite solid. Perhaps the most telling testimony of this is that following the arrangement the Hungarian estates both in 1623 and 1626 apart with few exceptions did not support the prince of Transylvania, Gábor Bethlen, who once more attacked Ferdinand II, this time together with Turkish and Tatar auxiliaries. Amidst the Thirty Years’ War this was of outstanding importance to the Habsburg Monarchy.
This study has analyzed a major historical question of the Central European Habsburg Monarchy and the Kingdom of Hungary that up till now had been hardly researched. First, it has examined who among the Hungarian estates between 1619 and 1621 supported the Transylvanian prince Gábor Bethlen (1613–1629), entering the Thirty Years’ War (1618–1648) on the side of the Bohemian rebels, and why. The latter’s election as King of Hungary in August 1620 jeopardized the rule of Emperor Ferdinand II in Hungary, which, together with the Bohemian uprising, put the very survival of the monarchy at risk. Second, based on new research the author has analyzed how the emperor succeeded in resolving the crisis with the help of a new compromise reached with the Hungarian estates at the Diet of Sopron in the summer of 1622, and thereby preserve Hungary as the monarchy’s bulwark and larder against the Ottomans. Regarding these two issues, the following major conclusions can be drawn.
Compared to István Bocskai’s uprising (1604–1606), many more within the Hungarian estates, about half, supported the prince of Transylvania, Gábor Bethlen, in the years 1619–1621. Moreover, a significant group of the high dignitaries and aristocrats playing decisive roles in the direction of the Hungarian kingdom’s military and financial affairs as well as its domestic politics and institutions supported Bethlen voluntarily and even elected him king as well. This was a serious consequence primarily of the failure of the court in Vienna and the Hungarian Catholic elite allied with it to respect several elements of the system of compromises reached at the Diet of Pozsony in late 1608 between King Matthias II and the Hungarian estates. However, because the imperial military leadership, the Hungarian prelates, the Croat lords and the Hungarian aristocrats loyal to the court, led by Miklós Esterházy, continued to back Ferdinand II, Bethlen’s military campaigns split the estates into two camps, and plunged Hungary into civil war.
After the peace of Nikolsburg between the emperor and the prince in late 1621 the internal and civil war in Hungary was concluded by the compromise at Sopron. After 1608 the leadership of the Habsburg Monarchy and Ferdinand II himself once more made additional significant concessions to the Hungarian estates at the Diet of Sopron in the summer of 1622. These confirmed first and foremost Protestant religious freedom and the positions of the estates in the leadership of the country. In the meantime, the estate structure and administration of the Kingdom of Hungary was also reorganized. Moreover, this occurred in such a way that those who had maintained their loyalty to the ruler and had thus suffered damages at the hands of the prince’s armies were compensated with ranks, offices, lands and other goods. Yet the most influential aristocrats who had gone over to the prince did not endure great losses either. The main sign of this was that the estates elected Szaniszló Thurzó, captain general of the Transylvanian prince attacking the Habsburg Monarchy, as the leading secular high dignitary of the kingdom, the palatine. This demonstrates that Emperor Ferdinand II took a legalistic rather than simply confessional line on constitutional disputes in Hungary in order to secure the dynasty’s rule there.
As a result of several months of negotiations, peace in the Hungarian theater of war and Hungary’s administration was thus secured in Sopron. Symbolically, even the coronation of Emperor Ferdinand’s second wife, Eleonora Anna Gonzaga, as queen of Hungary on July 26 attested to the reconciliation between the court and the estates. The true significance of the compromise reached in the summer of 1622 was shown by the fact that the Hungarian estates neither in 1623 nor 1626 longer supported the Transylvanian prince, who was once again on the attack. Thus, in August 1622 the crisis of the Habsburg Monarchy came to an end over the long term in Hungary. And the new compromise satisfactorily secured the peace and administration of the Kingdom of Hungary as well as its defense against the Ottomans.
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Winkelbauer, Thomas. Ständefreiheit und Fürstenmacht. Länder und Untertanen des Hauses Habsburg im konfessionellen Zeitalter. 2 vols. Österreichische Geschichte 1522–1699. Vienna: Ueberreuter, 2003.
Wurth, Rüdiger. “Die Pressburger Postmeisteramt und die Familie Paar im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert.” In Forscher – Gestalter – Vermittler: Festschrift Gerald Schlag, edited by Wolfgang Gürtler and Gerhard J. Winkler, 473–99. Eisenstadt: Amt der Burgenländischen Landesregierung, 2001.
Translated by Matthew Caples
1* The study was prepared with the support of the “Lendület” Holy Crown of Hungary Research Project (2012–2017) of the Institute of History, Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The bibliography of works up to 1980 is available on the internet as well, accessed June 25, 2013, http://mek.oszk.hu/03900/03971/html/. For the results of the latest research, see Századok 145, no. 4 (2011): 848–1027.
2 A few examples from the past decade or so: Charles W. Ingrao, The Habsburg Monarchy 1618–1815, 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 31–32; Thomas Winkelbauer, Ständefreiheit und Fürstenmacht. Länder und Untertanen des Hauses Habsburg im konfessionellen Zeitalter, vol. 1 (Vienna: Ueberreuter, 2003), 148–50; Paula Sutter Fichtner, The Habsburg Monarchy 1490–1848: Attributes of Empire (Houndmills–Basingstoke–Hampshire–New York: Palgrave–Macmillan, 2003), 34, 47; Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger, Das Heilige Römische Reich Deutscher Nation. Vom Ende des Mittelalters 1806, 4th rev. ed. (Munich: C. H. Beck, 2009), 76–77; Peter H. Wilson, Europe’s Tragedy: A New History of the Thirty Years War (London: Penguin, 2010), 78–79; Thomas Brockmann, Dynastie, Kaiseramt und Konfession. Politik und Ordnungsvorstellungen Ferdinands II. im Dreißigjährigen Krieg (Paderborn: Ferdinand Schöningh, 2011), 138–44; cf. Jörg-Peter Findeisen, Der Dreißigjährige Krieg. Eine Epoche in Lebensbildern (Graz–Vienna–Cologne: Styria, 1998), 101–4.
3 Alexander Szilágyi, Gabriel Bethlen und die schwedische Diplomatie (Budapest: Kilián, 1882); Maja Depner [Philippi], Das Fürstentum Siebenbürgen im Kampf gegen Habsburg. Untersuchungen über die Politik Siebenbürgens während des Dreißigjährigen Krieges (Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1938); Helfried Valentinitsch, Die steirischen Wehrmaßnahmen während des ersten Krieges mit Bethlen Gabor von Siebenbürgen 1619–1622 (auf Grund der steirischen Quellen) (PhD diss., manuscript, Universität Graz, 1967); Reinhard Rudolf Heinisch, “Habsburg, die Pforte und der Böhmische Aufstand (1618–1620),” Südost-Forschungen 33 (1974): 125–65 and 34 (1975): 79–124; László Makkai, “Gábor Bethlen’s European Policy,” The New Hungarian Quarterly 22, no. 82 (1981): 63–71; Peter Broucek, Kampf um Landeshoheit und Herrschaft im Osten Österreichs 1618 bis 1621 (Vienna: Österreichisches Bundesverlag, 1992); Katalin Péter, “The Golden Age of the Principality,” in The History of Transylvania, vol. 2, From 1606 to 1830, ed. László Makkai et al. (Boulder, Colo.: East European Monographs, 2002), 1–228.
4 Dénes Harai, Gabriel Bethlen. Prince de Transylvanie et roi élu de Hongrie (1580–1629) (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2013).
5 Géza Pálffy, The Kingdom of Hungary and the Habsburg Monarchy in the Sixteenth Century (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).
6 Géza Pálffy, “The Bulwark and Larder of Central Europe (1526–1711),” in On the Stage of Europe: The Millennial Contribution of Hungary to the Idea of European Community, ed. Ernő Marosi (Budapest: Research Institute for Art History of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences–Balassi, 2009), 100–24.
7 Kálmán Demkó was the last to write about the question, in the 1880s. Kálmán Demkó, “A magyar–cseh confoederáció és a beszterczebányai országgyűlés 1620-ban,” Századok 20 (1886): 105–21, 209–28, 291–308.
8 This compromise has been almost completely forgotten by the summary works published in Hungary and abroad in recent decades. Clearly indicative of this is that whereas in the history of Hungary published in the late nineteenth century over five pages were written about it, in the new synthesis appearing in the mid-1980s it received only a few lines. Dávid Angyal, Magyarország története II. Mátyástól III. Ferdinánd haláláig (Budapest: Athenaeum Irodalmi és Nyomdai Részvénytársulat, 1898), 340–46; Zsigmond Pál Pach, ed. Magyarország története tíz kötetben, vols. 1–2/3 of Magyarország története 1526–1686, ed. Zsigmond Pál Pach and Ágnes R. Várkonyi, 2nd ed., vol. 1 (Budapest: Akadémiai, 1987), 836–37.
9 Kálmán Benda, “Der Haiduckenaufstand in Ungarn und das Erstarken der Stände in der Habsburgermonarchie 1607–1608,” in Nouvelles études historiques publiées à l’occasion du XIIe Congrès International des Sciences Historiques par la Commission Nationale des Historiens Hongrois, ed. D. Csatári et al., vol. 1 (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1965), 299–313; David P. Daniel, “The Fifteen Years War and the Protestant Response to Habsburg Absolutism in Hungary,” East Central Europe, no. 1–2 (1981): 38–51; Pálffy, The Kingdom of Hungary, 208–33.
10 Kálmán Benda, “Absolutismus und ständischer Widerstand in Ungarn am Anfang des 17. Jahrhunderts,” Südost-Forschungen 33 (1974): 85–124; Idem, “Hungary in Turmoil. 1580–1620,” European Studies Review 8 (1978): 281–304; Joachim Bahlcke, “Calvinism and Estate Liberation Movements in Bohemia and Hungary (1570–1620),” in The Reformation in Eastern and Central Europe, ed. Karin Maag (Aldershot: Scolar Press, 1997), 72–91.
11 László Szalay, Galantai Gróf Eszterházy Miklós Magyarország nádora, vol. 1 (Pest: Lauffer és Stolp, 1863), 66–69; cf. Béla Pettkó, “Kik tették le a hűségesküt Bethlen Gábornak,” Történelmi Tár 10 (1887): 243–52.
12 The materials were collected primarily in the following archives: 1) Magyar Nemzeti Levéltár Országos Levéltára, Budapest [Hungarian National Archives, hereinafter MNL OL]; 2) Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, Vienna [ÖStA], Finanz- und Hofkammerarchiv, Hofkammerarchiv [FHKA HKA]; 3) ÖStA Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv [HHStA]; 4) ÖStA Kriegsarchiv [KA]; 5) Slovenský národný archív, Bratislava [Slovak National Archives, hereinafter SNA].
13 Cf. Joachim Bahlcke, ed. Glaubensflüchtlinge. Ursachen, Formen und Auswirkungen frühneuzeitlicher Konfessionsmigration in Europa (Berlin: LIT Verlag, 2008).
14 Ferenc Hanuy, ed. Pázmány Péter összegyűjtött levelei, vol. 1 (Budapest: M. Kir. Tud.-Egyetemi Nyomda, 1910), 208–90, and ÖStA KA Protokolle des Wiener Hofkriegsrates [hereinafter HKR Prot.] Bd. 248, Reg. fol. 170r, fol. 175v (Pázmány); ÖStA FHKA HKA Hoffinanz Ungarn rote Nr. 123, Konv. 1622 Juli fols. 430–33 and Konv. 1622 Aug. fols. 98–102 (Jászó), fols. 291–92 and fols. 514–23 (Drugeth of Homonna) etc.
15 Pálffy, The Kingdom of Hungary, 82–83.
16 “in fidelitate sua laudabiliter constantes permanserunt.” ÖStA HHStA Staatenabteilungen, Ungarische Akten (Hungarica), Allgemeine Akten Fasc. 170, Konv. B, fol. 20.
17 Karl Kaser, Freier Bauer und Soldat: Die Militarisierung der agrarischen Gesellschaft an der kroatisch–slawonischen Militärgrenze (1535–1881) (Vienna–Cologne–Weimar: Böhlau, 1997), 102–18; Sergij Vilfan, “Crown, Estates and the Financing of Defence in Inner Austria, 1500–1630,” in Crown, Church and Estates: Central European Politics in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, ed. R. J. W. Evans et al. (London: Macmillan, 1991), 70–79.
18 Cf. Pálffy, The Kingdom of Hungary, 56–57, Table 6.
19 Imre Mikó, ed., Erdélyi Történelmi Adatok, vol. 1 (Kolozsvár: Ev. Ref. Főtanoda, 1855), 347.
20 Géza Pálffy, “Bündnispartner und Konkurrenten der Krone: die ungarischen Stände, Stefan Bocskai und Erzherzog Matthias 1604–1608,” in Ein Bruderzwist im Hause Habsburg (1608–1611), ed. Václav Bůžek (České Budějovice: Jihočeská univerzita v Českých Budějovicích, Historický ústav, 2010), 379–82.
21 Kálmán Benda and Erik Fügedi, Tausend Jahre Stephanskrone (Budapest: Corvina Kiadó, 1988), 149–52.
22 Pálffy, The Kingdom of Hungary, 37–48.
23 László Nagy, Bethlen Gábor a független Magyarországért (Budapest: Akadémiai Kiadó, 1969); Katalin Péter, “Bethlen Gábor magyar királysága, az országegyesítés és a Porta,” Századok 117 (1983): 1028–60; Zsigmond Pál Pach, ed. Magyarország története tíz kötetben, vol. 1/3, Magyarország története 1526–1686, 812–36; Béla Köpeczi, “The Hungarian Wars of Independence of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in Their European Context,” in From Hunyadi to Rákóczi: War and Society in Late Medieval and Early Modern Hungary, ed. János M. Bak et al. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 445–55.
24 Sándor Papp, “Bethlen Gábor, a Magyar Királyság és a Porta (1619–1621),” Századok 145 (2011): 915–73.
25 Roderich Gooss, ed., Österreichische Staatsverträge. Fürstentum Siebenbürgen (1526–1690) (Vienna: Adolf Holzhausan–Wilhelm Engelman, 1911), 515–62, no. 61/A–F.
26 Szilágyi Sándor, ed., Erdélyi Országgyűlési Emlékek, vol. 8/21 (Budapest: Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, 1875–1898), 6–7.
27 Cf. Brockmann, Dynastie, Kaiseramt und Konfession, 138–44.
28 CJH 1608–1657, 174–83.
29 Pálffy, The Kingdom of Hungary, 172–77.
30 Antal Gindely and Ignácz Acsády, Bethlen Gábor és udvara 1580–1629 (Budapest: Magyar Történelmi Társulat, 1890), 55.
31 “auß erheblichen ursachen der Stanüßlaus Turzo zum obristen alda [i.e. in Érsekújvár/Neuhäusel], Koharij Peter alda zum obristen leuttenandt bestelt.” ÖStA KA HKR Prot. Bd. 247, Exp. fol. 283v.
32 “Series candidatorum pro officio palatini regni Hungariae.” Országos Széchényi Könyvtár, Budapest [Hungarian National Széchényi Library]; Kézirattár [Manuscripts] Fol. Lat. 3809/II, fol. 233r; Štátny archív v Levoči, pobočka Levoča [State Archives Levoča, Filiale Levoča, Slovakia; hereinafter ŠA Levoča], Magistrát mesta Levoča [Magistrate of the Town of Levoča, hereinafter MML] III/46/5 (June 4, 1622).
33 ÖStA FHKA HKA Protokolle der Hofkammer (Hoffinanzprotokolle) [hereinafter Hoffinanz Protokoll] Bd. 701, Reg. fol. 144r (August 8, 1622).
34 CJH 1608–1657, 194–97.
35 Rüdiger Wurth, “Die Pressburger Postmeisteramt und die Familie Paar im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert,” in Forscher – Gestalter – Vermittler: Festschrift Gerald Schlag, ed. Wolfgang Gürtler et al. (Eisenstadt: Amt der Burgenländischen Landesregierung, 2001), 473–99; István Kenyeres, “A magyar királyi posta a XVI. században Paar Péter pozsonyi postamester számadáskönyvei alapján,” in Információáramlás a magyar és török végvári rendszerben, ed. Tivadar Petercsák et al. (Eger: Dobó István Vármúzeum, 1999), 107–15.
36 ÖStA FHKA HKA Hoffinanz Protokoll Bd. 701, Reg. fol. 209v (July 9, 1622); Vilmos Hennyey, A magyar posta története (Budapest: Wodianer és Fiai, 1926), 89–90.
37 CJH 1608–1657, 16–7.
38 Géza Pálffy, “Die Türkenabwehr in Ungarn im 16. und 17. Jahrhundert – ein Forschungsdesiderat,” Anzeiger der philosophisch-historischen Klasse der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften 137, no. 1 (2002): 125.
39 CJH 1608–1657, 196–97, 192–95.
40 The data concerning the country’s high dignitaries and captains general below are derived from the following works: Zoltán Fallenbüchl, ed., Magyarország főméltóságai 1526–1848 (Budapest: Maecenas Kiadó, 1988), and Pálffy, “Die Türkenabwehr,” 118–31.
41 On Esterházy’s career more recently, see Géza Pálffy, “Der Aufstieg der Familie Esterházy in die ungarische Aristokratie,” in Die Familie Esterházy im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert. Tagungsband der 28. Schlaininger Gespräche 29. September – 2. Oktober 2008, ed. Wolfgang Gürtler et al. (Eisenstadt: Amt der Burgenländischen Landesregierung, Abteilung 7–Landesmuseum, 2009), 38–45.
42 György Kerekes, Bethlen Gábor fejedelem Kassán 1619–1629 (Kassa: “Wiko” Kő- és Könyvnyomdai Műintézet, 1943).
43 MNL OL, E 200, Magyar Kamara Archívuma [Archives of Hungarian Chamber], Archivum diversarum familiarum, 59. tétel, fols. 35–36, fols. 43–44 (June 23 and 25, 1623), cf. ÖStA KA HKR Prot. Bd. 247, Exp. fols. 518v–519r, and ibid. Bd. 248, Reg. fol. 20v, fol. 342r.
44 For the financial administration of the seven counties Bethlen also retained the Szepes Chamber, thus at this time two institutions of financial administration were operating in partitioned Upper Hungary. Jenő Szűcs, A Szepesi Kamarai Levéltár 1567–1813 (Budapest: Magyar Országos Levéltár, 1990), 61–63.
45 ÖStA HHStA Hofarchive, Oberstkämmereramt Reihe F, C 1, fols. 11–12.
46 One telling example: “Paul Esterhazy bitt ime seinen außstandt zubeczallen. B[escheid:] Ad Cameram Aulicam: diser supplicant ist umb seiner erwisenen treu willen alles des seinigen in der Hungarischen rebellion privirt worden. Destwegen dann Ire Kayserliche Majestät gnädigst resolvirt, ine albeg seines invermelten ausstandts zu die herrn mittel verschaffen und ime supplicanten verholffen sein woltten.” ÖStA KA HKR Prot. Bd. 247, Exp. fol. 477r (September 23, 1622).
47 Cf. “Stephanus Ostrozyth petit, ut in recompensam damnorum perceptorum et fidelitatis sibi conferatur arx LiptoVyvar cum pertinentiis.” ÖStA FHKA HKA Hoffinanz Protokoll Bd. 699, Exp. fol. 6r (January 7, 1622), fol. 204v, fol. 471v, fol. 536r.
48 Bánffy, June 22: MNL OL, A 57, Magyar kancelláriai levéltár [Archives of Hungarian Chancellery], Libri regii, vol. 7, 268–70; Drugeth of Homonna, 1622: ibid., A 35, Conceptus expeditionum 1622, No. 292.
49 Pálffy, “Der Aufstieg,” 41.
50 István and János Orlé, June 3, 1622: SNA Archív rodiny Serényi-Záblatie [Family Archives Serényi de Záblát], Krab. 3, No. 56; Márton Móricz, April 29, 1622: MNL OL, A 57, vol. 7, 144–46 and A 35, Conceptus expeditionum 1622, No. 86.
51 ÖStA FHKA HKA Hoffinanz Protokoll Bd. 701, Reg. fol. 203r, fol. 220v.
52 Numerous examples: ÖStA KA HKR Prot. Bd. 247, Exp. and Bd. 248, Reg.; ÖStA FHKA HKA Hoffinanz Protokoll Bd. 699, Exp. and Bd. 701, Reg. fol. passim. The example of Pál Sibrik may be highlighted as a model: “diser albeg woll und treu verhaltten, darunder in grossen schaden gerathen, vonn Graven vonn Collälto [i.e., Rambald von Collalto], Esterhazy und andern hoch commendirt, ungelobt, bey dem kayserlichen exercitu vil gethan zuhaben…” ÖStA KA HKR Prot. Bd. 247, Exp. fol. 21r.
53 “Johannes Orle de Karua bitt umb mehrere recommendation. B[escheid:] Ubi occasio aliqua promotionis fuerit, Sua Maiestas habitura considerationem meritorum supplicantis.” ÖStA KA HKR Prot. Bd. 247, Exp. fol. 460v (February 1, 1622); cf. “An die Hungarische Camer umb bericht über Mathia Somogi gebettenen järlichen 500 f. pension von dem dreissigist Hungarisch Alttenburg oder wie ime sonsten mit güettern oder promovierung eines ambts zuhelffen.” ÖStA FHKA HKA Hoffinanz Protokoll Bd. 701, Reg. fol. 138v (May 17, 1622).
54 ÖStA FHKA HKA Hoffinanz Protokoll Bd. 701, Reg. fol. 252r (August 4, 1622).
55 Ibid., fol. 271v (August 30, 1622).
56 Zoltán Horváth, Sopron város címerei a történelmi események hátterében (Budapest: Ikva, 1991), 44–46.
57 For the example of a border fortress captain from Transdanubia more recently, see Géza Pálffy, Egy különleges nemesi karrier a 16–17. században. Hatos Bálint pápai vicekapitány és családja története (Pápa: Jókai Mór Városi Könyvtár, 2005), 71–76.
58 Broucek, Kampf um Landeshoheit.
59 Imre Lukinich, “Bethlen Gábor és Pozsony városa. 1619–1621,” Századok 55–56 (1921–1922): 1–31, 172–211.
60 Ferenc Szakály, “Die Bilanz der Türkenherrschaft in Ungarn,” Acta Historica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 34, no. 1 (1988): 63–77; Géza Pálffy, “The Impact of the Ottoman Rule on Hungary,” Hungarian Studies Review [Toronto] 28, no. 1–2 (2001): 109–32; Géza Pálffy, “Türkenabwehr, Grenzsoldatentum und die Militarisierung der Gesellschaft in Ungarn in der Frühen Neuzeit,” Historisches Jahrbuch 123 (2003): 111–48.
61 For the coronation ordinance, recently come to light: ÖStA HHStA Familienarchiv Auersperg (Depositum), Zimmer A, Kasten 2, Faszikul 32, Konv. 3: Krönung der Kaiserin Eleonore zur Königin von Ungarn 1622; cf. ÖStA HHStA Obersthofmeisteramt, Ältere Zeremonialakten Kart. 2, Nr. 3; Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna *28.Q.134 and 44.290.B. Alt. Mag.; Nóra G. Etényi, “A 17. századi soproni országgyűlések a korabeli német sajtóban,” Soproni Szemle 54, no. 1 (2000): 36–37.
62 Otto G. Schindler, “Von Mantua nach Ödenburg. Die ungarische Krönung Eleonoras I. Gonzaga (1622) und die erste Oper am Kaiserhof. Ein unbekannter Bericht aus der Széchényi Nationalbibliothek,” Biblos 46, no. 2 (1997): 259–93.
63 Ferencz Kollányi, A veszprémi püspök királyné-koronázási jogának törénete (Veszprém: Egyházmegyei könyvnyomda, 1901), 107.
64 Géza Pálffy, “Krönungsmähler in Ungarn im Spätmittelalter und in der Frühen Neuzeit. Weiterleben des Tafelzeremoniells des selbständigen ungarischen Königshofes und Machtrepräsentation der ungarischen politischen Elite. Teil 2,” Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 116, no. 1. (2008): 65–66, 88.
65 SNA Spoločný archív rodu Révay [Family Archives Révay], Korešpondencia [Correspondence], Krab. 92, fol. 287–88, (August 7, 1622, Pál Nádasdy to Mária Forgách, widow of Péter Révay).
66 “Leczlichen hatt doch Gott, der Allmechtige, des kaysers hercz regiert, ihme seine augen und ohren geöffnet, einen ansehenlichen außschuß von den landtsendten zum sich begehrt, haben sich also ihr Konigliche Majestät gegen dem landt allergenedigist resolviert, ehr selbst woll sicht, das jczo nicht nottwendig, das man Teutsche ins landt einnehmen soll, will sie auch nit beschweren, vill mehr das landt bey seinen schönen freyheitten und privilegium helffen, schüczen und erhaltten.” ŠA Levoča, MML III/46/16 (August 10, 1622).